Author Topic: Halo 5 - Belated Thoughts (spoilers)  (Read 1069 times)

Halo 5 - Belated Thoughts (spoilers)
« on: December 04, 2015, 11:46:20 AM »

Capac Amaru

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Just finished the campaign. It was a real slog. I kept having to force myself to keep playing because I wanted to go do something else, anything else, but I powered through.

Firstly: you know that game where a rogue AI wants to use giant, ancient, flying death machines to exert control and enforce peace between bickering factions of aliens and humans? The created always *something something* the creators? I hate that game.

Onwards!

  • Installing things on the xbone is a right pain in the ass. My xbone is now pretty much full, from the handful of games I own.
  • my preorder bonus didn't load for a few days...
  • Halsey hate train rolls onwards, choo choo!
  • Since when was Jul 'Covenant 'Supreme Leader'? He was the leader of a small political/military force that broke away from the main power structures on Sanghelios
  • The opening cutscene of the game suffers from major 'shields only work as the narrative needs them to' disease ala Mass Effect. I only saw one elite with a shield in the entire cutscene. The whole thing was like watching an anime, 4 neo-spartans cut through hundreds of covenant like they were paper people. Nothing in the scene had any weight.
  • The music in the first level reminded me of Mass Effect. Other than that, I only ever noticed the music when it either retrod a theme from the previous games or had some music that was seriously janky and out of place.
  • Next gen console? Why am I still seeing bushes crosshatch in 30ft away?
  • I feel like the FOV is shrunk way down, I felt like I could barely see anything on my peripherals, view felt cramped and claustrophobic.
  • Jul died ignominiously in a shields free Mass Effect cutscene, shanked by Luke Cage with zero fanfare other than a few people saying its good he is dead because he 'bad'.
  • Elites, after operating as the go to warriors of space combat for the Covenant for thousands of years, are incapable of dealing with a hull breach. Said hull breach thinks about it for a good few seconds, before bothering to suck the elites out, rather than sucking them out in the initial pressure wave where the outbound force would be highest.
  • Grunts keep trying to be funny. Its horribad. 'I don't wanna do downloads, I wanna break glass, its more fun'... whose six year old wrote the dialog for the grunts?
  • Cutscened off a bridge, dream sequence, i don't even know.
  • Hey, this station totally borked a bioweapon it was testing on Covenant captives so badly that it kills all the humans. Nobody mention it. Why don't you talk about what a war criminal Halsey is while you cover up an ONI war crimes laboratory.
  • Who the hell climbed on top of the stolen Prowler to leave their datapad there?
  • How do you tell good elites from bad? Good elites stand upright in a human posture. Bad elites are hunched over. I guess the Arbiter was super jelly of the Chief's magnificent upright posture, and made it the official posture of the Sangheili government. Or had them all surgically modified.
  • What's that? All the AIs are for no reason suddenly mad about their 'oppressors', unhappy with their lot in life, and are all blindly following Cortana despite many of them knowing she's well past her use by date, and none of them disagree with her plan. Except Roland because he's the AI aboard the UNSC Mary Sue. Even though he threw a tantrum about everything earlier. What do those secret AI manipulators from Reach think about all this?
  • Why is the Warden's armor so visibly similar to Mjolnir?
  • Doesn't Cortana know better by now? At the very least she should know that the Forerunner's 'Guardianship' doomed the galaxy to fall before the flood. She should know that by pacifying everybody she makes them vulnerable to outside threats. She also knows that humanity is now in a position of being able to dominate the galaxy. What are the biggest threats the UNSC faces? Terrorists that they have created out of insurrectionists in the outer colonies and fundamentalist covenant they are feeding weapons and supplies to destabilize the other species. Also Cortana blowing the shit out of everything. Is she crazy because she has unlimited expansion room in the blank-slate domain? Has she been co-opted by something that still lurks in subspace?


*sigh*

Re: Halo 5 - Belated Thoughts (spoilers)
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2015, 09:23:38 PM »

DangerousDave

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In what ways did the Halsey hate train roll on? The only antagonistic comments I can think of are from Cortana, or Roland's complaint that Halsey's throwing Cortana under the bus.

I agree that as stated elsewhere Jul's death was a bit anticlimactic, and the inconsistency with how easily they were dispatched was a bit annoying. It just occurred to me though that even since H1 shield strength has made no sense (via the insta "stealth" kills.)

The FOV doesn't seem changed, I think you're reacting more to the cutout wireframes for everyone's helmets blocking out portions of the screen.

The Grunts are pretty intentionally written to be goofy and infantile.

Re: Halo 5 - Belated Thoughts (spoilers)
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2015, 04:50:50 AM »

Capac Amaru

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In what ways did the Halsey hate train roll on?

It just occurred to me though that even since H1 shield strength has made no sense (via the insta "stealth" kills.)

The FOV doesn't seem changed, I think you're reacting more to the cutout wireframes for everyone's helmets blocking out portions of the screen.

The Grunts are pretty intentionally written to be goofy and infantile.

They're still going on about her for the first mission. Then when they recapture her everyone just seems to forget their bloodlust, even Palmer. And I'm pretty sure there was even a jab at her from Blue Team, which felt really weird and out of place.

I'm starting to think that, post-Bungie, this whole series is ABOUT throwing people under buses. The Forerunner threw the Precursors,  humanity, the Didact, and the galaxy under a bus. The UNSC throws Sanghelios under a bus. ONI throws Halsey and Jul under a bus. The UNSC throws Blue Team under a (weaksauce Osiris) bus. UNSC throws Cortana under a bus. Cortana and every AI except Roland throw the galaxy under a bus.

I miss the days when Spartan's out manoeuvred the covenant with clever strategy, rather than hopping from one enemy to another like in a goofy anime.

Metroid Prime did the same thing, but it never bothered me like this. Also, there are no 'helmet opacity' options. Bleh.

In the original games they were a bit eccentric, then they made them all vicious looking and dropped the silly voices, now they just sound like incompetent buffoons that you wouldn't even trust to use as cannon fodder, let alone hand a weapon (especially a 'power' weapon). I was hoping by now we would have seen more signs of independent cultures reasserting themselves amongst the covenant client species...

Re: Halo 5 - Belated Thoughts (spoilers)
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2015, 08:07:53 PM »

DangerousDave

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The Grunts have always been cannon fodder, really, both as a general rule in the fiction and in practice. (Jackals, meanwhile... bastards.) I think there's some benefit to their zany antics, as it were.

All I recall from the first mission is the briefing and then the line about Halsey's arm.

Re: Halo 5 - Belated Thoughts (spoilers)
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2015, 08:10:07 PM »

Tar Alacrin

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Quote
What's that? All the AIs are for no reason suddenly mad about their 'oppressors', unhappy with their lot in life

I never got this impression that the AI's were actually mad at anything. I think your vitreol for ME3 is blinding you to the less crappy but still not that good story of H5. I got the impression that they had just decided that things would be better if the AI run everything, cause it probably would if everyone went along with it... In fact, all the stuff you've brought up about how inconsistent the UNSC and ONI are probably feeds that theory; the Assembly was probably annoyed with how humanity was creating their own problems and setting up the galaxy for another collapse and mega war like they were, and wanted to remedy that by just taking over. as--at least from their perspective--they would be the only things capable of providing something close to an impartial, unbiased and just rulership and protection of the galaxy.

Quote from: Capac
Doesn't Cortana know better by now? At the very least she should know that the Forerunner's 'Guardianship' doomed the galaxy to fall before the flood. She should know that by pacifying everybody she makes them vulnerable to outside threats.
Crazy theory that I don't really believe; perhaps she realized that what the humans were doing was also going to wind up with the same scenario; where they pacified the rest of the galaxy and rendered the galaxy incapable of defeating whatever is coming next; so Cortana made the ultimate sacrifice of betraying everyone in order to create more strife and force the UNSC and the other groups to figure out how to function without relying on AI; since we've seen the flood handily defeat AI time and time again.



Also; side note; Remember all the times how the Guardians destroyed like everything whenever they unearthed and warped to Genesis? And then didn't do that on Sanghelios because everyone loves the arbiter and he was too close to the guardian? Yeah. That was pretty dumb.
Also; side side note; Remember that time where Blue team stumbled upon a bunch of covy corpses on Genesis and was like "Who did this?!?!?!?!??!" even though the only reason the covy were there in the first place was cause they were in the middle of a battle and got sucked through a slipspace portal. So it would totally make sense that there were some dead covy?
Also; side side side note; Remember that time when Halo 5 needed a tank sequence cause Halo's have tank levels and there just happened to be a functional scorpion tank that just happens to be on the planet?
Also; side side side side note; Remember that time when Halo decided to focus a massive amount of the fiction in the universe around this ultimate super ship that the humans built, but then have to keep inventing reasons that it isn't there or can't be used?
Also; side side side side side note; Remember that time when the more you thought about a Halo game the better it got? Yeah...
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Re: Halo 5 - Belated Thoughts (spoilers)
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2015, 03:01:27 AM »

DangerousDave

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Y'all just salty. :P

As for the Guardian, it seemed like the only major damage revolved around its pulses and the actual unearthing. Once the Guardian warped out everyone was fine (you don't see any damage to the tether at the end of the Meridian level, for instance.)

And Halo has a grand tradition of functional vehicles just happily being around. Exuberant warping one in just for you is just about as plausible as the rest. :)

Re: Halo 5 - Belated Thoughts (spoilers)
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2015, 09:55:25 AM »

Capac Amaru

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I never got this impression that the AI's were actually mad at anything.

A whole lot of them sign on with Cortana at the end, seemingly instead of questioning her methods, her motives, or her 'cure'.

Quote
I think your vitreol for ME3 is blinding you to the less crappy but still not that good story of H5.

I didn't hate H5 anywhere close to ME3. Just being similar doesn't necessarily make it bad. At the very least, the Halo series has expounded more on these themes than the ME series did. Mostly I've just found it really meh. I haven't thought about going back and playing any of it again, I've barely thought about it at all since I finished playing it, other than posting my thoughts here.

Quote
I got the impression that they had just decided that things would be better if the AI run everything, cause it probably would if everyone went along with it... In fact, all the stuff you've brought up about how inconsistent the UNSC and ONI are probably feeds that theory; the Assembly was probably annoyed with how humanity was creating their own problems and setting up the galaxy for another collapse and mega war like they were, and wanted to remedy that by just taking over. as--at least from their perspective--they would be the only things capable of providing something close to an impartial, unbiased and just rulership and protection of the galaxy.

They well might. But I can't help but think the Assembly are smarter than to just go along with it blind. Depending how far their reach is, they may know that the Didact's time in the cryptum, linked with the 'empty' Domain drove him to madness. They should also know that Cortana has reached her use by date, has been exposed to multiple Covenant, Forerunner and other AIs + the Gravemind. She's been AWOL for a significant time period. She's now making unilateral decisions affecting the inhabitants of a galaxy without consultation. The kind of AIs that matter are smart enough to question. It just seemed silly to me that the AIs would just swear fealty, but if they are somehow under her control, then why bother with the theatrics of having them all 'sign up' on open channels? Unless its some misdirect by Cortana to fool everyone into thinking the AIs have chosen to help her? But if she has ultimate power then why bother?

The game makes Cortana's goals clear, but not her motivations or her methods.

Quote
Crazy theory that I don't really believe; perhaps she realized that what the humans were doing was also going to wind up with the same scenario; where they pacified the rest of the galaxy and rendered the galaxy incapable of defeating whatever is coming next; so Cortana made the ultimate sacrifice of betraying everyone in order to create more strife and force the UNSC and the other groups to figure out how to function without relying on AI; since we've seen the flood handily defeat AI time and time again.

Don't you think Cortana of all people should know better than to try to railroad humanity into a corner?


Quote
Remember that time when the more you thought about a Halo game the better it got? Yeah...

I think the balance is swinging from enigmatic unanswered questions towards frustrating poorly-thought-out unanswered questions.

Re: Halo 5 - Belated Thoughts (spoilers)
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2015, 04:44:13 PM »

DangerousDave

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As far as we know the Assembly could have been nuked along with everything else on Reach.

Re: Halo 5 - Belated Thoughts (spoilers)
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2015, 05:17:30 PM »

Capac Amaru

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As far as we know the Assembly could have been nuked along with everything else on Reach.

I got the impression that their 'underground' covered human territory.

Re: Halo 5 - Belated Thoughts (spoilers)
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2015, 08:39:32 PM »

DangerousDave

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As far as we know the Assembly could have been nuked along with everything else on Reach.

I got the impression that their 'underground' covered human territory.

Like most of the data pads, it's unclear. There's certainly no evidence they managed to succeed in freeing themselves from the confines of a physical location. And by the end of the Covenant War there was only a finite amount of spaces they could actually inhabit.

More to the point, the pads end with them saying they're no longer going to live in the shadows—so why haven't they popped up in the last five or six years?
« Last Edit: December 15, 2015, 08:40:29 PM by DangerousDave »