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I’m worried Chief will regress as a character

OP TRUe REDEMPTI0N

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SWAT 79 wrote:
I think a few folks are missing the point. Halo CE - 3 have a steady progression of Chief, he shows a some personality here and there. Halo 4 was the first time you actually got a sense of emotion (which, when you think about it, really wasn't that much), which was a natural progression from 3. He didn't have to go any further, and it would have been fine to revert a bit back (like any time you go through a loss, over time you heal and bounce back) in 5. However, 5 made him a little too rogue and selfish and also had such a -Yoink- story that it was ruined.

Halo 4 was a great chief, don't let 5's story dictate your opinion of 4's.
Exactly how I feel. I think they nailed chief's story and character in 4. Some posts in this thread seem to suggest that chief has been a chatterbox in the 343 games, but he still does not say a whole lot. Just more than the previous games. He says just enough to convey some emotion while still being focused on his mission. I love strong, silent, badass characters, and I had 0 problem with how much chief talks in 4. 5 had way more problems that had nothing to do with chief's dialogue. I feel like 343 has taken the criticism of halo 5 and decided to roll things too far back. I'm worried they will completely ignore blue team (which I'm 90% sure will happen) in stead of just taking away osiris. It still bothers me that the first game they decided to put blue team in was the same game they introduce an entirely new spartan team that we play as for 3/4ths of the game. I did like the look of the trailer, but even though it was short, you can kind of tell they will be telling chief's story through the eyes of an ordinary human. And that may work out, but it is just not something that is inherently exciting as a continuation of the story. But as a spiritual reboot, I can see how that is a viable approach, just a disappointing one from someone who really enjoyed 4.
SWAT 79 wrote:
I think a few folks are missing the point. Halo CE - 3 have a steady progression of Chief, he shows a some personality here and there. Halo 4 was the first time you actually got a sense of emotion (which, when you think about it, really wasn't that much), which was a natural progression from 3. He didn't have to go any further, and it would have been fine to revert a bit back (like any time you go through a loss, over time you heal and bounce back) in 5. However, 5 made him a little too rogue and selfish and also had such a -Yoink- story that it was ruined.

Halo 4 was a great chief, don't let 5's story dictate your opinion of 4's.
Exactly how I feel. I think they nailed chief's story and character in 4. Some posts in this thread seem to suggest that chief has been a chatterbox in the 343 games, but he still does not say a whole lot. Just more than the previous games. He says just enough to convey some emotion while still being focused on his mission. I love strong, silent, badass characters, and I had 0 problem with how much chief talks in 4. 5 had way more problems that had nothing to do with chief's dialogue. I feel like 343 has taken the criticism of halo 5 and decided to roll things too far back. I'm worried they will completely ignore blue team (which I'm 90% sure will happen) in stead of just taking away osiris. It still bothers me that the first game they decided to put blue team in was the same game they introduce an entirely new spartan team that we play as for 3/4ths of the game. I did like the look of the trailer, but even though it was short, you can kind of tell they will be telling chief's story through the eyes of an ordinary human. And that may work out, but it is just not something that is inherently exciting as a continuation of the story. But as a spiritual reboot, I can see how that is a viable approach, just a disappointing one from someone who really enjoyed 4.
As a fan of the books, it's a missed opportunity that Blue team wasn't introduced until Halo 5. The fact that when they finally did come in, were just completely blown over for Osiris, makes it even worse.

I'm hoping that all of those characters will be in the game, but in a different capacity that still is a spiritual reboot.
Halo has always been a series which is a setting-based experience rather than a character-based one. Not every piece of media has to be based on characters, and to be honest there are way too many games and films which try to deal with the same character struggles which the Chief would have, so it is absolutely pointless because it's so cliche.

It is especially important for 343 to revert to a setting-based experienced over a character-based experience because films and games are largely forgetting that other types of media is even possible. Even Minecraft is making character-based games now, not to mention Tomb Raider, Call of Duty, and now Rainbow Six.
Halo has always been a series which is a setting-based experience rather than a character-based one. Not every piece of media has to be based on characters, and to be honest there are way too many games and films which try to deal with the same character struggles which the Chief would have, so it is absolutely pointless because it's so cliche.
Okay then. But if that is the case then people need to STOP completely flipping their you-know-what every time the prospect of Chief not being the games' protagonist forever is presented. If the Chief's actual established personality, history, emotions, etc. (and yes, the books very firmly outline all of these things) are so unimportant and players just want an empty shell, it should be no problem whatsoever if Chief isn't the character they control to shoot things in the future. It can't be both ways.
Halo has always been a series which is a setting-based experience rather than a character-based one. Not every piece of media has to be based on characters, and to be honest there are way too many games and films which try to deal with the same character struggles which the Chief would have, so it is absolutely pointless because it's so cliche.
Okay then. But if that is the case then people need to STOP completely flipping their you-know-what every time the prospect of Chief not being the games' protagonist forever is presented. If the Chief's actual established personality, history, emotions, etc. (and yes, the books very firmly outline all of these things) are so unimportant and players just want an empty shell, it should be no problem whatsoever if Chief isn't the character they control to shoot things in the future. It can't be both ways.
It's not that people want to ignore the Chief's personality traits from the books and stuff, it's that they don't want it to be portrayed in the game as a main theme. Humans in Halo have a very "you've you your orders, get the job done, there isn't much time to think" approach to the war, even more so with character like the Chief and Johnson, which is why the early games seems to be very fast paced in terms of story progression. On the other hand, Halo 4 had way too much dialogue and pauses where people were just talking and this was supposed to build character, but people just weren't interested in this and it also slowed the game down completely.

I completely agree that people need to let the Chief go, in fact I wish they left the Chief and Cortana's story alone after Halo 3 and instead made games with different protagonists, and only included hints towards their fate as easter-eggs or in other forms of media. Even if Halo 4 and 5 were the same but with a different spartan and a different AI then I think they would have been a lot less damaging to the series as a whole.
People who are arguing in favor of a blank slate main character are essentially saying that they'd rather have a less resonating and more "badass" narrative. The main character in a story dictates how that story is told, and a story told from the point of view of an empty shell will be just as empty as its main character.

Take a look at Skyrim, for instance, or any other RPG where you create a character. Your guy only grunts when he gets hurt, and the rest is up to your imagination. But no matter how detailed and rich rith history the world is, the story still feels empty. On the flip side, take a look at Xbox's competition. Naughty Dog constantly create character-driven games and, surprise surprise, those games are regarded as well-written and resonating despite their often simplistic stories.

How you tell a story is much more important than what you actually tell, and when your main character only opens his mouth to utter "badass" one liners, well...

So e people think an emotionally resonant story is something they can sacrifice to get the classic Muster Chef back, but for me it's just another red flag indicating that 343i have no long term plans for this series, and are just drifting farther and farther away from telling a good story.

I hope I'm wrong.
Growing up the Chief's blank slate was always something to imbue yourself onto. That being said, having read the books I enjoyed a deeper involvement with the psychologically damaged being that he is (there's nothing wrong with that either). Now don't get me wrong, I don't want him getting to a point where he is sitting on a chair talking about his inner most turmoils, BUT I also don't want nothing but snappy one liners anymore.

This is just personal opinion, but that fine line needs to be balanced on for me, I think 343i can do it.
I honestly don't see why people think that the first three game only had "badass one-liners" for the Chief, in Halo CE he did quite a bit of casual talking and sarcasm (like when he first sees Keyes in game, and when Cortana is in the Control Room), and honestly in Halo 3 a lot of the dialogue involving the chief is just references to the last two games (make a promise, etc) in a more dramatic tone. Halo 2 admittedly was mainly one-liners for the Chief, but honestly that game hardly even focused on him in terms of the story, it was much more concerned with the Arbiter in that respect.

Yeah he might still have been pretty quiet in Halo CE and 3 in general, but he wasn't just saying one liners.
I have to agree with RaptorShinRyu and others here. I loved how the Chief was in Halo 1-3. Now, that's not to say didn't like him in 4 or 5, but I just felt like they went "too far" with things in 4. He didn't seem like the Chief in 4 most of the time to me. I understand the story and what was happening, but still. In Halo 5, the writing was just bad most of the time all around and he was barely in it lol

I especially like this quote by Marty 'O Donnell,
Quote:
There's something good about having the Master Chief essentially be a blank slate. That helps each individual person connect to the character" -Marty 'O Donnell
That sums up how I've felt about the Chief exactly! and when you saw his face a little bit in Halo 4, that really bugged me...a lot!! In Halo CE, when you beat the game, you see him take his helmet off, but don't see his face or anything. I loved that!! To me it meant, I'm the chief, I just saved those people, the universe, etc in a way you know... even though I always felt like the Chief had enough personality in my opinion to be his own character too. It was like... the Chief was two people. His character and mine.... If you know what I mean. I hope I explain that well. It's hard for me to explain. I've never felt that way about any other character, ever!!! In anything!!

I don't read the books or anything (even know I've thought about it) so I don't know how he is "supposed" to be per say now but the games did come first. I'll admit though, I am a canon guy, so I do like things to be canon and since Halo has all this back story now, I think things should story wise as much as possible. If it were up to me, I'd have the chief be 70% like CE-3 and 30% like 4 & 5. Just enough to make things canon 😉
If I had to choose between the two, I'd rather have a Chief like in Halo 4 as opposed to the original trilogy. I'm not opposed to the strong and silent (or semi-silent) protagonist. But the thing is, I kind of feel like they're all the same. Like, you could replace Chief with Corvo Attano and most people wouldn't notice. On the other hand, the particular character we saw in Chief with Halo 4, and the novels for that matter, that's something only Halo can produce.
Halo is nearly a twenty years old franchise and most of the main protagonist do is to get the job done. We can all say this is the Chief personality, but in this reclaimer saga, Chief not only has to complete his mission but also deal with a personal issue with his best friend. Halo 4 gave another side of how complex the Chief can be and that is amazing. It was the the game who transformed me from a casual Halo player to a die hard fan mostly because of the characters.
Halo has a so vast and rich universe with so many possibilities and stories to tell that having the main protagonist being stuck with no character arc whatsoever and just saying cool lines is a huge waste of potential.
Quote:
There's something good about having the Master Chief essentially be a blank slate. That helps each individual person connect to the character" -Marty 'O Donnell
To be honest, this comment from Marty always irked me, because Chief was never a blank slate. Since day one, he was his own character. Halo CE clearly showcased his personality in his movements and mannerisms, while also offering some in the way he spoke. Bungie then regressed that in Halo 2 considerably to just 'stoically stares and says one-liners'.
I understand the allure of an insert-eque character, but I always felt that Bungie never fully committed either way with Chief; he wasn't a complete self-insert character yet wasn't a strongly defined character as well (only regarding the games: He's a fully fleshed character in the novels). I never resonated with the notion that 'Chief is you' because on the contrary you had to fit the mold of Chief. What I mean by that is you didn't have the freedom to make Chief melancholic, or overly jovial, or shy, or pissed-off-at-the-world, because that wasn't his character. The culmination of 'Chief is you' in-game is he doesn't reply when people talk to him, he just stares or quips.

Rookie, I feel, is a better demonstration of self-insert, as he really has no defining features. I just felt that Chief could have been more in the OG trilogy, and I'd like to see his character explored more. I'm not suggesting him going off on inner monologues or sobbing in the corner whimpering Cortana's name, but just something deeper.

I don't read the books or anything (even know I've thought about it) so I don't know how he is "supposed" to be per say now but the games did come first. I'll admit though, I am a canon guy, so I do like things to be canon and since Halo has all this back story now, I think things should story wise as much as possible. If it were up to me, I'd have the chief be 70% like CE-3 and 30% like 4 & 5. Just enough to make things canon 😉
Technically the books came first; Halo The Fall of Reach was published a month before Halo: CE.
I'd definitely recommend giving them a look, there's so much there to get immersed deeper into Halo's lore.
While I understand your concern, I wouldn't worry too much about it for these simple reasons:
  1. Even though 343 is making aesthetic and tonal concessions (for all the right reasons), their core philosophy appears to be more overtly story/character driven, and I don't think that will change much in Halo:Infinite (we still have the relationship w/Cortana as our emotional anchor, as evidenced by the trailer, and reuniting with her or stopping her is inevitably going to give Chief a semblance of emotional depth & conflict) and...
  2. If they strip him down to a blank slate, you'll be free to project any emotional depth onto the character that you want, using your imagination. I get that might not be as satisfying if the narrative structure of 4/5 is more your speed, but if it's a good game with a good story hopefully it will satisfy as many people as possible.
I've never thought there was any problem with the Chief being the way he was in 1-3. It was really simple - he's a badass, he's super cool and capable...and that's about it. I never got into the novels or lore because it just didn't appeal to me and became overly convoluted. Part of the appeal of Halo for me in the beginning was the sense of mystery and simplicity of it. I still enjoyed Chief in 4 & 5 just because I love the character (though 5's campaign was horribly flawed).

But I think it's an unfortunate trend/misconception that every protagonist needs to have a complete, forward-presenting, relatable psychology and history. I think that's the result of fans getting to "smart" for their own good after years of watching great movies and playing great games that seem to prove a deep psychology is necessary when, in reality, there's lots of ways to make great characters and CE-3 achieved that for me. Chief should never be a Hamlet - that just gets in the way of his fundamental nature and disrupts my own immersion in the game. But that's just me! To each their own!
"The success of the story is that we didn't pump alot of time figuring out who the Master Chief was or why he was a ghost in the shell."- Joe Staten
"There's something good about having the Master Chief essentially be a blank slate. That helps each individual person connect to the character" -Marty 'O Donnell

Everyone I know personally thought 343's attempt to force Chief into talking and having emotions in Halo 4 and 5 compromised his character. Yeah, it was touching to see Chief say goodbye to Cortana, but to people who don't know John outside of the games, it felt out of place, and that was sort of the main common complaint with 343's entire approach to their saga up until now. They thought their main audience enjoyed Halo with the frame of references of external material, and as it turns out, they don't. They most fondly remember the curt, to the point, man-of-few-words Chief from Halo CE, 2, 3.
I really hope they make Chief like how he was in Halo 4, I want a lead protagonist who has depth and development, not just a shell for the player. Very boring tbh
I mean, I get it, but I think most people who prefer Halo CE, 2, and 3's Chief, including myself, see his minimalist nature as a unique personality of it's own.
Yes! Agreed w/Raptor in that the way he behaves and speaks in CE-3 (minimalist being the perfect word) conveyed to me exactly what his personality/priorities are.

I get it's not as satisfying, though, for players who don't enjoy the "blank slate" or "mute protagonist" trope in games.
Reminder for everyone saying halo 5 got chief right:

Halo 3 sold nearly 3 times as many copies as Halo 5 and was active for far longer. There is a reason for this and it's not because of Chief's riveting depth and complexities.
I agree w/the sentiment that his depth and complexities aren't necessarily an asset to the franchise.

But when talking sales figures (and evaluating success/failure based on that kind of metric) we have to keep in mind how vastly different the 2007 gaming landscape was from the 2015 gaming landscape. It was, in many ways, a completely different world. 3 came out in a time where there were vastly fewer MP games (especially Triple A, easily accessible, console FPS MP games). 3 had the ability to be what it was precisely because it came out when it did. It will be very difficult, if not impossible, for any game, let alone future Halos, to achieve that kind of success, popularity, and enduring population 3 had.

That's not to say there aren't dominant games still, but that mantle is more fluid than ever and increasingly difficult to regain. When using 5 being less successful as an example of anything, keeping in mind the time it came out is essential (which is not to say its poor story didn't play a role, I just think it's ultimately a less significant aspect of its regrettable place in Halo-history than the time it came out). Also, the MCC came out and was a disaster the year before Halo 5, and that likely played a role as well, having left a bad taste in fan's mouths.
You know, the longer I think about the new Infinite trailer and ponder what the imagery might mean/symbolize - specifically the very final segment in the Control Room of the Halo - the more nervous I'm getting that what it could be suggesting, is a path to redemption wherein not only the UNSC, but John personally, would forgive evil Cortana and allow her back into their good graces again if they "captured" her, like it can be neatly forgotten how millions were killed when she took over the galaxy and that she enslaves thousands more as Prometheans, and we can hand waive away her culpability by just saying she had the Logic Plague and wasn't herself. (Which, canonically, ignores how the Logic Plague works.)

That would be the ULTIMATE regression of John as a character, because the John of the books would have more integrity than to allow himself to do that. If they did that, I'd be done with him and maybe Halo.
You know, the longer I think about the new Infinite trailer and ponder what the imagery might mean/symbolize - specifically the very final segment in the Control Room of the Halo - the more nervous I'm getting that what it could be suggesting, is a path to redemption wherein not only the UNSC, but John personally, would forgive evil Cortana and allow her back into their good graces again if they "captured" her, like it can be neatly forgotten how millions were killed when she took over the galaxy and that she enslaves thousands more as Prometheans, and we can hand waive away her culpability by just saying she had the Logic Plague and wasn't herself. (Which, canonically, ignores how the Logic Plague works.)

That would be the ULTIMATE regression of John as a character, because the John of the books would have more integrity than to allow himself to do that. If they did that, I'd be done with him and maybe Halo.
I fear the same and it’s very warranted, but I think what’s likely to happen is him getting another Cortana model to combat the evil one. There’s no way 343 would scrap everything she did and have Chief accept her back.
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“Soon Halo’s reclamation will begin, but when it does, the weight of your denial will stay your feet, and you shall be left behind ”
You know, the longer I think about the new Infinite trailer and ponder what the imagery might mean/symbolize - specifically the very final segment in the Control Room of the Halo - the more nervous I'm getting that what it could be suggesting, is a path to redemption wherein not only the UNSC, but John personally, would forgive evil Cortana and allow her back into their good graces again if they "captured" her, like it can be neatly forgotten how millions were killed when she took over the galaxy and that she enslaves thousands more as Prometheans, and we can hand waive away her culpability by just saying she had the Logic Plague and wasn't herself. (Which, canonically, ignores how the Logic Plague works.)

That would be the ULTIMATE regression of John as a character, because the John of the books would have more integrity than to allow himself to do that. If they did that, I'd be done with him and maybe Halo.
The reunion could be the end of them both as halo characters , chief may willing to entrap her into the chip and insert her into his suit which is designed to somehow self destruct , chief once again saves humanity and the universe knowing the ultimate price and is more than willing to do it. . I mean this is pure conjecture on all my part, but it's the only real logical conclusion to the reclaimer saga I can see.
Tell me that's not some character development right there?
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