[Note: the following includes spoilers of varying degrees regarding Halo 4, Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, and Halo 3]
So, E3 2014 day one happened, and Microsoft and Sony took to the stage to show off in-progress titles and brand new games alike (you can read our recaps on each conference here and here respectively). In amongst Microsoft’s line-up of titles, the next addition to the Halo saga--Halo 5: Guardians--was briefly touched on in a trailer for the officially announced Halo: The Master Chief Collection (which is said to run at 1080p and 60 frames per second).
Me being more than a little nerd when it comes to the lore and characters of Halo (having listened to most of the novels and played most of the games), I’m personally interested in seeing where Halo 5 will take the Master Chief and the continuation of the franchise’s story. So, here’s a small list of things I’d really like to see in the next Halo game.
Having listened to audiobooks of the Eric Nylund series of Halo novels, as well as the novelisation of Halo: Combat Evolved and Contact Harvest and The Cole Protocol (not counting the Forerunner saga and a few other novels), I’d say I have a rounded understanding of Master Chief as a character and his relationship with his peers and superiors--though I do admit there are some gaps in that knowledge.
That being said, what I’d listened to and read in my own time was enough to make my experience with Halo 4 a lot more enjoyable on an emotional level, as I understood the relationship between Cortana and the Master Chief a lot more (as well as the severity of her going rampant and him wanting to keep her long enough so that she could be fixed, as the two shared a symbiotic relationship for quite a while).
With Cortana now gone, a big chunk of Master Chief’s life went with her. When we first saw the teaser for Halo 5 back in 2013, we saw him clutching the same data card that housed Cortana. The card, as was established in the previous games, glowed blue when Cortana was inside it, and didn’t glow at all when she wasn’t. So, when Master Chief held up the empty card, to me it meant that he was going to try and find a way to bring her back.
Since the main series of games focused on the two both working together and being apart, this’ll be the first game where Master Chief will be completely absent of Cortana, so no doubt it’ll be emotional for him. It’s this upset that I want to see further developed in Halo 5--to see just how he copes without her, and how he’s coming to terms with it all, and whether or not it’ll affect him on a personality level.
I also want to know why Chief finds that Forerunner giant that was featured in 2013’s teaser.
It’s already been established that the Arbiter from Halo 2 and Halo 3 may most likely be returning in Halo 5, but I’m interested in seeing more characters from the previous games (and novels) to also make an appearance in the next installment to the Halo saga.
For instance, I’d like Doctor Halsey to come back and actually meet Master Chief in god knows how long (at least to the best of my knowledge anyway). Because Master Chief initially believed that Halsey could somehow fix Cortana, as she was the AI’s creator, if she were to appear no doubt he would ask her for a way to bring Cortana back (even if it would be impossible).
Laskey would be a nice return as well, as he seemed to be the only guy who was sympathetic to Master Chief and the message he was trying to tell the crew of the Infinity during Halo 4 regarding the Didact.
What characters I’d really like to see in Halo 5 are the remaining SPARTANs from Blue Team: Fred-104, Linda-058, Kelly-087, Lucy-B091, Tom-B292, Ash-G099, Mark and Olivia. While we’re at it, I’d also like to see senior chief petty officer Franklin Mendez--as he has yet to appear in a Halo game.
The last I heard of those characters (including Halsey) was that they were trapped on the Forerunner shield world Onyx. Seeing as Halsey appears in Halo 4, I assume the rest of her party were also rescued. So, seeing this all characters appear in Halo 5 (as well as a catch-up on where the hell they’ve been and what not) would certainly be a nerd boost for me.
Because I’ve read into the lore and background of the Halo universe and Master Chief’s story, I’m already at a bias to be emotionally invested in Halo 5. Still, I’d like to see the more human, more broken side of the Master Chief and how he may overcome his mourning of Cortana and what he now plans to do.
Since the Arbiter seems like he’ll be making come back, I’d like to think both him and Master Chief would have a fair amount of catching up to do, as Chief was trapped in the tail-end of Forward Unto Dawn at the end of Halo 3 and the Arbiter went off to his homeworld--it would be interesting to hear his side of the story following the end of the human-Covenant war.
I also wouldn’t mind there being new characters to feel emotionally attached to, which there probably will be.
Another thing I’d like to see in Halo 5 is some sort of inner conflict, be it in Chief himself or in other characters.
Chief’s conflict was apparent during Halo 4, where his loyalties were divided between Cortana and the chain of command, with Cortana coming out on top in the end. During The Master Chief Collection trailer, it was teased that Chief will be going in an all new direction than before, which leads me to think that the poor guy may be going AWOL in search of a new direction for himself--possibly trying to find answers on the Forerunners or how to bring Cortana back.
It’d be also be interesting to see conflict with those surrounding Chief, since he is mostly held in high regard by his peers. Perhaps there will also be divide loyalties later down the line between friends and superior officers. That’d be pretty cool to see.
No QTE Ending:
Finally, if nothing from the above comes true, the one thing I’d really like to see in Halo 5 is no quick-time-event endings, like at the end of Halo 4.
Seriously, while I vastly enjoyed that game, the ending did leave me miffed, as I was expecting an ending akin to Halo 3--where you actually got to kill the end boss instead of holding fecking left-trigger.
If I’m allowed to actually move around and kill Halo 5’s end boss and not be forced into a QTE cutscene I would be very happy. Of course if I enjoy the rest of the game until that point then I’d pass it off as a good experience, but I’d still like an ending where I’ll be able to actual control my actions nonetheless.