E3 2018 is in full swing right now, and yesterday Microsoft showed a trailer for the next Halo game: Halo Infinite. As all game trailers go, it looks real slick, but I couldn’t help but notice from the trailer that the Warthog is still around? I find this concerning.
I’ll say it, sure: I have always hated driving the Warthog. I have always found it to be a poorly handling vehicle—slow, sloppy in turns, a handful to manage, vague steering feel and an obnoxiously loose and swingy rear end. The only great part of it was the turret on the back with unlimited ammo. That’s still fun, even after Bungie introduced a cooldown period for it.
Halo: Combat Evolved came out in 2001. You could argue that the feel and the mechanics of the Warthog during that time is reflective of what was currently available. And while that may be true, I never got the sense that the Warthog advanced much since then.
Playing through Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo Reach, Halo 4 and Halo 5, there is a marked leap in improvement in weapon feel and how Master Chief and other members of the UNSC special ops unit navigate their surroundings. No such leap is ever bestowed upon the Warthog—and if there is one, it is indiscernible.
The fun of the Warthog, of course, is to drive around and mow down enemies with the big gun, run them over and swing the ass out to smash Elites. And it beats walking. Too often, though, that fun gets buried under constant flips that could have been avoided if the steering was just a little bit keener and less clumsy. The accuracy is missing. I cannot think of a good reason why this would be other than a deliberate nerfing so it gives the bad guys a better fighting chance. That’s a silly reason.
Vehicular warfare is one of the best parts of Halo. But if the most common vehicle you get to drive—the Warthog—isn’t actually that fun, then what’s the point? Give me more tanks, I say.
Hopefully, the Warthog will have undergone some massive improvements in the upcoming game. Like, it’ll actually have some grip and you’ll know which direction it’s pointed in from the feel of the joysticks.