Biggest single flaw with the campaign

Okay, first time posting, but I just wanted to share my thoughts on Halo 5 having played it for the last few weeks.

Basically, the previous game was mostly a very personal story that centered on Chief and Cortana. Which is good, I personally thought that was one of the great points of that game and I think thats the general consensus on Halo 4. But for Halo 5, they felt that they wanted to move away from that and make it more of an “ensemble” game; to quote one of the 343 developers. They do this by adding in a whole new spartan team and three extra Spartans in Chiefs storyline; plus a cameo appearence with the Arbiter and Halsey making a return as well.

Now thats not quite Mass Effect numbers of characters, but its a massive increase and the result becomes pretty obvious. Chief only has a handful of missions whilst a lot of time is spent with Osiris adventuring on the Elite homeworld with the Arbiter and Halsey in tow. In addition, Chief has to share his campaign with three new Spartans. Now, in fairness to 343, Blue team are largely just there to question Chief as well as ask the hard questions that he perhaps is not quite prepared to ask of another character. But the overall result is that Chief gets very much sidelined as a character in this game.

Even that would be fine, if the story was just like Halo Reach and largely about fighting another faceless enemy. Perhaps then they might have been able to justify not making this a more personal story like Halo 4 was with Chief and Cortana. But, given the nature of the actual story and plot of Halo 5, its extremely difficult for me to understand why they did this. If anything it should be more focused on Chief: not less. The other characters perspective of whats going on is just not very interesting and doesn’t have anywhere as much emotional weight behind it. Its not until the final mission that Locke/Osiris really has to deal with this aspect of the storyline and it results in some of the worst dialogue ever. Theres a few bits which sound like school yard insults traded between Locke and the main villain which felt really out of place and bad.

Even in Chiefs own missions, I felt at times like Blue Team were taking up too much dialogue. When its just Chief and Blue Team thats fine, but when the two other characters show up it was for me a lot less so. Theres one bit in particular in the second Chief mission where I really wanted to hear Chiefs reaction to something quite important and instead Kelly steals the conversation and starts interrogating this other character before Chief can even get a word in. Personally I think Chief should have been on his own and that sense of isolation would have really suited the story they were aiming for with him. You don’t exactly feel Cortana’s loss and absence when you’re surrounded by your supportive friends the whole time. :wink:

Now I think Frank O Connor has said in a TIME interview that Halo 6 is going to be more of a “personal story”. I don’t know whether thats a PR thing over people complaining about the number of Chief missions or their actual plan all along. He doesn’t mention the Chief directly butits pretty obvious which characters hes refering too. However I don’t see why that would apply for Halo 6 and not in this game. It honestly strikes me as bizarre and I can’t fathom their reasoning.

The supporting teammates on both sides were nothing more than henchmen for Locke and Master Chief. They didn’t offer anything to the story. Nothing happened as a result of anything they did. In the opening cinematic to Master Chief’s first mission, there was some chit chat about how hard Chief was pushing himself and it looked like they were questioning his judgement. Then, as soon as chief talks about his vision of Cortana, nobody questions it. They all basically say, “ok, sure. Let’s do that. Let’s go AWOL based on your hallucination, despite what we talked about at the beginning of this level”.

At least in Reach, the supporting teammates helped push the story. Kat took that hard drive in the first mission. Jorge sacrificed himself by throwing you out of the Covenant ship, etc. They had their own roles and personalities. These teamates in H5 we’re useless to the story.