Forums / Games / Halo 5: Guardians

What Halo 5 Did Wrong

OP Obie Tr1ce

Ok, I'll be the first to admit that as far as multiplayer, gameplay, and graphics goes, Halo 5 has made leaps and bounds, but the campaign was really hard to follow and half the time it felt like the dialogue was just there as background noise. For me, the campaign has always been what makes Halo so great, and separates it from the rest of the FPS's, and Halo 5 was not what it should've been. I want engaging dialogue, a plot that doesn't rely on expanded universe material, and to be able to understand what the -Yoink- is going on. Halo 5 has an array of expansive fiction -- that you have to buy -- that clarifies and builds so much upon the story. Now, just imagine if all of that material had been incorporated into the game! I'm sorry 343i, you guys did a great job with the campaign in your last Halo game (multiplayer left much to be desired), but you can't expect a player base of over five million people to just dive into all the books and web series surrounding the campaigns. If I had to summarize Halo 5's campaign in three words I'd have a hard time choosing between very, very incoherent and huge, huge disappointment. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Halo 5, it's a great game that I've happily invested hundreds of hours into. I just don't want to see the same mistakes in Halo Infinite. Once the game is released, the story is canon forever. I'm hoping to see more focus on Cortana/Halsey, significantly improved dialogue, a not-so-boring exposition, and better, more explicit storytelling.
I agree the introduction of Locke and the rest of that squad came out of nowhere[except for buck] and it was frustrating for me to watch hundreds of lore videos to understand what happened there.
Obie Tr1ce wrote:
I want engaging dialogue, a plot that doesn't rely on expanded universe material, and to be able to understand what the -Yoink- is going on. Halo 5 has an array of expansive fiction -- that you have to buy -- that clarifies and builds so much upon the story. Now, just imagine if all of that material had been incorporated into the game! I'm sorry 343i, you guys did a great job with the campaign in your last Halo game (multiplayer left much to be desired), but you can't expect a player base of over five million people to just dive into all the books and web series surrounding the campaigns.
The EU is really less involved in Halo 5's Campaign than you think it is. Just about everything you need to know in the Camapign is explained in the Campaign, even if on a very basic level.

If you're saying that the EU expanded and clarified on the Campaign, well yeah it's always done that.

80% of the things Cortana said in Halo 3 didn't make any sense without context from the EU. Dr. Halsey's first appearance was in Halo Reach with no direct connection to Chief. The very existence of Spartan IIIs in general, or Chief being a Spartan II was not said in the games.

Don't forget complete "plot holes" like Johnson surviving the Flood, Johnson surviving the events of Halo CE, or Johnson, Miranda, and Arbiter making it to Earth before Chief did in Halo 3.

The only way you knew all this stuff was either because you looked outside of the games to know this, or someone who did read the EU told you this.
Obie Tr1ce wrote:
Ok, I'll be the first to admit that as far as multiplayer, gameplay, and graphics goes, Halo 5 has made leaps and bounds, but the campaign was really hard to follow and half the time it felt like the dialogue was just there as background noise. For me, the campaign has always been what makes Halo so great, and separates it from the rest of the FPS's, and Halo 5 was not what it should've been. I want engaging dialogue, a plot that doesn't rely on expanded universe material, and to be able to understand what the -Yoink- is going on. Halo 5 has an array of expansive fiction -- that you have to buy -- that clarifies and builds so much upon the story. Now, just imagine if all of that material had been incorporated into the game! I'm sorry 343i, you guys did a great job with the campaign in your last Halo game (multiplayer left much to be desired), but you can't expect a player base of over five million people to just dive into all the books and web series surrounding the campaigns. If I had to summarize Halo 5's campaign in three words I'd have a hard time choosing between very, very incoherent and huge, huge disappointment. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Halo 5, it's a great game that I've happily invested hundreds of hours into. I just don't want to see the same mistakes in Halo Infinite. Once the game is released, the story is canon forever. I'm hoping to see more focus on Cortana/Halsey, significantly improved dialogue, a not-so-boring exposition, and better, more explicit storytelling.
This is a major misconception people seem to have regarding Halo 5's narrative. You are equally, if not more-so, confused as an EU reader when playing through Halo 5's campaign.
Halo 5's issues don't stem from over reliance on EU material, but rather completely disregarding prior plot points and opening a new plot with no buildup.

I agree the introduction of Locke and the rest of that squad came out of nowhere[except for buck] and it was frustrating for me to watch hundreds of lore videos to understand what happened there.
I mean, Noble team came out of nowhere and Alpha-9 came out of nowhere. Not sure why Osiris is exempt from that ignore list. Any stories regarding Locke (Nightfall), Tanaka (Escalations), and Vale (Hunters in the Dark) don't serve any importance regarding Halo 5. Their EU stories are simply background information about them, not a need-to-know requirement.
Obie Tr1ce wrote:
I want engaging dialogue, a plot that doesn't rely on expanded universe material, and to be able to understand what the -Yoink- is going on. Halo 5 has an array of expansive fiction -- that you have to buy -- that clarifies and builds so much upon the story. Now, just imagine if all of that material had been incorporated into the game! I'm sorry 343i, you guys did a great job with the campaign in your last Halo game (multiplayer left much to be desired), but you can't expect a player base of over five million people to just dive into all the books and web series surrounding the campaigns.
The EU is really less involved in Halo 5's Campaign than you think it is. Just about everything you need to know in the Camapign is explained in the Campaign, even if on a very basic level.

If you're saying that the EU expanded and clarified on the Campaign, well yeah it's always done that.

80% of the things Cortana said in Halo 3 didn't make any sense without context from the EU. Dr. Halsey's first appearance was in Halo Reach with no direct connection to Chief. The very existence of Spartan IIIs in general, or Chief being a Spartan II was not said in the games.

Don't forget complete "plot holes" like Johnson surviving the Flood, Johnson surviving the events of Halo CE, or Johnson, Miranda, and Arbiter making it to Earth before Chief did in Halo 3.

The only way you knew all this stuff was either because you looked outside of the games to know this, or someone who did read the EU told you this.
Good points, but I still disagree. Last I checked, buck was an ODST, not a spartan. And who the -Yoink- is blue team, and who the ACTUAL -Yoink- is Osiris? Who are these people? I thought Locke was ONI, not a spartan. Who is Jul ‘Mdama? The intro raises even more questions. Where are they? Who are they fighting and why? It was just senseless action with no explaination. This story is literally unfollowable without at least minimal knowledge of the EU.
tL Armada wrote:
Obie Tr1ce wrote:
Ok, I'll be the first to admit that as far as multiplayer, gameplay, and graphics goes, Halo 5 has made leaps and bounds, but the campaign was really hard to follow and half the time it felt like the dialogue was just there as background noise. For me, the campaign has always been what makes Halo so great, and separates it from the rest of the FPS's, and Halo 5 was not what it should've been. I want engaging dialogue, a plot that doesn't rely on expanded universe material, and to be able to understand what the -Yoink- is going on. Halo 5 has an array of expansive fiction -- that you have to buy -- that clarifies and builds so much upon the story. Now, just imagine if all of that material had been incorporated into the game! I'm sorry 343i, you guys did a great job with the campaign in your last Halo game (multiplayer left much to be desired), but you can't expect a player base of over five million people to just dive into all the books and web series surrounding the campaigns. If I had to summarize Halo 5's campaign in three words I'd have a hard time choosing between very, very incoherent and huge, huge disappointment. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Halo 5, it's a great game that I've happily invested hundreds of hours into. I just don't want to see the same mistakes in Halo Infinite. Once the game is released, the story is canon forever. I'm hoping to see more focus on Cortana/Halsey, significantly improved dialogue, a not-so-boring exposition, and better, more explicit storytelling.
This is a major misconception people seem to have regarding Halo 5's narrative. You are equally, if not more-so, confused as an EU reader when playing through Halo 5's campaign.
Halo 5's issues don't stem from over reliance on EU material, but rather completely disregarding prior plot points and opening a new plot with no buildup.

I agree the introduction of Locke and the rest of that squad came out of nowhere[except for buck] and it was frustrating for me to watch hundreds of lore videos to understand what happened there.
I mean, Noble team came out of nowhere and Alpha-9 came out of nowhere. Not sure why Osiris is exempt from that ignore list. Any stories regarding Locke (Nightfall), Tanaka (Escalations), and Vale (Hunters in the Dark) don't serve any importance regarding Halo 5. Their EU stories are simply background information about them, not a need-to-know requirement.
There’s plenty of information that would help players understand better. Like why is Buck a spartan? And who are all these teams? Background information sets a nice premise so that when a character does or says something it’s not just rambling and it fits the character, because we actually know the character. Halo 5 could’ve been so good, had it not been for the -Yoink- writing
Obie Tr1ce wrote:
tL Armada wrote:
Obie Tr1ce wrote:
Ok, I'll be the first to admit that as far as multiplayer, gameplay, and graphics goes, Halo 5 has made leaps and bounds, but the campaign was really hard to follow and half the time it felt like the dialogue was just there as background noise. For me, the campaign has always been what makes Halo so great, and separates it from the rest of the FPS's, and Halo 5 was not what it should've been. I want engaging dialogue, a plot that doesn't rely on expanded universe material, and to be able to understand what the -Yoink- is going on. Halo 5 has an array of expansive fiction -- that you have to buy -- that clarifies and builds so much upon the story. Now, just imagine if all of that material had been incorporated into the game! I'm sorry 343i, you guys did a great job with the campaign in your last Halo game (multiplayer left much to be desired), but you can't expect a player base of over five million people to just dive into all the books and web series surrounding the campaigns. If I had to summarize Halo 5's campaign in three words I'd have a hard time choosing between very, very incoherent and huge, huge disappointment. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Halo 5, it's a great game that I've happily invested hundreds of hours into. I just don't want to see the same mistakes in Halo Infinite. Once the game is released, the story is canon forever. I'm hoping to see more focus on Cortana/Halsey, significantly improved dialogue, a not-so-boring exposition, and better, more explicit storytelling.
This is a major misconception people seem to have regarding Halo 5's narrative. You are equally, if not more-so, confused as an EU reader when playing through Halo 5's campaign.
Halo 5's issues don't stem from over reliance on EU material, but rather completely disregarding prior plot points and opening a new plot with no buildup.

I agree the introduction of Locke and the rest of that squad came out of nowhere[except for buck] and it was frustrating for me to watch hundreds of lore videos to understand what happened there.
I mean, Noble team came out of nowhere and Alpha-9 came out of nowhere. Not sure why Osiris is exempt from that ignore list. Any stories regarding Locke (Nightfall), Tanaka (Escalations), and Vale (Hunters in the Dark) don't serve any importance regarding Halo 5. Their EU stories are simply background information about them, not a need-to-know requirement.
There’s plenty of information that would help players understand better. Like why is Buck a spartan? And who are all these teams? Background information sets a nice premise so that when a character does or says something it’s not just rambling and it fits the character, because we actually know the character. Halo 5 could’ve been so good, had it not been for the -Yoink- writing
Yeah tbh, you don't NEED to know the EU to get Halo 5, but it certainly helps. I mean compare the Reach and ODST intros to the Halo 5 intro:

  • Reach's was slower. It set the scene well with landscape images of Reach before putting the title of the game on screen. Then Colonel Holland spells out the fact that you are gonna be on a Spartan fire team and gives you a clear objective so you know what is about to happen in the game. Then the team members interact with each other before Carter tells you who each of them are.
  • ODST was also slow. It started with a series of sentences that set up the atmosphere of the game to come. Then you are given a clear objective and you are introduced to each of the characters by how they interact with each other, especially the relationship between Buck and Veronica. Then you drop and see Regret take off through slip space, which tells you exactly when this game takes place in relation to the other games.
  • Halo 5's was very fast paced and gave you no breathing room to ask the who, what, when, where, and why of it all. It also comes with an out-of-place cut scene before the beginning of Halsey and Cortana. I get why it's there, but it didn't seem to fit with the action-packed cut scene that follows. All through the scene I was asking myself, where are we, who are they, why are they fighting us, who are those metal robots. It was a fun watch, but kinda confusing.
So while the EU information isn't necessary, it was even less necessary for understanding Reach or ODST. And adding in exposition through dialogue in the middle of a firefight felt out of place. And because some of the dialogue was in the middle of a firefight, I missed half of it
Obie Tr1ce wrote:
tL Armada wrote:
There’s plenty of information that would help players understand better. Like why is Buck a spartan?
Because it was heavily hinted at that he was Spartan material and with the newly initiated Spartan-IV program he became one. New Blood explains this, but it really doesn't need to be explained to people in the games. The book doesn't even explain how he became part of Osiris. Just some background info on him between Halo 3 and Halo 5. It's more-or-less The Adventures of Buck! rather than a required piece of understanding.

Obie Tr1ce wrote:
And who are all these teams?
Locke lightly explained during Meridian who Blue team was. I will admit, it should have been handled better, but it was explained.
How Osiris came to be was not explained in any EU material. They do give a brief rundown of each member throughout their missions.
While I would not be opposed to a proper introduction, Bungie really didn't explain their teams either. You got a quick name-check for Noble and then it's directly to the mission, and for Alpha-9 there was no introduction.

Obie Tr1ce wrote:
Background information sets a nice premise so that when a character does or says something it’s not just rambling and it fits the character, because we actually know the character. Halo 5 could’ve been so good, had it not been for the -Yoink- writing
Indeed that background info can enhance a character, but it isn't the source of Halo 5's shortcomings with the characters. As I mentioned with members of Osiris; their respective stories have no bearing on Halo 5. I watched and read all of those stories regarding each member and it was ultimately inconsequential.

Just so that my point is clear; I think Halo 5 didn't utilize characters very well throughout the game. But the source of the issue isn't due to EU material needing to be read/watched.
Obie Tr1ce wrote:
Obie Tr1ce wrote:
I want engaging dialogue, a plot that doesn't rely on expanded universe material, and to be able to understand what the -Yoink- is going on. Halo 5 has an array of expansive fiction -- that you have to buy -- that clarifies and builds so much upon the story. Now, just imagine if all of that material had been incorporated into the game! I'm sorry 343i, you guys did a great job with the campaign in your last Halo game (multiplayer left much to be desired), but you can't expect a player base of over five million people to just dive into all the books and web series surrounding the campaigns.
The EU is really less involved in Halo 5's Campaign than you think it is. Just about everything you need to know in the Camapign is explained in the Campaign, even if on a very basic level.

If you're saying that the EU expanded and clarified on the Campaign, well yeah it's always done that.

80% of the things Cortana said in Halo 3 didn't make any sense without context from the EU. Dr. Halsey's first appearance was in Halo Reach with no direct connection to Chief. The very existence of Spartan IIIs in general, or Chief being a Spartan II was not said in the games.

Don't forget complete "plot holes" like Johnson surviving the Flood, Johnson surviving the events of Halo CE, or Johnson, Miranda, and Arbiter making it to Earth before Chief did in Halo 3.

The only way you knew all this stuff was either because you looked outside of the games to know this, or someone who did read the EU told you this.
Good points, but I still disagree. Last I checked, buck was an ODST, not a spartan. And who the -Yoink- is blue team, and who the ACTUAL -Yoink- is Osiris? Who are these people? I thought Locke was ONI, not a spartan. Who is Jul ‘Mdama? The intro raises even more questions. Where are they? Who are they fighting and why? It was just senseless action with no explaination. This story is literally unfollowable without at least minimal knowledge of the EU.
Buck became a Spartan after the events of ODST. He talks about it shortly before Meridian speaking about his ODST days.

Blue Team was also explained in-game. "The members of Blue Team grew up together in the Spartan II program. They've registered more operations than any other fireteam in the UNSC."

Osiris is the only "odd" one, but they're basically a group of people with different strengths put together to go into enemy territory and do specific things. Not unlike Alpha-Nine in ODST, or the Bullfrogs in Reach.

"I thought Locke was ONI, not a spartan." - Oh come on that was literally in the first mission. He's ex-ONI. Also, you wouldn't have known about his time in ONI without the EU, remember?

"Who is Jul ‘Mdama?" - Halo 4's Spartan Ops.

"Who are they fighting and why?" - Some planet with Forerunner ties to collect Halsey because of the events of Halo 4's Spartan Ops.
Obie Tr1ce wrote:
I want engaging dialogue, a plot that doesn't rely on expanded universe material, and to be able to understand what the -Yoink- is going on. Halo 5 has an array of expansive fiction -- that you have to buy -- that clarifies and builds so much upon the story. Now, just imagine if all of that material had been incorporated into the game! I'm sorry 343i, you guys did a great job with the campaign in your last Halo game (multiplayer left much to be desired), but you can't expect a player base of over five million people to just dive into all the books and web series surrounding the campaigns.
The EU is really less involved in Halo 5's Campaign than you think it is. Just about everything you need to know in the Camapign is explained in the Campaign, even if on a very basic level.

If you're saying that the EU expanded and clarified on the Campaign, well yeah it's always done that.

80% of the things Cortana said in Halo 3 didn't make any sense without context from the EU. Dr. Halsey's first appearance was in Halo Reach with no direct connection to Chief. The very existence of Spartan IIIs in general, or Chief being a Spartan II was not said in the games.

Don't forget complete "plot holes" like Johnson surviving the Flood, Johnson surviving the events of Halo CE, or Johnson, Miranda, and Arbiter making it to Earth before Chief did in Halo 3.

The only way you knew all this stuff was either because you looked outside of the games to know this, or someone who did read the EU told you this.
i don't know how much the EU is involved into the campaign of h5, all i know is: the first time the campaign got interresting to me was the cliffhanger and i heard that the EU expanded a lot, much more than usual EU stuff in entertainment media. (but thats not the inly problem i have with h5s campaign)

the plotholes you mentioned in h3 are a problem, i agree on that. it is one of my biggest complains about h3s campaign. i don't know why many consider h3 the best campaign, but to me it was by far the weakest in the original trillogy or of bungie games overall (up until h5 actually).

Dr. Halsey in reach i didn't mind. from her apperance she is just a sicentist working for ONI. and i think thats all you need to know in reach. the connection to chief is just in the books and then out of nowhere in h4s opening cutsceen.

that chief is a spartan II is actually mentioned in the booklet of halo CE. i miss booklets. they were a good way to expand the story and you didn't have to buy additional stuff next to the game.