Why Escharum and the Harbinger don’t work

Basically they’re both small scale threats that fizzle out. I don’t know whether this is an issue of cut content. Whether they decided to save certain narrative beats for a game that wasn’t rushed out the door. But I don’t know. Maybe they really did want the game to start small and for sequels to deal with the real villains like Atriox and Offensive Bias.

  1. They don’t do anything. Literally Escharum captures the Pilot. They talk about trying to repair the ring and freeing the Endless. Then you kill both of them. Nothing happens.

  2. Being obtuse is not a mystery. Telling us it’s a terrible thing if the Endless are released and not bothering to tell us what that even means. So there’s no narrative tension. It’s not like firing a Halo Array on Halo 2 where you know it’s a super weapon that will kill everyone. Likewise, the Bansihed motive and goal is left needlessly vague for what’s clearly meant to be the dumb intro faction.

  3. Neither is impressive. Escharum is just another trash Brute like the thousands you mow down in game. It’s actually kind of pathetic that he’s demanding you face him when he’s just going to be a footnote in your story. I’d like to say 343 was going for that but I think they did want you to invest more in this.

  4. Escharum is the substitute teacher. The whipping boy. Killing him has zero consequences because Atriox is clearly just going to show up.

  5. More dangerous than the Flood but can be killed by a sentinel beam… :thinking: All talk in the end from budget Cthulhu.

  6. There’s no consequences. You kill Escharum but that doesn’t mean the Banished are destroyed or going to be weakened or go away. They’re still on the ring and a threat. Likewise, you kill the Harbinger but she does the thing she was doing anyway. So you don’t achieve anything and the game just wastes your time killing Xenos. So both conflicts with the villains don’t matter.

More generally. It’s really bad that 343 went for a small scale story. Halo is meant to be an escalation that starts small and becomes this dramatic galaxy wide threat. That threat never materialised in Halo Infinite. Instead the Pilot gets kidnapped and then you kill the squid who talks too much at the Silent Auditorium.

Why not have the Harbinger get the ring to work and try to fire it? Have her back stab the Banished? Release the first wave of these endless? Have Zeta Halo teleport to Earth to attack it? They could have done any number of these things but consciously decided to leave these for future games that won’t be out for years. That’s just not good.