Hey all. I’ve been playing Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary pretty obsessively since its launch, and I just wanted to know something. Ever since I first saw him throw that Marine into the escape pod, I’ve thought the Master Chief just looked off in cutscenes. I couldn’t tell you exactly why in some ways. In others, it’s more obvious. The biggest offender in my opinion comes at the end of the level Two Betrayals. Master Chief has just damaged the last pulse generator, and he’s talking to Cortana. While he’s doing it, he’s looking at the damaged pulse generator. He’s gesturing with his hands while he’s talking as well. Then, he turns around to go but Cortana tells him to wait. He turns back around, looks that pulse generator in the face, and asks it if it has a better idea. There are many things wrong with this whole cutscene. The main one is that throughout the entire exchange, Master Chief is talking to the pulse generator. It doesn’t look like he’s talking to an AI inside of his head at all in my opinion. It looks like he’s talking to the pulse generator directly. The fact that he gestures at it with his hands when he says “You have a better idea?” doesn’t help. And that just brings up another point. When did the Chief get so expressive? Maybe it’s been a while since I’ve played a Halo game with the Chief in it, but I can swear he’s never talked with his hands that much. He’s usually quite reserved; rifle at the ready for firing, cautiously stepping around and being attentive. So it’s weird to see him like this.
Another question: was Master Chief motion captured by a woman? I can swear he was. This is another weird thing. There are times in cutscenes where I swear his gait resembles that of a woman. When he’s walking over to Jenkins’ helmet in 343 Guilty Spark, it looks more nimble than the crouch-walk of a man in armor. When he’s sprinting to the Longsword destined to deliver him from the explosion of Halo, it looks like a woman sprinting. I honestly think this motion capture thing is the main problem with Chief. The motion capture actor did not study Chief’s subtleties very well before doing the part. As an amateur actor myself, I can tell you the significance of consistency in body language. Anniversary breaks the Chief’s consistency in a negative way, in my opinion. It doesn’t match the character. He’s overexpressive, and it’s not just because the animation is limited anymore (like it was in the original Combat Evolved).
Anyways, that’s all I was wondering about. I’m simply not satisfied with how Master Chief turned out in this game. His model looks (for the most part) good, but the motion captured animation in cutscenes butchers all of my impressions that this could be Master Chief. It’s awkward. I just wanted to know if others shared my opinion there.