It’s no secret that a lot of Halo fans aren’t huge fans of 343’s art style. While I never out right hated it, there were a persistent issues with the style that I had but was never able to quite put my finger on until Halo Wars 2 came out. I realized that while the actual design of things like weapons and armor are in my opinion fairly competent, the color pallet seems to hurt the art style rather than help them. The best example of this is the armor of UNSC marines post Reach, which have these weird white helmets and body armor pieces that make marines look more like wannabe storm troopers. Now look at Halo Wars 2, it has the same basic design but just changing the armor color back to green makes a huge difference. This also brings a new strength to the black techsuit argument for the Spartans. In games like 3 and Reach the black techsuits contrast with the colored armor pieces and makes them stand out more, while in 4 and 5 all the armor seems to blend into a single color mess that makes Spartans look more like a power rangers.
Interested in your thoughts, there might be some points I missed but these are my immediate observations… maybe instead of completely throwing out the new art style maybe rework the color pallet. Bring more greens and matte browns back into human architecture and armor, less polished chrome and blue lens flares for the forerunners etc.
I just realized I forgot to give examples:
Halo wars 2: https://www.halopedia.org/images/thumb/1/13/Screenshot_(34).png/150px-Screenshot_(34).png
Halo 4/5: http://img4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20121004040657/halo/images/3/3f/H4hd_30.jpg