The most unpopular thing I get hated on for saying to halo fans is that I believe the Master Chief was artistically killed off by bungie at the end of Halo 3. Regardless of that being true or not I do believe there is a very significant reason bungie decided not to use the Master Chief in the last two games they made (ODST, Reach). I believe they were quite aware of many things and I will explain my thoughts here because well, I love halo.
- Character exhaustion / story exhaustion
A lot of games dont have to worry about this because the story lines are either unimportant (mario, donkey kong) or they allow the character to act in repetition, without disturbing the reality of the fictional world they inhabit (lara croft, sam fisher, agent 47) what I mean is that it doesn’t matter how many people you kill as agent 47 or how much you explore as lara croft because it doesn’t have a massive dramatic impact on the world they inhabit. The Master Chief does not have this luxury because every game hes been in he has saved the entire human race from extinction. This can work for a super hero but not for a character that is supposed to be human. At some point Master chief will become a caricature of himself. Nothing he does will feel meaningful because well, hes done it a hundred times already. It also takes away the magnitude of what he’s done already, saving the planet earth against both the flood and the covenant.
This is why Bungie made Reach imo, they didnt want to keep adding on to his list but rather go back and supplement what he has done by showing the sacrifice of noble team to achieve what he did. The ending shows them protecting the pillar of autumn as it takes off reach. The game is highlighting the magnitude of the situation and the sacrifices that had to be made in order for the master chief to even begin his mission.
George Lucas tried did the same thing with star wars. He knew he cant top the originals and trying to outshine them would only downplay what happened. So he made the prequels to do the opposite, to show the build up to this legendary one time event. Now you can argue that he did not do a good job with the prequels however, they achieved the intended effect.
- Halo is not Master Chief
Just like the star wars example I gave, star wars is not luke skywalker. It is a fictional universe with many stories and characters. Luke, like Master Chief are the most legendary heroic characters and the original story is built around them. However you cant make 9 movies all about Luke Skywalker you just cant. Hes in the same boat as the chief is regarding his “savior” status. They cant be the savior every time and still resemble a normal character. Halo is a vision of the future, there is so much stuff there that can be done. Focusing only on the Master Chief is just limiting what they can do with the halo universe creatively speaking.
Sorry for the long wall of text this has just been bugging me. I heard Frank talking about how this was gonna be Master chiefs biggest journey yet and it made me laugh. sorry Frank I respect you a lot but what could the chief possibly do thats greater than saving the entire human race? You cant really top that. The problem here is that there isnt really much they can do with the chief here without all the halo fan boys crying, like they were after halo 5. the problem wasn’t the lack of master chief it was the lack of halo.
I have a lot faith halo infinite will be the best halo game 343 has made and I do believe they are listening to the fans with the trailer they showed. I personally think they screwed up big time with halo 4 and 5’s story so heres hoping they can backtrack and make things right again.