So I went back and played REACH with some buddies, it was a great laugh and we all had fun. But this isn’t a post about how good it is, no it’s a post about how Halo 5 should feel.
Whenever I think of Halo I think war in space. Halo doesn’t have the magic sci-fi feel things like Star Wars and Star trek have, it’s a lot grittier than that, a lot more war torn. I think the series needs to be more gritty and a lot more war focused rather than glowing lights. Don’t get me wrong, I love all the forerunner “space magic” but the aesthetic identity of the game should be a lot grittier. I mentioned REACH earlier because I feel like that had the look for the series down to a T. Sure it was brown and grey, but it also had a lot of colour to it and felt like a real world that people lived in. The spartan armours looked like they carried some weight to them rather than being the power ranger rejects from 4. They looked like what a super solider should. The vehicles all felt believable as well, they all had the sense of military to them that I felt didn’t come across in 4.
My point is, REACH felt like a war game set in a sci-fi landscape, primarily what Halo is. It’s not 343i’s fault that they went with the choices, Halo 3 also did this as well, taking the player out and not giving the sense of a military presents. But for me Halo 2 & REACH really had that ‘gritty colourful’ aspect to it, the landscapes looked believable but weren’t washed out like all other shooters, they still had colour and life to them.
I personally would like to see the series take inspiration from 2 & Reach. Believe me I’m not saying that they should only use shades of brown and grey, but they need to give it some believablity both to the colour pallet and the assets within the game.