343 was really misleading about the story...a lot

http://haruspis.tumblr.com/post/134899277253/halo-5-a-compendium-of-lies

A good buddy and fellow major fan of the Halo lore managed to compile a large compilation of quotes from the folks at 343 over the years that built up to Halo 5 and its story. I knew there was a massive disconnect between Hunt the Truth’s narrative and Halo 5 and Halo: Escalation ended up being essentially useless as a bridge for Halo 4 and Halo 5 with literally nothing from Spartan Ops mattering in Halo 5, but it is actually so much worse. Just feast your eyes, he explains it all better than I can. Some of the more non-constructive statements will be edited a bit.

> > “We are not Game of Thrones.” [x]
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> Tell it to Jul 'Mdama
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> > And what of Master Chief? Ross said Master Chief is still the star of the show, and the star of Halo 5, despite Locke’s prominence. [x]
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> > Blue Team has 3 missions, Osiris has 12
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> (I don’t actually mind this at all, Osiris was one of the best parts of the game - but this is clearly indicative of the inherent fear 343 has in saying “the Master Chief is not the centre of the Halo universe, get used to it fanboys”. This inability to actually be honest about the game’s content looks bad however you choose to look at it - they’re either lying, or they’re not confident enough in pitching this narrative.)
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> > "He is human, he’s always been human, but at the end of Halo 4 he really is reflecting on who he is and why he exists.”
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> Doesn’t happen even once in Halo 5.
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> > “It’s more about what he’s searching for versus what the UNSC is asking him to do.”
> > “He’s questioning many things he once firmly believed were true. He’s lost his best friend, he’s questioning his past and his purpose, he’s question who he is fighting for. For us this is a really interesting point. For the first time he’s questioning everything he’s done for the UNSC in the past.” [x]
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> Except it… isn’t? The UNSC is in pursuit of the exact same thing John is - Cortana. The only thing the UNSC asks John to do is return to Infinity because Osiris has been tasked with finding her.
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> When does he ever even question who he’s fighting for or what the UNSC has asked of him in the past? He is set against Cortana from the start, there’s never a moment where that is called into doubt - in his own mind, and in the minds of every other character. Warden asks if John will join Cortana in conquering the galaxy or help his own kind’s resistance effort, he says "Cortana already knows the answer”.
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> Also:
> > “lost his best friend”
> > Never has to deal with that loss because he’s in-pursuit of her literally in the second mission of the game.
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> > "We decided to do a little bit more detail on the Forerunners,” Ross explained. “We wanted to bring a new enemy class into Halo, so we spent a lot more time mapping out exactly what that culture. It does play a big role in Halo 5 and beyond.
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> Completely shafts the Ur-Didact, the character you spent three whole years building up, in place of Cortana and the Warden Eternal - who we learn absolutely nothing about outside of him having a single (Composed) mind and some million bodies, and he thinks Cortana deserves the Mantle for some reason.
> And the Domain is consistently referred to as Forerunner when it’s not.
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> > In one cinematic Eurogamer saw at E3, The Arbiter says: "How well do you know your friend, human? And what would you call me if you learned the truth of what I have done?”
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> This line ended up meaning absolutely nothing.
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> > “Halo 5 is a lot about his future, but as you’ll see through all of the linear pieces we’ve woven through, his past is key to his future.”
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> Not really? “The seeds of our future are sown in his past”, we are told by Thel, yet that never plays into Halo 5 at all.
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> > "The prologue and epilogue [of the MCC] will bound that and tie you up and leave you on the doorstep of Halo 5.”
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> Except for the inherent contradictions in these scenes with Halo 5.
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> In the MCC, Locke does not know why John has gone AWOL and is seeking him to find out why. In Halo 5, Locke knows exactly why John goes AWOL from the start and has just been sent after him because he’s in-pursuit of the same mission Locke was given. This was obviously done because 343 didn’t want to reveal that Cortana is back, yet Halo 5 presents us with no ambiguity about that from the second mission. Which brings us to…
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> > 343 Industries has stated that Blue Team probably has more lines of dialogue in Halo 5 than they have in all the books, comics, and videos released to date, so it will give fans a better look into the personas of some of Halo’s oldest warriors. [x]
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> (OP here, the creator of the list was not happy here. Personally, I’d really like to see just how much dialogue Blue Team has in Halo 5. Seems a lot of it hinges on it filling dead space rather than coming from the narrative itself. Maybe with that the claim is true, but I’m not sure.)
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> In fact:
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> > “I don’t think any of [Chief’s] Blue Team have particularly strong personalities,” says O’Connor when I ask about the challenge of maintaining emotional connection while jumping players between perspectives. [x]
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> Sigh…
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> > “You can look at the ending of Halo 4 – and where Master Chief is,” she continues, “and obviously we had to know where we were going to take Halo 5 and Halo 6 with that.” [x]
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> Bonnie, mate, I don’t know if you did. I really don’t. I look at the ending of Halo 4 - and where the Master Chief is - and I think about all those fascinating things that were set up.
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> Chief’s evolution being accelerated, unlocking the “many gifts” that Librarian seeded in humanity? Nothing.
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> Cortana’s death? All consequences of that wiped away, essentially retconned in a forum post from Catalog in 2014.
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> The Janus Key/Absolute Record arc? Came to absolutely nothing after 2 years of build-up.
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> Ur-Didact as the Reclaimer Saga’s central antagonist figure who would be “central to post-Halo 4 fiction” [x]? Utterly shafted.
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> > “We got asked a lot about what happened to Cortana - what’s her fate? Well, her fate is, obviously, very clear at the end of Halo 4. The story is really about what effect did Cortana’s sacrifice have on the Chief, and what effect does her loss have on him? It’s more about the long-lasting impact she’s had on him, and the whole universe, and that’s kind of a metaphor for the effect she’s had on fans now that she’s gone as well.”
> > “There’s more to the Chief’s story, I think, that people are going to find in Halo 5 that deals with how he copes with loss, and how he deals with is memories, and what those memories help him contextualise.”[x]
>
> (OP again, just going to say what the list’s creator said in a less inflmatory manner. What this quote says? Not true.)

Make what you will out of the collection, but, needless to say, it just provides further disappointment with Halo 5’s final results for the story. And to see just how thoroughly 343 made it out to be something it isn’t further cements that disappointment. But hey, maybe I and others just lack the subtly and nuance of these words. Regardless, I’d simply ask 343 just be more honest about their story next time around. Is that too much to ask?

UPDATE: Improved https://haruspis.wordpress.com/2015/12/10/halo-5-a-compendium-of-lies/

The story we got seemed like one that had been thrown together late in the development period. It’s flimsy, unecessary, and doesn’t follow at all with the various lore lead-ins that had been setup in Escelation/Hunt the Truth/Spartan Ops/Halo 4.

I don’t understand where this story came from, or why it turned out this way. It was incredibly disappointing.

Well this was depressing, even though I was aware of quite close to all of that.

Oh, then there’s quite a lot of nice Concept art in the achievement pictures. Some even having MC use the cloak, or how about the loading screens with tips and tricks? I doubt the work put into those were soley for the use of loading screens and achievement pictures. Some look like part story board pieces.

Oh, and yes, it is too much to ask.

I enjoyed Halo 5. I found the story entertaining and the game play fun. However, I accept that it was not the same game that 343 advertised during the marketing. These points are all spot on unfortunately, and I’d love to see a quote from 343 explaining in their defence to this but things like this will be brushed aside and ignored. The marketing was incredibly misleading. My first thoughts on completion were, “well those traitor trailers must have been for another game entirely”. It did annoy me, like many I actually had a lot of faith in 343 to really hit home on this story. Like some of the points in this post about the Chief being lost and confused at the end of Halo 4. That might as well have just not happened. Many other things in this post really do ruin 343s own continuity which they set up for themselves.

My biggest issues were the prologue and epilogue to Halo 2 Anniversary featuring Lockes meeting with the Arbiter were completely non-canonical which really was a problem. If they were released as trailers, fair enough but they were cinematic directly before the game. You just cant put that in and then make it irrelevant to the plot.

The story telling in Halo 5 is clumsy at best. Halo has never had very strong story telling (Reach was perhaps the pinnacle), it’s always been a solid military space opera. Some of the content they created around Halo 5 was great, some very poor, it certainly suffers from being the middle chapter of a trilogy.

[sarcasm]Wait, 343 lied? What a shock…[/sarcasm]

Sigh

The discrepancy between what I was expecting and what I got in the end was so big I lost interest in what comes next. Ending of Escalation was just the final straw.

Halo 6 needs to bring the concept of a Halo campaign forward in a major way, or the story has to be among the best in the franchise (books included) for me to be invested.

Otherwise ME:Andromeda is my only hope for a sci-fi epic.

> 2533274809541057;2:
> The story we got seemed like one that had been thrown together late in the development period. It’s flimsy, unecessary, and doesn’t follow at all with the various lore lead-ins that had been setup in Escelation/Hunt the Truth/Spartan Ops/Halo 4.
>
> I don’t understand where this story came from, or why it turned out this way. It was incredibly disappointing.

I’m thinking this must be the case. There’s just no other explanation.

> 2533274795533089;4:
> I enjoyed Halo 5. I found the story entertaining and the game play fun. However, I accept that it was not the same game that 343 advertised during the marketing. These points are all spot on unfortunately, and I’d love to see a quote from 343 explaining in their defence to this but things like this will be brushed aside and ignored. The marketing was incredibly misleading. My first thoughts on completion were, “well those traitor trailers must have been for another game entirely”. It did annoy me, like many I actually had a lot of faith in 343 to really hit home on this story. Like some of the points in this post about the Chief being lost and confused at the end of Halo 4. That might as well have just not happened. Many other things in this post really do ruin 343s own continuity which they set up for themselves.
>
> My biggest issues were the prologue and epilogue to Halo 2 Anniversary featuring Lockes meeting with the Arbiter were completely non-canonical which really was a problem. If they were released as trailers, fair enough but they were cinematic directly before the game. You just cant put that in and then make it irrelevant to the plot.

plot twist! those scenes from the mcc are actually from halo 6 :smiley:

Very depressing, I wondered why the Arbiter didn’t have a more prominent role considering he was the focus of the Halo 2A terminals.

I appreciate Halsey and his unnamed friend compiling this list for fans of the lore, such as myself, and for those who felt like they had been misled by the blatant misrepresentation of Halo 5’s Ad Campaign.
Very disappointing to not have the epic story they had built it up to be. And it further cements the idea that stoey we got was one hastily assembled with duct tape and hair spray. All the Ads, trailers, Hunt the Truth series, and all the leaks were such a total disconnect frI’m what we actually got. It certainly feels like (for whatever reason) the development team had to do a 180 late in development.

I did enjoy the story even if it was short, but I’m am disappointed in what we did get, I was hoping that you would play as the master chief and having to elude capture from team Osiris, but no we play as Spartan Locke for most of the game, when I play a halo sequal I expect the morjority of the game to be as the master chief, I can’t help feel this was a means to introduce a new character in to the franchise so that they can write the master chief out (from being declared MIA or just being retired from active service, or killed) whatever the method is, Spartan Locke seems to have been introduced for thr new generation of gamers which will allow 343 and Microsoft claim that it’s now a truly new franchise which is separate from what bungie had done, but if that is the case then they should end the franchise as is and start new say that is been 200 years since to wars.

My belief is that 343 and Microsoft are board with the master chief franchise and what to start a new and go down a different story arch but that is my belief, in the end I’m happy for a change as long as what we get as in characters and story is as Good as or even superior to the story’s that have come previously and it can be done.

It feels like there was a serious disconnect between the the teams who built HtT, other surrounding media and the game itself. And these quotes are said by mostly people who I’m sure knew what the story was, but just said rather misleading things, which is sad.

People say that this was all just a marketing scheme, which I guess it was. Though even thinking as a pragmatist, why go through all that effort of creating these stories to have them not go anywhere, find a resolution, have a continuity in game and related media? You’d be more successful and it would be probably lasting since if it all strung together in this cohesive fashion it would raise the reputation of the media and influence new readers to get into the universe. Now I’m not so sure I feel it really worth it right now to recommend a lot of content right now, figuring it looks like a good amount of dead ends.

I love you 343i, but you are breaking my heart here. I’d like you and everyone else to really focus on what I said at the beginning of this post: “It feels like there was a serious disconnect between the teams” If not everyone in the story making department is on the right page the cohesion of the story and the content is just not going to work very well. What I’m asking here, as a fellow fan of the franchise, just… interact with each other more, communicate a bit better with your world building teams and the teams responsible for producing the other media. If you can’t find a better way to achieve this, the franchise is going to seriously suffer.

Ah yes. I’ve been waiting for this post for a while now…

I rate the H5 campain at the bottom of my list. I wasn’t impressed with it at all. It has nothing to do with Cortana coming back either. I kinda figured that was going to happen and have posts in my post history to prove it. (Basically the part of her we saw at the end of H4 did die. The rest of her lived.)

My problem with H5 has some to do with the whole “Hunt The Truth” marketing campaign, (which really went nowhere), and most to do with only playing 3 missions as Chief with Blue Team. People can call me a Master Chief fan boy if they want, but after I first played HCE, then H2, and then started reading all the books, I didn’t become a fan because of the Elites, ODST’s, etc. I became a fan of the story behind the Spartans, most of all Chief, and what they had done and where still doing. I wanted to know more then and I still want to know more now. That is why H5 disappointed me. Because when I play a main line numbered Halo game, I expect to play as Chief and in H5’s case, Chief and Blue team. Not have the vast majority of the game being taken up by other characters I really don’t care about.

I want to add one more thing. (I said this after H4 came out as well.). I know people say Chief is getting old and can’t be in many more Halo games because of that. But, as the OP mentioned, John had the evolution of his genetics, (I’m assuming to be more like the ancient humans), accelerated by the Librarian in H4. Who’s to say one of the benefits of that evolution won’t be longer life. After all, Forthencho, the Lord of Admirals, lead the ancient humans against the Didact and Forerunners for 1000 years during the Human Forerunner war.

I liked and disliked the Halo 5 story, for most of the reasons here, but one of the main thing I didn’t like, was that halo 5 felt far too much like a game designed to bridge 4 and the next one, in a sort of way, almost like it wanted to get all the introductions over with as fast as they could, i.e, new characters, enemies, etc, so they could then focus on the rest of the saga. Halo 5 could have been so much more, but I only hope they make the next games story better, more coherent, more fleshed out, and focused on the characters more, one that’s truly immersing and interesting!

Yes. Yes 343i was misleading… About everything with Halo5. And no, I don’t feel it was the positive approach to it all. It was as bad as the Khan fiasco with Into Darkness, and we are a smarter bunch than that.

… At least one of my few above-satisfactions is that Jul’ was dealt with in-game, unlike the Didact. With everything that could be wrong with the overall story progression and execution in H5, Jul’ was offed in the 2nd best way possible, while the Didact wasn’t actually contained on-screen.

Jul’s best way to die would have been homage to H2’s Heretic fight. But instead of the way H2 went down, we’d have a headshot and assassination vulnerable Jul’ with overshields, holograms and active-camo using already cloaked with a few jet-pack enhanced sentinels… Perhaps a few Jackal snipers keeping watch.
As I said, at least it was in-game… But it left me wanting more in the wrong way );

Ya, I hate to admite it… but intill halo 6 comes out, anything to do with charcters or story… I’m going to be very skeptical. Bad part is, I trusted 343 with the story… Maybe that was my fault… maybe not… We shall see how things play out…

That and blue team was handled badly…

It’s fine much more interesting than Halo 3 Odst and Halo Reach, but has room for improvement obviously

You know, Bungie did the Same thing for Halo 3. Remember the Believe ad campaign where they had a huge Diorama and talking to all these “Retired Veterans” who participated in the battle and witnessed Chief Killed in Action in the Battle on Earth

Well the Battle Never happened, with Chief sopposedly getting killed far away from Earth.

Honestly I was far more disappointed from the Believe ad campaign then that of 343I. For that Battle you could have made a whole game about. But we go nothing even close. A damn shame