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Does the UNSC need Spartans?

OP total war1402

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I am not exactly sure how or why Spartans are so effective.

Firepower - A Spartan has no more fire power than can be given to any UNSC Marine. They use exactly the same guns.

Protection - A Spartans energy shield offer a fraction of a second of protection from small arms fire in gameplay. In lore I think this is even less since an Elites shield only protect from 3 bullets. (Incidentally what exactly is the point of those shields if they only protect you from three bullets?)

Mobility - Spartans are extremely fast and don't tire. This also makes them extremely accurate.

So basically the Spartans only really exceed in the final category. Which is pretty much reflected in the books and in the games. If you just try to wade through enemies like a Space Marine from 40k even Grunts can and would kill you. The vast bulk of fighting relies on you quickly and efficiently taking down the enemy before they can respond with accurate fire and rapid movements. In the books, even the Spartan 2's get injured and killed by mundane weapons like Plasma Pistols and Plasma Rifles. This suggests that their armour and shields are mostly ineffective.

Incidentally, if you compare this to the advantages of a Space Marine:

Firepower - Armed with a boltgun that is vastly superior to a lasgun in every single way.
Protection - Power Armor that makes the wielder immune to most smallarms with solid protection even against heavy weapons.
Mobility - Marines are extremely fast and don't tire. This also makes them extremely accurate.

Basically Spartans are a problem because the Covenant and Prometheans aren't able to hit them. But they don't actually provide an increase in firepower or protection.

So why exactly does the UNSC invest huge amounts of money and material in this project if one Spartan is essentially just another Assault Rifle? You could probably train and equip a division of ODST's instead of one Spartan; they killed the same amount of Covenant in Halo: ODST as the Chief. So unless you argue the entire game wasn't canon, then Spartans are a bit of a waste of money.
Spartans are better trained and better equipped, and have extensive augmentations to increase strength and reaction time.

How many marines have you seen 1v1 a Hunter and win.

And gameplay is a bad initial point of reference. It's better to go by other mediums to determine actual capabilities instead of gameplay.
Comparing Halo to Warhammer 40k is like comparing a .22 to a .50, it's just not gonna work. Warhammer is way too OP compared to the more grounded Halo franchise.

But yeah, as Darkslayer stated above: Armor, training, and augmentations are was make Spartans better and mkre valuable.
The same reason we spend millions on SF in the real world. they do things that other people can't.

The rookie was special.. and 1 out of how many marines/ODST's in the entire war? Honestly stuff like that happening (even with Spartans to an extent) is simply a by product of game mechanics if your going for absolute realism

Firepower does not make a difference... its how its used.. a regular competent 11B with a pistol could probably beat a civilian with a machine gun (given the proper terrain).

Body armor only protects troops from maybe one to two bullets (if its in the same area). But we still invest in them because its better then training up another person in the gorilla war the military is currently in..

Mobility is literally one of the most important aspect of tactics/strategy.... if you have that you really don;t need much else as long as you have "decent" weapons.

They were also a highly effective propaganda tool.
You forget that Spartans are also tactical geniuses, one and all. They can look at a problem, figure out combat solutions, implement those solutions effectively, and then get out of the danger area without slowing or stopping at once.
As Chief Mendez said; they can do the impossible.

Also, yeah. Space Marines are a totally different thing all together. Halo and 40k do not mix. Like at all.
Though if you want to compair other universes I can assure you that, aside from 40k, a Spartan would easily handle whatever other foes are out there. Star Wars and Mass Effect would get stomped pretty hard for sure.
2
To know the Lore is to know Halo
"Dont be spoiled, dont start a fight. Always be careful, here at night. Because the Spartans might come, in suits that weigh half a ton. And they'll steal from you all you gots, just like they did from Colonel Watts."
I am not exactly sure how or why Spartans are so effective.

Firepower - A Spartan has no more fire power than can be given to any UNSC Marine. They use exactly the same guns.

Protection - A Spartans energy shield offer a fraction of a second of protection from small arms fire in gameplay. In lore I think this is even less since an Elites shield only protect from 3 bullets. (Incidentally what exactly is the point of those shields if they only protect you from three bullets?)

Mobility - Spartans are extremely fast and don't tire. This also makes them extremely accurate.

So basically the Spartans only really exceed in the final category. Which is pretty much reflected in the books and in the games. If you just try to wade through enemies like a Space Marine from 40k even Grunts can and would kill you. The vast bulk of fighting relies on you quickly and efficiently taking down the enemy before they can respond with accurate fire and rapid movements. In the books, even the Spartan 2's get injured and killed by mundane weapons like Plasma Pistols and Plasma Rifles. This suggests that their armour and shields are mostly ineffective.

Incidentally, if you compare this to the advantages of a Space Marine:

Firepower - Armed with a boltgun that is vastly superior to a lasgun in every single way.
Protection - Power Armor that makes the wielder immune to most smallarms with solid protection even against heavy weapons.
Mobility - Marines are extremely fast and don't tire. This also makes them extremely accurate.

Basically Spartans are a problem because the Covenant and Prometheans aren't able to hit them. But they don't actually provide an increase in firepower or protection.

So why exactly does the UNSC invest huge amounts of money and material in this project if one Spartan is essentially just another Assault Rifle? You could probably train and equip a division of ODST's instead of one Spartan; they killed the same amount of Covenant in Halo: ODST as the Chief. So unless you argue the entire game wasn't canon, then Spartans are a bit of a waste of money.
What makes the Spartans so effective is the combination of traits, the same way Master Chief's combination of abilities makes him the best of the Spartans, even though he isn't #1 at any single trait.

Spartans make better use of the same guns because they are better equipped to put each bullet exactly where it will do the most damage. I remember in one case Master Chief takes off at a full sprint and kills a whole line of Jackals in cover with one bullet each from his magnum, something no Marine would be capable of.

Protection: Spartans generally only need the shield to block a few bullets because they're fast enough to get out of the line of fire in that amount of time. When Master Chief first tried out his Mjolnir with Cortana, he found that he was actually able to dodge some of the bullets.

The Spartans' speed and skill are a major factor in how they out-perform the Marines in every category.

Spartans are more akin to 40k's Vindicare Assassins than they are to Space Marines, except that they're overcoming impossible odds with mundane weapons instead of the most expensive rifles in the galaxy. Spartans weren't designed to fight like Space Marines, and in all honesty, given the Space Marines' weakness to plasma, and the lack of shields on most of them, they'd likely fall pretty quickly to Covenant forces if they tried to tank against Fuel Rod Cannons and the unending waves of the Grunts' plasma barrage.

Yes, I referred to the Grunts' Plasma Pistols as being effective against Space Marines. Covenant Plasma is far more powerful in the novels than it is depicted in game mechanics, and the exact balance of game mechanics isn't considered canonical, which means the novels' depictions holds as the standard, and Covenant Plasma is known to vaporize limbs and turn damp soil into molten, glassy holes.

The Space Marine's Bolter is essentially a rapid-fire version of the UNSC's Railgun, and while the increase in firing speed makes the Bolter the superior weapon of the two, this does mean that the UNSC can outfit basic marines to be able to kill Space Marines, given that Bolters are effective against their armor, and in some cutscenes they're even being dropped with individual shots as if the armor weren't there.

Sure Space Marine Armor is very tanky, but it is established that it is weak against high-intensity Plasma, which is the majority of what the Covenant uses. So the Space Marines may be fine against Needler rounds, or even (possibly but not guaranteed) be able to turn away shots from Beam Rifles, but the plasma will roast them right through.

I haven't read much of 40k's novels, so I'll take the fans' word on it that Space Marines are fast, because in the cutscenes they move like rusty behemoths. compared to Spartans in the majority of their cutscenes.

Why the UNSC spent so much on Spartans: it is because a Spartan is more effective at turning a loss into a win than an entire Frigate would be. Spartans are assassins, and they eliminate/capture the targets most vital for UNSC victory, that the UNSC literally couldn't eliminate/acquire any other way. That is why the Spartans (specifically the Spartan 2s) are a bargain, even at the steep price the UNSC paid.
JNDreher wrote:
I am not exactly sure how or why Spartans are so effective.

Firepower - A Spartan has no more fire power than can be given to any UNSC Marine. They use exactly the same guns.

Protection - A Spartans energy shield offer a fraction of a second of protection from small arms fire in gameplay. In lore I think this is even less since an Elites shield only protect from 3 bullets. (Incidentally what exactly is the point of those shields if they only protect you from three bullets?)

Mobility - Spartans are extremely fast and don't tire. This also makes them extremely accurate.

So basically the Spartans only really exceed in the final category. Which is pretty much reflected in the books and in the games. If you just try to wade through enemies like a Space Marine from 40k even Grunts can and would kill you. The vast bulk of fighting relies on you quickly and efficiently taking down the enemy before they can respond with accurate fire and rapid movements. In the books, even the Spartan 2's get injured and killed by mundane weapons like Plasma Pistols and Plasma Rifles. This suggests that their armour and shields are mostly ineffective.

Incidentally, if you compare this to the advantages of a Space Marine:

Firepower - Armed with a boltgun that is vastly superior to a lasgun in every single way.
Protection - Power Armor that makes the wielder immune to most smallarms with solid protection even against heavy weapons.
Mobility - Marines are extremely fast and don't tire. This also makes them extremely accurate.

Basically Spartans are a problem because the Covenant and Prometheans aren't able to hit them. But they don't actually provide an increase in firepower or protection.

So why exactly does the UNSC invest huge amounts of money and material in this project if one Spartan is essentially just another Assault Rifle? You could probably train and equip a division of ODST's instead of one Spartan; they killed the same amount of Covenant in Halo: ODST as the Chief. So unless you argue the entire game wasn't canon, then Spartans are a bit of a waste of money.
What makes the Spartans so effective is the combination of traits, the same way Master Chief's combination of abilities makes him the best of the Spartans, even though he isn't #1 at any single trait.

Spartans make better use of the same guns because they are better equipped to put each bullet exactly where it will do the most damage. I remember in one case Master Chief takes off at a full sprint and kills a whole line of Jackals in cover with one bullet each from his magnum, something no Marine would be capable of.

Protection: Spartans generally only need the shield to block a few bullets because they're fast enough to get out of the line of fire in that amount of time. When Master Chief first tried out his Mjolnir with Cortana, he found that he was actually able to dodge some of the bullets.

The Spartans' speed and skill are a major factor in how they out-perform the Marines in every category.

Spartans are more akin to 40k's Vindicare Assassins than they are to Space Marines, except that they're overcoming impossible odds with mundane weapons instead of the most expensive rifles in the galaxy. Spartans weren't designed to fight like Space Marines, and in all honesty, given the Space Marines' weakness to plasma, and the lack of shields on most of them, they'd likely fall pretty quickly to Covenant forces if they tried to tank against Fuel Rod Cannons and the unending waves of the Grunts' plasma barrage.

Yes, I referred to the Grunts' Plasma Pistols as being effective against Space Marines. Covenant Plasma is far more powerful in the novels than it is depicted in game mechanics, and the exact balance of game mechanics isn't considered canonical, which means the novels' depictions holds as the standard, and Covenant Plasma is known to vaporize limbs and turn damp soil into molten, glassy holes.

The Space Marine's Bolter is essentially a rapid-fire version of the UNSC's Railgun, and while the increase in firing speed makes the Bolter the superior weapon of the two, this does mean that the UNSC can outfit basic marines to be able to kill Space Marines, given that Bolters are effective against their armor, and in some cutscenes they're even being dropped with individual shots as if the armor weren't there.

Sure Space Marine Armor is very tanky, but it is established that it is weak against high-intensity Plasma, which is the majority of what the Covenant uses. So the Space Marines may be fine against Needler rounds, or even (possibly but not guaranteed) be able to turn away shots from Beam Rifles, but the plasma will roast them right through.

I haven't read much of 40k's novels, so I'll take the fans' word on it that Space Marines are fast, because in the cutscenes they move like rusty behemoths. compared to Spartans in the majority of their cutscenes.

Why the UNSC spent so much on Spartans: it is because a Spartan is more effective at turning a loss into a win than an entire Frigate would be. Spartans are assassins, and they eliminate/capture the targets most vital for UNSC victory, that the UNSC literally couldn't eliminate/acquire any other way. That is why the Spartans (specifically the Spartan 2s) are a bargain, even at the steep price the UNSC paid.
(Borrows this for future reference cause holy crap is it succinct)
0
To know the Lore is to know Halo
"Dont be spoiled, dont start a fight. Always be careful, here at night. Because the Spartans might come, in suits that weigh half a ton. And they'll steal from you all you gots, just like they did from Colonel Watts."
Theres a few issues:

How come more technologically advanced societies like the Covenant and Prometheans aren't able to produce soldiers better than Spartans? Shouldn't something like a Grunt Goblin or a Promethean Knight be able to kill them pretty easily? If investing in this line of technology is so bountiful then why are humans the only ones who do it?

Firepower matters because if you follow the reasoning that three bullets can kill an elite minor then logically that means that a marine is able to kill almost all Covenant Soldiers like standard soldiers today. If you argue that the gameplay doesn't reflect the reality then it follows that Hunters and Knights must be also significantly less able to withstand human gunfire than depicted in game. So surely if basic marines are that effective then its a massive waste of resources to invest in genetic engineering and power armor. Far better to equip and train a few thousand marines who can kill far more stuff. If UNSC firepower can kill any Covenant or Promethean enemies then theres no benefit in investing in a delivery system.

As you point out, this means energy shields and Spartan only offer comparable protection to modern day Kevlar. If each suit costs as much as a warship then this is monstrously expensive to equip an infantry soldier.

All the special forces stuff could easily be achieved by far cheaper ODST's. Also we didn't just play as the Rookie in that game, we played as many different ODST's who killed hundreds of Covenant soldiers. It follows that if UNSC guns can kill anything the galaxy can throw at them and Spartan protection is no better than Kevlar then theres no real benefit beyond a marked improvement in mobility. But then you don't need a single man who can kill a dozen Jackals when an ODST fireteam can do the exact same thing for a fraction of the cost.

To go back to 40k. The books put immense stress on the fact that an Imperial Guardsman simply isn't a match for an Ork, or an Eldar, or a Genestealer, or a Daemon. Which is why Space Marines are a big deal, they can and do fight these things on an equal footing. However the Halo Universe avoids doing this and it creates inconsistencies. If a UNSC marine can kill an elite or knight in 3 bullets then why is humanity in any danger? Why do we NEED Spartans? In 40k theres no question why the Imperium needs Space Marines because the danger is too great for normal Joe Guardsman to deal with.
Theres a few issues:

How come more technologically advanced societies like the Covenant and Prometheans aren't able to produce soldiers better than Spartans? Shouldn't something like a Grunt Goblin or a Promethean Knight be able to kill them pretty easily? If investing in this line of technology is so bountiful then why are humans the only ones who do it?

Firepower matters because if you follow the reasoning that three bullets can kill an elite minor then logically that means that a marine is able to kill almost all Covenant Soldiers like standard soldiers today. If you argue that the gameplay doesn't reflect the reality then it follows that Hunters and Knights must be also significantly less able to withstand human gunfire than depicted in game. So surely if basic marines are that effective then its a massive waste of resources to invest in genetic engineering and power armor. Far better to equip and train a few thousand marines who can kill far more stuff. If UNSC firepower can kill any Covenant or Promethean enemies then theres no benefit in investing in a delivery system.

As you point out, this means energy shields and Spartan only offer comparable protection to modern day Kevlar. If each suit costs as much as a warship then this is monstrously expensive to equip an infantry soldier.

All the special forces stuff could easily be achieved by far cheaper ODST's. Also we didn't just play as the Rookie in that game, we played as many different ODST's who killed hundreds of Covenant soldiers. It follows that if UNSC guns can kill anything the galaxy can throw at them and Spartan protection is no better than Kevlar then theres no real benefit beyond a marked improvement in mobility. But then you don't need a single man who can kill a dozen Jackals when an ODST fireteam can do the exact same thing for a fraction of the cost.

To go back to 40k. The books put immense stress on the fact that an Imperial Guardsman simply isn't a match for an Ork, or an Eldar, or a Genestealer, or a Daemon. Which is why Space Marines are a big deal, they can and do fight these things on an equal footing. However the Halo Universe avoids doing this and it creates inconsistencies. If a UNSC marine can kill an elite or knight in 3 bullets then why is humanity in any danger? Why do we NEED Spartans? In 40k theres no question why the Imperium needs Space Marines because the danger is too great for normal Joe Guardsman to deal with.
The covenant didn't focus on modifying their soldiers like humanity did because it was the elites in charge of defense and they believe that doctors are dishonorable. I can see this stigma carrying over to the thought of enhancing elites through surgery and making it taboo. The prophets didnt care but they were dying off and didnt have a ton of good subjects to boost up. I'd say the Grunt Goblin is their answer to all of the mechs that the UNSC has started to throw out there. One of the books mentions that they were designed mainly to move stuff around and were being weaponized.

The shielding in the novels is way stronger against bullets than in gameplay. Spartan shields drop quickly because they're normally hit by plasma but there are tons of examples where it takes quite a few bullets to drop the shield. Hunter armor is basically invulnerable to any direct weapon fire and it takes squads of marines to flank and try to get their backside with grenades and rockets. You won't see an ODST kill a hunter in hand to hand combat but a spartan has. Gameplay and the more recent cutscenes of knights and elites makes them seem way easier to kill than they are. Ghosts of Onyx had guardian sentinels that could wipe out steel bunkers and near impenetrable shields so you would think that the knights would be better equipped. I think its just the "rule of cool" to have protagonists one or two shot enemies with a pistol.

As for why bother with the suits? The armor has way more benefits than just shields. They can support smart AI's, take a huge beating (even without their shields up some small arms can be deflected), and they multiply the user's strength/speed, are vacuum sealed for space ops, etc. The cost goes into their versatility. You want your top soldiers to be able to deal with anything.

I don't think its a great idea to look at ODST gameplay for examples of how great they were compared to spartans. Games tend to add a ton more enemies in areas to keep players engaged. I doubt the Rookie and friends each bagged 20-40 brute kills each when we know from the novels that the brutes can take multiple sniper rounds and keep rushing. If there was to be a novel adaptation of the ODST game then it would focus waaaay more on stealth and ambush tactics...they had the silenced smg's for a reason.

Don't know a thing about 40k but the average marine won't be downing an elite or knight unless they get lucky or overwhelm the target. Heck, with similar training and equal footing, a grunt could probably give a marine trouble.
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Oh and new tech always costs more initially. Its obvious that due to the spartan programs that humanity is moving to enhancing more and more soldiers as it gets cheaper and easier to do. I wouldn't be surprised that even the ODST's get upgraded with shields or SPI armor which was designed for spartans originally.
Ive heard it takes only takes three bullets to get through an elites shields. That should mean a marine should have no more issue killing an elite than any other soldier. It's such a trivial amount of protection that it's impact is negligible.

If it only takes a few bullets then it should also only take a few to kill a Knight or Brute since in the game these are roughly equivalent. I mean if cutscenes show Vale killing a Promethean soldier with a burst of SMG fire; that's probably representative. Of course I don't understand how a Terminator is phased by a small calibre machine gun but I mean if they're that weak Iam not sure why the people on Meridian were worried.
His trainment, poweups and armors
Theres a few issues:

How come more technologically advanced societies like the Covenant and Prometheans aren't able to produce soldiers better than Spartans? Shouldn't something like a Grunt Goblin or a Promethean Knight be able to kill them pretty easily? If investing in this line of technology is so bountiful then why are humans the only ones who do it?

Firepower matters because if you follow the reasoning that three bullets can kill an elite minor then logically that means that a marine is able to kill almost all Covenant Soldiers like standard soldiers today. If you argue that the gameplay doesn't reflect the reality then it follows that Hunters and Knights must be also significantly less able to withstand human gunfire than depicted in game. So surely if basic marines are that effective then its a massive waste of resources to invest in genetic engineering and power armor. Far better to equip and train a few thousand marines who can kill far more stuff. If UNSC firepower can kill any Covenant or Promethean enemies then theres no benefit in investing in a delivery system.

As you point out, this means energy shields and Spartan only offer comparable protection to modern day Kevlar. If each suit costs as much as a warship then this is monstrously expensive to equip an infantry soldier.

All the special forces stuff could easily be achieved by far cheaper ODST's. Also we didn't just play as the Rookie in that game, we played as many different ODST's who killed hundreds of Covenant soldiers. It follows that if UNSC guns can kill anything the galaxy can throw at them and Spartan protection is no better than Kevlar then theres no real benefit beyond a marked improvement in mobility. But then you don't need a single man who can kill a dozen Jackals when an ODST fireteam can do the exact same thing for a fraction of the cost.

To go back to 40k. The books put immense stress on the fact that an Imperial Guardsman simply isn't a match for an Ork, or an Eldar, or a Genestealer, or a Daemon. Which is why Space Marines are a big deal, they can and do fight these things on an equal footing. However the Halo Universe avoids doing this and it creates inconsistencies. If a UNSC marine can kill an elite or knight in 3 bullets then why is humanity in any danger? Why do we NEED Spartans? In 40k theres no question why the Imperium needs Space Marines because the danger is too great for normal Joe Guardsman to deal with.
Remember that Spartans we're not supposed to be used against the Covenant, but the Insurrection. This of course changed. Also, you're just comparing gameplay mechanics to real-life, maybe using lore. You're forgetting the fact that Spartans aren't anything like generic marines. They are super-soldiers who can do anything much more effectively than a normal human. They can quickly adapt strategies no matter where they are, can quickly understand how new guns work, etc. Remember that 1 Spartan turned the tide of a losing war. No Marine or even ODST could do this. And you also say that, the characters we play with in every Halo games makes it look like the war is easy and that the UNSC is losing for no reason. The reason the enemies are easy to kill is because of gameplay purposes. If they we're as tough as they are in lore, it would make them harder than what it needs to be or even impossible. I don't think the Knights would die by 6-7 bullets, yes, but would you prefer going face-to-face and punch it until it dies, but risking to die by it's blade (high chance)? Or have "balanced" gameplay mechanics to not make the game much harder or impossible? This is this for a reason, and gameplay is not canon.
I've seen you in another thread "is UNSC tech too primitive" and the way you speak makes me wonder if you are a true Halo fan. You speak like if you're against the franchise and ignoring the other's explanations. You compare Halo to other franchises when you should use the science in the Universe itself. Not come with overpowered marines that can tank alot of shots before dropping to the ground. Damn, you even go ahead and use elbows or whatever from 600 years ago. Just because it's the future doesn't mean that we need laser guns or overpowered cannons of mass destruction or vehicles that can destroy warships, cruisers or whatever.
You also say that The Imperium from 40k needs Space Marines because the danger is too great for normal Joe Guardsman to deal with. Don't you think the same goes for the Spartans? They're needed for a reason. And you're ignoring that\those reason(s).
There is a lot more to combat than holding a gun and shooting it at the enemy. If spartans were real then they would be seen as super heroes in the eyes of a normal human. You are basically comparing a normal soldier to Captain America.
The only reason you kill Covies as easily in Halo 3 ODST is because of gameplay. Spartans are massively more effective than standard infantry or unaugmented special operations forces because they're capable of things that normal humans physically are not capable of. They get the best training, the best armor, the best weapons all for different types of missions than what ODSTs or other UNSC SOF carry out.

The same question can can be asked for real life SOF- why does the US have JSOC when the Rangers can get stuff done just as well? The answer is simple, JSOC prepares for and is equipped for different operations, ones that are usually a lot more sensitive or risky.
Spartans used to be the best until halo 4 but there is that many no one cares about master chief or blue team any more because they are nothing special the only way to get rid of this is to destroy the infinity.
Now that political situation in the galaxy is a lot more complicated spec ops teams are even more important. Small group of spartans can strike a target stealthly and tear trough enemy forces if needed.

Oh and I don't think you mentioned it but they can move like ghosts even in their heavy armor right? It's so long when I read the books but I remember SIIs being very stealthy.
Remember that Spartans we're not supposed to be used against the Covenant, but the Insurrection. This of course changed. Also, you're just comparing gameplay mechanics to real-life, maybe using lore. You're forgetting the fact that Spartans aren't anything like generic marines. They are super-soldiers who can do anything much more effectively than a normal human. They can quickly adapt strategies no matter where they are, can quickly understand how new guns work, etc. Remember that 1 Spartan turned the tide of a losing war. No Marine or even ODST could do this. And you also say that, the characters we play with in every Halo games makes it look like the war is easy and that the UNSC is losing for no reason. The reason the enemies are easy to kill is because of gameplay purposes. If they we're as tough as they are in lore, it would make them harder than what it needs to be or even impossible. I don't think the Knights would die by 6-7 bullets, yes, but would you prefer going face-to-face and punch it until it dies, but risking to die by it's blade (high chance)? Or have "balanced" gameplay mechanics to not make the game much harder or impossible? This is this for a reason, and gameplay is not canon.
I've seen you in another thread "is UNSC tech too primitive" and the way you speak makes me wonder if you are a true Halo fan. You speak like if you're against the franchise and ignoring the other's explanations. You compare Halo to other franchises when you should use the science in the Universe itself. Not come with overpowered marines that can tank alot of shots before dropping to the ground. Damn, you even go ahead and use elbows or whatever from 600 years ago. Just because it's the future doesn't mean that we need laser guns or overpowered cannons of mass destruction or vehicles that can destroy warships, cruisers or whatever.
You also say that The Imperium from 40k needs Space Marines because the danger is too great for normal Joe Guardsman to deal with. Don't you think the same goes for the Spartans? They're needed for a reason. And you're ignoring that\those reason(s).
That's my point though. A few people brought this up here and in other threads. But the lore actually makes all the enemies you fight much easier to kill than in gameplay. It only three bullets from an assault rifle to go through an elites shields per the books. In the game itself, you have to empty most of a clip and on some elites have to make repeated headshots with powerful marksman rifles. So it stands to reason that enemies we haven't seen depicted in the novels are similarly much easier to kill. I haven't read escalation, so I would have to ask if in that, it only takes 2 or 3 bullets to destroy a knight.

If gameplay isn't canon then how do you explain all the cutscenes which reflect gameplay and what exactly are all these writers using as their source material if not the game itself? If we see Forge kill an Arbiter in close combat, marines from Halo Wars handily beating elites one on one, ODST's dog piling a Chieftain and Spartans using the same guns as normal soldiers to effortlessly kill various elite and Promethean enemies in Halo 5 then we're left with the only conclusion being that marines can do the job of Spartans. Maybe with less acrobatics and ground pounding; but that's not where most of the killing comes from. But unless you dismiss the entire Halo series as not canon these are all legitimate examples of what I am talking about.

For example, if it takes 3 bullets from an assault rifle to kill an elite, then how much firepower can a marine with a gatling gun put out? Doesn't that mean one of those could throw back an entire Covenant army?

Technically we do have laser guns and giant railgun cannons in the Halo UNSC. We're just still using AK47's 600 years in the future for some reason.

Well that's my point about the Space Marine comparison. I could never imagine a normal guardsman killing a chaos lord with a knife in close combat or a bunch of guardsmen dog piling a chaos space marine and winning. The intro of Halo Wars where you see the UNSC beating elites one on one and clubbing them to the ground; would never happen in 40k. If they do kill Space Marines it is almost always under exceptional circumstances and made extremely clear that this an incredible achievement. In most cases marines bulldoze entire armies that outnumber them thousands to one, even when they possess supporting tanks and artillery; such as the book Vengeful Spirit. Clearly in the Halo verse the gap between a normal marine and a Spartan is significantly closer than in 40k. UNSC soldiers can kill elites, they can kill brutes, they can kill Prometheans and do so without having to outnumber their opponent, outgun their opponent or have some other circumstantial advantage like the Imperial Guard need to win.

I wouldn't be here if I didn't like the Halo series.
The Spartans have received the most advanced training, learned the best military strategy, and had augmentations to enhance their bodies. This allowed them to use the Mjolnir armor, which offers superior abilities in combat. The UNSC needs spartans to handle missions that are impossible for any other military personel.
We have no idea how strong personal shields are in canon. Their strenght hasn't been presented consistently in the fiction so we can't br sure about that. Also spartans were amazingly good at not getting killed by enemy fire even before they got shields.
The Spartans have received the most advanced training, learned the best military strategy, and had augmentations to enhance their bodies. This allowed them to use the Mjolnir armor, which offers superior abilities in combat. The UNSC needs spartans to handle missions that are impossible for any other military personel.
Such as?

All UNSC soldiers would receive similar training and operate with similar strategy. Part of the same army after all. Augmentations of physical strength are neat but the vast bulk of combat isn't at close quarters so this is irrelevant. A marine gunline would suppress any infantry charge by sword wielding elites if it only takes three bullets to kill one from an assault rifle. It would be like Pickets Charge if the Union had machine guns.

In Halo Wars and Halo Wars 2 a UNSC army, vastly outnumbered, manages to hold its own and triumph against the Covenant, Banished, Flood and Forerunners. If they are that successful and if that's how effective just one ship is, then surely they don't need Spartans and can achieve the vast bulk of military objectives on their own? The same can be said of ODST, even if the specifics of gameplay and kill count aren't canon. In fact in the final cutscene you see a load of brutes running away from a gunline of battle rifles and scorpions. Red Team plays an important role. But its not an indispensable role. They could have sent up a squad of ODST's and set up a chaingun at that door and the end result would have been the same. Also applies for when the elite charge across that bridge. I mean if it takes three bullets to kill one elite, then in theory one guy with his assault rifle could have killed all 20 of those elites with one clip. So it might look impressive with all the acrobatics but its not necessary if a few steady assault rifles can kill the same number of enemies.
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