Why You Won’t Find Iron-sights in Halo

What do you mean, you "want to aim down the barrel!?"

Joey Davidsonby Joey Davidson

Halo CE

Iron-sights aiming, you know, the kind were you hold L or right-click to look down a gun's sights, has never been a part of the Halo universe. Aiming happens either through your standard reticule or by way of a full-on, zooming scope.

But, as with just about everything else in the world of design, there's a damn good reason for it. Looking down the sights of your gun just wouldn't work in the world of Halo firefights.

The interesting chunk of quote-ables comes from an interview between gaming site AusGamers and 343 Industries' Frank O'Connor and Chad Armstrong. AusGamers asked O'Connor and Armstrong if any more contemporary shooter offerings will be coming to the Halo series, and they specifically mention iron-sights in their line of questioning. O'Connor and Armstrong rule them out immediately while offering up a great perspective. O'Connor's up first:

Halo has these slightly longer, more strategic encounters. I think if I was playing Call of Duty for example, and a good player got the drop on me — came up behind me — I’m dead. There’s nothing I can do about it, not a chance.

Halo has a different pace in encounters and if a good player comes up behind me and starts shooting, I’ve got a small chance of turning that encounter around. I’ll probably still get killed because I’m pretty bad, but it does have a different pace and it does have a bigger sandbox and I think that’s what makes Halo Halo.

I think we could add iron-sights and we could make the encounters shorter and all of that stuff, but the soul of what makes Halo and the soul of what keeps people coming back to it year after year is what’s at its heart and it’s that kind of encounter and that kind of sandbox experience and the sci-fi Universe that it exists in.

Armstrong added this:

When you think about aiming down sights or iron-sights, you’re kind of talking about a bullet-point on a list of design features and that in and of itself is fine, but you kind of want to think about the entire experience: “What is an entire encounter like?”. With Halo, you tend to get recognizable pacing and something like iron-sights can have a dramatic affect on what that pacing is.

While I personally can't call my own firefights in Halo as particularly strategic (more like random spazzing), a lot of gamers can. And we bet they'd be frustrated by the unnecessary inclusion of iron-sights.