Forums / Games / Halo 5: Guardians

Halo 4's campaign was great, Halo 5's blew. Why?

OP Arn Royale

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Though I did not enjoy Halo 4's multiplayer experience, I gotta say that I LOVED its campaign. Storytelling was great, really made me care about the characters, and the ending moment opened up for interesting threads. Chiefs humanity and what not.

Halo 5's multiplayer I like, other than sprint. Its sandbox is balanced. It's a decent/good MP game.

However. The campaign was truly dull in my opinion. Nothing interesting happened, learned nothing about the protagonists & not a single damn thread from Halo 4 was further expanded on. It was awful.

The trailers were not even remotely close to the actual gameplay. It's embarrasing really.

What went wrong? 343 took an amazing step in the right direction with Halo 4 but undid everything major in it with halo 5.

Bad writers? Time restrictions? Change of plans in the last second? What?
Maybe because Christopher Schlerf actually knew how to make a good story and execute it well.
Maybe because Christopher Schlerf actually knew how to make a good story and execute it well.
True that.

My gripe is we had probably the best way to kill off a character (Cortana) but still leave enough room to move the story on. And what do they do? Bring her back and make her essentially the villain.

Crappy writing if you ask me.
'The Sprint' gives us some insight on 343's narrarive department, showing us that the creation of Halo's story is divided between two departments: narrative design team, and writing team. Basically, the narrative design team spends all day brainstorming what the outcome of Halo's story will be; the writing team then takes those ideas and makes a presentable story to tell them. As said by 343's narrarive design leader, the narrative design team comes up with what will happen, and the writing team tells how it will happen.

And now how this relates to Halo 5.

The narrative design team came up with the concepts of Chief going AWOL, being hunted by Locke, and the Created suddenly inheriting the Mantle of Responsibility and taking over the galaxy. These are all exciting plot-points…because who isn't compelled by the idea of a Halo game where the character the franchise grew up with is suddenly absent without leave, and who's closest companion has both evaded death and now has a sinister agenda? The ideas behind Halo 5's story take us out of our comfort zone, and would expose us to a Halo story unlike any other.

Where the narrative design team came up with the overall plot points in which the story revolved, the writing team took those ideas and had to make a cohesive, compelling, and memorable story with them. Unfortunately, the lead writer happened to be someone who had already proven to be incapable of telling a cohesive, compelling, and memorable story–a writer who has proven this incapability multiple times. A writer who has been responsible for a large chunk of the lower-rated Halo stories, if not most.

It's a shame. For all the brilliance the narrative design team put into laying the backbone of Halo 5's story, just one writer managed to undermine it all by delivering a convoluted shadow of what could have been. Such a shame.
Fun fact! Bungie leads (at the time they were making Halo 3) made a dev diary on Halo CE and when Cortana was talking in the control room they all joked about how stupid one of their ideas was for the game. Can you guess what it is? Yep, it was Cortana going evil and trying to activate a Halo ring. Search for it in YouTube, I believe it's still up.
Andycu5 wrote:
'The Sprint' gives us some insight on 343's narrarive department, showing us that the creation of Halo's story is divided between two departments: narrative design team, and writing team. Basically, the narrative design team spends all day brainstorming what the outcome of Halo's story will be; the writing team then takes those ideas and makes a presentable story to tell them. As said by 343's narrarive design leader, the narrative design team comes up with what will happen, and the writing team tells how it will happen.

And now how this relates to Halo 5.

The narrative design team came up with the concepts of Chief going AWOL, being hunted by Locke, and the Created suddenly inheriting the Mantle of Responsibility and taking over the galaxy. These are all exciting plot-points…because who isn't compelled by the idea of a Halo game where the character the franchise grew up with is suddenly absent without leave, and who's closest companion has both evaded death and now has a sinister agenda? The ideas behind Halo 5's story take us out of our comfort zone, and would expose us to a Halo story unlike any other.

Where the narrative design team came up with the overall plot points in which the story revolved, the writing team took those ideas and had to make a cohesive, compelling, and memorable story with them. Unfortunately, the lead writer happened to be someone who had already proven to be incapable of telling a cohesive, compelling, and memorable story–a writer who has proven this incapability multiple times. A writer who has been responsible for a large chunk of the lower-rated Halo stories, if not most.

It's a shame. For all the brilliance the narrative design team put into laying the backbone of Halo 5's story, just one writer managed to undermine it all by delivering a convoluted shadow of what could have been. Such a shame.
Well said my friend!
It is mostly the writing. Spartan Ops flopped, largely due to the writing in it so naturally the right choice was to have the same guy write H5.... smh
I feel the story didn't go anywhere after the end. In the most part.
Spoiler:
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Why is anyone surprised. Look at all of Brian Reeds entries to the franchise. I could be wrong but we should be thanking him for Sarah Palmer also. The guy who wrote initiation is the lead for Halo 5. Not to sound mean, but was no one else willing.

Producer/writer creates a more compelling story then halo 5s half baked story in the form of a advert. Noah Eichen and the guys at azyenburg I salute you.

The blame isn't just on reed... when MS is blowing millions on advertising then puts out a straight to DVD story... something's up. When no one at 343 questions the direction I think back to George Lucas and the prequels.

Was 343 that scared of "😧" up the multiplayer they left the story till last.

FIX THE NARATIVE 343.

Side note: I'm calling it, Mythos book will be the next point of contention with Brian reed and 343 and those that love the established lore.
Fun fact! Bungie leads (at the time they were making Halo 3) made a dev diary on Halo CE and when Cortana was talking in the control room they all joked about how stupid one of their ideas was for the game. Can you guess what it is? Yep, it was Cortana going evil and trying to activate a Halo ring. Search for it in YouTube, I believe it's still up.
I also remember one story about an early draft of Halo 2 where Miranda Keyes would slap a bomb to John's back and then push him down an elevator shaft. The writer was going through a break-up at the time and let it color his work. I don't think Reeds can get away with the same excuse, he's just not a good writer.
Warden Eternal.
Warden Eternal.
You're not wrong. I mean really, we fight him what, 4 or 5 times, and it's exactly the same each time... and to make it worse, they make him the final boss in every Warzone map. Hell, Noctus has 2 Wardens... I mean c'mon.
Arn Royale wrote:
Though I did not enjoy Halo 4's multiplayer experience, I gotta say that I LOVED its campaign. Storytelling was great, really made me care about the characters, and the ending moment opened up for interesting threads. Chiefs humanity and what not.

Halo 5's multiplayer I like, other than sprint. Its sandbox is balanced. It's a decent/good MP game.

However. The campaign was truly dull in my opinion. Nothing interesting happened, learned nothing about the protagonists & not a single damn thread from Halo 4 was further expanded on. It was awful.

The trailers were not even remotely close to the actual gameplay. It's embarrasing really.

What went wrong? 343 took an amazing step in the right direction with Halo 4 but undid everything major in it with halo 5.

Bad writers? Time restrictions? Change of plans in the last second? What?
Kind of wish we could hit a reset button and pretend Halo 5 didnt happen to the story so we could go back to all the amazing potential the story had after H4. None of which was utilized in Halo 5. Why oh why did Halo 4's writer leave 343? Cortana being a villain isn't the issue. The potential for that existed with her going through Rampancy. But where Halo 4 left off there was no reason to bring her back and make her evil. And how could they give Chief the short end of the stick? Chief IS Halo! How could the writers be so willing to step over that important fact?
Can't they be sued for false advertising? Or something along the lines of intentionally failing a product or something? Or idk maybe 343 just looks to hire on actually good writers? What about the writers of LOST? Idk the story failed. I think that if you wanted to make a really good story with excellent cliffhangers and draw people into the universe then what about getting the Writers of LOST in on Halo?
Do not purposely bypass the profanity filter.

Spoiler:
Show
To be honest i actually liked the narrative this time around. Wasnt perfect by any means, but still got me interested.
Then again, it is a middle story so doesnt surprise me too much. Its not my favorite campaign (h2 has that honor) but for me personally it is up there for me
A few extra levels as blue team juat to explain a bit more would have been nice though.
I absolutely hated halo 4'so campaign. I don't care how good the story was. The campaign gameplay was so bad that it took me weeks to beat it because of how little I wanted to play. Every level was just hordes of stupid bullet sponge enemies and levels that are drawn out way too long.

I also really disliked the story for Halo 4. After halo 3 I didn't want to have an entire game focused on cortana on some completely new world against new enemies. I wanted to know what was up with the covenant and the arbiter. Sure you learned some of that stuff in spartan ops, but I wouldn't play more of that game if you had a gun to my head.

Halo 5 on the other hand, had an amazing campaign. Hate me for saying it, but chief is such a bland character. I don't want to spend a whole game with just him like Halo 4. I actually enjoyed Osiris missions far more than Blue team missions. Also the events and everything that took place during Halo 5's campaign. You were thrown into the middle of the sangheili civil war, you traveled to a bunch of different planets; it as fun.

And most importantly (to me at least), the gameplay. Oh my god was it fun. I never wanted to put down my controller I was having so much fun. The promethean enemies weren't just bullet sponges that infuriated me, they were regular enemies. With the switching between teams and the fun vehicle levels and the new movement abilities, Halo 5's campaign has to be the most fun Halo campaign. My only gripe was that it was short. Less than 6 hours on normal, although I wasn't trying to find Intel or skulls, I was just rushing through.

I seriously don't understand the hate towards the campaign. It was amazing in my eyes
I thought Halo 5's gameplay was amazing, but I think the advertisements hyped the game's story way beyond the actual result. They essentially advertised the game as a watermelon, but ended up selling people an orange (a sub-par, generic brand orange). I hope you people understand my fruit analogy, because I feel that a watermelon would appeal to a broader audience because I think watermelons are better (bigger and tastier for sure). Don't hate me orange people.
Andycu5 wrote:
'The Sprint' gives us some insight on 343's narrarive department, showing us that the creation of Halo's story is divided between two departments: narrative design team, and writing team. Basically, the narrative design team spends all day brainstorming what the outcome of Halo's story will be; the writing team then takes those ideas and makes a presentable story to tell them. As said by 343's narrarive design leader, the narrative design team comes up with what will happen, and the writing team tells how it will happen.

And now how this relates to Halo 5.

The narrative design team came up with the concepts of Chief going AWOL, being hunted by Locke, and the Created suddenly inheriting the Mantle of Responsibility and taking over the galaxy. These are all exciting plot-points…because who isn't compelled by the idea of a Halo game where the character the franchise grew up with is suddenly absent without leave, and who's closest companion has both evaded death and now has a sinister agenda? The ideas behind Halo 5's story take us out of our comfort zone, and would expose us to a Halo story unlike any other.

Where the narrative design team came up with the overall plot points in which the story revolved, the writing team took those ideas and had to make a cohesive, compelling, and memorable story with them. Unfortunately, the lead writer happened to be someone who had already proven to be incapable of telling a cohesive, compelling, and memorable story–a writer who has proven this incapability multiple times. A writer who has been responsible for a large chunk of the lower-rated Halo stories, if not most.

It's a shame. For all the brilliance the narrative design team put into laying the backbone of Halo 5's story, just one writer managed to undermine it all by delivering a convoluted shadow of what could have been. Such a shame.
Very well said.
Arn Royale wrote:
Though I did not enjoy Halo 4's multiplayer experience, I gotta say that I LOVED its campaign. Storytelling was great, really made me care about the characters, and the ending moment opened up for interesting threads. Chiefs humanity and what not.

Halo 5's multiplayer I like, other than sprint. Its sandbox is balanced. It's a decent/good MP game.

However. The campaign was truly dull in my opinion. Nothing interesting happened, learned nothing about the protagonists & not a single damn thread from Halo 4 was further expanded on. It was awful.

The trailers were not even remotely close to the actual gameplay. It's embarrasing really.

What went wrong? 343 took an amazing step in the right direction with Halo 4 but undid everything major in it with halo 5.

Bad writers? Time restrictions? Change of plans in the last second? What?
I agree, H5 is such a let down. H4 had such a great story, even if the gameplay was terrible. Whereas H5 didn't follow through and out right Undid some of the build up that 4 gave us. Shameful.
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