expanded material...

Now I haven’t read too much expanded material, but my point of this post is to tell 343i to not let it get in the way of the story.

Most people don’t read it, and for the people that do it’s quite a treat, but it shouldn’t be a requirement in order to understand the fundementals of the story in the main franchise. It’s not “expanded” material if it’s required.

Anyways, just had to get that out there. Hope Infinite doesn’t have this issue like H4 and H5 did.

After going back and playing through Reach and the trilogy the story was easy to follow and I didn’t ever feel like I didn’t know what was going on. Bungie did a really good job with the story in-game. I think that’s how it should be. It a game’s story is good it should stand on its own without external material needed to understand it. Very much agree, OP.

Arguably, Halo 4 didn’t require you to read or engage with any of the expanded material. The only thing not made explicitly clear was the origin of the Covenant faction led by Jul ‘Mdama, but none of the Halo games delved much on the inner workings of the Covenant outside of Halo 2 and even that game didn’t explain why the Prophets wanted humanity exterminated.

Everything else though is touched on in the game itself. Halo 5 is a bit messier, but it’s expanded universe content mostly resolved around character introductions. One of Halo 5’s problem is that it didn’t follow up on any of the lingering plot points from Halo 4.

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> Arguably, Halo 4 didn’t require you to read or engage with any of the expanded material. The only thing not made explicitly clear was the origin of the Covenant faction led by Jul ‘Mdama, but none of the Halo games delved much on the inner workings of the Covenant outside of Halo 2 and even that game didn’t explain why the Prophets wanted humanity exterminated.
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> Everything else though is touched on in the game itself. Halo 5 is a bit messier, but it’s expanded universe content mostly resolved around character introductions. One of Halo 5’s problem is that it didn’t follow up on any of the lingering plot points from Halo 4.

Another very solid point. Jul 'Mdama’s background and faction was a big plot hole in the story, and the main story was given to us through exposition by the Librarian, which was hard enough to understand. But even the background of the forerunners was confusing as well, and it wasn’t best-explained in the actual games. And for reference, Halo 1 didn’t need to explain who the convenant was until Halo 2 because they filled the role of mystery. But once you start to explain the background of a character or faction, you can’t leave it unfinished.

The H4 story was good, but it too had issues. H5 had way more issues than H4 though, and I guess that’s the major takeaway from the statement.

I wouldn’t say Jul ‘Mdama’s Covenant is a plot hole. Yes, we are missing what formed them, but I’d wager that isn’t terribly important to Halo 4’s story. Once we see the shield world and find the Didact it’s abundantly clear WHY they are at Requiem. Would I have liked a bit more? Sure, but then again the idea a remnant of the Covenant would survive doesn’t seem like an especially crazy conclusion to come to.

The Librarian’s exposition dump is a lot to absorb all at once, but it’s not hard to understand. Long ago, humanity has been an interstellar civilization nearly on the same scale as the Forerunners. There was a conflict between the two species caused by a misunderstanding involving the Flood. The Librarian believed humanity had the potential to better attain the role of guardians over the galaxy than her people did and the Didact, still harboring anger over the war, disagreed. Because of this, the Didact was imprisoned and the Librarian tried to ensures humanity would ascend through meddling in our development. I really don’t see the issue especially when the terminals add more context. Had Halo 5 been allowed to continue expanding upon these concepts, we’d be better off.

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> After going back and playing through Reach and the trilogy the story was easy to follow and I didn’t ever feel like I didn’t know what was going on. Bungie did a really good job with the story in-game. I think that’s how it should be. It a game’s story is good it should stand on its own without external material needed to understand it. Very much agree, OP.

I’d wager people seem to overlook things during Bungie’s tenure rather than it being wholly because Bungie made things understandable. It was simple storytelling, for sure, but there were a fair bit of holes that were relegated to novels and comics to fill in.

  • Covenant’s reasoning for hating humanityReally wasn’t explained any deeper than “They’re repulsive. They’re an affront to the gods. Kill them all.”
    The real reasoning isn’t revealed until one reads Contact Harvest were it is initially misinterpretations, then later revelation, then ultimately a cover-up on the significance of humanity.

  • The gap between Halo: CE and Halo 2There is no explanation given as to how Chief and Cortana got from the debris field of Installation 04 aaaaaallllll the way back to Earth, nor is there one for how Johnson was last seen in the middle of a Flood infested compound and is now aaaaallllll the way back at Earth… unless one reads First Strike.

  • The gap between Halo 2 and Halo 3Yeah, woooo! At the end of Halo 2 we see Chief on the Dreadnought. He just told Lord Hood he’s finishing the fight. Truth is within his grasp! Wait… now in the opening of Halo 3 he’s all of a sudden a fireball careening towards Earth? Why is that? Why would he leave the Dreadnought? Wait, Johnson is there, too? But last we saw him, he was on Installation 05, which is a 2 week slipspace journey from Earth. How’d he get there so fast? You wouldn’t know unless you read the comic Uprising.

Halo: Reach is about the worst in this department:
What is the significance of Reach? What are Spartan-IIIs? Why is there a Spartan-II in Noble team? Who is that cranky old woman in ONI Sword Base? All of these questions are explained (barring Jorge’s inclusion in Noble) upon reading The Fall of Reach and Ghosts of Onyx.
It’s interesting because the entire premise of the game came from the EU, the book, yet did little in the way of explaining the important parts of it.

I’d dare say you really aren’t required to read the EU any more-so now than when Bungie was at the helm.

Halo 4 had the least amount of issues with this tbh.

People like to point fingers at Halo 4 and 5 for some reason, but this is really just an ongoing issue. In CE, we were never given a hint of what the Covenant really was, just that we needed to shoot them. Pretty much every game in the series has the issue with explaining how we’ve gotten from one story to the next (iirc some of the Bungie devs actually joked about this in one of the Halo 3 Legendary Edition commentaries), but it’s not really important unless if you really want to read the outside lore.

I’m fine if Infinite has a time gap, just as long as we understand what the current story is going to be. If there’s a glaring issue, like Cortana suddenly no longer being the villain or the Guardians magically disappearing, then I’d have a problem with it.

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