Since its debut in 2001, Halo has been one of the biggest names in the gaming world. The franchise came out of nowhere and made the studio Bungie a household name.
On the other side of the coin, Halo is also one of the most divisive video game franchises to ever be created. With each new installment, purist fans are often vocal about the changes that developers have made, holding true to the very specific nature of the game and showing an unwillingness for it to adapt with evolving technology and trends.
Halo: Combat Evolved was the first installment in the franchise, quickly becoming a mega hit in the gaming world. However, Halo 2 was the real showstopper, pushing the global fanbase into the millions and making lots of money for Microsoft. Halo 3, while massively popular, added a few changes that some fans didn’t agree with, but it would be nothing compared to the scrutiny that its follow-up, the spin-off Halo: Reach, was faced with as the gameplay seemed to be shifting more towards Call of Duty and further from what made Halo so unique to begin with. Halo 4 was the breaking point for many fans who figured that the franchise was dead at this point, with Halo 5 somehow enraging them even more.
HOW THE FRANCHISE’S BY ZAYN BATES STORY PUSHED FANS AWAY
More than anything, the franchise is known for its fantastic storytelling. This is where 343—who took the reins after Bungie’s departure—messed up, especially when they decided to mess with the formula that fans loved.
Rather than Master Chief being put in dangerous galactic warfare and global threat situations, pushing players to give it their all to ensure the safety of all humanity, the franchise evolved into something
else, causing us to question the very existence of the Halo world and introducing new factions, new enemy types, and new characters that didn’t really serve much of a purpose
This is where fans realized that they weren’t being done justice; that their favorite characters were being forced into different narratives than they were previously meant for. Master Chief is highly beloved by audiences around the world, so when you include a random plot where he is falling in love
with an AI named Cortana, it just doesn’t work because the AI is programmed not to feel those emotions. Not to mention, the narrative is executed poorly and Cortana is eventually turned into some sort of world destroying entity in the fifth game.
THE HALO SERIES AND HOW IT HAS BROKEN FANS
Considering how passionate this fanbase is and how much disservice they’ve faced throughout the years, it makes sense why Paramount Studios put a lot of time and effort into their new streaming series, giving it one of the highest budgets in the history of television. They really want to make this one of their flagship titles for the Paramount+ subscription service.
Fortunately, the series is doing a few things right, even if they’re failing on elivering those high notes that people are expecting from Master Chief’s story.