As I do not own an Xbox One and therefore cannot play Halo 5 to make my own conclusions on the game’s campaign, I have started watching a video on YouTube that combines all cutscenes, including some gameplay and the Legendary ending. I’m only 42 minutes through the 2 and a half hour video, but I wish to present some of my thoughts on it so far (I will make another comment in this thread once I’ve finished watching it). Please note that I may present spoilers, for those who haven’t played or watched the game.
As someone who has only read some novels and has played CE, H2, H3, Reach, and half of H4, the beginning of the campaign completely lost me. I’ve heard that Jameson Locke was first introduced in a movie, one that I never looked into due to not being interested, so that already set me up for feeling disconnected. Locke and his team are being briefed on their mission to rescue Halsey, but it only brings up more questions for me: How did Halsey get there? Who is Jul 'Mdama, a character only introduced in comics, books, and optional game modes in H4? Why is Fireteam Osiris specifically chosen for this mission? They could have easily chosen Blue Team to do the job, and it would be more meaningful, seeing as how MC and his team were intimately involved with Halsey from day one. Osiris seems to have no connection to this mission beyond just so happening to be highly skilled, even though they are not from the original Spartan programs (S-IV, correct?).
Then Osiris jump out of the ship in one dizzying and visually impressive scene. But all it does is show they are bad–Yoink-, and comes off as more of a showing-off move by 343i’s storytellers. I doubt this team could come close to matching a Spartan-II, in the end. They haven’t nearly had the same level of augmentation or training, and yet they kick all kinds of -Yoink- as if they were early-gen Spartans. Color me unimpressed.
In the gameplay that follows, suddenly Prometheans can speak English, and cry out like a sentient lifeform when they are killed. From my experiences in Halo 4, there was no such characterization, so this was slightly off-putting for me. Also, I hear pronunciations of words and names that I wasn’t even aware of. “Jameson” is pronounced “Jam-e-son”, where I always thought it would be “Jame-son”. shrug Not a big deal. Then “Sangheilli”, the first time I personally have ever heard the name spoken, is “Sang-Hee-lee”. Tiny nitpicks, I know, but I always thought it was “San-gelli”, personally. Again, super minor point, but was jarring the first time I heard these names/words articulated in a different way than I thought they’d be.
Moving on, Osiris finally reaches Halsey. Jul 'Mdama, the leader of the Covenant Remnant, then gets killed in a cutscene by Locke. Not very climatic, especially being at the beginning of the game. A character I really knew nothing about has died before I could get to know him. Ah well. After Halsey’s rescue, they go back to the Infinity and nothing really happens there.
Switch over to Blue Team. Now, I had many questions: How did Master Chief reunite with his team? When? Why are they suddenly together after MC has been acting lone-wolf for the past four main-title video games? Zero explanations for any of this are given. I did like the moment where Chief’s hand lingers over the port in his helmet where Cortana’s chip would have gone; it reminds you of what occurred at the end of Halo 4. Then the members of Blue Team speak. Now, I’ve read part of The Fall of Reach, and have read First Strike and Ghosts of Onyx, so I am aware of these characters. However, I feel that Linda and Kelly’s voices were…off. One, I never ever imagined Kelly being British. Not once. I never saw any evidence for such a background. Second, both women sound too young to be in a team alongside the Master Chief. Fred (who they keep calling “Frederic” in dialogue, even though he’s always been called “Fred” before) sounds, voice-wise, about the same age as Chief. Technically, shouldn’t all four members be about the same age, since they were all part of the S-II program? I guess this is yet another minor nitpick.
Their mission is involving a ship called Argent Moon that has been taken over by Covenant. Ok. Why? What’s so special about it, beyond a secret stealth ship being developed inside? No explanation is given, and, like Team Osiris’ mission, feels very disconnected from Halo 4. As they go about their mission, Master Chief suddenly has a freaky, twisted vision where he hears Cortana’s voice in a rocky cave and then sees her and hears her speak about Meridian and Reclamation and a large object rises out of the ground (the Guardians, I know, as I’ve read enough of the game’s plot and comments here in the forums). Okay, that was nifty and surreal, but…we are only in the second level, and 343i suddenly decides to give a hint that Cortana may not have died in H4. Way to overturn the last moments of H4’s campaign. If they were going to do this at all, they should have at least done that much later in the campaign.
So they escape, and we are now back on the Infinity, with Lasky and Palmer talking about Chief disobeying the order to return to the ship. A very short scene, and in it the Infinity’s AI, Roland, is shown. Ok…so he is a solid orange hologram who looks like he’s straight out of WWII, or maybe a Tuskegee Airman (can’t tell what ethnicity he’s supposed to be, being orange). I am sorry, but I just find some of the representations of AI in the books and games ridiculous at this point. I wouldn’t be able to take an AI who looks like a WWII pilot or a Native American, or a bearded wintry old man seriously on any military ship/installation. Roland also looked very cheap, with no transparency of any kind, and no scrolling effects over his projection like Cortana used to have. I get that he’s not a “smart” AI like Cortana is, but…seriously… yawn
Back to Osiris. They go to Meridian since they were told Blue Team went there. They save the civilians and find out the mayor is an AI and discover where on the planet Blue Team has gone.
(I apologize if most of this was nit-picky, but I am beginning to see where people have had complaints about the campaign, and how it disconnects from Halo 4)
END OF PART ONE - to be continued