Halo 4 was released about two weeks ago, to (mostly) critical acclaim. We ourselves greatly enjoyed the game, and found it to be a surprisingly great re-launch of the franchise. That said, it IS a re-launch—from the start, Microsoft designed this to be the start of a new trilogy, dubbed by development team 343 Industries as “The Reclaimer Trilogy.” And now that the first part of the trio is complete, we can’t help but wonder what 343 has awaiting us with the next entry in the franchise. Here’s five of the things we expect to see out of Halo 5…and beyond.
Warning: From this point forward, this article will delve into the plot of the previous Halo games, including Halo 4. So if you haven’t finished the game yet, be warned that spoilers ARE abound from here on in.
Cortana Will Be Back
At the end of Halo 4, it’s assumed that Cortana succumbs to her rampancy to save Master Chief’s life. Well, I don’t think that’s the case. I think we’ll have another Halo 3 situation on our hands, in which Chief has to work to rescue Cortana from the hands of the enemy (in this case, the Prometheans and the, if the final scene is any indication, still alive Didact). This is the central relationship of the game and, well her demise is saddening, I sincerely doubt that 343 Industries would put so much effort into this subplot just to have it disappear at the end of the first game in the trilogy. Rest assured, Cortana WILL be back in Halo 5.
The Return of Dual Wielding
This is more aesthetic than story, but I really feel like duel wielding small guns will return in Halo 5. The concept was absence from Halo 4, something which confused me intensely at first. But since then, I realized that Halo 4 was trying to ape Halo: Combat Evolved as much as possible, and that included leaving out the pivotal (for me at least) feature. If Halo 5 will resemble Halo 2 more, than expect to see the concept return.
A (Somewhat) Explanation of Covenant Politics
Honestly, the big story thing for me that kind of bugged me in Halo 4 is the return of the Covenant as one of the many bad guys. We seemed to make peace with them at the end of Halo 3 (a.k.a destroyed their entire hierarchy and brought their Elite forces to our side), so I thought the time of them being the enemy would be long gone. But Halo 4 began and, from the very first level, you’re back to fighting Covenant. The only explanation you really get for it is Cortana’s reasoning that “a lot can change in four years”, although you’re supposed to be led to assume that this is a splinter cell group of Covenant who refused to give up following their defeat. The only problem with that theory though is the fact that this force contains a mixture of grunts, jackals, AND elites. What happened that some Elite broke away from the Arbiter? Last I checked, all of them were on the same side. And the fleet itself is pretty substantial, enough to hint that something major went down with the Covenant to split them apart. And well one of the problems with Halo 2 and 3 was the over explanation of Covenant politics/religion, I hope Halo 5 will try to clear things up a little bit in this regard. And speaking of the Covenant…
The Return of the Arbiter
The Arbiter was an essential element of the first Halo trilogy, and his absence was sorrowely felt in Halo 4. And well it made sense for him not to make an appearance in the game itself, I seriously thought they were going to tease his re-appearance after the end credits. Sadly the after credits scene in Halo 4 was pretty throwaway, and did not reveal the return of one of our favorite Covenant elite. Despite that though, I’m still certain that the Arbiter WILL return in Halo 5—playable or otherwise. He’s simply too important not to, and his return could lead into the reasoning as to why certain members of the Covenant turned on their allies. Even if its just a tease at the end of the game, expect to see the Arbiter pop up SOMEWHERE in Halo 5.
The Flood WON’T Return
With luck though, the Flood won’t. Even though the Flood are a cool enemy concept wise, they’re a pain in the ass to fight. Furthermore, bringing the Flood back would be the OPPOSITE effect that the team at 343 seem to be striving for. With Halo 4 they want to move the franchise forward in new and interesting ways; bringing the return of the Flood would just keep the series back. The first trilogy was The Flood Trilogy. This is the Reclaimer Trilogy. And it should stay that way. Thankfully I don’t think we have too much to worry about with this one. 343 is really trying to establish their own type of Halo game, and I think they know that bringing the Flood back would prevent that goal. Still though…how cool would a Flood/Promethean hybrid look?!
And those are the five things we expect (or at the very least, HOPE) to see out of Halo 5. What are you guys hoping for? Be sure to let us know in the comments!