Mendicant Bias
After Halo 5 there wasn't a Halo fan who didn't feel a sense of underwhelming, confusion,disinterest, or perhaps betrayal with the plot's direction. For me it took a good 3 years of stepping back realizing even if the direction of canon isn't going where i prefer Halo is still a beloved series for me. While MP is generally praised with Wazone being well received in kind where does that live the campaign for future Halo's?



At what point should developers draw the line when listening to feedback and creating their own experience? As of 343Is control of Halo a top critique is  players feeling they like Halo enough to care about the story yet not enough to buy the books to understand finer details. Personally i think this is BS considering there wasn't major questions of " why are the Covenant attacking,where are the other S-IIS, what is an S-II, why start the universe 27 years into a war,etc when Bungie was in control but i digress. Players today have a sense that each game should contain enough material to understand the plot regardless of being game 2 or 10, how can this be appeased without utterly dumbing down the experience for everyone else?


Instead of completely disregarding years of lore build up and narrative plot devices ( Janus Key, Composition of The Didact) for a new plot never hinted at for everyone to be on the same page, a codex/archive should be created for each game giving the overall backgroud,species info, tech descriptions etc. This properly builds a bridge for those interested in the lore to get a lit fill while not compromising narratives so everybody has the exact same experience.  

343I's desire to complement hardcore and casual fans alike is ultimately their biggest failure while Bungie's was too much creativity without implementation.   I think 343I should focus on correcting issues legitmate and perceived from Bungie's era than trying to create a perfect all encompassing Halo experience.
Quote 4 0
Tense
I'm in the same boat MB, i took a long break from the franchise after halo 5. The possibility of Infinite being great has brought me back. And the fact that its coming to PC has gotten me excited.

I felt that one of the main problems with the new direction was actually 343i  playing it too safe and going with fanservice instead of sticking to their guns. Especially in halo 4. I always thought the covenant storm, the ur-didact being a villain, the prometheans, the banished, and even the Cortana AI overlord plot, were all results of them playing it too safe. Instead of introducing something new to the series, such a new faction or alien species with a different ideology and goals, they decided to reskin or do a spin off of things already established in the lore. The covenant storm, was really just an excuse to have the same covenant species in the games as enemies to shoot at. They thought "the players just want to shoot at elites and grunts just like before fuck yeah." They didn't have enough faith in themselves to bring in something new to replace them. So to sort of satisfy the itch of a new threat, they brought in the prometheans, which to me, were always boring and overhyped reskinned forerunner sentinels. They had no culture, no society, no significant history other than being former humans that were a part of one of the didact's experiments against the flood.

The Ur-didact being a villain was more of the same thing. They didn't have a central villain anymore since truth and the gravemind were gone, so rather than come up with new central villain; perhaps the leader of a new alien race/faction, they decided to do a plot twist of something that was already established in the bungie lore: the didact. As with the banished, same thing as the covenant storm. Rather than come up with something new, they simply brought the same old covenant species back under a new banner to try to spice things up a little. They said things like "theyr'e not covenant". Like ohh yea these guys are definitely not covenant right? They don't believe in the great journey so they're not the same covenant races we've been fighting for nearly 20 yrs. Right guys? Because at the end of the day, they don't have enough faith in themselves to create new entities both in the lore and in the games to match or even beat the bungie-created covenant races. 

Lastly, cortana being the robot overlord of the galaxy. . . This is again, just a result of them playing it too safe. They didn't know what to do. They couldn't come up with anything new, so they took a very 80's Sci-fi approach and did a very poor spin off of a character already established in the lore: Cortana. This time however, it was a screw up several magnitudes worse than the previous ones.

I just don't think they believe in themselves. They don't think that they can ever surpass bungie era Halo. Which is why I think the games did not take off, at least from a lore perspective.
AND DEY SAY ZULUL AND DEY SAY ZULUL AND DEY SAY ZULUL
Quote 1 0
HurryingCandy
I wasn't underwhelmed or confused... And I liked the game actually. 

Just like books you need to play campaigns more than once and after a while I do understand what people mean when they pointed out some of its flaws. The flaws however didn't prevent me from enjoying it.

But I am sad it did for a lot of people like you. I do like Halo... 343 Industries to change that.

My biggest problem in hindsight with Halo 5 was the fact it felt very closed and small. Even the ODST campaign made me feel part of a bigger universe then Halo 5 in terms of feeling not location. But I do understand that when I say to a developer "It didn't feel".. That they are gonna say.."Wut?" 

I hope that in this long pause a lot of people had the time to think about what they want. And made that properly and constructively known. Fans and developers alike. At this point the Novels and Comics are already better then they were. So with the long pauze we now have between Infinite and Halo 5. And the new faces I'm seeing at 343.. I have hope it will get better. I don't think Halo 5 was a line downwards from Halo 4 but it wasn't really an upwards one either. 
Quote 1 0
Mendicant Bias
Tense wrote:
I'm in the same boat MB, i took a long break from the franchise after halo 5. The possibility of Infinite being great has brought me back. And the fact that its coming to PC has gotten me excited.

I felt that one of the main problems with the new direction was actually 343i  playing it too safe and going with fanservice instead of sticking to their guns. Especially in halo 4. I always thought the covenant storm, the ur-didact being a villain, the prometheans, the banished, and even the Cortana AI overlord plot, were all results of them playing it too safe. Instead of introducing something new to the series, such a new faction or alien species with a different ideology and goals, they decided to reskin or do a spin off of things already established in the lore. The covenant storm, was really just an excuse to have the same covenant species in the games as enemies to shoot at. They thought "the players just want to shoot at elites and grunts just like before fuck yeah." They didn't have enough faith in themselves to bring in something new to replace them. So to sort of satisfy the itch of a new threat, they brought in the prometheans, which to me, were always boring and overhyped reskinned forerunner sentinels. They had no culture, no society, no significant history other than being former humans that were a part of one of the didact's experiments against the flood.



Halo 4 damn near ignited the flames of every halo fan, Bungie taught me not to have expectations of any game so Halo 4 pleasantly blew me away. Every Halo game has issues no matter how slight, CE gets a pass for being the first game (which i still think as a whole is better than Halo 3) whereas Halo 2 was literally 70% complete upon release. Halo 4 bugged me immensely with Combat grade Forerunner constructs being damaged let alone destroyed by standard UNSC armament, otherwise the story was flawless. Some things could have been explained a tad better such as Didacts introduction but this isn't necessary  as Bungie didn't explain a single thing about the covenant until Halo 2 and we had hints of the Didact from IRIS,the Terminals, and Cryptum.   Covenant remnants initially bothered me but i decided to be cool with the idea of remnants sticking around for one main game as a bridge with them falling into the background afterwards.

We all universally agree the Created plot is frankly bullshit but i don't see anything else being played safe rather than naturally and progressively tying up lose ends before introducing something new.  Interactions with Covenant species post-war does need to be explained but not over the course of ten years through the main title, side games and novels are prime for such.  The Banished was hinted at within Reach/First Strike with my memory clear as day of Voka, Haruspis, and i ten years ago noting how something must be preventing the Covenant from steamrolling Humanity as a prolonged war made zero sense.
  They tried introducing Covenant Fringe as an idea with the Yohnet yet this (amazing,legitimate) concept got dropping along with The Didact and Absolute Record for whatever reason.


I sincerely believe Halo 4 was the Morning Star of Halo's future with Satan manifesting through Glasslands and Halo 5, while the supplemental novels have been well received some major ass pulling will have to be done for Halo 7 to be anything worthwhile lore wise.


Quote:

The Ur-didact being a villain was more of the same thing. They didn't have a central villain anymore since truth and the gravemind were gone, so rather than come up with new central villain; perhaps the leader of a new alien race/faction, they decided to do a plot twist of something that was already established in the bungie lore



Didact wasn't an established character in Bungie lore than a footnote some with his Gravemind, all you know is some Forerunner named Didact was in love with the Librarian who was on Earth while he activated the Array's, end story. I can't see you thinking this was if the Forerunner Saga was read as it perfectly narrates his tragic descent into madness stemming from wanting to do the just thing yet being held back and overlooked.


Quote:
Lastly, cortana being the robot overlord of the galaxy. . . This is again, just a result of them playing it too safe. They didn't know what to do. They couldn't come up with anything new, so they took a very 80's Sci-fi approach and did a very poor spin off of a character already established in the lore: Cortana. This time however, it was a screw up several magnitudes worse than the previous ones.

I just don't think they believe in themselves. They don't think that they can ever surpass bungie era Halo. Which is why I think the games did not take off, at least from a lore perspective.


As a prominent lover of retro scifi you are absolutely right hahahahaha no argument there this might be a management issue than 343I themselves as they aren't stupid or inept with canon. Microsoft probably identifies Halo as Master Chief and Cortana so they hammered on 343I for essentially killing her off in Halo 4, Bungie made it very clear how often Microsoft impeded their direction which is why pure creative control was asked for Destiny.  The name escapes me but a guy who wrote spiderman comics oversaw Escalations and Halo 5 if i'm not mistaken which basically explains everything.

I wasn't underwhelmed or confused... And I liked the game actually. 


My biggest problem in hindsight with Halo 5 was the fact it felt very closed and small. Even the ODST campaign made me feel part of a bigger universe then Halo 5 in terms of feeling not location. But I do understand that when I say to a developer "It didn't feel".. That they are gonna say.."Wut?" 

I hope that in this long pause a lot of people had the time to think about what they want. And made that properly and constructively known. Fans and developers alike. At this point the Novels and Comics are already better then they were. So with the long pauze we now have between Infinite and Halo 5. And the new faces I'm seeing at 343.. I have hope it will get better. I don't think Halo 5 was a line downwards from Halo 4 but it wasn't really an upwards one either. 


Never heard of Halo 5 being "small" i'd argue the missions felt more linear than normal but the world itself didn't particularly feel small. Thing is this was such a major change in direction within a universe of direct story telling they can't ignore the second game and move on (Dark Souls 3) so like it or not we are going to have a round two of a story nobody asked for with either a thankful yep abrupt conclusion or a dragged out ending in an attempt to make the situation feel cohesive overall.
Quote 1 0
Voka
A lack of any sort of long term and consistent vision with good ideas, or a structural restraint that prevents them as a studio and content creator from being able to freely execute that vision and those ideas.
Quote 2 0
Tense


Halo 4 damn near ignited the flames of every halo fan, Bungie taught me not to have expectations of any game so Halo 4 pleasantly blew me away. Every Halo game has issues no matter how slight, CE gets a pass for being the first game (which i still think as a whole is better than Halo 3) whereas Halo 2 was literally 70% complete upon release. Halo 4 bugged me immensely with Combat grade Forerunner constructs being damaged let alone destroyed by standard UNSC armament, otherwise the story was flawless. Some things could have been explained a tad better such as Didacts introduction but this isn't necessary  as Bungie didn't explain a single thing about the covenant until Halo 2 and we had hints of the Didact from IRIS,the Terminals, and Cryptum.   Covenant remnants initially bothered me but i decided to be cool with the idea of remnants sticking around for one main game as a bridge with them falling into the background afterwards.

We all universally agree the Created plot is frankly bullshit but i don't see anything else being played safe rather than naturally and progressively tying up lose ends before introducing something new.  Interactions with Covenant species post-war does need to be explained but not over the course of ten years through the main title, side games and novels are prime for such.  The Banished was hinted at within Reach/First Strike with my memory clear as day of Voka, Haruspis, and i ten years ago noting how something must be preventing the Covenant from steamrolling Humanity as a prolonged war made zero sense.
  They tried introducing Covenant Fringe as an idea with the Yohnet yet this (amazing,legitimate) concept got dropping along with The Didact and Absolute Record for whatever reason.


I sincerely believe Halo 4 was the Morning Star of Halo's future with Satan manifesting through Glasslands and Halo 5, while the supplemental novels have been well received some major ass pulling will have to be done for Halo 7 to be anything worthwhile lore wise.


Didact wasn't an established character in Bungie lore than a footnote some with his Gravemind, all you know is some Forerunner named Didact was in love with the Librarian who was on Earth while he activated the Array's, end story. I can't see you thinking this was if the Forerunner Saga was read as it perfectly narrates his tragic descent into madness stemming from wanting to do the just thing yet being held back and overlooked.


As a prominent lover of retro scifi you are absolutely right hahahahaha no argument there this might be a management issue than 343I themselves as they aren't stupid or inept with canon. Microsoft probably identifies Halo as Master Chief and Cortana so they hammered on 343I for essentially killing her off in Halo 4, Bungie made it very clear how often Microsoft impeded their direction which is why pure creative control was asked for Destiny.  The name escapes me but a guy who wrote spiderman comics oversaw Escalations and Halo 5 if i'm not mistaken which basically explains everything.



Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed H4's campaign despite my gripes with it. I actually thought it was better than Halo 2's story. (I wasn't a big fan of halo 2's campaign). My gripes with the prometheans and the storm did not blind me from the fact that the plot was well executed in H4. The didact part did feel thrown in there. He was already established in 343i's lore, albeit not nearly as much as the covenant or cortana. Cryptum and primordium were already out several years before H4, and silentium even had to be delayed because of halo 4. There was one big chapter in silentium that stuck out like a sore thumb, that was the one where the ur didact breaks formation and composes a bunch of humans, then flees to requiem. Bear wrote off the original didact as dead for the cryptum and primordium and replaced him with the iso didact. But I think what happened was 343i came to him during H4's development and told him that the didact is the main villain of H4. So bear must've been scratching his head thinking "how tf do I get bornstellar to activate the rings, be the hero the halo fans know him to be, while also making him evil and hell bent on revenge against the humans in H4?. . . I've got it, i'll make 2 didacts, bring the first one back from the dead. He'll be the '343i' didact and bornstellar will be the 'bungie' didact everybody expects."

Well at least that's how I figured it went. I remember Bear talking about how the didact was the reason why Silentium got delayed. And that's why I feel that the didact was a spin off/plot twist. Yea he was a great villain. I watch his cutscenes over and over even till this day. (which is more than I can say for anything from H5). But was he the right villain for the franchise? At the time I didn't think so. But would I take the ur-didact being the villain for H4-H6 now knowing what 343i was going to do with H5? Fuck yes. My biggest problems with H4 were, it went completely against my expectations. Which was my fault rather their's. But the storm and the prometheans certainly did not sit well with me. It felt like a wasted opportunity to introduce something new. 

And yea you already mentioned how infuriating it was for them introduce forerunner war machines in the lore and have them get dispatched by the chief's tier 3/4 M5 assault rifle. It ruined it for me. Forerunner architecture was touted as being nearly impervious to ballistic weaponry and stood flawlessly for 100k years. Yet their war machines are no more deadly than a covenant squad. This is the main problem with introducing forerunners into the games, in order to balance them for gameplay reasons you have to nerf the shit out of them to the point of them not even being special anymore. 
AND DEY SAY ZULUL AND DEY SAY ZULUL AND DEY SAY ZULUL
Quote 0 0
JNDreher
I think the biggest general issues Halo 5 had were that the promotional material (Hunt the Truth) didn't end up reflecting the game that we got, and that a lot of backstory as well as the conclusion of the Janus Key story ark were in the novels and comics, so players who don't read the lore felt that there was more they should have known that wasn't in the games.

The only issue that personally bugged me is that the modern races shouldn't be able to defeat the Forerunners combat Ancilla (Prometheans for example).  Any combat between modern forces and those left by the Forerunners should be a stalling tactic to occupy the Forerunner forces while others slip around and accomplish other objectives.
Quote 2 0
Verbalstatue253
I agree with the OP 100%. While I do think it is important to take in feedback and not alienate people, I believe due to the backlash of Halo 5, which due to a lack of direction and poor story telling, 343i has been in damage control since. Though they have done pretty well at it.

I was very much a fan of Halo 4 more serious tone while including elements of the power fantasy of the old trilogy and 5 somewhat did that with abilities, however the story suffered greatly. I also am a fan of most of the art style changes to UNSC gear. Taking my own experience in the forces and seeing things change from the one form to a next, much of the gear used by humanity to me made sense to change and become distinct from their predecessors and could have become their own legends if given the chance. I think the outcry from purist sullied that chance.

I really do hope infinite brings back the things halo 5 did right along with the more serious tone of Halo 4 and maybe include of of those iconic styles from all the games not just the old trilogy or the new phase.
Quote 1 0
Faber of Will and Might
I sort of believe that 343i should stop trying to please everyone and focus on making a good game.
A good game needs to be complete on day one and make a good impression.
It needs to have a coherent story with a number of main characters themes and plots adequate for it to develop within its course. It needs a codex because the halo universe is moving forward and people can't read everything from books or go buy other games. It should have all the fan favourite game types and a solid forge mode on day one.
As for the story itself 343i should have stuck with the didact and the resurrected covenant and should have developed the themes of human insurrection, a covenant reform, the aftermath of the human covenant war for all species as well as the human alien relationships. Right now I don't know how this part can be salvaged but a good first step would be to have a villain that sticks for a while and is not a Saturday night boogeyman.
"For Sanghelios!"
Quote 1 0