In this post, I will be comparing District 9, and Halo: Reach. Keep in mind that there are many spoilers in this post.
Reach was meant to have a dark feeling, of loss, and treachery. The deaths of Noble Team were supposed to have meaning, to be sad. This is why the campaign wasn’t satisfactory.
Bungie took the road of emotion. To show how malignant the covenant were on Reach. Noble Teams death was supposed to portray this, which is why Reach failed.
I will be getting back to Reach, but first think about this. Of course, this requires that you have seen “District 9”. District 9 was an extremely emotional movie. The producers of District 9 executed what Bungie was trying to do with Reach.
There are about 5 characters that most people get really emotional about in District 9.
The main character is a human ambassador. He has to communicate with the aliens. Later, he becomes one of the aliens himself. Now everyone is trying to harness his ability to use the alien weaponry, and you feel extremely sorry for the ambassador. He just wants to live peacefully with his life, but also feels sympathy for the aliens.
The killer: A human who has a passion for killing aliens. He will stop at nothing to kill the three aliens and the ambassador. The Killers is truly malignant. As we watch the movie, we all hope he dies a painful death.
The aliens are treated very poorly. There are three main aliens they focus on:
The Hero: The alien that is making a certain fuel to allow his ship to ride back to his home planet to get the other aliens to help. This Alien tries to hard to save his people, and while humans stop him, we feel extremely emotional about this.
His son: This little guy saves the day. From the beginning we love this little critter, and hope to god that he won’t die.
The friend: This is the friend of the Hero, and he is told to make sure the humans do not get this fuel. We feel agony when he is killed trying to defend the fuel.
I think I can surely say that a lot of people became attached to the characters in district 9, and them dying would leave us saddened.
Now halo fails to display any of this. You can relate “The Killer” to the covenant. It’s just that the covenant don’t seem as menacing. We don’t feel an urge for them to die, like many did with “The Killer”. Since Bungie was trying to take the emotional turn of the game, this is a key part. They failed to execute it.
The aliens and ambassador relate to Noble Team. They are just fighting for there cause, and in Halo’s perspective, they are fighting for humanity, and Reach. Though in Reach, the acts of bravery Noble Team goes through does not have a very big effect on our hearts, if any at all. It is almost as if it’s just another death, one less person on the team.
Now a bungie.net user, GenisisX77, brought up a good point. He felt that he would be emotional if Chief, Cortana, Miranda, or Johnson died, but not Noble Team (or at least Jun).
I agree, I would be sad if Johnson, Chief, or Cortana died. (miranda has not much of a relationship with anyone besides Johnson, she just yells in your ear, while we all miss cortana.)
This is because they have all are extremely close to each other. Together they have been through so much. If Chief died, seeing Cortana drop to her knees and start crying would really put an impact on me. They’ve been together so long, their bond was unbreakable. Why did this have to happen?
Halo 3 succeeded with Johnson, but not so much Miranda. I also think I remember an elite shipmaster dying, one of arbiters friend. Another close bond being broken, that is emotional. Although I do think I just made that last bit up… don’t know where that came from.
To sum it up, Reach failed to display true emotion, which can be seen in District 9, and that is why the story failed. Bungie took the emotional turn, but failed to execute it.