It’s my biggest gripe with the campaign. All in all I loved a lot of Cortana’s lines/whispers to Chief throughout the game. They really nail home how much he means to her/she to him. But it does not stick the landing with that final scene. I hate how their explanation for why Cortana did what she did was essentially because she got over-confident thinking she could handle things on her own. And now after what she’s done there’s no going back for her.
It’s not even ever really addressed if this is really Cortana we meet in Infinite. Because as far I thought the Cortana Chief knew and loved died in Halo 4, and only her rampancy fragments remained. But obviously that’s not the case.
I like Weapon, but she’s no replacement for Cortana. Seeing them tease her possibly taking her name also would be bogus to me.
And them killing her off screen is inexcusable to me. This isn’t even close to being a proper end for her character.
Consider that Cortana lost a fragment of her personality when she saved Master Chief at the end of Halo 4. That fragment contained her capacity for empathy and sympathy, so when the other fragments containing her pride, brilliance, and abilities re-formed into a version of Cortana in the story, Dominion Splinter, that Cortana didn’t have the tempering effect of empathy to curb her megalomania on display through Halo 5. And in Halo Infinite, this is still in play. Cortana doesn’t feel anything for the victims of her attrocities. Her only lament is that she failed, and she attributes that to trying to do it alone rather than working with Master Chief as a team.
Cortana taking down Atriox was her being vengeful, not self-sacrificial, since she was going to be destroyed anyway. And I’m convinced the echos that became more deliberate the closer Chief got were Cortana’s plan to control the narrative about her beyond her death.
Now, we did see Cortana’s end in the Echo, so it wasn’t purely off-screen. Rather it was on screen, after the fact. I agree that the weapon taking the name, “Cortana” would not be a good choice. It would be like a person taking her twin’s name after that twin was executed for a heinous crime.