By Jonathan Charles | Sep 07, 2012 01:14 PM EDT
343 Industries confirmed that Halo 4's Capture the Flag mode will be fundamentally changed from previous games. Players will no longer be able to drop the flag to gain speed, a technique known as "flag juggling," and players simply walk over the flag to pick it up. This is a big change for one of Halo's longest-running multiplayer modes and may cause controversy among existing fans.
Developer 343 Industries revealed last week that players can carry a magnum pistol when holding the flag, the first time ever players will be able to hold a weapon and a flag simultaneously. The exact strength of the weapon is unknown; in videos online, it seems like a five-shot weapon, so weapons like the Battle Rifle may be comparable.
The videos appeared to show that movement speed was unaffected by carrying the flag, also a change from past Halos. Gameranx thinks the changes will create a faster experience for players, which it called similar to Quake and Unreal Tournament, in which a Capture the Flag gamemode called Speedflag allows players to run over and pick up flags without reduced movement speed. Call of Duty features a similar implementation.
Whether existing Halo players are comfortable with the changes remains to be seen. The announcement of Specializations, end-game content that grants player game-modifying abilities, caused controversy among fans as some players question why all players will not be on an equal footing. Changes in Halo: Reach irked a lot of fans due to their lack of balance, so balanced change 343 Industries needs to control.
With a lot of new elements introduced in Halo 4, time will tell if the developers can find that balance. 343 Industries may put an emphasis on skill, though. If players miss shots, then the flag will probably be dropped, so the better players will stay alive. The change may also encourage greater teamwork to keep flag carriers alive, since the carrier moves at a set speed.
Halo 4 will be released November 8 on Xbox 360.
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