What I Liked About Halo 5’s Story

I’ve made absolutely no secret about the largely negative feelings I have towards Halo 5’s story – a story which we were outright lied to about on its base premise.

But I’m not going to talk about that today.

I shall still my wrath because I actually do have a fair number of good things to say about aspects of the story, the campaign in-general – things which I think were handled very well. While the story is definitely a net-negative for me there are still things in there which were well written and I want to see more of down the line.swords47 Continue reading

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Halo 5 – A Compendium of Lies

Halo 5 has been out for well over a month now, time in which people have vented their initial reactions out onto the internet. Now we can be a bit more organised about it. Sort of… not really, actually.

I don’t know about you, but I find it so difficult to string together any kind of discourse about Halo 5 with any coherency because I have so many mixed feelings, so many disappointments, and an overbearing feeling of being lied to. It has taken a substantial effort to write this – three years of waiting, hanging onto every piece of fiction, every piece of marketing, every developer quote, will do that to you.

This post is therefore going to be somewhere between a review, a call-out, and a ‘what I would have done instead’ kind of deal. We’ll be looking over a substantial number of developer comments over the last few years and deconstructing a lot of the issues in the story – though by no means will this be all of them.h5 title Continue reading

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Last Minute Theories: What are the Guardians?

We’re officially less than two weeks out from Halo 5’s imminent release, it’s actually surreal to look back on where we were 3 years ago when Halo 4 was coming out and just how much story 343 has given us in the time between then. Some of you may remember the old days where we’d be lucky to get a book per-year, this year we’ve got five along with two seasons of audio dramas, monthly issues of Escalation, weekly issues of Canon Fodder (<3 Grim), and we’re onto our third season of The Sprint.

Suffice to say, Halo 5’s marketing campaign has been unparalleled – it’s dialled the hype up to eleven and now all the game has to do is deliver. It’s a tall order after so much build-up, but two weeks from now I bet I’ll be sat here, maniacally laughing/crying/rolling on the floor…

In the meantime, I have a last-minute theory I’d like to put into writing, if only for the purpose of being able to look back at this when the game comes out and either be like “wow, I was so wrong!” or lauding it over everyone that I was right.

So, what are the Guardians?

hg2 Continue reading

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On Halo 5’s Three Game-Changers

By the end of Halo 4, we can say that the story brought in three big game-changers for the status quo of the Halo universe. Now, you might have your own view on what those were with various nuances in perspective, but as far as I’m concerned, in a narrative sense, these three were:

1) Humanity’s post-war position with the introduction of the UNSC Infinity, this being the first time that humanity was “no longer on the back foot”, as Lasky puts it. Humanity have become the “giants” now, their position in the galaxy and their overall involvement in the galaxy’s politics has changed completely.

2) The debut of the Ur-Didact, Librarian, and the Prometheans in the games. This is what Halo 3 set the stage for, the first time we delved into the lore of Halo’s ancient era with such a great deal of depth. And Halo 4 concludes with the Composition of seven million humans who form the Promethean Knight army of the Ur-Didact, and later Jul ‘Mdama. I’m going to count the Janus Key as part of this as well.

3) The loss of Cortana. This hardly requires explanation!

So… going with this entirely arbitrary ‘rule of three’ I’ve decided to use for big things that will change the landscape of the Halo universe, what might Halo 5 bring to the table?guardian rising Continue reading

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Examining ‘Soma the Painter’

Anybody who is familiar with this blog, with me, knows that there are three things I just can’t get enough of in Halo.

1) Forerunners.

2) Really obscure lore (generally involving Forerunners).

3) Intertextual analysis of the above two.

Guess what today’s post is going to be about…origins6 Continue reading

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On the Precursors and the Three Vectors of Chaos

This we were told 100,000 years ago by the Great Gravemind.

Our urge to create is immutable; we must create. But the beings we create shall never again reach out in strength against us. All that is created will suffer. All will be born in suffering, endless greyness shall be their lot. All creation will tailor to failure and pain, that never again shall the offspring of the eternal Fount rise up against their creators. Listen to the silence. Ten million years of deep silence. And now, whimpers and cries; not of birth. That is what we bring: a great crushing weight to press down youth and hope. No more will. No more freedom. Nothing new but agonizing death and never good shall come of it.”

This we were told.

This gives the beings of the Halo universe one single, simple goal. Defiance.

Defiance against the will of the god-like beings who created all that we know, who structured the universe itself – moved stars across space, seeded whole galaxies with life, and linked together whole planets and solar systems with their immense Star Roads.

No biggie, right?reclaimer15 Continue reading

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On the Flood’s Endgame

Motives and goals are the key to any conflict, though the endgame, what everything is building towards, may not always be clear.

You might think it strange that I’m choosing the Flood, of all foes, as an example of this. Surely, you say, their goal is singularly to just infect everything and everyone, right?

Yes, you’re absolutely right. But that’s the boring way to look at it, honestly. The Flood is no simple parasite as we once thought, we know them now as the twisted remains of the Precursors born out of a powder that was meant to regenerate their old forms in the wake of the Forerunners lashing out at them. That powder became distorted over the passage of ten million years and brought only sickness and disease to all it touched. From there, the Flood’s ultimate goals, the nuance in which they’re presented to us, and the possibility of internal dissent make a recipe for a very interesting examination of what their future involvement in the Reclaimer Saga may mean…h2g15 Continue reading

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