In a recent interview with the Seattle Times, Bungie president Harold Ryan spoke of his company’s newest game Halo: Reach, and the possibility that it might be Project Natal enabled. I pondered over this long and hard, and have decided that if Halo: Reach is a Natal only game it would be the first major mistake in the eight year history of the Halo franchise.
NOTE: While some might say that Halo Wars was a pretty big mistake, due to the fact that it was shunned by some hardcore RTS fans, and some Halo fans hated that it wasn’t an FPS. While the game may have been received in mixed ways from gamers it still sold well and earned an 82% score on Metacritic.com.
But the real question at hand here is do gamers want the line between hardcore console games and casual physical style games erased? Sure it’s fun to dust off the ol’ Wii and play a round of Wii Sports when you’re bored but do you want to actually play a first person shooter in this manner? Can you imagine yourself pointing your hands in gun shapes at your television in order to pwn a noob? I know I sure don’t want to.
During its announcement, Project Natal was always spoken of as a way to broaden the Xbox 360 fan base to include those who prefer the motion activity of the Wii. Since this tends to not be the Xbox Halo audience, I’m curious why Natal would even be mentioned in regards to Halo at all. Would the addition of controls that require motion and activity alienate the hardcore fans of the Halo franchise who are used to the precision of their controllers? And would this also entirely remove Halo: Reach from the PC market?
Hopefully Bungie will go the Wii route and allow for both motion and controller based gameplay or even scrub the Natal controls all together. As a gamer I want the two worlds of casual physical games, and hardcore shooter games, to never meet. But it’s not really up to me to decide how you would play a game. So I ask those of you who consider yourselves hardcore first person shooter fans, “Would you want to play Halo with a controller or with your body?”