Why Locke's Inclusion is Unnecessary and Ruined H5

Spoilers Follow

Before playing Halo 5’s campaign, I was not opposed to playing as Locke for the majority of the game. The extended playtime as Locke could have been justified with solid story and characterization, but neither of those things are in the game. Locke has no character or motivations, and his backstory is not even discussed outside of some line to Buck along the lines of “You’re not the only one who is here because of Chief.” Does that get explored? Nope. We wouldn’t even need a backstory if he was an interesting character who said and did things that made sense. His big confrontation with the Chief boiled down to a punching contest, and we weren’t even given an argument between the two about Chief’s plans. We all knew Chief wouldn’t be dumb enough to be fooled by this new Cortana, so it would make sense for Locke to at least talk to Chief about what he was doing before a fight broke out. Because of the lack of characterization, dialogue, and plot regarding the whole “hunt for Chief,” I believe Master Chief should have been the only protagonist in the campaign. Some minor changes to each mission would have made this a much more interesting story to play through. Here’s how I think it should have happened:

Blue Team is dispatched to retrieve Halsey, Jul is killed, and everything proceeds as it did in the actual campaign.

Blue Team gained new Intel from Halsey regarding the ONI station Argent Moon that Jul had recently acquired, so they proceed to investigate it. Near the end of the mission Chief gets the message from Cortana and gets permission to investigate. The UNSC wouldn’t want Chief (and his team of old friends) to be emotionally compromised, so they send Buck to search for Cortana with the rest of Blue Team. Buck can become a new playable member of the squad.

Blue Team heads to Meridian. Sloan allows Chief and his buds to investigate because Cortana contacted him a while ago about the Guardians and informed him that Chief is to be trusted. Instead of interrogating townspeople, we casually walk through the town and suddenly Prometheans invade at the orders of the Warden, because we all know he doesn’t trust Chief, just like in the actual campaign. We find the Guardian and Cortana calls for Chief to join her, and he accepts. He argues with his team, believing that he can resist her if she tries any emotional tricks. He wants to be the one to deal with her; if she acts up and needs to be stopped, he is going to be the one to do it. Buck gets into a quick fight with Chief and ends up using the armor-lock on him. Before Buck(and the rest of Blue Team) teleports through with the Guardian, he fires a single magnum shot at the armor-lock to break Chief free so he can protect everyone on Meridian. The rest of the level plays out similarly to the actual game, but Chief takes in all the destruction and death and realizes what Cortana has become.

We play as Blue Team with Buck now, on Genesis. We fight lots of Prometheans and Cortana makes many comments about how events were not supposed to proceed this way. She explains that she was able to cure her rampancy, and that Chief needs to see her plan. She’s angry that Chief is not here, and the level ends with her imprisoning Blue Team.

Having seen all the destruction Cortana has caused, Chief knows that she must be stopped. He learns of the Guardian on Sanghelios and the missions there play out the same way they do in the real campaign. Chief and Arbiter have a quick reunion at some point, and together they have a final battle with the Covenant. Arbiter finishes them off as Chief rides the Guardian to Genesis.

On Genesis, Exuberant Witness greets Chief similarly to how she greeted Osiris in the actual campaign. Together, they are able to find and free Blue Team. The rest of the game’s events unfold as normal. Chief has to fight the Warden and get back to Cortana. Cortana imprisons him, Blue Team and Buck rescue him, and Cortana escapses. The end. This proposed story creates some complications with coop characters, but that never stopped a Halo game before. See Halo 1-4.

I wrote all of this to show that Halo 5 made a huge mistake by having Locke as a protagonist. We have no connection to him. His character and the hunt for chief were such an unused aspect of this game that it makes it wholly unnecessary. I even threw Buck in this alternate story because Nathan Fillion can naturally add flavor to any lines he’s given. But we didn’t even need him as the one to stop Chief; it could have been any member of Blue Team. And it’s much more interesting to have another character speak to Chief about following Cortana, rather than having a wordless fist fight. There are other issues with Halo 5’s story, since it is basically just a 5 hour setup for the real story in Halo 6, but I think they should have put more effort into this disjointed campaign. If you are going to make us play as another character, at least do something interesting with it.

WELL I TRIED.

Agreed, I think the entire story should of just been about blue team. I disliked playing as Spartan Locke for 3/4 of the game. I hope they never go down the path they have in this game again.

I wouldn’t have minded a new character to play as. But as we see here, it can turn out to be awful. Locke is an example of a worst-case-scenario when you tell a story this way. Zero effort was put into making him a character. The entire Nightfall series was wasted on a bland story that taught us nothing about Locke’s character. We don’t even get a decent backstory about him becoming a Spartan.

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> I wouldn’t have minded a new character to play as. But as we see here, it can turn out to be awful. Locke is an example of a worst-case-scenario when you tell a story this way. Zero effort was put into making him a character. The entire Nightfall series was wasted on a bland story that taught us nothing about Locke’s character. We don’t even get a decent backstory about him becoming a Spartan.

You didn’t catch that while Locke is willing to kill, when he is in the field he is more than willing and seems to prefer more peaceful routes to getting things done? Like when he conversed with Axl in his own Yonhet language? Like when he did his best to keep the Alpha Halo element miners alive and tried to keep his mutinous team from running all their chances? Or like when in Halo 5 after he learns that Sloan is an AI he still acts as though he is human to signify respect? Or when he tried to get Chief and Blue Team to stand down rather than gun them down? I think that says a lot about him, more so when everybody seemed to assume he was just some evil, ruthless killer who hates Chief.

Anybody else getting halo 2 Deja vu?

I like Locke a lot also think that Buck should get his own game. As much as I love MC I don’t require to play as him to enjoy a game. I love Reach’s campaign and I was a nobody spartan.

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> I think that says a lot about him, more so when everybody seemed to assume he was just some evil, ruthless killer who hates Chief.

I’m a go 343i not knowing what they want with Locke other than to be a one-man squad. We had Tanaka to be the liaison to the colonies like we had Valle to be one to the Sangheili, yet Locke is perfect at staying cool under any pressure and talking anyone into lowering their guard… Why isn’t this guy doing negotiations instead of assassinating?

On the one hand with the story, not marketing, we’re given, he’s not a ruthless killer. Yet Cortana notes he enjoyed offing the targets he did. Somewhat reinforcing Locke’s true views on the conquering hero (ok, that’s from the marketing, but I needed something to contrast and that whole marketing view is missing from the game beyond this moment). Remember Locke’s words on the space elevator on Evacuation, he said “We’ll catch whose responsible. And we’ll make them pay.”

Clearly a vindictive personality. If you add his homicidal tenancies that are justified due to character dossier conclusions, Locke is quite a psychopath just waiting to pop OR he’s just a really confused concept.

And while I am used to red herrings and mcguffins in Halo’s game stories as a means to get the Chief to seemingly mindlessly follow orders, I take exception that the Chief was still necessary to the plots of the Halos he was in. Take him out, the bad guy wins. Period.

… Was Chief truly needed to bring Cortana out of the Domain? Could any Spartan have done it following a different trail of bread crumbs? Seeings as Locke was able to thwart Cortana’s plans with 3 other randoms while saving the “Chosen One” that was necessary to the previous stories, I’m afraid he isn’t that important. Chief’s luck factor is even greater knowing his actions from H4 and before were only to get Cortana to this point!

So neither Osiris or Blue Team are important to the H5 plot. They can be replaced and achieve a very similar ending… It’s like Indiana Jones and the Lost Ark. If Jones went home or never was there, the Ark would have been found and everyone there would have died just the same. Someone would have come in a collected the Ark… End of story but much shorter. (remember without Indy, the bad guys would have had the real medallion from Marion and knew where to dig.)

Cortana just needed a lacky to get her out of the Domain, she didn’t need anything else to happen. The only question I need to know out of this is, why does Cortana need to leave the Domain if she already has control of so much?

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> > I think that says a lot about him, more so when everybody seemed to assume he was just some evil, ruthless killer who hates Chief.
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> On the one hand with the story, not marketing, we’re given, he’s not a ruthless killer. Yet Cortana notes he enjoyed offing the targets he did. Somewhat reinforcing Locke’s true views on the conquering hero (ok, that’s from the marketing, but I needed something to contrast and that whole marketing view is missing from the game beyond this moment). Remember Locke’s words on the space elevator on Evacuation, he said “We’ll catch whose responsible. And we’ll make them pay.”

So you’re going to take Cortana’s judgements at face-value?

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> Anybody else getting halo 2 Deja vu?

At least in Halo 2, playing as the Arbiter gave us a interesting side story. We got to see the inner workings of the Covenant Hierarchy. Playing as Locke’s team didn’t expand on ONI, Spartans or humanity at all. They were just filler.

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> > Anybody else getting halo 2 Deja vu?
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> At least in Halo 2, playing as the Arbiter gave us a interesting side story. We got to see the inner workings of the Covenant Hierarchy. Playing as Locke’s team didn’t expand on ONI, Spartans or humanity at all. They were just filler.

I didn’t mind playing as Osiris but as OP said, it seemed pointless. I mean, the whole reason we were supposed to play as them was to get a different angle on the characterization of Chief. And there was none of that. Nor was there any real mystery since we knew that Blue Team wasn’t going to side with evil youknowwho. It just seemed a bit shoehorned in for no reason, unless 343 has plans to make Osiris spin-off games.

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> Anybody else getting halo 2 Deja vu?

This right here. I remember how much everyone complained and whined about the arbiter.

Locke needs to go on a hunt for a personality.

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> Anybody else getting halo 2 Deja vu?

Yep.

The cycle continues.

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> > > I think that says a lot about him, more so when everybody seemed to assume he was just some evil, ruthless killer who hates Chief.
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> So you’re going to take Cortana’s judgements at face-value?

So far, with her confidence, while I do admit she will withhold truths, she won’t lie. Locke’s words remind me “There is nothing more fearsome than a person on the righteous path!”

… Locke’s view to punish those responsible don’t make me view him as a better person than what the Mantle seeks to uphold. Justice. Payback… The Mantle.