Hi everyone! Halo 5 has already been out for a few days now, and I figured now is the time to share my thoughts on the Campaign. Before we start, I have to make it clear that there will be full spoilers in this post; like it wasn’t already obvious. Anyway, if you haven’t completed the Campaign yet and don’t want it spoiled, do not continue reading below. Leave my site and never come back. Nah, you can come back. Just bring pizza next time. Alright, let’s get this started!
I was very intrigued by how Halo 5’s Campaign would play out, due to where the series would go after the events of Halo 4, the whole “Is Master Chief a traitor?” ordeal, and the fact that there would be two fireteams to play as. That is where we will start this shindig.
You can play as Master Chief and Blue Team, which consists of Chief and his buddies Fred, Linda, and Kelly. Fred is the CQB expert, Linda is the sniper, and Kelly is the scout of the group. Blue Team has been together since they were kids in training to become Spartans, so they know each other extraordinarily well.
The second team is Fireteam Osiris, which consists of Locke, Vale, Tanaka, and some guy named Buck. I think he was an ODST or something, I dunno. Locke is the same Locke who was the main character in Halo: Nightfall, Vale is an expert in Sangheili (Elite) language and is the team’s pilot, Tanaka is a former colonist who had her planet glassed by the Covenant, and I’m sure you are all well acquainted with good ole Buck.
It seems 343 was trying to emulate what Halo 2 did with having two main protagonists in Chief and Locke. However, it seems more like Locke is the main character, with Chief being more in a cameo role of sorts. I’m not kidding when I say that there are only THREE levels where you play as Master Chief and Blue Team. The rest of the levels are played as Fireteam Osiris. Only three levels for the face of the franchise? In a main installment in the series? No, that’s not how it works. Now, I have nothing against Fireteam Osiris, but come on. Master Chief is THE Spartan, and he is who everyone thinks of when they think of Halo. It should have been close to a 50/50 split between Blue Team and Fireteam Osiris. Also, due to Blue Team’s lack of screen time, we barely even get to know the rest of the team. The people who are well versed in the extended universe are probably the only ones who really know Blue Team, while the rest of us are left here wondering just who they are exactly. This is just the first of quite a few problems I had with the Campaign.
Hey, remember how Fireteam Osiris was supposed to be hunting down Blue Team because Chief had supposedly gone rogue, and was being labeled as a traitor? Apparently 343 forgot that part, since there is really only one scene where there is conflict between the two teams. Chief and Locke engage in a brief fistfight before Chief gets away, and that’s it. The next time they meet up, they act as if nothing happened and they are all good. Umm, that’s not much of a hunt if you ask me. It was more like, “Hey Locke, Chief went AWOL go find him for us k?” So much for Halo 5 being “the greatest hunt in gaming history.” It just seems like 343’s marketing department and the Campaign team were not on the same page at all because what was advertised was not the same as what we got. Oh, and don’t expect any tie-ins or references to HUNT the TRUTH, as there aren’t any. At all.
Oh, you know how at the end of Spartan Ops, Halsey told Jul ‘Mdama that she wanted to exact revenge on the UNSC? Yeah, she’s apparently over that now. Since right at the beginning, Fireteam Osiris rescues her from Jul ‘Mdama, brings her back to Infinity and it seems like everyone forgot that she was a war criminal, was going to be assassinated, and had been shot by Commander Palmer and had to have her arm amputated! It is almost as if none of that even happened. What happened to Halsey wanting revenge? No mention of it whatsoever. Vale asks Locke what happened to Halsey’s arm, but that is literally it. Is Spartan Ops considered non-canon now? Did I miss the memo? What is going on here?
Remember the emotional ending of Halo 4? How Cortana died saving Master Chief from the explosion of the Didact’s ship? Remember that great scene? Well, throw all that out the window because it turns out, Cortana didn’t die, and she’s ‘eeevviiilll’ now. She made contact with the Domain (a Forerunner database of sorts that Cortana used to somehow survive and ‘cure’ her rampancy) and has been activating the Forerunner Guardians and transporting them to the Forerunner planet Genesis. This so she can maintain ‘peace’ by force and anyone who steps out of line will basically get rekt by the Guardians. Oh by the way, activating the Guardians involves unearthing them and killing many innocent people in the process. Alright so, the Guardians are kind of like the Death Star from Star Wars. Okay, I get that, but why have Cortana here? Bringing her back just makes Halo 4’s ending completely irrelevant now. Plus, it is just so cliche having an AI rebel against her creators. Oh yeah, Halsey somehow knew all of this. That’s why Infinity wanted to get her back. How Halsey knew about this, we have no idea. Let’s move on.
So, Fireteam Osiris ends up having to save Blue Team from Cortana, who had trapped them in a Cryptum, but Cortana still activates all the Guardians and disables planetary defenses all over the galaxy. Meanwhile, Locke and Chief reunite with Halsey, and then it just ends. Just when you think it is starting to get good, nope, cliffhanger. Ehh, the fact that there is a cliffhanger didn’t bother me too much, to be honest, but the way it ends was just way too sudden.
To shortly summarize the plot, Fireteam Osiris rescues Halsey from Jul ‘Mdama and Halsey warns Infinity that there is a new threat emerging. Meanwhile Master Chief receives a cryptic message from Cortana and he and Blue Team go to track her down, disobeying orders in the process. Osiris then has to track down Blue Team, with some help from the Arbiter and his followers (oh yeah, Arbiter is in the game, so that’s cool). Blue Team finds Cortana and learn of her plans. They try to reason with her, but she doesn’t listen and Osiris has to rescue Blue Team. Cortana unleashes the Guardians and everything gets messed up. The End.
In my opinion, it would have made more sense if it was Chief who was activating all the Guardians because he believes that it could provide him with a way to bring back Cortana, or for some other reason that he could see as being for the greater good. Then the whole “Is Chief a traitor?” ordeal is actually relevant to the story, and Osiris has a legitimate reason to be hunting him down.
So, you probably think I hated the Campaign, right? Well, no, not exactly. I didn’t hate it. I just thought it was disappointing. It was not what I expected it to be at all, and not really in a good way. But, the gameplay was fantastic, and the levels themselves were fun to play through. The environments were very nice too. Most of the characters were great, especially the monitor of Genesis, Exuberant Witness. She is freaking adorable! The thing is that the story that is tying everything all together is weak and lackluster. If you’re just looking to shoot some baddies either alone or in co-op, then you’ll have a blast with Halo 5’s Campaign. However, if you are expecting a memorable story, then you’ll likely be left disappointed, and maybe a bit confused.
Well, that about wraps up this episode. Join me next time, where I’ll be discussing Halo 5’s multiplayer. See ya!