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343i Acknowledges Halo 5 Storytelling Mistake, Will Double Down on Master Chief Focus

Cranster

Banned
343 Industries is coming up on its tenth anniversary since the foundation in 2007. To celebrate that, Studio Head Kiki Wolfkill and Franchise Director Frank O’Connor were featured in a lengthy interview on the latest GamesTM magazine (issue #186).

While 343 Industries helped Creative Assembly with Halo Wars 2, their latest big game was Halo 5: Guardians. The reception was positive overall with an 84 average score on Metacritic, but several fans complained that the game’s campaign didn’t focus enough on the usual main character, Master Chief.

O’Connor acknowledged that mistake and promised to double down on him in future installments...
We took some digs for storytelling in Halo 5, but they were absolutely merited. We very much realized that people wanted Master Chief’s story of Halo 5.

We definitely marketed in a way that we hoped was going to bring surprise, but for some fans and certainly fans of Master Chief, it was a huge disappointment because they wanted more Chief.

They loved Blue Team, they liked Osiris, but they wanted Chief. And that has been a big learning. Chief we tend to think of as kind of a vessel for your adventure rather than necessarily this major character in the universe. He’s really just your entry into the universe.

But people have become attached to him over the last fifteen years and they’ve started to sort of fill in the gaps that the character deliberately has for gameplay reasons with a genuine emotional attachment. We certainly underestimated that with Halo 5.

The effect that the character has on his surroundings and ‘the fate of the galaxy’ has had a resonant effect on fans over the years. It wasn’t that surprising to me, but the volume of ‘give us more Chief’ at the end of Halo 5 was significant and so I think if anything he’s slightly more important now than he has ever been, certainly to our franchise. Instead of focusing on bringing new characters into the world and expanding the playable characters we’ve sort of shifted the focus a little bit to making the world a little bit more realistic and compelling and, I would say, more fun for players who get to inhabit the Chief in the future, pretty much as they demanded.

Source.
 
inb4TMCC

OT: I'm looking forward to more MC in Halo 6, despite that not being directly related to developing more compelling "side" characters; that's what people criticized H5 for, not just because it didn't have enough Chief.
 
Guys, Chief not being focused wasnt the only problem.

Although who knows, maybe this is their way of saying "We"ll fix everything"
 

.la1n

Member
Who in their infinite wisdom would have ever imagined that people would be so attached to the main character of a long running franchise?
 
I'll never understand the intense love for Chief, he's one of the most boring protagonists in gaming.

I'm not sure Halo 5 would have been loved even with him as the focus.
 

butalala

Member
I don't think that focusing on Luke Cage instead of the Chief was the primary problem with Halo 5. They need to bring it back to Halo 1-3 style large/"wide-linear" (is that the phrase?) areas.

Also, the fact that 343 has been doing Halo for 10 years makes me feel so old.
 

Magwik

Banned
It isn't even my love for the Chief that left me disappointed.
It was the waste of Blue Team, and the complete and utter disregard for the infinitely more interesting and exciting Hunt the Truth episodes.
 

Betty

Banned
How about you stop focusing the entire Halo mythos on Cortana.

How about you kill her off for good so the series can have some semblance of a plot rather than pandering to that dead end character yet again.

How about you stop having major story beats happen off screen, like Master Chief reuniting with his lost team-mates, I mean what the hell?

This 'trilogy' is tainted, try much harder next time guys or you'll bury this franchise.
 

Champion

Member
 
Is was a small part of what i hated about halo 5

- What about the repetitive warden fights
- What about the laughably short campaign
- What about the complete marketing lie, there was no huge chief versus osiris conflict, with the exception of 1 punch there was hardly any tension


Those are just the start of what was wrong with halo 5 single player
 

Takashi

Member
I hope this doesn't mean less Blue Team in the future. I'd really like to see the Chief/Blue Team dynamic explored more thoroughly in the next game, something Halo 5 disappointingly lacked.

And give Arbiter some love too
 

RoKKeR

Member
How about you stop focusing the entire Halo mythos on Cortana.

How about you kill her off for good so the series can have some semblance of a plot rather than pandering to that dead end character yet again.

How about you stop having major story beats happen off screen, like Master Chief reuniting with his lost team-mates, I mean what the hell?

Have a hard time disagreeing here, I honestly can't believe they brought Cortana back. Halo 4 was so well done with regards to her story, and then H5 came along and shit all over it. (while simultaneously jumping the shark with the ridiculous "Guardians")
 
While they might be trying their hardest, I was out after Halo 4 story wise. Just paled in comparison to the previous three in every way. Halo 5 was already in a position that they could not recover from.

Halo 5 at least played well, so it had that going for it. But the story was boring and didn't include blue team enough.
 

JDHarbs

Member
Not focusing on Chief wasn't the real problem. The story was just nothing like what was advertised, barely acknowledges what happened in 4, and is drowning in it's own continuity at this point.
 

Trago

Member
I was of the opinion that MC's story needed to end already. My hope for Halo 6 is that they really work towards getting us invested in what's going on. Locke and crew were meh.
 

BeforeU

Oft hope is born when all is forlorn.
Its so weird, coming from Halo 4. They took 1 step backward for storytelling and 1 step forward for multiplayer
 

Deadly Cyclone

Pride of Iowa State
Have a hard time disagreeing here, I honestly can't believe they brought Cortana back. Halo 4 was so well done with regards to her story, and then H5 came along and shit all over it. (while simultaneously jumping the shark with the ridiculous "Guardians")

I mean.... Halo 5 isn't great story-wise, but it is far better than the atrocity of Halo 4. A Cortana bubble to save Chief? A one off bad guy in the Didact? Who is the Librarian again?
 

Welfare

Member
Maybe don't replace Master Chief with a brand new squad in a numbered title. Osiris should have had their own game like ODST or in a side story DLC like Spartan Ops if you wanted fans to come accustomed to them.

When I see Halo "number" I expect to play as Chief and have the story be driven by him. Mainline Halo isn't the time to force in a new lead overshadowing Chief. At least Arbiter in H2 let you see a side of the story Chief would never experience. Osiris added absolutely nothing to the table Blue Team couldn't have done.

However, my main gripe wasn't Chief, but rather how uninteresting most of the game was.
 
Tied with Reach for best Halo game since Halo 2. (I weigh the pvp pretty heavily, which is why 3 isn't my favorite)

Though I agree more Blue Team would have been nice.
 

Ion Guru

Member
There are a lot of problems with Halo 5, but I'm glad they finally addressed the story to some extent. I still have a small amount of hope for the series under 343's control, but not a lot is left. They need to go the Overwatch route and offer cosmetics only in boxes. I'd like to see a return of Big Team Battle (with maps made by 343) as well as some asymmetrical maps in standard 3v3 to 5v5 game types. Some of my favorite times in Halo 2 and Halo 3 were playing one bomb / flag on Zanzibar. Not every Arena map needs to be MLG Pro, symmetrical, etc. The gameplay was great, they just need to go back to the roots a bit with the curtain dressing.
 
Not exactly the lesson I had hoped they would've gotten from criticism... but going to hold onto hope that they haven't forgotten what makes the past games great.
 

RdN

Member
Seeing 343i say stuff like this, it just seems unreal.

How in the world can they act like this is surprising when the exactly same thing happened ELEVEN years ago with Halo 2??

The. Exact. Same. Thing.

To quote Will Ferrell: "I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!"

Oh well... Let's see what the future holds.

Edit: Just want to add this: I fully expect 343i to kill off Blue Squad in the next game. It will be the icing on the cake on all this mess.
 

Trago

Member
I mean.... Halo 5 isn't great story-wise, but it is far better than the atrocity of Halo 4. A Cortana bubble to save Chief? A one off bad guy in the Didact? Who is the Librarian again?

The Chief and Cortana chemistry and drama really worked though. They fucked that up big time in Halo 5.
 

Betty

Banned
Have a hard time disagreeing here, I honestly can't believe they brought Cortana back. Halo 4 was so well done with regards to her story, and then H5 came along and shit all over it. (while simultaneously jumping the shark with the ridiculous "Guardians")

I mean they didn't even give us 1 game to miss her, and not only do they bring her back they make the entire threat and story revolve around her, Jesus.

She should've died in 3 so Chief could gain a new companion.
 
So being a non Halo fan, could someone please explain Master Chief's appeal to me? He's always struck me as just another generic space marine
That's exactly what he is. As a Halo fan I don't get the appeal of him and would rather they try more stuff like Team Osiris. Just make them worth caring about with good writing..
 
There is nothing wrong with 343i wanting new characters. I want 343i to continue expanding the universe and going beyond the current stock. But the fact is you got to slowly introduce them in so people get used to them first. You can't just throw people into Osiris' shoes in a mainline Halo game without introducing them first.

Have a game or two where they fulfill the Sgt. Johnson companion role and people will be begging you for a spin off game involving them. I know I'm still waiting on the Contact Harvest game adaptation.

All this said, its great that we finally got to see Blue Team back together. They better be in every Chief game going forward
 
Chief's squad was the only thing that excited me about 5.

Buck would have but they royally fucked ODST over to make that happen and completely undermined what made the character interesting by making him a Spartan.
 

robotrock

Banned
What will happen if this focuses on the chief and still sucks?

I don't know what people's actual problems with the Halo 5 campaign is, but my issue was that neither the Locke or Chief story were particularly engaging. I couldn't really care any less when switching between them. I felt like the Halo 4 story wasn't very engaging either.

I hope they just get a solid story out. Doesn't matter if it's Chief or a new one.
 
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