The latest installment in the famed Halo franchise is less than a two weeks away from launching and for 343 Industries, they know how big of a deal this is. The ambition they have for the game’s campaign is admirable, but the studio still needs to walk a careful line as they continue to evolve the story of Master Chief and the Halo universe.
In conversations with other Halo fans, the idea of co-op coming into play with the game’s main campaign has created some concern about whether or not the focus will get away from Master Chief. He is one of the most iconic characters in the industry and fans don’t want 343 Industries to lose sight of what has made him and Halo so essential over the years.
343 Industries certainly recognizes this and knows they have to be tactful and careful with how they treat this next installment in the Halo franchise. In an exclusive interview with atombash.com, Frank O’Connor, who is the franchise development director at 343 Industries, talked about how they are being careful with Master Chief’s legacy and future.
“It’s a powerful and meaningful legacy, definitely a huge part of some players’ lives, so we have to be careful how we treat him. We can’t disrespect the fact that he’s been a stoic, faceless vector for a player’s own sense of adventure, but over the years he’s come to mean more to fans than just that; he’s developed a persona in the story and fans have layered their own personal understanding on top of that. So it’s a tricky balance to strike – explore the character, his effect on the universe and his effect on other in-universe characters – without breaking the innate sense of quiet mystery that’s defined him for more than a decade,” O’Connor said.
Fans should feel reassured to hear this from O’Connor, but then again, we won’t know what this next step for Chief and Halo is until the game arrives in the coming days. He went on to discuss the new dynamics that have come about as a result of the emerging co-op element, as well as how Spartan Abilities add more verticality to overall design.
“Ironically, the changes we’ve made to the Campaign mode are actually multiplayer co-op opportunities. With three other Spartans guaranteed to fight alongside you, there are brand new approaches to both level and encounter design, as well as storytelling. Our levels are more intricate and thanks to the new added mobility with Spartan Abilities – much more vertical meaning there’s more to explore.
“The inclusion of squad commands makes the game more replayable than ever, especially on harder levels of difficulty and with more characters to play as in Blue Team and Fireteam Osiris, fans of the story will see content specific to their favorite character,” O’Connor said.
We’ll have Halo 5 Guardians impressions in the coming days and our review will be arriving on Oct. 26. More from our interview with Frank will be coming over the next week. Halo 5 Guardians launches on Oct. 27 exclusively on Xbox One.