So maybe I started a little too close to E3, anticipation got the best of me and I immediately stopped but now I’m trying again, this time with an new thought process. Previously I started with how the Master Chief Collection or Halo 2 Anniversary would need to work out in order to be a perfect game. Turns out they followed a lot of what I thought was good, they even combined the two! But now the question is what happens after this?
Now I don’t know what happens in the terminals or extra scenes for the game, but it will clearly imply how Agent Locke and Master Chief will be moving in the future. It can already be said that they are taking Halo 2 as a good basis for what is good in the Halo Universe, the Arbiter is back in the story and Halo 2 is linked to Halo 5 somehow. But does this imply other things? My take on it is that 343 has realized that the Master Chief can’t go on forever, and they can’t simply start a new universe like Bungie. So let’s paint a picture of how Halo could succeed after the Master Chief.
Looking back at ODST I enjoy all the memories it had, but it was lacking compared to the potential. Seriously, you’re an Orbital Drop Shock Trooper and you only “drop” in once? And of any game that should take after even a small portion of Call of Duty, ODST was the one. Now Reach was a failure on it’s own, and it should have gone back to basics rather than follow CoD. But no shields and a lesser skilled character was the perfect set up, and they didn’t even acknowledge a multiplayer with it. So a big cash in for 343 would be a rebranding of the ODST game.
Let’s start with a multiplayer that could potentially gain a whole new group of players and change what it means to play Halo. Obviously there would still be no shields, not even a minor use of them. That already starts off a multiplayer different from previous games. To balance this out the weapon set would be much like the original ODST, secondary weapons would become primary weapons. Maybe there could be a battle rifle or two placed somewhere on the maps as power weapons because compared to ODST weapons that’s what they are. This would create a possibly good mix of Halo with the common popular shooters.
Maps could be tailored to this unique game play, there would be a very low use of vehicles or even none. Maps like Turf and Midship would work for ODST. Small maps that don’t really require distance weapons and focus heavily on close quarters. I mentioned Turf for a reason though, it’s a map that manages to have a vehicle without making it overpowered. Given that the goal was to create a uniquely Halo game this could be one of best.
Last is the campaign, a tricky area. ODST previously tried to piece together what happens between Halo 2 and 3, while still leaving you a little clueless. And that’s where I feel Bungie went horribly wrong with ODST. If it were me, I would have thought that simply making a game that revolves around ODSTs is enough to make it part of the universe, it does not need to be fused directly into it. And to me that’ll be the future of Halo, it’s not tying things in with Master Chief. Create new stories with new characters that can occasionally make you think, oh hey that brings back memories. That keeps the game fresh without replacing a universe. So here’s how it goes in my mind: You’re dropping in to new planets on at minimum 50% of your missions. There is a story rich area following the Insurrectionists before the Covenant come in. There could be a few ways to prevent the game from going in the past, after all to my knowledge the Halo stories only state that humans stopped rebelling to fight the Covenant.
I would hope long down the road this comes into play, ODST had such potential and I would love to see it return.
Recently 343 has been teasing that they’ll be giving more back story behind the Covenant. With Halo 2 they have chosen to emphasize what leads up to the Elites being betrayed. There’s even more to be revealed in Halo 5 and I love it, I’ve heard rumors that Agent Locke is located on Sanghelios. I’m so excited to learn how he gets there and what stories have yet to be told.
So why not create an entire game where you play as the Arbiter. You are a key leader of the Elites with a fantastic record behind you and your fleet. But not everyone is with you, there are rebels that want to continue pursuing Forerunner artifacts. BAM! A game that doesn’t need to be forced into the Halo storyline, it’s been there from Halo 2 and you can drop the Master Chief off without any unlikely excuses.
This game feels like it’s demanding to be made. There are forums with hundred of comments, maybe even thousands, arguing for Elites to be returned to the multiplayer. Why not even bring back Brutes, such a huge part of Halo 2 and 3 but now it feels like 343 wants to forget that was ever a part of it. And does their species really seem like the kind to just give up? This is another game I would double down on.
The Remaining Spartan II’s
There is a list of Spartan II’s and more than you would assume are listed as alive. But why deviate from the current process of “making” new Spartans? It was a small success with Spartan Ops so it clearly has some basis. However there is one key thing that all of them have had in common: they aren’t “mysterious” and loners. It’s written in their stories, you can’t create one without them having been a normal person once in their life. But Spartan II’s were never normal, they were taken as children and have always been different. This creates a persona that makes them “loners” but still a very team based person. Loner for them means being so noticeably different from other soldiers. Even the later Spartans look to a Spartan II with respect and awe.
It would be even better if this Spartan wasn’t knowingly moving towards a Forerunner based story. They stumble upon it like the Pillar of Autumn, or at least we think they do. Thanks to the weekly blog on Waypoint we know that isn’t entirely true. Or if you’re really crazy, they somehow stumble onto an ancient human who fought the Forerunners and he ain’t happy. That’s kind of pushing it far though. This might not be an overly awesome game, but I’d still buy it.
Halo is the game that began it all for me, so I hope to see it go on for years while keeping things fresh and maybe move toward some of these stories.