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Halo 5: Guardians Discussion

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The difference between H5 and H3's level design was that the large scale levels in H3 were almost entirely vehicle levels, they were large scale but fairly sparse. The majority of on foot combat took place as small scale firefights in fairly straight forward play spaces. H5 is almost the exact opposite, the vehicle levels are quite claustrophobic and lacking in options (a lot of the vehicle areas can actually be tackled on foot which I consider a positive). However, in contrast to H3, the on foot combat takes part in large and very content dense arenas. There were very, very few areas where it was just a straight forward hallway with some enemies in it, even the most linear sections of the campaign almost always had a ledge to clamber onto or an alternate path giving you a more advantageous position. The verticality of the levels is something we've never really seen before in Halo, in previous games the combat took place in fairly flat areas whereas in H5 the levels were almost as high as they were wide. The way the play spaces were designed combined with the Spartan abilities lets the player be very creative with their gameplay and allows for much faster paced and action packed combat than in previous games. The section on Sanghelios culminating in Sunion is (IMO) the best designed string of levels in the Halo series.

 

H5 does lack the large scale and interactive set pieces found in games such as H3 but as I've said before I think the quality of the on foot combat outweighs their departure. Hopefully with H6 they can combine the two.

 

There's a lot more I could say about H5's gameplay and why I think it's easily the best in the series but this post has already dragged on a lot and I've yet to mention the story...

 

I agree with almost every point you made in that post, there are so many ways (too many to cover in a single post) I would change the story to improve it. That said I would keep the outcome the same. The AI turns evil trope has been used many times over the years but I don't think it's ever been done in quite such a way, a character which has been integral to the story for so long and is widely loved suddenly turns against the player. If 343 can handle it well I think Cortana could be a very compelling antagonist. I also think this is the time to study her effect on Chief's psyche, taking his only connection to his humanity, killing her then bringing her back only for her to turn on him is going to take a serious toll. H6 is going to involve the Chief actively trying to stop and presumably destroy her, how he handles this is something I think could be very interesting. The other aspect which I think makes H5 such a good setup for 6 is that humanity is again on the back foot; They're on the run and there's no obvious way to fight back. I think Halo is always best when things are looking bleak, it's the reason I enjoyed Reach's story so much.

 

 

Whilst I agree the mission ratio sucked I'd say Cortana is far bigger centerpiece than the Chief ever was, especially after 5.

Honestly, I think they should just use the setup and Halo 6 as the first part of a new trilogy. We have our villain (?) A cast of characters and a shit ton at stake. If 343 wants to do right by the franchise, this would be a good starting point.

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Honestly, I think they should just use the setup and Halo 6 as the first part of a new trilogy. We have our villain (?) A cast of characters and a shit ton at stake. If 343 wants to do right by the franchise, this would be a good starting point.

I agree completely, I also think that's exactly what 343's intention was with 5. 

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The VILLAIN, this guy. Like a teen with a bottle of AXE and a lighter.

 

I said that in kampys stream and got into a big arguement with this guy from 343 Heytred, he told me Halo is better than 3 and alot of other stuff I think is personally absurd

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I said that in kampys stream and got into a big arguement with this guy from 343 Heytred, he told me Halo is better than 3 and alot of other stuff I think is personally absurd

I wish we had the luxury of debating with 343 members here.

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I agree completely, I also think that's exactly what 343's intention was with 5.

I just wonder what they're going to do differently with the squad system this time around to compensate for 8 protagonists. The easiest solution would be to make the campaign much longer, for more room to develop and also balance the the mission ratio. But if Chief's and Locke's teams have to interact, I wonder if the members of each fireteam will switch throughout the campaign.

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I wish we had the luxury of debating with 343 members here.

 

I personally think that won't happen until Halo 6 stuff starts getting shown. Hell if were 343 I wouldn't wanna come here because someone would write an essay about the flaws of Halo5 and how to fix them that would be all truth. I wouldnt want to deal with that lmao.

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Honestly, I think they should just use the setup and Halo 6 as the first part of a new trilogy. We have our villain (?) A cast of characters and a shit ton at stake. If 343 wants to do right by the franchise, this would be a good starting point.

I can't see another trilogy. I could possibly see a Halo 7, at most from where Halo 5's starting off, though.

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The difference between H5 and H3's level design was that the large scale levels in H3 were almost entirely vehicle levels, they were large scale but fairly sparse. The majority of on foot combat took place as small scale firefights in fairly straight forward play spaces. H5 is almost the exact opposite, the vehicle levels are quite claustrophobic and lacking in options (a lot of the vehicle areas can actually be tackled on foot which I consider a positive). However, in contrast to H3, the on foot combat takes part in large and very content dense arenas. There were very, very few areas where it was just a straight forward hallway with some enemies in it, even the most linear sections of the campaign almost always had a ledge to clamber onto or an alternate path giving you a more advantageous position. The verticality of the levels is something we've never really seen before in Halo, in previous games the combat took place in fairly flat areas whereas in H5 the levels were almost as high as they were wide. The way the play spaces were designed combined with the Spartan abilities lets the player be very creative with their gameplay and allows for much faster paced and action packed combat than in previous games. The section on Sanghelios culminating in Sunion is (IMO) the best designed string of levels in the Halo series.

 

I don't think Halo 3's on-foot combat was quite as linear and/or banal as this somewhat suggests, and Halo 5's on-foot combat doesn't bring with it a significant increase in the scale of firefights, but perhaps their structure. The Ark, and to a lesser extent The Covenant, Crow's Nest, and Sierra 117 had some great on-foot combat, often with variable elevation the player could exploit, and side paths not telegraphed by a Charge-able surface. One of the better elements of Halo 5's level design was the integration of Spartan Abilities, however, I can't say much of this added anything meaningful to the experience: a weapons cache hidden behind a charge-able wall in Halo 5 would have been hidden by other means in a different Halo. On verticality in particular, I'm not sure that Clamber adds quite as much to the experience as you suggest as, in a similar vein as multiplayer map design, in the absence of the ability the jumps would either be lower, or accomplished using a crouch/grenade jump; a ledge to clamber on in Halo 5 often meant as much as a surface to jump to in a past title. What I would have liked to have seen is the use of Spartan Abilities to introduce light puzzle/platforming elements as a pacing tool (that increases experience variety) in the campaign (there are some small sequences in Halo 5 that might be described as such, but that is being rather generous). 
 

I agree with almost every point you made in that post, there are so many ways (too many to cover in a single post) I would change the story to improve it. That said I would keep the outcome the same. The AI turns evil trope has been used many times over the years but I don't think it's ever been done in quite such a way, a character which has been integral to the story for so long and is widely loved suddenly turns against the player. If 343 can handle it well I think Cortana could be a very compelling antagonist. I also think this is the time to study her effect on Chief's psyche, taking his only connection to his humanity, killing her then bringing her back only for her to turn on him is going to take a serious toll. H6 is going to involve the Chief actively trying to stop and presumably destroy her, how he handles this is something I think could be very interesting. The other aspect which I think makes H5 such a good setup for 6 is that humanity is again on the back foot; They're on the run and there's no obvious way to fight back. I think Halo is always best when things are looking bleak, it's the reason I enjoyed Reach's story so much.

 

The trope isn't just that the AI turns 'evil,' but also that they are working in a tyrannical fashion for the 'greater good,' and there is some question regarding whether such work would, in fact, achieve a better outcome (but ultimately freedom is the primary issue), but otherwise yes, the Cortana-Chief connection does provide a slight twist (though I'm not sure its entirely a new one, I would imagine that at some point something similar has been explored in science fiction). However, the path 343i have taken to get to this point, which may elicit some interesting exploration of Chief's psyche, utterly devalues the death of Cortana, the emotional climax Halo 4 built up to over its eight missions, and abandons any examination of the effect of that on John 117. Obviously whether humanity being the weak(er) party in the Halo universe is better for its story or not is a matter of taste, but after that being that case for every Halo game until 2012, I was ready for something different.
 

Whilst I agree the mission ratio sucked I'd say Cortana is far bigger centerpiece than the Chief ever was, especially after 5.

 

The biggest reason the Locke-Chief mission ratio hurt the game, as I said earlier, was that it meant that the true conflict of Halo 5, that with Cortana, was allowed very little screen time and development, as there is much less one can do in that regard when Locke is the primary character as opposed to the Master Chief.

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did a short minitage since i just felt like doing one, maybe one or the other likes it :)

incase its watchable let me know and ill do more, got a lot more halo clips!

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I didn't say "Master Chief is literally all Halo has going on," oh interpreter of things as ye wishes. 

Fuck, I missed the quote trail.

 

BUT MAYBE IF WE HAD A SHOUTBOX THERE WOULDN'T BE SO MANY POSTS CLUTTERING UP THIS THREAD.

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Anyone who honestly prefers Reach's story over Halo CE/2/3's is nothing more than a hipster trying to root for some obscure opinion.

 

ODST was actually good, but I still assign a partial hipster label to them. I know I know, unpopular opinion.

 

Negs inc.

I don't think you have to be a hipster to like Reach's story; I thought it was a nice change of feel, especially as a satellite game. I also loved the ending, w/ the mystery of the helmet at the beginning and then when it dawns on you what's happening at the end I thought it was a great moment. And a bit of a risk too given that it was a downer. I came into it not knowing the story at all, so it worked for me...and I'm about as far from a hipster as you can get. I thought story wise H5 was easily the worst, which I was surprised about because I thought H4 story was really good as long as you didn't think too much about it. The story was the one thing I thought 343 would get right in H5. But, I was wrong on that.

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I don't think you have to be a hipster to like Reach's story; I thought it was a nice change of feel, especially as a satellite game. I also loved the ending, w/ the mystery of the helmet at the beginning and then when it dawns on you what's happening at the end I thought it was a great moment. And a bit of a risk too given that it was a downer. I came into it not knowing the story at all, so it worked for me...and I'm about as far from a hipster as you can get. I thought story wise H5 was easily the worst, which I was surprised about because I thought H4 story was really good as long as you didn't think too much about it. The story was the one thing I thought 343 would get right in H5. But, I was wrong on that.

the problems reach had initially were canonical in nature, the autumn wasnt on reachs surface, cortana was with chief etc, but my understanding is that many of the conflicts were rectified no? other than that, it had a good narrative, the characters had personality (unlike 5), there was real emotion since throughout the story you're showed how little your efforts mean in the grand scheme of the battle, it was a retelling of Thermopylae in many aspects because of this assurance that the humans inevitably lose the battle but win the war later because of the chain of events set up on reach. Add to this a fantastic art style, musical score, and cinematography which made it all feel very human.

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the problems reach had initially were canonical in nature, the autumn wasnt on reachs surface, cortana was with chief etc, but my understanding is that many of the conflicts were rectified no? other than that, it had a good narrative, the characters had personality (unlike 5), there was real emotion since throughout the story you're showed how little your efforts mean in the grand scheme of the battle, it was a retelling of Thermopylae in many aspects because of this assurance that the humans inevitably lose the battle but win the war later because of the chain of events set up on reach. Add to this a fantastic art style, musical score, and cinematography which made it all feel very human.

They weren't rectified, even in the 2010 novel reissue. Still the canon-breaking bastardization of a story it was. :P Will agree on musical scoring though. That was really good in Reach. Then again, each Halo has a really good soundtrack to go with it.

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They weren't rectified, even in the 2010 novel reissue. Still the canon-breaking bastardization of a story it was. :P Will agree on musical scoring though. That was really good in Reach. Then again, each Halo has a really good soundtrack to go with it.

FUUUUUUUCK REACH

 

If y'all dont prefer Fall of Reach I don't think we can be friends

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the problems reach had initially were canonical in nature, the autumn wasnt on reachs surface, cortana was with chief etc, but my understanding is that many of the conflicts were rectified no? 

Fleet Battles tried to fix some stuff, but honestly, it sorta muddies up the story of Reach even more. Like, remember that fleet that appeared right after the LNoS' destruction? Fleet Battles would have you believe that the fleet arriving was mere coincidence, and thus was actually not coordinating with the LNoS in any way, as the shipmaster of the LNoS cared more about hunting the Forerunner artifacts than taking the planet.

 

However, this just doesn't make any sense. The LNoS clearly WAS involved in the invasion of Reach, considering it had staging areas on the planet's surface mere days before the fleet arrived, and the fact that the fleet managed to jump underneath Reach's orbital defense grid. I was always under the assumption that the LNoS managed to bypass the grid because of its cloaking systems (some may question why ships like the LNoS have not been used more often throughout the war, but I'd like to remind them that in Nylund's story, a super sniping Covenant ship appeared out of nowhere in the middle of the Fall of Reach, seemingly to just provide the Covenant with a way around the SMAC platforms, and was then never mentioned again), and relayed the coordinates to the advancing fleet so that they may also bypass the defense grid. But according to Fleet Battles, the Covenant ships, managed to get under the grid thanks to dumb luck.

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Fleet Battles tried to fix some stuff, but honestly, it sorta muddies up the story of Reach even more. Like, remember that fleet that appeared right after the LNoS' destruction? Fleet Battles would have you believe that the fleet arriving was mere coincidence, and thus was actually not coordinating with the LNoS in any way, as the shipmaster of the LNoS cared more about hunting the Forerunner artifacts than taking the planet.

 

However, this just doesn't make any sense. The LNoS clearly WAS involved in the invasion of Reach, considering it had staging areas on the planet's surface mere days before the fleet arrived, and the fact that the fleet managed to jump underneath Reach's orbital defense grid. I was always under the assumption that the LNoS managed to bypass the grid because of its cloaking systems (some may question why ships like the LNoS have not been used more often throughout the war, but I'd like to remind them that in Nylund's story, a super sniping Covenant ship appeared out of nowhere in the middle of the Fall of Reach, seemingly to just provide the Covenant with a way around the SMAC platforms, and was then never mentioned again), and relayed the coordinates to the advancing fleet so that they may also bypass the defense grid. But according to Fleet Battles, the Covenant ships, managed to get under the grid thanks to dumb luck.

well there was the reissue of the book which i remember only sort of explained stuff but didnt explain most of the other inconsistencies, what about the data pads, i just remembered those, did they explain anything? 

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well there was the reissue of the book which i remember only sort of explained stuff but didnt explain most of the other inconsistencies, what about the data pads, i just remembered those, did they explain anything? 

Data Pads only spoke on the Assembly and their little tie in with the story. Nothing about inconsistencies.

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FUUUUUUUCK REACH

 

If y'all dont prefer Fall of Reach I don't think we can be friends

Honestly, to me, Fall of Reach is just a shallow action novel that's been worshiped by fans because it was probably one of the first books they've ever picked up.

 

Contact Harvest has a very similar set up (A group of people are trained on a planet, initially for the purpose of fighting rebels, but later find themselves trust into the middle of said planet's invasion by the Covenant) but it just does everything better. There's actually characters, for one (Halsey is of course the best character, but I don't feel like she hits her stride until later Nylund works,). Fall of Reach might as well just be called "Halo: LOOK AT HOW COOL MASTER CHIEF IS! ARENT YOU EXCITED TO PLAY HIM IN THE UPCOMING HALO CE?!!". John begins the story as a cocky kid who loves to win, but the problem is is that those traits are stomped out of him on the first day of training. So, there's no satisfaction in seeing John grow as a person because he did it in 0.2 seconds. From then on, however, Nylund tries to include an arc about John learning compassion, but I'm willing to bet that VERY few fans, if any, actually caught on that John NOT killing those ODSTs during the Mark V test drive was supposed to be some big character moment (hence Cortana feeling the need to call that to the reader's attention). The rest of the characters are pretty one-note.

 

There's a tremendous amount of world-building in Contact Harvest, probably the most out of any Halo book besides Cryptum. By the end of the book, you understand why the Covenant War began, what Harvest and its people were like, and even the public opinion of the Insurrection. In Nylund's books, there's hardly ever a mention of civilians and civilian life, giving you the impression that there's very little of humanity that ISN'T the UNSC.

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well there was the reissue of the book which i remember only sort of explained stuff but didnt explain most of the other inconsistencies, what about the data pads, i just remembered those, did they explain anything? 

You're thinking of the Data Drops made by 343. They explained what those underbelly thruster pods the PoA had were, why the shotgun in Halo CEA looks like the shotgun from Reach, that ONI originally planned to hi-jack the LNoS for RED FLAG, and that half of Reach didn't know that they were being invaded. The last one is pretty stupid on 343's part, because Reach, the game, does not support this idea. The armed civilians you come across in the Nightfall mission talk as if they knew their homeland was going to be under-attacked by the Covenant. It's also implied that their Insurrectionists, but that's neither here nor there.

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Honestly, to me, Fall of Reach is just a shallow action novel that's been worshiped by fans because it was probably one of the first books they've ever picked up.

 

Contact Harvest has a very similar set up (A group of people are trained on a planet, initially for the purpose of fighting rebels, but later find themselves trust into the middle of said planet's invasion by the Covenant) but it just does everything better. There's actually characters, for one (Halsey is of course the best character, but I don't feel like she hits her stride until later Nylund works,). Fall of Reach might as well just be called "Halo: LOOK AT HOW COOL MASTER CHIEF IS! ARENT YOU EXCITED TO PLAY HIM IN THE UPCOMING HALO CE?!!". John begins the story as a cocky kid who loves to win, but the problem is is that those traits are stomped out of him on the first day of training. So, there's no satisfaction in seeing John grow as a person because he did it in 0.2 seconds. From then on, however, Nylund tries to include an arc about John learning compassion, but I'm willing to bet that VERY few fans, if any, actually caught on that John NOT killing those ODSTs during the Mark V test drive was supposed to be some big character moment (hence Cortana feeling the need to call that to the reader's attention). The rest of the characters are pretty one-note.

 

There's a tremendous amount of world-building in Contact Harvest, probably the most out of any Halo book besides Cryptum. By the end of the book, you understand why the Covenant War began, what Harvest and its people were like, and even the public opinion of the Insurrection. In Nylund's books, there's hardly ever a mention of civilians and civilian life, giving you the impression that there's very little of humanity that ISN'T the UNSC.

Nah

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Honestly, to me, Fall of Reach is just a shallow action novel that's been worshiped by fans because it was probably one of the first books they've ever picked up.

 

Contact Harvest has a very similar set up (A group of people are trained on a planet, initially for the purpose of fighting rebels, but later find themselves trust into the middle of said planet's invasion by the Covenant) but it just does everything better. There's actually characters, for one (Halsey is of course the best character, but I don't feel like she hits her stride until later Nylund works,). Fall of Reach might as well just be called "Halo: LOOK AT HOW COOL MASTER CHIEF IS! ARENT YOU EXCITED TO PLAY HIM IN THE UPCOMING HALO CE?!!". John begins the story as a cocky kid who loves to win, but the problem is is that those traits are stomped out of him on the first day of training. So, there's no satisfaction in seeing John grow as a person because he did it in 0.2 seconds. From then on, however, Nylund tries to include an arc about John learning compassion, but I'm willing to bet that VERY few fans, if any, actually caught on that John NOT killing those ODSTs during the Mark V test drive was supposed to be some big character moment (hence Cortana feeling the need to call that to the reader's attention). The rest of the characters are pretty one-note.

 

There's a tremendous amount of world-building in Contact Harvest, probably the most out of any Halo book besides Cryptum. By the end of the book, you understand why the Covenant War began, what Harvest and its people were like, and even the public opinion of the Insurrection. In Nylund's books, there's hardly ever a mention of civilians and civilian life, giving you the impression that there's very little of humanity that ISN'T the UNSC.

contact harvest doesnt get enough credit imo, definitely worth picking up.

Data Pads only spoke on the Assembly and their little tie in with the story. Nothing about inconsistencies.

apparently, halsey's journal rectifies the cortana issue, and a quick google search reveals that there may be a time difference between the last mission in reach and the end of the book. if im still wrong, it just goes back to my first point that reach is much better as a stand alone story, and only gets muddy when you bring in the extended universe, hell even in just the context of the games it works.

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