OPINION: Surprised How Many People Liked H4/5 Art

Felt like discussing something off the top of my mind, and I know I might get some unfavorable responses from some…

I’ll state up front that my top three favorite Halo games, in order from most to least, Halo 3, Reach, & Halo 2. This is based on the overall package, perhaps only omitting the campaign plot (which, if included, would place Halo CE at the front of that list). Mentioning this because I will fully admit that part of the reason why I favor the “original” art direction of the series is due to heavy nostalgia. I’m sure that had I been involved in the Halo 2 community as a youngster & not Halo 3’s, then my point of reference might be from there as a center…

The official reveal of the new retro-inspired art direction for Spartan armor at E3 2019 was INCREDIBLY exciting for me and my immediate friend group. While we had been active Halo fans & players during the Halo 4 & Halo 5 era, we detested the new look of the series overall. I thought it would grow on me over the years & that I’d accept 343’s new visual depiction of the universe, but it never did. I know that there were many fans who claimed they liked it or at least didn’t mind, but there was also a vocal sect that was intensely against it.
I wanted to talk more about it over the years with fans but found that most attempts at talking about the art were met with “-Yoink!- it doesn’t matter”, “Who cares what it looks like, real topics like gameplay are much more important”, and a few people who were much more fiery about saying “old Halo looked boring & lame, Halo 4 & 5 are way cooler”. I agreed with the middle of those three comments & gave up on talking about it since I did believe that the angst over the art was drawing away from pressuring 343 about the problems surrounding gameplay issues (sprint, AAs, etc.)

My initial expectation was to see LOTS of fans applauding the returning aesthetic, and indeed there are many (in particular, pretty much all the big YT channels). However, I feel like I’ve seen a lot of detractors & fans who are not happy with the change. Some who see it as “regressive”, “catering”, & other more condemning synonyms. I honestly could not get a sense for how many people were truly into the Halo 4/5 look for the past few years because most people avoided the subject (for the reasons previously mentioned above) & I want to know just how much of the current Halo community is actually dismayed by the coming changes. This raises many questions for me as it seems to suggest that the communities of old & new are incompatible in many ways (like the polarization of the fanbase between people who want and don’t want sprint, there is NO middle ground)…and if there is anything wrong with 343 yearning for & catering to the older community who had their best years on the mid to late 2000s?

For those who read, thanks!
For those who thought this was tl;dr, I understand – and here’s the short version for you:

Are you or anyone you know fans of the new direction & not of the old, & what do you think of the apparent split between new Halo fans & old ones, & is it wrong for 343 to try and double down on the older fanbase?

…343 could easily pull a bait & switch & lose EVERYONE with this move if they revert the art style but keep sprint in, that will make for a lot of confused old fans who thought this was a return to the games of old. Including me haha!

I see more praise then hate,but I’m also surprised by the amount of love for the halo 4/5 art style and graphics.Alot of it is just people stomping their feet and telling others that their opinions dont matter though

Aside from the Chief’s colors, its hard for me to understand how people see this set of armor as more power rangeresque compared to his 4/5 armor set. Bungie’s style always seemed more functionally militaristic as opposed to 343’s which seemed more generic sci-fi. Each to their own, but I much prefer his Infinite set.

> 2717573882290912;3:
> Aside from the Chief’s colors, its hard for me to understand how people see this set of armor as more power rangeresque compared to his 4/5 armor set. Bungie’s style always seemed more functionally militaristic as opposed to 343’s which seemed more generic sci-fi. Each to their own, but I much prefer his Infinite set.

Fully agreed. The only part of the Halo 4 art style that I think helped contribute to the fact that I think Infinite’s looks superior to Halo 3’s Mark VI is that they made the armor bulkier. I originally thought “Ew why is Halo 4 Chief’s armor so darn obnoxiously clunky?” but recently went back and compared the Halo 3 classic armor to the Halo Infinite one…& It hit me that the armor in Halo 3 DID look obnoxiously thin! Either the armor was paper thin, or the human wearing it was a twig of a man…or both. I still like it nostalgically, but I hadn’t noticed that, and Infinite’s clearly addresses that directly. Some people think it looks too bulky now (of course, nobody is ever PERFECTLY happy) but it actually looks as if a jacked-as-hell modified human is wearing a half-ton supersuit. I credit Halo 4s armor with at least making the nano-modded Mark VI look like it’s powerful armor on a powerful man.

I will be fine with the changes, but I’m one of those terrible Lore fans that needs a logical reason to do so. How they changed Chief’s armour from 3 to 4 was lazy, but they gave us the nanotech reasoning. But if Cortana was redesigning the armour, you’d think she’d repair the gash in the chest? Regardless, if they can give me a reason why they’re going back to the Halo 3 style (armour, Pelican, UNSC logo, etc) I want a good enough reason.

As for exactly what we’ve seen, I’m good with the style but would like it a bit more roughed up/realistic like Reach’s armour was. I think the clean/polished armour was what went worst with Halo 4, but they bettered it a bit with 5.

It’s pretty natural that when something changes, the people who liked the old way are going to come out of the woodworks. And obviously, somebody had to like 343i’s art direction. Personally, however, the amount of opposition hasn’t surprised me. Anecdotally, it seems to me like most people who care at all do think the new art style is at least in the right direction. And just in passing, “at least in the right direction” is precisely my opinion of what I’ve seen this far.

As for your question. From my point of view, as a classic fan, the fact that 343i pushed so hard along their own path for so long was wrong, and what they are (or at least appear to be) now doing is merely getting back on the right track after this detour. But it’s all a matter of perspective. However, to be perfectly honest, I do feel like classic fans have somewhat of a moral high ground here because they can say “this is how it used to be, our preferred style was here first”.

Of course, not much is set in stone yet. The art style is obviously going to remain more or less unchanged (though we have only seen little glimpses of it, and not nearly all of what’s relevant), but gameplay remains completely unseen. There’s still plenty of time for bait and switch. It’s interesting, because I see 343i is very stubborn, and could see them wanting to retain some controversial elements of gameplay, but at the same time it’d be such a strange move because it truly would be a bait and switch situation, and they must be aware of that.

> 2591580321307319;5:
> I will be fine with the changes, but I’m one of those terrible Lore fans that needs a logical reason to do so. How they changed Chief’s armour from 3 to 4 was lazy, but they gave us the nanotech reasoning. But if Cortana was redesigning the armour, you’d think she’d repair the gash in the chest? Regardless, if they can give me a reason why they’re going back to the Halo 3 style (armour, Pelican, UNSC logo, etc) I want a good enough reason.
>
> As for exactly what we’ve seen, I’m good with the style but would like it a bit more roughed up/realistic like Reach’s armour was. I think the clean/polished armour was what went worst with Halo 4, but they bettered it a bit with 5.

Bingo - you read my mind on a bunch of those points. I, too, would greatly appreciate more respect for the continuity. I was very unsatisfied with the way the armor upgrade event was explained…& I wouldn’t have even described that they “gave” us any kind of a reason at all lmao. Halo 2’s upgrade was shown to us during a cutscene as a seargent told us how fried our last set of armor was, and we SAW Chief fall from space in Halo 3, which reasonably explained the increased wear on his gear…the armor plates on the backs of his hands were the only noticeable design retcon, but it was microscopic enough that it was fine. The armor gash ticked me off, & the laziness of having the Forward Unto Dawn look entirely different, as well as having BRAND NEW BR85s – and if Chief’s redesigned armor was so unique to him, why did the opening of Halo 4 show off propaganda footage from the UNSC with MANY Spartans all wearing the very same armor? Perhaps it was a prototype design that was stored in Cortanas memory, but…
Anyway, totes in the same pool as you. I personally just felt that 343 originally intended a full retcon but was unprepared for the lore community backlash and hashed out an explanation in the extended universe. The BR85 was originally marked as “BR55” in early Halo 4 screenshots/renderings…so it’s a bit obvious.

Back to the main subject, I think that the Gen III armor can be reasonably explained away but the rest of the universe design will be MUCH more difficult to explain away. Is the pilot in the trailer wearing an old uniform with a pre-war insignia, or is it a retcon? Everything else after that is still a mystery.

The art style in Halo 4 wasn’t concerning to me, but in my opinion, Guardians looked like a reskinned Call of Duty. There wasn’t anything distinctive about it since it looked like other shooters with generic futuristic color schemes. I’m looking forward to seeing more of the art style in Infinite, but am extremely cautious so I don’t get my hopes up. A series should evolve over time, but it felt like Guardians threw all base art styles out the window. If Infinite can go back to the base art style of the Halo series while also introducing new elements that fit in with the base theme, I’ll be a pretty happy camper.

Personally, I prefer MC’Halo 4/5 armor but that is about where my art style preference ends. The changes made to ship and weapon design… Not a fan. Particularly the Pelican.

I have only seen criticism of the Infinite (read: better for 343’s purposes, and more visually appealing to me) art style in the forums. Everywhere else, loved universally. Youtubers, Classic halo fans, New halo fans, they all loved it. 343 did what they set out to do. make people happy.

Now let’s hope they give us classic elites and grunts (considering we have playable elites, I have hope)

> 2535446427305943;10:
> I have only seen criticism of the Infinite (read: better for 343’s purposes, and more visually appealing to me) art style in the forums. Everywhere else, loved universally. Youtubers, Classic halo fans, New halo fans, they all loved it. 343 did what they set out to do. make people happy.
>
> Now let’s hope they give us classic elites and grunts (considering we have playable elites, I have hope)

Yes, I have only encountered unhappy fans here on the Halo Forum & in many live Halo Twitch/Mixer streams, where I encountered a couple of fans barking the “Halo 3 armor looked clunky and [lame]” stuff.
& yes, that is the question…the pre-war UNSC insignia makes me wonder if they could be retconning the Halo 4 & 5 art style out entirely, which classic-Halo purist-me screams “Oh god yes!” but with 2 full mainline Halo games altering the aesthetic…I’d feel better if they made a solid attempt to explain things. Perhaps the Pilot is from the UNSC Spirit of Fire & only has pre-war gear? Would help explain why he only had an MA35 on the pelican. The new redesign of the armor also seems similar to the Mark VI armor seen in Halo Wars 2, which makes me believe that they are referencing HW2 as an aesthetic reference point as well. This would indicate classic elites.
Perhaps we’ll see a mix of new gear from the UNSC Infinity & old gear from the UNSC Spirit of Fire…but I am not sure if 343 will do us the favor of giving us good reasons just yet. We shall see.

> 2533274895683392;9:
> Personally, I prefer MC’Halo 4/5 armor but that is about where my art style preference ends. The changes made to ship and weapon design… Not a fan. Particularly the Pelican.

I’m interested in knowing more about what parts of Halo 4 and 5 you like the look of than the Bungie games! Are you more into the highly angular & detailed look of the Spartan IVs and of 2012/2015 Chief, or maybe you haven’t tried to put your finger on it? & are you talking about Infinite or Halo 4/5 in regards to that last bit concerning the weapon/ship design

Honestly, I think blending the styles would be the best bet. This pilot may very well be adrift from pre-Schism. But mixing Old Elites and New Elites? Having every design of villains in this game would make me so happy. Sadly, I know that this would be taxing to accomplish. I’m still holding out hope, though.

I think the amount of people who hate this new art direction is smaller than even those few threads might have you believe, there was just so little else to talk about this E3 that it sticks out more. Especially when those “negative” threads had plenty of posters who were fine with what they saw at least in terms of visuals.

Even though I was always a fan of the first Halo games, I didn’t mind the art direction of the 343 titles. In fact, I’d say I liked it when it wasn’t excessive. I’d say the armors of the Blue and Osiris team make a good example: I liked them a lot because I didn’t feel they were too much. Even Linda’s since it has a purpose for being like that.

There were a lot of armors though that were definitely out of context in a Halo game I’d say. I liked the weapons designs (especially the human ones) as they felt more realistic and solid overall. I didn’t like too much the design of the new enemies and some redesigns of the covies. Overall there was a balance between things I liked and didn’t like.

The fact that they tried to tell us “hey we’re going back to the old art style” made me happy because I hope it means they’re gonna listen more to what the community asks for. I just hope they don’t make everything too simple visually and get the wrong idea from an art style perspective. I’m okay with looking back to the classic Halo feeling, but not so okay with reverting everything mindlessly to the past for nostalgia.

> 2533274832491484;11:
> > 2533274895683392;9:
> > Personally, I prefer MC’Halo 4/5 armor but that is about where my art style preference ends. The changes made to ship and weapon design… Not a fan. Particularly the Pelican.
>
> I’m interested in knowing more about what parts of Halo 4 and 5 you like the look of than the Bungie games! Are you more into the highly angular & detailed look of the Spartan IVs and of 2012/2015 Chief, or maybe you haven’t tried to put your finger on it? & are you talking about Infinite or Halo 4/5 in regards to that last bit concerning the weapon/ship design

For the most part, I like the concept of the Halo 4/5 spartan armors vs the Halo 2-3. The overall armor concept felt more grounded but there were to many that gave the feeling of Power Rangers, anime, etc. I agree that I like the more angular armors. My favorite none MC armors from Halo 4/5 were - Infiltrator, Rogue, Recluse, Blue teams armors overall. I don’t like the other art changes though. I felt they went to overboard with the forerunner architecture, UNSC ships felt like they were more form than function - the Forward onto Dawn Halo 3 vs Halo 4. I preferred the old weapon designs from Halo 2 and 3 - Halo 3 BR vs Halo 4 BR. My bigger concern now is that we are going to get a wierd amalgamation of designs in Halo Infinite.

I honestly really liked the newer H4/H5 armour. The more angular and streamlined armour gave the appearance of an evolving armour, and fit more so with the extremely agile description of the spartans in the novels - or at least that’s how I viewed it.

I feel as if the more blocky, bulky armour was initially just a limitation of the graphics on the original Xbox. As launch title for the OG Xbox, Bungie hadn’t maxed out their graphic abilities yet (launch titles used to always be significantly weaker visually against their post-launch counterparts), and and so it made sense to have the cover art, concept art, promo art to match what was displayed in-game. A much simpler, blocky-er, low-polygon armour.

Along comes Halo 2. Bungie suddenly revamps Chief’s armour drastically. As their prowess for developing on OGX grew they were able to push the visuals, and so increase the details and change the look of Chief’s amour.

Halo CE Chief
Halo 2 Chief

Regardless of what has or hasn’t changed, I’m fine with with either style of armour. I don’t understand why people are so aggressively for one side or the other as if the armour of Halo can’t change or was never changed by Bungie when it had already undergone significant changes from Halo 1 to 2. Why can’t things be changed again?

Waypoint is not representative of the Halo fanbase as a whole. If you go on other platforms like YouTube, -Yoink!-, Reddit and Twitter, the general sentiment seems to be that people are very happy with the art style change.

> 2533274832491484;1:
> Felt like discussing something off the top of my mind, and I know I might get some unfavorable responses from some…
>
> I’ll state up front that my top three favorite Halo games, in order from most to least, Halo 3, Reach, & Halo 2. This is based on the overall package, perhaps only omitting the campaign plot (which, if included, would place Halo CE at the front of that list). Mentioning this because I will fully admit that part of the reason why I favor the “original” art direction of the series is due to heavy nostalgia. I’m sure that had I been involved in the Halo 2 community as a youngster & not Halo 3’s, then my point of reference might be from there as a center…
>
> The official reveal of the new retro-inspired art direction for Spartan armor at E3 2019 was INCREDIBLY exciting for me and my immediate friend group. While we had been active Halo fans & players during the Halo 4 & Halo 5 era, we detested the new look of the series overall. I thought it would grow on me over the years & that I’d accept 343’s new visual depiction of the universe, but it never did. I know that there were many fans who claimed they liked it or at least didn’t mind, but there was also a vocal sect that was intensely against it.
> I wanted to talk more about it over the years with fans but found that most attempts at talking about the art were met with “-Yoink!- it doesn’t matter”, “Who cares what it looks like, real topics like gameplay are much more important”, and a few people who were much more fiery about saying “old Halo looked boring & lame, Halo 4 & 5 are way cooler”. I agreed with the middle of those three comments & gave up on talking about it since I did believe that the angst over the art was drawing away from pressuring 343 about the problems surrounding gameplay issues (sprint, AAs, etc.)
>
> My initial expectation was to see LOTS of fans applauding the returning aesthetic, and indeed there are many (in particular, pretty much all the big YT channels). However, I feel like I’ve seen a lot of detractors & fans who are not happy with the change. Some who see it as “regressive”, “catering”, & other more condemning synonyms. I honestly could not get a sense for how many people were truly into the Halo 4/5 look for the past few years because most people avoided the subject (for the reasons previously mentioned above) & I want to know just how much of the current Halo community is actually dismayed by the coming changes. This raises many questions for me as it seems to suggest that the communities of old & new are incompatible in many ways (like the polarization of the fanbase between people who want and don’t want sprint, there is NO middle ground)…and if there is anything wrong with 343 yearning for & catering to the older community who had their best years on the mid to late 2000s?
>
> For those who read, thanks!
> For those who thought this was tl;dr, I understand – and here’s the short version for you:
>
> Are you or anyone you know fans of the new direction & not of the old, & what do you think of the apparent split between new Halo fans & old ones, & is it wrong for 343 to try and double down on the older fanbase?
>
> …343 could easily pull a bait & switch & lose EVERYONE with this move if they revert the art style but keep sprint in, that will make for a lot of confused old fans who thought this was a return to the games of old. Including me haha!

i agree i also love the new design and i think that 343i needs to go the whole way if they’re moving in this direction because if they simply change the superficial and not the mechanics then a lot if not most of the veterans will be really turned off and turn away whilst

> 2533274809541057;16:
> I don’t understand why people are so aggressively for one side or the other as if the armour of Halo can’t change or was never changed by Bungie when it had already undergone significant changes from Halo 1 to 2. Why can’t things be changed again?

Well, first of all, 343i’s design language was vastly different from Bungie’s, so the change itself wasn’t an issue, but to what the armor was changed to. People liked or at least were okay with the Mark VI, but they didn’t like the armor introduced in Halo 4.

However, another issue here is how the change was executed. In Halo 2 it was always clear: when Chief reached civilization, he was fitted with a new suit. Of course, the reason Bungie decided to change the armor was probably because they wanted a simple explanation for changes in how shields and health worked. Maybe they didn’t need to change it, maybe there were also artistic reasons. But it was all still artistically very Bungie, and the explanation for the change was very reasonable.

In Halo 4 the situation was very different. The circumstances for changing the armor were always going to be very contrived. Master Chief was floating in space in a section of a destroyed frigate far from civilization. There was no reasonable way for Chief to receive new armor. So, people saw right through it, through 343i’s “nanobots”. And what’s relevant here is that the armor change didn’t happen in a vacuum. It was just one of many artistic changes with no rhyme or reason that 343i were making to distance themselves artistically from Bungie: everything from the UNSC emblem to Covenant species changed. Even if someone would’ve under other circumstances been quite neutral about the armor design, suddenly the armor itself was a representative of something they despised.

You can add to this all the gameplay changes and all the narrative choices, because ultimately the armor Master Chief wears represents in a way the entire game it appears in. And thanks to 343i’s aggressive efforts to make Halo their game, the armor Master Chief had in Halo 4 and 5, its whole design language, now forever represents the mistakes those games made.

> 2533274832491484;1:
> Are you or anyone you know fans of the new direction & not of the old, & what do you think of the apparent split between new Halo fans & old ones, & is it wrong for 343 to try and double down on the older fanbase?
>
> …343 could easily pull a bait & switch & lose EVERYONE with this move if they revert the art style but keep sprint in, that will make for a lot of confused old fans who thought this was a return to the games of old. Including me haha!

I cannot speak for everyone, however, during a recent visit to my children’s school I had my eyes opened to one particular point of view. What was shown at E3 this year is NOT Halo to the players that joined the franchise in the Halo 4 and 5 era. There will be fans happy with what was shown at E3, but I’m not surprised there has been push back after what the children said. As for me I don’t know, I’m not sure about what was shown at E3, and we didn’t get any gameplay, so I’m reserving judgement for now. I will say I don’t trust what I see at E3 and my issues with Halo 5 go beyond movement and graphics.