Where Can Halo Go From Here?

Feb 28, 2013   //   by Rick   //   Original Content, Xbox  //  No Comments

Halsey_PHOTO

After the events of Halo 4, along with the recent conclusion of Spartan Ops Season 1, the Halo universe has been shaken to it’s very core.

Master Chief has, for all intents and purposes, retired. Cortana has ceased to “exist”, ONI has ordered the assassination of Catherine Halsey, and Halsey has been shot and had her arm amputated, no doubt a result of a clumsy, fumbling Sangheili surgeon with no human medical experience. Requiem has been flung into it’s sun, and the Janus Key has been revealed to be the map to the remaining Forerunner Technology, but is split between the UNSC and Storm faction. Meanwhile, Lasky seems to be on his way to a court-martial.

Halo 4 campaign’s story was interesting and I enjoyed it, but I felt that it left too many details unsaid in a bid to push folk to the Terminals, when truly, these details should have been added to the game’s main storyline. Heck, adding Osman into Spartan Ops wouldn’t have rung any bells for anyone unless they’ve read Halo: Glasslands and Halo: The Thursday War.

343 did nothing in the game to explain that the Storm faction is a group that has rebelled under the Arbiter’s rule, explaining their unofficial, dilapidated look and their guerrilla tactics. Also, the explanation of the Didact’s sudden hatred for humanity seemed … wrong.

But putting all that aside, I have to wonder, where is this all going? What can the story of what has ultimately ALWAYS been a struggle against the Flood offer up in the remainder of the Reclaimer Trilogy?

Halsey’s betrayal has apparently (and rightfully) left her bitter, and she wants revenge now. What does this mean? Present company accounted for, Jul M’Dama and co., perhaps she is just fronting in an attempt to ultimately get the other piece of the key and get it back to the right (not necessarily) UNSC hands.

I can’t see Dr. Catherine Halsey, creator of a program that kidnapped scores of children to use in a secret military experiment which subsequently saved humanity, join up with the very scum who would seek to start up a war with humans ONCE AGAIN.

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On the other hand, it would be an interesting story point to see Master Chief deployed by ONI to stop a dangerous “human insurrectionist in league with ex-Covenant guerrillas” just to find out that, OH SNAP, IT’S HALSEY. To be honest however, the idea of a game focused on Master Chief fighting the UNSC to rescue Halsey should she at any time fall into ONI’s hands does not interest me in the least.

At the same time, we’ve been fighting Covenant for every Halo game now, and have not fought any Flood since 2007. I don’t mind supplementing them in as a side threat, but let’s be honest, we’ve progressed past the point of Covenant relevancy, though seeing Brutes re-imagined would be interesting. And let’s face it, while the Promethean Knights were interesting enemies in Halo 4, fighting them for the next 2 games in the trilogy would be horrible.

What about the Janus key though? Remember Halo War’s cryptic secret after-credits tidbit? Serina’s message, “something has happened”? Supposing they were sucked into a Shield World, could the Janus key lead to their location and subsequent return to the Halo universe? A return of the silent, swift, and strong Spartans II warriors of old, a far cry from Spartan IV amateurs like Sarah Palmer?

Finally, the Precursors. They are alleged to have created the Flood as plan, or even a punishment for the Forerunner, to unite all life under one banner as it were. According to lore, some Precursors survived the Forerunner uprising and fled the galaxy. Coincidentally, the ships containing what is considered the start of the Flood infection (the fine, dessicated powder that was later used on the Pheru) are thought to have come in from the “edge” of the galaxy …

With humanity on the verge of discovering all of the Forerunner technology, I can see a very compelling reason to return and prevent the ascendance of humans who are aided by their rebellious Forerunner children’s technology, by blighting the universe with the Flood once again.

Add to that the hint in the Forerunner Saga that the Precursors could actually be part of the Flood themselves, and it leaves open a world of possibilities. Imagine with me for a moment that perhaps the Flood’s purpose or genetic directive is to consume all sentient life and reseed the galaxy with Precursors, effectively giving them a second chance after almost complete extinction.

At the end of the day, looking back, Halo 4′s campaign and lore feels akin to Halo CE. Self-contained in a way, but with the assurance that there is definitely more to come. While the path for Halo 5 and 6 is incredibly vague, with no real direction available for consideration, it’s evident that 343 already have some sort of overarching plan for the trilogy, but I hope they add back in some of the deeper lore plot points and drive things in an interesting direction. Halo 5 needs to see a return to a deeper, stronger level of storytelling, not unlike that of Halo 2 …

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