When 343 Industries unveiled the Limited Edition of Halo 4 yesterday, there was one particular line that struck me the most: “unique in-game weapon skin for the Assault Rifle”. This line was meant to describe another bonus gamers would get for purchasing the Halo 4 Limited Edition, but it did much more. It confirmed the presence of gun customization in Halo 4.
So far all we know is that players will have the ability to choose particular “skins” for their weapons. Maybe it will be similar to choosing camouflage for your weapons in Call of Duty? I personally think it will be similar in that players will be able to choose how their gun looks, but I don’t think that they’ll be able to make their whole gun gold. 343 Industries will make their “skins” a bit more sophisticated than that, and make sure that no matter how players change their guns, they’ll still look like something out of Halo. We should be getting some more information on this topic during E3 this year, so be on the look out.
Now really quickly, I wanted to refute a thought that will almost certainly be made in response to this news: Why the hell is Halo copying Call of Duty’s idea?
First of all, we don’t even know for sure if these weapon skins will be like Call of Duty’s camouflage. That’s just what it sounds like to me, personally. But if they are, here’s my spiel:
Should Master Chief drop his gun just because Call of Duty lets users use guns? Should Master Chief, a friggin’ Super Soldier, lose his ability to sprint just because Call of Duty lets users sprint? And most importantly, should every aspect of a Call of Duty game be shunned from use by other game developers just because Activison decided to use an idea first? The answer to all of these questions is no, by the way. Even though Halo and Call of Duty are very different, they have the same background: Shooting. And there is no way for both of these games to be polar opposites and still be known as “shooters”. They both have to have some similar ideas just to spark interest in its audience.
343 Industries is not adding the customization of guns through “skins” because Call of Duty has that option. They are adding the customization because they feel that it will make us gamers excited for Halo 4. Weapon customization certainly has my vote, and I can’t wait to start changing up my Battle Rifle to add a little more “me” to it.