My Favorite Halo Game So Far

#1DeepThroat0Posted 10/17/2013 7:38:10 AM
Spoilers...

I finally got around to opening up and playing Halo 4 over the past two days... yea, almost a year after I bought it.

I was a little skeptical about 343, but since a lot of the team worked for Bungie and was involved with the series already it did not seem like that big of a deal.

After playing the game I have to say that 343 put together the best Halo narrative thus far. It was a creative approach that flipped the whole story's perspective on its head. The previous games are about rivaling factions in an intergalactic network of cultures. It is about peril, constant threat of extinction, and humanities last ditch efforts to stay alive. Enter Master Chief, the faceless, obedient soldier.

Now we come to Halo 4, a game that hardly focuses on the main enemy or the intergalactic conflict. Although these elements are present, they take a backseat and unlike the first 3 games, are resolved by the end. This is the first installment of the “Reclaimer Trilogy” or Saga. However, it is not about humanity’s reclamation. This game was about the reclamation of John’s humanity. He is not just some faceless super solider, or as the game’s dialogue puts it, machine. The name is important; this isn’t about “Master Chief”, it is a game about John.

Halo 4 presents a lot of spoken dialogue by John, mostly between him and Cortana. This is odd for the series as he is normally a man of, well fewer words. This game also shows us his disconnect with people and flat out disobedience when he refuses the order of a ship Captain; a Captain who half believes that the Didact threat is a hallucination caused by the rampancy within Cortana.

Cortana; the other essential ingredient to this game’s narrative. She and John create an ironically similar dichotomy. One is a machine programmed to be human and the other a human programmed to be a machine. However they are both human, alive, and treated by others as objects or tools for some gain. John does not want to let her go because she is the closest person to him. They understand one another. This game is all about the metaphorical unmasking of John as a person and the loss of Cortana is the final catalyst. This is echoed by Lasky’s words at the end:

John: "Our duty, as soldiers, is to protect humanity. Whatever the cost."

Lasky: "You say that like soldiers and humanity are two different things. Soldiers aren't machines. We're just people."

John attempts to justify Cortana’s sacrifice and his loss like he has with everything in his life. Lasky literally exclaims the point the entire game was making. The unmasking at the end and the dialogue of the Didact (presumably from his trail millennia ago) further echo the change that has taken place with John. It is symbolic of his transformation from obedient war machine to human; reclamation.

John is no longer a soldier, at least not one that follows the orders of others. He is presented as a wanderer in the trailer for Halo 5.
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Reconnect. Kingdom Hearts.
#2DeepThroat0(Topic Creator)Posted 10/17/2013 7:38:28 AM
Theories

At first I was thinking that the sped up evolution of John (by the Librarian) may have made him a forerunner species (that is the Didact right? From reading the books I thought the Didact was the species name but I cannot say for sure). I was expecting him to be unmasked at the end of the game and have the raised cheek bones and sharp teeth. While I cannot say whether or not this is true by what 343 showed I am thinking of a different route now.

This trilogy is going to be more along the lines of Mobile Suit Gundam and Newtypes. John, now making his own decisions is ultimately going to become the passionate leader of humanity, guiding them to their evolution as a species. He will no longer be a combat suit, but a person. It is evident that his role as reclaimer of humanity is not limited to simply saving everyone countless times. He has to be at the helm as well. The Librarian mentions that John is the culmination of hidden data she planted before the Halo rings were fired and that within his genetic code was embedded great things for the world. Lasky even hints at this absurdity (something I took notice of before this game).

Lasky: "At ease, Chief. It feels kind of odd for you to call me Sir."

John has been THE ingredient to keeping everything together. Even when he gets tossed out into space for 4 years, he wakes right back up and happens to be right in the fray and able to take control of it. How in the world can someone else be of higher rank? Humanity owes him everything.

The next few games will show the path John takes. Is it of vengeance (the dark unmasking seems to foreshadow this) or benevolence? The new trailer could hint that he is on a personal quest to restore Cortana. However the glance at her reminder could just be him reconfirmed what he is doing before he takes on whatever that was. I think it is more likely he is searching for something to use against others. What is it though? How will it be used?
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Reconnect. Kingdom Hearts.
#3DeepThroat0(Topic Creator)Posted 10/17/2013 7:44:34 AM
One final comment,

I have read comments and posts where some are upset that part of John's face was shown, but this too was apart of the whole game's message.

The player likes being the faceless Master Chief, literally "controlling him". It is not up to them though who he really is, what he does, or what he looks like. This juxtaposition was done on purpose by 343 to drive home the point of the game.
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Reconnect. Kingdom Hearts.
#4Kpt_KapowskiPosted 10/17/2013 7:49:55 AM
Tl;DR
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Lmfao I win
#5DeepThroat0(Topic Creator)Posted 10/17/2013 8:10:16 AM
Kpt_Kapowski posted...
Tl;DR


It is called analysis. More like AS;TS. Attention Span To Short. Do not let the internet make you a numb, 124 character shell. Analysis and discussion are the best part about narratives (film, print, video games, music, etc...)
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Reconnect. Kingdom Hearts.
#6Kpt_KapowskiPosted 10/17/2013 8:23:08 AM
DeepThroat0 posted...
Kpt_Kapowski posted...
Tl;DR


It is called analysis. More like AS;TS. Attention Span To Short. Do not let the internet make you a numb, 124 character shell. Analysis and discussion are the best part about narratives (film, print, video games, music, etc...)


tldr
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Lmfao I win
#7aByLiTyPosted 10/17/2013 9:24:44 AM
i agree.
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I only play good games.
#8Drag_ZEROPosted 10/17/2013 11:57:30 AM
In terms of campaign I absolutely agree with you, this one of my favorite "military FPS campaigns" of all time (separated from the likes of HL2, BioShock, etc because that's just unfair towards this style of campaign). I think most of the hate for H4 comes from the MP side though, there are a lot of Halo 4 haters that like the campaign in this.
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One of these days, Valve will confirm Half-Life 3, but nobody will believe them and assume its another ruse.
#9Blade_Runner_07Posted 10/17/2013 12:09:23 PM
Yeah, wow.

I been hating on this game off and on for the better part of a year because I love Halo and don't like what they did with Halo 4.

After reading this I'm really looking at it a different way now and it's really cool that maybe my feelings of alienation were... intentional... and thats okay. A complete reversal of my original view.

For some reason I like your argument that Halo 4 is shoving the fact down your throat that you are not Master Chief and John-117 is his own character now. After this topic I'm almost expecting a deeply story driven RPG-like FPS in Halo 5.

DeepThroat0 what is your gamertag?
#10bd0g5Posted 10/17/2013 12:43:58 PM
completely agree TC 100%
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