Was there anything wrong with "the old" art style?

Hello guys. Old Halo 1 veteran here with some thoughts about the past two decades of Halo releases. Eversince Halo 4 was released, I was wondering, why 343i feels the need to change Halos art style and the way things look and sound. Halo had a very distinguish art style that everyone knows and fell in love with. I don’t get, why you would rather change everything instead of embracing the things, fans and critics liked about Bungies games.
Let me get clear on that: I really like the campaign of Halo 4… and parts of Halo 5s campaign aswell though they never managed to capture the magic of the classic trilogy. 343i did some excellent work on these games (on the technical side these games were astounishing even years later - makes me wonder even more what happens with Infinite).

Back to my point: Noone expected you, 343i, to create a new style for Halo. You never had to remove our talking Grunts or Elites. And you never had to remove the art style, the Covenant (and with it: Halo) has. These purple boxes and beeping machines, transmitting some secret messages… all that was part of the mystery, Halo created once. First, 343i kinda removed those assets within Halo 4 and 5 and now they throw the Bannished at us. Of course I get the point that you need some new foes etc pp. But the Bannished come along with a new, individual art style for sure (what other option would there be?). Metall and red colors. In my opinion, that was a bad decision, since everything we saw so far now has that kind of “forge” look to it. That’s not what comes to our minds when thinking of Halo. That’s just not what made up the ancient wonders and mysteries, people were craving for when playing Halo.
What was wrong with all these purple and pink assets? It was a great contrast to the green and brown landscapes and most of all it had that certain alien feel to it.

You don’t have to always change and improve things, espesscially not things that were never broken. Why even change it at all? A warthog has a certain look. Why change it? An Assault Rifle has a certain look. Why change it with every new installment? And the Covenant had a certain look that got darker and darker with every new Halo game from 343i. Totally unnessessary in my opinion and creating problems out of nowhere. It has to be canon… it has to work in multiplayer… it has to be innovative… it has to pay reference to the former version… it has to be more spectacular and so on. And all that mess ends up with 343i removing the classic Magnum and Shotgun from Infinite? That’s one hell of a fail regarding these strong promises to go for that old feel, Halo once had. Every minor change in that formula, which is the DNA of Halo, brings in problems …for things noone ever wanted or asked for.

Never change a running system. The current state Halo is in, is just a result of you guys changing the system which was once Halo - one of the biggest franchises of the entertainment industry. Fascinating, right? All that though they had those “uncool” assets.

So I wished 343i was more confident in their work to make a good Halo game with everything, people loved about the games once. It’s a pretty simple task. Instead of inventing the wheel over and over… just go with the wheel, Bungie created (and the people fell in love with) and make a hell of a ride with it. Instead of inventing a new sort of wheel with every Halo game and recognizing, by the time of it’s release, that your wheel unfortunately ended up being a cube.

So, if it was up to me, bring back the old Covenant art style in at least some major parts of the game instead of making it look like built in Forge due to the Bannished art style choices. People always loved the way Halo looked. Noone expects you to change that. Just embrace it <3
Faithful greetings from Germany :slight_smile:

While i agree to an extent with unneeded art style changes being unneeded. The story and universe also needs to progress. The Banished are a new faction, and should feel like a new faction. Their design in hw2 is rather good, and the demo does a poor job carrying it over.

The covenant remnant was done poorly. If anything, I think it should have just been the banished instead of them the whole trilogy. The remnant was presumably there to feel ‘familiar’ but they changed up the art style, making them both familiar but annoyingly different at the same time.

I think a similar case happened with chief’s armor. The change would have gone down infinitely better if it ended up being a new suit, and not just some weird change to his old one.

The brutes in halo 3 also didn’t use traditional colors for their vehicles or weapons.

After reading your opinion on the decision to put the Banished in Halo Infinite, I was wondering if you are familiar with Halo Wars 2? The Banished are introduced in HW2 and the cinematics provide an excellent representation of the aesthetic people were really excited to see in Halo Infinite. The lack of this aesthetic continuing from HW2 was likely one reason people may have felt disappointed.

I don’t see anything wrong with replacing Covenant with the Banished. If anything, it gives a good story-driven reason to be fighting elites, brutes, and the classic enemies we are all used to now that the Covenant have been eliminated for the most part.

I don’t see anything wrong with change. Change is often necessary to keep a game interesting. What is important is what manner of changes are being made. We can all agree that we simply wish to see innovation on top of what we already love about Halo.

I was showing you symptoms of unnessessary changes that carry you in directions noone wanted to end in. Yes, I know the Bannished were introduced in Halo Wars 2 and yes I know, a story has to evolve. But I dont see why you have to change things that are common and beloved and change them just for the sake of it. I don’t see you arguing, that the Star Wars Universe consists of a light and a dark force. Was there ever the need to put in a third or fourth force i.e.? Not even Disney changed that part of Star Wars’ DNA.
But 343i does continuesly change major parts of the Halo universe and yes, whilst it is made for their story to fit in, its nonetheless unnessessary to do so. You could even evolve a great story around the Covenant. That good old mighty force mankind has to deal with eversince they first appeared. No need for another foe at all. Look at the books: there are tons of stories you can tell within the Halo universe regarding the Covenant, the Flood and the Forerunners. You don’t have to put together a storyline in which the Covenant have no more place to be. The Covenant and the Bannished could even coexist. Those guys at 343 can evolve the story to whatever they want. Noone can stop them. So basically noone forces them to write the Covenant out of the story.
In my prior post I’ve given a couple of examples what problems follow these decisions.
Just don’t invent a wheel over and over again. There is already one. Take it and go with it.

The Covenant is over, if we are constantly fighting them over and over we never feel our actions in the game are meaningful.
For a story point of view, I think the reskinned Covenant known as The Banished is a clever idea to change the faction name and its motivations while keeping it the same as a gampleay perspective, so fans don’t go crazy. Sometimes these changes are necessary for the story to move forward.

> 2643854245555356;4:
> I was showing you symptoms of unnessessary changes that carry you in directions noone wanted to end in. Yes, I know the Bannished were introduced in Halo Wars 2 and yes I know, a story has to evolve. But I dont see why you have to change things that are common and beloved and change them just for the sake of it. I don’t see you arguing, that the Star Wars Universe consists of a light and a dark force. Was there ever the need to put in a third or fourth force i.e.? Not even Disney changed that part of Star Wars’ DNA.

The First Order being a lame clone of the empire was one of the problems of the Disney Sequals. The Sequals make the original trilogy pointless because nothing changed.

How the darkside is represented in star wars does change over its incarnations however, and even the EU realized it needed something new with the Yuzen Vong.

> 2643854245555356;4:
> But 343i does continuesly change major parts of the Halo universe and yes, whilst it is made for their story to fit in, its nonetheless unnessessary to do so. You could even evolve a great story around the Covenant. That good old mighty force mankind has to deal with eversince they first appeared. No need for another foe at all. Look at the books: there are tons of stories you can tell within the Halo universe regarding the Covenant, the Flood and the Forerunners. You don’t have to put together a storyline in which the Covenant have no more place to be. The Covenant and the Bannished could even coexist. Those guys at 343 can evolve the story to whatever they want. Noone can stop them. So basically noone forces them to write the Covenant out of the story.

It undermines the original trilogy to keep having the convenant come around. The story of their destruction was already told by Bungie. Their faith has already been discredited, their leaders killed, key member species have rebelled, their capitol city infected and destroyed (twice), and they have no legs to stand on. If every game breaks down to “Oh no, the covenant are going to activate the halos and achieve the great journey for real this time! Will chief be able to stop them with his new armor that looks exactly the same as the old armor?” to appease for people who want things to be the same, the story loses all momentum and stakes. Every character dies for nothing, as the covenant are just back in another 2-3 years to do the same thing.

The Banished is a great way to giving the same group of aliens and guns a new purpose, and they deserve to have their own character and not be tied down by the old faction’s trappings. Presumably, the banished aren’t there to start the great journey. We don’t know what their intent is. Its possibly an intimidation weapon, maybe there’s more to it? Who knows? And those questions are what keep a story going.

That said, its not entirely impossible the old covenant doesn’t exist in Infinite. There’s someone or a group called the Harbinger, and the Pulse Carbine is a normal covenant weapon in appearance. Similarly, a lot of the elites and grunts are wearing particularly normal covenant gear instead of banished stylized gear. So its possible the Harbinger is the new name for the traditional covie faction.

The Banished are a different faction, but they should still look Covenant-ish (They use the same tech, comprised of the same races, etc). Based on their first appearance, they looked like a more intimidating version of the Covenant with new color designs, modified tech (the designs are more square and angular than the traditional sleek Covenant look). 343i has just completely failed to capture the look.

Infinite looks like a Roblox mod, everything is plastic. The Banished Brute armor looks like the Halo 3 design, but more kid friendly. The materials are all screwed up too. Even as far back as Halo 3, the Brute armor looked meaner and metallic. The Infinite version looks soft and plastic, completely featureless. For all their excuses about how they took inspiration from HW2, everything they’ve shown in Infinite looks decidedly not-Halo.

The general character design is the same as the Covenant, surprisingly (bright blues and reds on the Halo 3-ish armors), just completely lacking detail. its a blend of Halo 1- 3 in terms of characters, but with very “Banished” color schemes and props throughout the environment and background. It’s an odd combination and it doesn’t help the visual presentation, at all.

Imo, Halo 2 anniversary is the best example of beautiful, detailed design that’s still 100% faithful to the original Halo art style. And the Brutes look like Brutes, not laughable ape-men.

Personally, I was hoping for the artstyle in HW2’s cinematics, not to have a 1st person camera dropped onto the ground of HW2’s graphics engine.

> 2643854245555356;1:
> Hello guys. Old Halo 1 veteran here with some thoughts about the past two decades of Halo releases. Eversince Halo 4 was released, I was wondering, why 343i feels the need to change Halos art style and the way things look and sound. Halo had a very distinguish art style that everyone knows and fell in love with. I don’t get, why you would rather change everything instead of embracing the things, fans and critics liked about Bungies games.
> Let me get clear on that: I really like the campaign of Halo 4… and parts of Halo 5s campaign aswell though they never managed to capture the magic of the classic trilogy. 343i did some excellent work on these games (on the technical side these games were astounishing even years later - makes me wonder even more what happens with Infinite).
>
> Back to my point: Noone expected you, 343i, to create a new style for Halo. You never had to remove our talking Grunts or Elites. And you never had to remove the art style, the Covenant (and with it: Halo) has. These purple boxes and beeping machines, transmitting some secret messages… all that was part of the mystery, Halo created once. First, 343i kinda removed those assets within Halo 4 and 5 and now they throw the Bannished at us. Of course I get the point that you need some new foes etc pp. But the Bannished come along with a new, individual art style for sure (what other option would there be?). Metall and red colors. In my opinion, that was a bad decision, since everything we saw so far now has that kind of “forge” look to it. That’s not what comes to our minds when thinking of Halo. That’s just not what made up the ancient wonders and mysteries, people were craving for when playing Halo.
> What was wrong with all these purple and pink assets? It was a great contrast to the green and brown landscapes and most of all it had that certain alien feel to it.
>
> You don’t have to always change and improve things, espesscially not things that were never broken. Why even change it at all? A warthog has a certain look. Why change it? An Assault Rifle has a certain look. Why change it with every new installment? And the Covenant had a certain look that got darker and darker with every new Halo game from 343i. Totally unnessessary in my opinion and creating problems out of nowhere. It has to be canon… it has to work in multiplayer… it has to be innovative… it has to pay reference to the former version… it has to be more spectacular and so on. And all that mess ends up with 343i removing the classic Magnum and Shotgun from Infinite? That’s one hell of a fail regarding these strong promises to go for that old feel, Halo once had. Every minor change in that formula, which is the DNA of Halo, brings in problems …for things noone ever wanted or asked for.
>
> Never change a running system. The current state Halo is in, is just a result of you guys changing the system which was once Halo - one of the biggest franchises of the entertainment industry. Fascinating, right? All that though they had those “uncool” assets.
>
> So I wished 343i was more confident in their work to make a good Halo game with everything, people loved about the games once. It’s a pretty simple task. Instead of inventing the wheel over and over… just go with the wheel, Bungie created (and the people fell in love with) and make a hell of a ride with it. Instead of inventing a new sort of wheel with every Halo game and recognizing, by the time of it’s release, that your wheel unfortunately ended up being a cube.
>
> So, if it was up to me, bring back the old Covenant art style in at least some major parts of the game instead of making it look like built in Forge due to the Bannished art style choices. People always loved the way Halo looked. Noone expects you to change that. Just embrace it <3
> Faithful greetings from Germany :slight_smile:

Well halo’s art design changed also in bungie’s hands, and as long as it remains faithful I don’t see the problem. The only thing I’m glad 343 completely abandoned was the godawful human architecture from H2 - Reach that seemed to be made from sticks and mud and just took me out of the game’s universe. Bungie DID return to the original WORT WORT WORT and covenant that spoke their languages in Reach thankfully, I felt the elites asking for feet massages or the grunts just forced the jokes instead of making their foreigness be subtly funny. Halo 4 I say most of the change was good, but I admit some stuff like everyrhing forerunner, elites, grunts, BR, sniper, shotgun, warthog, marines and most spartan armors needed to return, and H2A did exactly that. It was the perfect combination. Halo 5 and Infinite ditched all the progress and look terrible if you ask me. The UNSC feels boring or like if everything were toys. And the banished… They just don’t know what to make with the covenant anymore. Avoiding the purple color is a mistake. BTW halo 1 Is my favorite as well