343i Pledges More Master Chief after Halo 5 Story Hiccup

It Is Uncertain Where Halo 6 Will Take Us, but More Master Chief Is a Guarantee

Nearing two decades into the franchise, there’s no way fans can accept less than a Master Chief-focused Halo. While Halo 5 delivered strong gameplay, it was apparently lacking in one element. And it was a big, tough element measuring seven feet tall. 343 talked about this and Halo 5: Guardians story choices in an interview with GamesTM magazine (issue #186).

Halo 5

Studio Head Kiki Wolfkill and Franchise Director Frank O’Connor were present to celebrate the upcoming tenth anniversary of 343’s inception. Their latest project involved collaboration with Creative Assembly to deliver Halo Wars 2. But talking Halo 5 served the crux of the interview. O’Connor decided to address complaints against the game’s narrative, specifically the choice to sideline the Master Chief. He started by acknowledging that it was a mistake:

“We took some digs for storytelling in Halo 5, but they were absolutely merited. We very much realized that people wanted Master Chief’s story of Halo 5.

“We definitely marketed in a way that we hoped was going to bring surprise, but for some fans and certainly fans of Master Chief, it was a huge disappointment because they wanted more Chief.

“They loved Blue Team, they liked Osiris, but they wanted Chief. And that has been a big learning. Chief we tend to think of as kind of a vessel for your adventure rather than necessarily this major character in the universe. He’s really just your entry into the universe.

“But people have become attached to him over the last fifteen years and they’ve started to sort of fill in the gaps that the character deliberately has for gameplay reasons with a genuine emotional attachment. We certainly underestimated that with Halo 5.

“The effect that the character has on his surroundings and ‘the fate of the galaxy’ has had a resonant effect on fans over the years. It wasn’t that surprising to me, but the volume of ‘give us more Chief’ at the end of Halo 5 was significant and so I think if anything he’s slightly more important now than he has ever been, certainly to our franchise. Instead of focusing on bringing new characters into the world and expanding the playable characters we’ve sort of shifted the focus a little bit to making the world a little bit more realistic and compelling and, I would say, more fun for players who get to inhabit the Chief in the future, pretty much as they demanded.

“There’s always a call and response element of shipping a game, you have to ship improvements, you have to ship tweaks and you have to ship changes and sometimes you have to walk some of those back.

“Doubling down on Master Chief story and the amount of focus on him was probably the easiest learning from Halo 5. That was a really simple thing to absorb and embrace.”

Halo 5: Guardians received an average score of 84 on Metacritic; it was a very good game by Halo standards, but it’s clear fans expected a little more. Maybe we’ll see the next step for the franchise at this year’s E3. We can hardly expect anything more than a teaser, however, if anything. But, per usual, it will be a first-party game available across Microsoft systems.

Let us know your thoughts on the future of Halo and what novel aspects of Halo 5 you might take away and/or keep. Comment down below. Then be sure to check back for more gaming news updates as they come.