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What If Halo Infinite isn't actually "Halo 6"

OP Annex Angel

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Been thinking about this for a while. So far we haven't gotten any news on how we transition from Corrupted Cortana with guardians and the created, to Banished on a Halo ring who have a history where they defeated Chief and thought they had killed him (as well as Locke, assuming info from the one Megaconstrux figure). A thought that has been brewing around in my head, is what If Halo Infinite isn't actually the end of the second trilogy but the beginning of the third? Unless Halo Infinite is one long--Yoink- game where we wrap up the end of this trilogy and start a new banished chapter then I don't think we will get a satisfying closure to the trilogy, or enough gameplay to really be invested into fighting the new enemy. I hope this isn't another case of "read all the books and extra content to understand the story" situation as we got with Halo 5 as I hope the company has learned from there mistakes. Another thing that drives my point is the fact Halo Infinite Is a main Title Halo game that doesn't have a number associated with it. The last Halo game to do that was "Halo Reach" and that was a time jump from the end of Halo 3 to before Halo Combat evolved. There is about a two-year time jump between Halo Wars 2 ending and Halo Infinite I believe? The original trilogy is a testament that we don't need much time before or after a game to work with, to make something great, so two years in-game time would be enough time for an entire other game. Hell wasn't the entire original trilogy during a year or two? What if instead, this was a time jump to a new trilogy? This could be a tactic done by 343i to get more new audiences and community invested in Halo before they finish the trilogy that was very controversial and not as popular compared to the original trilogy or Bungie games. I am aware the company wanted to stray away from using a number in the halo titles but still a compelling theory. What are your guy's thoughts?
Well I have read that the book Halo Bad Blood covers some of the events after Halo 5. Does it lead up to the events in Halo infinite? I couldn't tell you because I haven't read it but I am thinking about ordering it.
LethalQ wrote:
Well I have read that the book Halo Bad Blood covers some of the events after Halo 5. Does it lead up to the events in Halo infinite? I couldn't tell you because I haven't read it but I am thinking about ordering it.
The plot is focused more around a group of characters as opposed to the narrative Halo 5 started rolling with. Specifically if I recall it focuses on Spartan Buck and his squadmates of Alpha Nine.
LethalQ wrote:
Well I have read that the book Halo Bad Blood covers some of the events after Halo 5. Does it lead up to the events in Halo infinite? I couldn't tell you because I haven't read it but I am thinking about ordering it.
The plot is focused more around a group of characters as opposed to the narrative Halo 5 started rolling with. Specifically if I recall it focuses on Spartan Buck and his squadmates of Alpha Nine.
I have read it, It actually begins from the perspective of Buck starting at the very end of Halo 5 where Locke and Chief walk out of the pelican to greet Halsey for sake of no spoilers I won't tell you the end but, It can't be leading up to the events of Halo infinite as infinite is early 2560... it may however cover what is happening with the main UNSC crew while HW2 is taking place :)
Honestly the reclaimer saga is such a mess I'm betting they just drop the 'new trilogy/saga' idea. The story changed villain twice and was wildly unpopular. Even if Infinite ends up being the best halo game ever....why would you then go back and spend resources on a wildly unpopular narrative (which given infinite's 10 year plan, would mean they abandoned the plot for a decade).

Not to mention, given how cortana has been teased for infinite a few times, we'll already know her fate. So we'd be playing 6 to what...find out the story the oh so popular Locke and company? Assuming they aren't in infinite at some point.

They'd be better off just moving on and making "Infinite 2" or making a spin off people actually want, like an ODST2 or an elite game.
LethalQ wrote:
Well I have read that the book Halo Bad Blood covers some of the events after Halo 5. Does it lead up to the events in Halo infinite? I couldn't tell you because I haven't read it but I am thinking about ordering it.
The plot is focused more around a group of characters as opposed to the narrative Halo 5 started rolling with. Specifically if I recall it focuses on Spartan Buck and his squadmates of Alpha Nine.
Yeah odds are the book Bad Blood doesn't tie into infinite since who ever wrote it didnt know what infinite was going to be about. Also since the Banished seem to be in infinite it's Halo wars 2 may tie into Infinite more so than H5.
Honestly the reclaimer saga is such a mess I'm betting they just drop the 'new trilogy/saga' idea. The story changed villain twice and was wildly unpopular. Even if Infinite ends up being the best halo game ever....why would you then go back and spend resources on a wildly unpopular narrative (which given infinite's 10 year plan, would mean they abandoned the plot for a decade).

Not to mention, given how cortana has been teased for infinite a few times, we'll already know her fate. So we'd be playing 6 to what...find out the story the oh so popular Locke and company? Assuming they aren't in infinite at some point.

They'd be better off just moving on and making "Infinite 2" or making a spin off people actually want, like an ODST2 or an elite game.
Right, I see your point but maybe they can do that with the story?? Maybe they can go back and create a game that explains how locke was killed and shell out everyone on Osiris in a new game? or we get the Marine spin off game we have always wanted set in the that time period?? the possibilities are endless. It's just wildly un professional to not at least give a bad reason (halo 4 chief armor style change type explanation) than no reason at all as to why the story changed like it did.
It's just wildly un professional to not at least give a bad reason (halo 4 chief armor style change type explanation) than no reason at all as to why the story changed like it did.
I mean I agree, though there's no guaruntee that infinite won't address the fall of the Created in some way. We've seen very little of the campaign.
The master chief collection has a battle pass I think and I’m really worried that the “infinite” part of halo means it’s gonna have a battlepass because personally I don’t like battle passes they make me feel like I have to game and it takes the fun out of it
The master chief collection has a battle pass I think and I’m really worried that the “infinite” part of halo means it’s gonna have a battlepass because personally I don’t like battle passes they make me feel like I have to game and it takes the fun out of it
I wouldn't exactly call it a battle pass. If your referring to the "Seasons" we get in MCC, that's not a battle pass at all. You gain points for finishing achievements, and it's set up so you have enough achievements to unlock everything in each season. Its the closest thing we will probably get to being able to grind out our armor and I honestly prefer it that way. Also yeah, you kind of do have to sink in hours to the game to unlock cool armor and cosmetics. I think it's better than everything being behind a paywall such as the case is in many games. Halo 5's Req is even fine now, as upon playing a few games (if you do well in them) you can easily earn enough req points to purchase Gold packs and other special event reqs without paying any cash, as instead of money your more or less paying with your time spent on the game...
I think Halo Infinite is the accumulation of a games company that has been in crisis management mode for over the past 5 years, caused by a cumulative cascade of increasingly bad story telling decisions stretching all the way back to the initial announcement of Halo 4.

I remember around the time Halo 4 was announced, 343 said this would not be a traditional trilogy but a ‘saga’ as the story they wanted to tell they did not want to limit to a 3 game arc. While I thought this was a good move initially at the time, I think now the problem is 343 set a place and a time for the Reclaimer series to start (2557, Forward Unto Dawn, Requiem), but I don’t think they ever set down in concrete time, place or event that would conclude the saga ,which meant they had no overall direction from the start. This gave 343 something of a false sense of security in that they could course correct the story as many times as they needed without having to worry about conforming to a set ending, so they didn’t reap the benefits of long term forward planning and constantly bit off more then they could chew in terms of what they intended to deliver. This led to a series underwhelming finales, flat characters, abandoned plot arcs and increasingly poor choices in terms of narrative direction to take the story in.

343 started of with a very solid location and villain for Halo 4 (Requiem & Didact) but then made the retrospectively bad decision to split their development time for single-player aspect between the main campaign and Spartan Ops because they thought that would make the game more enjoyable. As a result we ended up with a drastically shortened campaign that killed off and retired the most interesting characters and story ideas, and a weird free DLC that wasn’t terrible but few people were satisfied with, the narrative of which had to be carried by fairly flat and uninteresting characters. (Oddly enough both Jul and Palmer both fall into this category in that they were never intended to fulfil the role of complex hero and villain, but that’s what they became in Spartan Ops for good or bad)

The Janus Key wasn’t the best ending I’ve seen to the first act of a sequel story but it wasn’t the worst I’ve seen either. Unfortunately I think by that stage 343’s false sense of security was at its height and they made the fateful decision to course correct by scrapping the Janus Key arc and deciding to use Halo 5 to introduce a new set of characters, faction and story without actually considering how badly those characters and story may be received, which would turn out to exceed all expectations for the worst.

I think 343 are now at this odd cross-roads where they know people disliked Halo 5’s story so severely it stops them taking Halo 6 where they wanted to take the story at the end of that game, but at the same time they know they have to do...’something’ or else their paying for a cash cow they can’t make money off.

I think they’ve latched onto the ‘Banished’ faction as this seems to be one of the few story ideas that been universally well received by the majority of fans who played Halo Wars 2, hoping they can replicate the same success for Halo Infinite. If I had to guess, I’d imagine the ‘Created’ will be almost entirely exist off-screen for the entirety of Halo 6’s campaign with the exception of the ending, where there will be some kind of last minute power struggle (again mostly off-screen) between the ‘Created’ and Banished only for some type of Dues Ex Machina to occur which will result in the UNSC retaking control of Zeta Halo and both hostile organisations being severely weakened or else conveniently ceasing to exist. I think after that, 343 will probably look to start a new ‘adventure’ in the saga, though I’d personally prefer if they just rewound the clock back too Halo 4 and started a kind off alternative Reclaimer saga using the lessons learned to ensure they implement long term story planning with professional novelists who have actually done best selling Sci-Fi series themselves. (They certainly have the budget for this)

Maybe then we could get the Lovecraftian horror Sci-Fi opera Bungie and 343 initially intended, with the dual threat of the return of the Precursors and Flood forcing humanity and all the former Covenant species and revived Forerunners into a last ditch alliance for the fate of the galaxy.
(Though that’s unlikely as it would violate the one rule of big corporations. Never acknowledge you’ve made a mistake, even when you have)

It's just wildly un professional to not at least give a bad reason (halo 4 chief armor style change type explanation) than no reason at all as to why the story changed like it did.
Slightly disagree with you here as far as visual changes to armour, weapons and vehicles go. This all comes under artistic licence which will change from game to game anyway, sometimes the worst but mostly for the better. As long as the gameplay and story is good, reasonable suspension of disbelief should mitigate any issues with what people see.

What annoys me is when 343 try to explain away Artistic licences changes with rushed explanation that hamper or outright contradict the lore. The nanite tech in the MJOLNIR is a prime example of this. Not every change in Artistic licence needs a reason to explain it.
timh1990 wrote:
I think Halo Infinite is the accumulation of a games company that has been in crisis management mode for over the past 5 years, caused by a cumulative cascade of increasingly bad story telling decisions stretching all the way back to the initial announcement of Halo 4.

I remember around the time Halo 4 was announced, 343 said this would not be a traditional trilogy but a ‘saga’ as the story they wanted to tell they did not want to limit to a 3 game arc. While I thought this was a good move initially at the time, I think now the problem is 343 set a place and a time for the Reclaimer series to start (2557, Forward Unto Dawn, Requiem), but I don’t think they ever set down in concrete time, place or event that would conclude the saga ,which meant they had no overall direction from the start. This gave 343 something of a false sense of security in that they could course correct the story as many times as they needed without having to worry about conforming to a set ending, so they didn’t reap the benefits of long term forward planning and constantly bit off more then they could chew in terms of what they intended to deliver. This led to a series underwhelming finales, flat characters, abandoned plot arcs and increasingly poor choices in terms of narrative direction to take the story in.

343 started of with a very solid location and villain for Halo 4 (Requiem & Didact) but then made the retrospectively bad decision to split their development time for single-player aspect between the main campaign and Spartan Ops because they thought that would make the game more enjoyable. As a result we ended up with a drastically shortened campaign that killed off and retired the most interesting characters and story ideas, and a weird free DLC that wasn’t terrible but few people were satisfied with, the narrative of which had to be carried by fairly flat and uninteresting characters. (Oddly enough both Jul and Palmer both fall into this category in that they were never intended to fulfil the role of complex hero and villain, but that’s what they became in Spartan Ops for good or bad)

The Janus Key wasn’t the best ending I’ve seen to the first act of a sequel story but it wasn’t the worst I’ve seen either. Unfortunately I think by that stage 343’s false sense of security was at its height and they made the fateful decision to course correct by scrapping the Janus Key arc and deciding to use Halo 5 to introduce a new set of characters, faction and story without actually considering how badly those characters and story may be received, which would turn out to exceed all expectations for the worst.

I think 343 are now at this odd cross-roads where they know people disliked Halo 5’s story so severely it stops them taking Halo 6 where they wanted to take the story at the end of that game, but at the same time they know they have to do...’something’ or else their paying for a cash cow they can’t make money off.

I think they’ve latched onto the ‘Banished’ faction as this seems to be one of the few story ideas that been universally well received by the majority of fans who played Halo Wars 2, hoping they can replicate the same success for Halo Infinite. If I had to guess, I’d imagine the ‘Created’ will be almost entirely exist off-screen for the entirety of Halo 6’s campaign with the exception of the ending, where there will be some kind of last minute power struggle (again mostly off-screen) between the ‘Created’ and Banished only for some type of Dues Ex Machina to occur which will result in the UNSC retaking control of Zeta Halo and both hostile organisations being severely weakened or else conveniently ceasing to exist. I think after that, 343 will probably look to start a new ‘adventure’ in the saga, though I’d personally prefer if they just rewound the clock back too Halo 4 and started a kind off alternative Reclaimer saga using the lessons learned to ensure they implement long term story planning with professional novelists who have actually done best selling Sci-Fi series themselves. (They certainly have the budget for this)

Maybe then we could get the Lovecraftian horror Sci-Fi opera Bungie and 343 initially intended, with the dual threat of the return of the Precursors and Flood forcing humanity and all the former Covenant species and revived Forerunners into a last ditch alliance for the fate of the galaxy.
(Though that’s unlikely as it would violate the one rule of big corporations. Never acknowledge you’ve made a mistake, even when you have)

It's just wildly un professional to not at least give a bad reason (halo 4 chief armor style change type explanation) than no reason at all as to why the story changed like it did.
Slightly disagree with you here as far as visual changes to armour, weapons and vehicles go. This all comes under artistic licence which will change from game to game anyway, sometimes the worst but mostly for the better. As long as the gameplay and story is good, reasonable suspension of disbelief should mitigate any issues with what people see.

What annoys me is when 343 try to explain away Artistic licences changes with rushed explanation that hamper or outright contradict the lore. The nanite tech in the MJOLNIR is a prime example of this. Not every change in Artistic licence needs a reason to explain it.
well damn.. I literally couldent have said it better myself lol
The master chief collection has a battle pass I think and I’m really worried that the “infinite” part of halo means it’s gonna have a battlepass because personally I don’t like battle passes they make me feel like I have to game and it takes the fun out of it
I wouldn't exactly call it a battle pass. If your referring to the "Seasons" we get in MCC, that's not a battle pass at all. You gain points for finishing achievements, and it's set up so you have enough achievements to unlock everything in each season. Its the closest thing we will probably get to being able to grind out our armor and I honestly prefer it that way. Also yeah, you kind of do have to sink in hours to the game to unlock cool armor and cosmetics. I think it's better than everything being behind a paywall such as the case is in many games. Halo 5's Req is even fine now, as upon playing a few games (if you do well in them) you can easily earn enough req points to purchase Gold packs and other special event reqs without paying any cash, as instead of money your more or less paying with your time spent on the game...
I didn’t mean to diss the game I haven’t played much of MCC I just seen that it had seasons. I mainly play halo 5 and I like the req system if they change it I won’t mind and I prefer that you can play it and get the stuff without pay walls. I just don’t like the idea of if you didn’t get it when it came out you will never get it. I understand that there’s armours and stuff for tournaments that I’ll never get but people don’t brag about having that kind of stuff. I just hate it when people get the game when it first came out have the “OG” cosmetics and claim to be better then other players because they have them.
I think timh1990 summed up 343’s choices, across the last decade of Halo stewardship pretty damn well.

As for how they plan to handle Infinite, I think they’ll treat 5 as a kind of Revenge of the Sith, with Cortana taking full control of the galaxy. Obviously by setting the game 2 years after the fact, it’s clear that 343 don’t want to wrap up that story so quickly.
Instead I think they will set the somewhat self-contained Infinite campaign in the new status quo of Cortana’s dictatorship, much like CE was in the Human-Covenant War.
The primary focus will be Chief and his fight with Escharum on Zeta Halo, while the ‘state of the galaxy’ will be slowly revealed, perhaps through interactions with older characters.

Looking forward, I think they will expand the game with new locations, telling more self contained narratives, that slowly build to an climax involving defeating Cortana. I think this is their 10 year plan, and I’d be down with it.
I think timh1990 summed up 343’s choices, across the last decade of Halo stewardship pretty damn well.

As for how they plan to handle Infinite, I think they’ll treat 5 as a kind of Revenge of the Sith, with Cortana taking full control of the galaxy. Obviously by setting the game 2 years after the fact, it’s clear that 343 don’t want to wrap up that story so quickly.
Instead I think they will set the somewhat self-contained Infinite campaign in the new status quo of Cortana’s dictatorship, much like CE was in the Human-Covenant War.
The primary focus will be Chief and his fight with Escharum on Zeta Halo, while the ‘state of the galaxy’ will be slowly revealed, perhaps through interactions with older characters.

Looking forward, I think they will expand the game with new locations, telling more self contained narratives, that slowly build to an climax involving defeating Cortana. I think this is their 10 year plan, and I’d be down with it.
Thanks, but I would not hold your breath about the ‘Created’ plot arc or evil Cortana surviving past Halo 6, as there are signs of significant change going on inside 343. Firstly if we were ever going to get the game you’ve described above, I think we would have had back in early 2019. Most of the mainline Halo games have a 3 year development and release cycle, but Halo Infinite’s been in development for 5 years now allegedly because of the poor reception and performance of Halo 5 Guardians. The lead writer responsible for Spartan Ops and Halo 5’s story has also apparently stepped down from that position, and I’ve heard they brought back one of the lead writers from Bungie’s day.

This all feels an awful lot like disaster cleanup and recovery to me, and I think it would be commercial suicide for 343 press ahead with the Created plot arc and characters introduced in Halo 5 any more than they physically have to in order to safely close out this story line when the reaction to both among the fanbase was so universally poor. (And the Created are just software at the end of the day. There is absolutely no reason Master Chief couldn’t find a galaxy wide Forerunner delete or reset protocol on Zeta Halo and activate in at the end of the game)

TV Series with better prospects have been cancelled for less, and make no mistake the budget for Halo 5 was far larger then any tv series or blockbuster I’m aware off.

I still think 343’s best bet for Halo 6 from what we’ve seen so far would be to keep Cortana and the Created off-screen for as long as possible and keep the main focus of the game on the conflict between Banished and UNSC Remnants on Zeta Halo, only for the Created to turn up near end of the game to contest control of the ring with both factions, with the Banished and Created essentially wiping each other out by the end of the game. This will then ‘clear the playing board’ and pave the way for the emergence of a new threat such as the Precursors or Flood, maybe under the guise of this new Harbinger character.

That all being said, I still can’t shake the feeling that 343 may already have jumped the gun and the entire ‘Created’ conflict and this ‘mad-with-power’ version of Cortana may already have been resolved and written out of the saga off-screen by the time Halo Infinite starts.

Halo Shadows of Reach comes out 20-October this year. I wonder if Cortana and the rebel A.I. will be wiped out or suppressed entirely in the book via some kind of kill switch left on Reach by ONI as a counter measure against exactly this. Normally I’d say I don’t think 343 would be so crass as to try this, but it’s exactly what they did with the Janus Key arc between Spartan Ops and Halo 5. It also fits there pattern of behaviour to date in terms of never fully following through with an idea from inception to completion because they think ‘one little change now can fix everything’.
timh1990 wrote:
What annoys me is when 343 try to explain away Artistic licences changes with rushed explanation that hamper or outright contradict the lore. The nanite tech in the MJOLNIR is a prime example of this. Not every change in Artistic licence needs a reason to explain it.
I think this was because the community was wanting an answer and I'm guessing they gave one as to not upset the community (even though it did and people still bring it up to this day). This lore forum often has a thread or two going on it about "Why does this look like that?" or "why isn't this gun in that game?", wanting lore explanations for the smallest of differences. The community is often demanding answers to artistics/game design differences
Nothing about Halo Infinite suggests it is being treated as a finale of a trilogy. Indeed, the Reclaimer Saga was never meant to be a trilogy from the get-go. I was personally hoping for a quadrilogy, with Halo 7 being the last Halo game ever and then Microsoft could move on and let Halo have a nice conclusion it deserves. This was always an unrealistic hope, but a hope I still hold onto.

That being said, Infinite is clearly Halo 6. It takes place only 2 years after the previous game, and will surely follow up on at least something that Halo 5 introduced. There's no way that they'll make Infinite and then go back and make a mainline game between 5 and Infinite. Infinite is a spiritual re-boot, but it's still a sequel to 5 and I think 343i has been clear on that front. Now, as someone who thinks 5 is the worst story in the franchise by a country mile, I'd be glad if they leaned more into the spiritual re-boot than the sequel, but it will still be difficult to pull off both and they need to pull off both to avoid alienating people who didn't hate Halo 5.
znazanz777 wrote:
Nothing about Halo Infinite suggests it is being treated as a finale of a trilogy. Indeed, the Reclaimer Saga was never meant to be a trilogy from the get-go. I was personally hoping for a quadrilogy, with Halo 7 being the last Halo game ever and then Microsoft could move on and let Halo have a nice conclusion it deserves. This was always an unrealistic hope, but a hope I still hold onto.

That being said, Infinite is clearly Halo 6. It takes place only 2 years after the previous game, and will surely follow up on at least something that Halo 5 introduced. There's no way that they'll make Infinite and then go back and make a mainline game between 5 and Infinite. Infinite is a spiritual re-boot, but it's still a sequel to 5 and I think 343i has been clear on that front. Now, as someone who thinks 5 is the worst story in the franchise by a country mile, I'd be glad if they leaned more into the spiritual re-boot than the sequel, but it will still be difficult to pull off both and they need to pull off both to avoid alienating people who didn't hate Halo 5.
Its not necessarily people who didn't hate halo 5, but also people who like some continuity.

Like imagine if halo 3 just didn't exist. You get chief's "finishing this fight!" line in halo 2 and then suddenly you see him wake up on a wrecked ship by an unknown forerunner relic with Cortana back suddenly.

It feels cheap. And while I definitely hate halo 5 as well, I don't like the idea of just brushing Cortana's evil resurrection under the rug.
znazanz777 wrote:
Nothing about Halo Infinite suggests it is being treated as a finale of a trilogy. Indeed, the Reclaimer Saga was never meant to be a trilogy from the get-go. I was personally hoping for a quadrilogy, with Halo 7 being the last Halo game ever and then Microsoft could move on and let Halo have a nice conclusion it deserves. This was always an unrealistic hope, but a hope I still hold onto.

That being said, Infinite is clearly Halo 6. It takes place only 2 years after the previous game, and will surely follow up on at least something that Halo 5 introduced. There's no way that they'll make Infinite and then go back and make a mainline game between 5 and Infinite. Infinite is a spiritual re-boot, but it's still a sequel to 5 and I think 343i has been clear on that front. Now, as someone who thinks 5 is the worst story in the franchise by a country mile, I'd be glad if they leaned more into the spiritual re-boot than the sequel, but it will still be difficult to pull off both and they need to pull off both to avoid alienating people who didn't hate Halo 5.
Its not necessarily people who didn't hate halo 5, but also people who like some continuity.

Like imagine if halo 3 just didn't exist. You get chief's "finishing this fight!" line in halo 2 and then suddenly you see him wake up on a wrecked ship by an unknown forerunner relic with Cortana back suddenly.

It feels cheap. And while I definitely hate halo 5 as well, I don't like the idea of just brushing Cortana's evil resurrection under the rug.
I agree, it's gonna be really jarring if they just brush off the Created plotline. It has to go somewhere, and it'll cheapen Halo 5 further if the conflict is resolved via exposition, which ironically would repeat one of Halo 5's biggest mistakes for the sake of avoiding association with Halo 5's mistakes!
znazanz777 wrote:
znazanz777 wrote:
Nothing about Halo Infinite suggests it is being treated as a finale of a trilogy. Indeed, the Reclaimer Saga was never meant to be a trilogy from the get-go. I was personally hoping for a quadrilogy, with Halo 7 being the last Halo game ever and then Microsoft could move on and let Halo have a nice conclusion it deserves. This was always an unrealistic hope, but a hope I still hold onto.

That being said, Infinite is clearly Halo 6. It takes place only 2 years after the previous game, and will surely follow up on at least something that Halo 5 introduced. There's no way that they'll make Infinite and then go back and make a mainline game between 5 and Infinite. Infinite is a spiritual re-boot, but it's still a sequel to 5 and I think 343i has been clear on that front. Now, as someone who thinks 5 is the worst story in the franchise by a country mile, I'd be glad if they leaned more into the spiritual re-boot than the sequel, but it will still be difficult to pull off both and they need to pull off both to avoid alienating people who didn't hate Halo 5.
Its not necessarily people who didn't hate halo 5, but also people who like some continuity.

Like imagine if halo 3 just didn't exist. You get chief's "finishing this fight!" line in halo 2 and then suddenly you see him wake up on a wrecked ship by an unknown forerunner relic with Cortana back suddenly.

It feels cheap. And while I definitely hate halo 5 as well, I don't like the idea of just brushing Cortana's evil resurrection under the rug.
I agree, it's gonna be really jarring if they just brush off the Created plotline. It has to go somewhere, and it'll cheapen Halo 5 further if the conflict is resolved via exposition, which ironically would repeat one of Halo 5's biggest mistakes for the sake of avoiding association with Halo 5's mistakes!
I have very mixed feelings about this particular predicament. On the one hand I agree that continuity is important and if 343 try to erase the events of Halo 5 entirely then this is going to be ‘Rise of Skywalker’ all over again, with 343 trying to cram what should be the events of 2 video game campaigns into one. (Which is exactly what I think ruined Halo 4)

On the other hand, I hated Halo 5’s story, the Created, Cortana’s return and practically every new character the game introduced with the exception of Blue Team and Exuberant Witness. (She gave me a tank, so she gets a pass!)

I’ve got absolutely no interest in seeing the story Halo 5 started concluded in whatever lame variation of the way we all know it will inevitably end. With Cortana and all the AI turning good again or Cortana being defeated and defeated, and the status quo returning to exactly what it was for the UNSC before Halo 5’s conclusion. At the same time from everything I’ve seen of Halo Infinite so far (the location, the villains and potentially the main antagonist, this Harbinger whatever he or she may turn out to be) I can’t help thinking this is exactly the game Halo 4 should have been. A full length campaign with the UNSC scattered and crushed before a militarily superior and competently led force that isn’t just a carbon copy of the Covenant.

If that’s the Halo game I want to play, then why do I need to pay for the privilege of a halo game whose story I have absolutely no interest in seeing concluded, only to have to wait another 3-5 years to get the game I actually want? (I appreciate this game isn’t being made solely for me, but I’m playing devil’s advocate here and working off the assumption that more people were dissatisfied with Halo 5’s story then were satisfied with it, and so will likely lean in the same direction - Why pay for something you honestly don’t want when you could pay for something you do)

As I said I still have very mixed feelings over the prospect of Halo Infinite either abandoning Halo 5’s story entirely, or pressing forward with it. I suppose the only benefit is whatever happens I won’t be disappointed, depending on what way you look at things.
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