I’m partially with Alex here. Split screen was a major building block in the Halo formula, but nowadays, it’s a block in the center. The structure will be weaker, but it won’t topple simply because of that. As for the Halo 4 Campaign, that is the best one in the series in my opinion. I watched Marley and Me without crying, but I shed a tear when Cortana and Chief said their goodbyes to each other.
Cortana, halfway through the game, tells Chief, “Before this is over, promise me, you’ll find out which one of us is the machine.” An Artificial Intelligence asked Chief to figure out which one of them was the machine. The central focus of this game was Humanity. One’s sense of Humanity. Cortana, an AI meant to act on logic and orders alone, acted on human emotions to save Chief. Even seeing their goodbye brought a tear to my eye. Chief, as she backed away before disappearing, pleaded with her, “Wait…”.
Her response: “Welcome home, John.” She called him by his real name. The name he’d had when he was born. The name he had for only six years before the UNSC abducted him for the Spartan-II program. As far as Chief knew, Cortana was the last “person” who knew his real name. His last tie to his own Humanity. His name. Can you think of anything more human than that? Chimpanzees use tools. Using technology doesn’t make you human. Wolves have complex societies and social hierarchies. Those are not what make us human. So what is the one thing we have that other creatures don’t? Names. We have names.
When Lasky told Chief that, “…soldiers aren’t machines… we’re just people,” he was helping show Chief his Humanity. A machine doesn’t feel pain and loss. Chief had lost everything when Cortana left. His final friend, his tactical guide, his interactive encyclopedia, his skeleton key. But she gave him something when she went away. She gave him back his Humanity. He wasn’t “Master Chief” anymore. He was John. She gave him back his name.
I still get hit in the feels when I go back and watch that cutscene after I know what happens in Halo 5. They did a GREAT job at giving Chief a sense of Humanity.
But, I’m mainly with the OP on the fact that 343 has the potential to make a great Halo game. People just aren’t willing to give them a chance. The new abilities are a definite step in the right direction for Halo, and they just made a tactical error with giving us the new stuff (Warzone) to lead off. SO many more people would be happy if they gave us a “throwback” playlist, and Forge at release. Having the stuff to satisfy the older players at release would have been the better choice. Warzone is great, but I would’ve rather waited for it and gotten a new spin on the old Halo games. Throw in Infection, BTB, Oddball, Assault, and all those other maps and gametypes right off the bat. That would have gotten rid of SO MUCH backlash. I understand that you guys want to leave your mark on Halo, but you need to keep people in their seats for the main event. If you start off with the cool stuff, people will trickle out over time. If you have the good stuff that they recognize, and then the new surprise at the end, people are going to be much more willing to stay to see the new thing.
Campaign was WAY too Locke oriented, which is a pressing concern of mine, and I don’t want him to become the new face of Halo. If you are going to take Chief out of the limelight, you better be ready for a good deal of backlash for it. Nightfall didn’t really establish Locke as a character, and the only character I understand/enjoy having on Fireteam Osiris is Buck. Mainly because I’m a fan of Nathan Fillion, but also because we know what he’s been through. Vale and Tanaka are COMPLETELY new to the franchise, and we learn very little about them. All I remember about Tanaka was that she was in the Army, and she survived a glassing. Vale, speaks Sangheili, good with Sangheili culture. Locke, formerly worked for ONI as an “acquisition specialist” (fancy talk for “assassin”). That’s about it.
I remember all of Blue Team quite well. They took out a Covenant station in First Strike, they went through basic training together, and they all had to leave their friend behind ON THEIR FIRST MISSION. The fifth wheel of Blue Team. You feel much more of a connection to them.
343 has the potential, now they just need to realize it.