Bungie co-founder and Halo creator Jason Jones believes the developer could do a better job of the seminal shooter if it had to do it all again – but that notorious pistol wouldn’t change.
Speaking to IGN, Jones said looking back on Halo, there are things he would change if he were to design it again now, with the benefit of years of experience.
“I’m not sure how much different it would have been. I think it would have been better. We would have done things a little bit different,” he said. “Certainly knowing what I do now from the experience, I would change a few things.”
“I’d change the pistol,” he added.
Halo’s pistol is considered over-powered by many fans – it’s something of a signature. It’s long been said that Jones sneakily changed the pistol’s power at the last minute to give himself an in-game advantage, but the developer revealed the reason was a little more prosaic.
“There was a moment towards the end of Halo 1 where we were very close to locking down. The balance on the pistol was such that both in the competitive game, but also in the solo game, it wasn’t where we wanted it to be,” he said.
“We didn’t feel comfortable actually changing the data anymore. The game was so locked down that when you changed a piece of data, gigabytes of crap had to be reprocessed. What we did feel comfortable doing was changing the code, and so I added code specifically, when the map was loaded, to change a single number on the pistol.”
As such, Jones is indeed responsible for the pistol’s balance, noting that he’d “take the blame for everything in Halo”. And he stands by it; clarifying his earlier comment, Jones said the pistol’s power isn’t the problem.
“Rather than do that change at the last minute, I would have made that change a lot earlier,” he said of his only regret.
If you’ve yet to experience the original Halo, the 343 Industries-built Anniversary Edition is available for Xbox 360.