What Really Bugged Me About Halo 4

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Qizx:
I doubt old school sunday folk are on this site anyways.

That be prejudice.

"There be more to dis world then what you see from yo comfort zone, holmes. 'cause you only gravitate towards like-minded peeps isn't proof that peeps who be thinking different than you don't exist."

~ Agnes Sligh Turnbull

The two biggest turn offs for me where how the 343i's version of the Halo universe reads basically like crappy fanfiction (and ruins some of the older games too), and how they went complete CoD-casual for the multiplayer.

My main problem with Halo 4 is Pic Related, but substituting Chief, Forerunners, UNSC, and once again Forerunners for the names in that sequence.


I could understand them keeping the flood in the rings in case someone needed to study them (not in the gas mine places mind you, but what the frick ever). But not keeping the angry genocidal guy alive without some rudimentary program just advanced enough to say "Don't Push this button, the guy in this prison is bad news" whenever someone gets close enough. And then for the UNSC derping about with Captain "Oh, that Didact guy isn't important at all! Now I'm going to pull rank on Master Chief to point out what a colossal waste of oxygen I am!" at the helm. Finally with the Forerunners again, They kept the flood alive who could figure out weapons, and kept a weapon around that was apparently useless against the flood but could kill any human and turn them into a mechanical abomination you know....instead of blowing it up when it became apparent they were all going to die, also couldn't they have killed the Didact then as well? Don't tell the Librarian about her Husbando, just collapse the Shield World in on itself, maybe some nukes right near him while you're at it.

I swear to god if Halo 5 has the Librarian saying something like "Well, there was another super-weapon I nearly forgot about, and a bunch of angry relatives I have that you just released by opening that door....whoops!" I will not be surprised in the least.

Paragon Fury:
The two biggest turn offs for me where how the 343i's version of the Halo universe reads basically like crappy fanfiction (and ruins some of the older games too), and how they went complete CoD-casual for the multiplayer.

The issue regarding Cortana's mortality was actually well-written (even if the ending ended up shitting itself with such a corny and stupid "moment"). But yeah, the Storm Covenant seemed like a contrived excuse to recycle the Covenant AI from the old games.

Paragon Fury:
The two biggest turn offs for me where how the 343i's version of the Halo universe reads basically like crappy fanfiction (and ruins some of the older games too).

Yeah.. the Karen Traviss marks were everywhere. That woman is a menace.

I particularly love the MASSIVE continuity problems caused by Halo 4... if by love i meant hate with a burning passion.

Lets just start with this one:

Play Halo 3. Read all the Terminals. Who are they written by ? The Didact.

You know what The Didact did? He Fired the Halo Array from the Ark before ending his own life, thereby wiping out The Flood.. (mostly).

So... how is he the villain of Halo 4? How did he fire the Array if he was actually imprisoned in the Shield World centuries before the Forerunner war with the Flood?

Because Karen Traviss is an idiot, that's why.

And that's just the start of the continuity problems (most of them flow out of that one).

deathstrikesquirrel:
And then for the UNSC derping about with Captain "Oh, that Didact guy isn't important at all! Now I'm going to pull rank on Master Chief to point out what a colossal waste of oxygen I am!" at the helm.

Funny thing, though - bearing in mind that the UNSC *might* do things differently - Master Chief actually outranks that Captain. His rank, as given in his file, is Master Chief Petty Officer Of The Navy.... and this is borne out on his "tomb" at the end of Halo 3 where his rank insignia is shown. with three stars - MCPOTN is a THREE STAR RANK. As in, while he is technically enlisted, as the MCPOTN, he serves directly under the Admiral of the Navy as the highest ranking "Enlisted" man in the entire show and carries a rank equivalency to a THREE STAR ADMIRAL.

Master Chief could have told that Captain to go fuck himself and been totally in the right. Now, he couldn't have legally taken command of the vessel (as he is not in the line of command/not a line officer) but he's not in that Captain's chain of command at all. The only person that Master Chief reports to is the Admiral of the Navy - in this case, unless something has changed, Lord Hood. He's got pretty much the shortest chain of command in the service other than Hood himself (who reports directly to the UN General Secretary)

Daaaah Whoosh:

elvor0:

...I wouldn't say the lore was set up to have much room for you to make your own backstory.

I mean you can if you /want/, but 4 didn't seem to be any more "solid" in how the lore was than 1-3, it just introduced new elements. Master Chief...has always been quiet and essentially empty as far as a personality goes, 4 is hardly the game to start ragging on him for it. Heck, Chief had more personality in 4 than the others I'd say. As far as I can see, the Forerunners were always going to be hyper advanced aliens, it even felt like that's what everyone thought they were In Universe too. This isn't a universe with Gods and Magic.

I dunno, someone could likely correct me on a few of thse things, I'm limited to the games. But with something like Halo I think basing stuff on just the games is okay, as that is it's primary outlet, and the story presented in them shouldn't rely on stuff thats in the expanded universe without explaining it in the games.

I liked when Master Chief was quiet. I believed it was because he was like me, full of interesting thoughts about life, the universe, and everything, but with the understanding that no one cared. Kinda like Clint Eastwood's characters, they always seem to know what's going on, but have absolutely no intention of bothering anyone with it. In 4, Chief was a stupid child who didn't understand his own limitations.
As for the Forerunners, it's like they said in the article- they were better in my imagination because they never got pinned down to anything real. This trend keeps on happening- the Space Jockeys were explored in Prometheus, the Observers were explained in season 5 of Fringe, the Reapers were justified at the end of Mass Effect 3, and the Force was measured in Phantom Menace. Each time, a strange and slightly terrifying thing beyond our understanding turned out to be incredibly mundane. The Forerunners in Halo 1 were an alien race no one knew about who left behind massive structures that often featured beautiful earthlike landscapes, a parasite capable of toppling civilizations, and a weapon capable of wiping out said parasite along with a big chunk of the galaxy. We didn't know why they did these things, and we didn't know where they went, and we certainly weren't a part of it. In Halo 4, we're shown that the Forerunners almost got beaten by prehistoric humans, who they'd already been living with. Considering how powerful they make out the humans to be in Halo 4, it's like there's nothing left to fight. There's no tension any more, because I already believe that the humans can beat the Forerunners. I went from feeling incredibly small in Halo 1 to feeling like the biggest thing in the universe in Halo 4, and like I said before, I like Master Chief to be as small as possible.

Explaining the force certainly had no place in Star Wars, but that was more because it was Space Fantasy, as opposed to Science Fiction, the force was just magic, lightsabers were magic swords, Darth Vader was the black knight, Palpatine the Dark Overlord etc. There's no reason to explain why magic works, because it's magic.

Science Fiction should have its technology explained to a certain degree, hence the "Science" part of the genre name, especially hard science fiction like Halo. The Reapers are AIs, they have to have some justifiction for their actions, due to being robots, I think it'd have taken away from the series if the Reapers had had /nothing/ explained about them, considering we'd discovered they'd come before, repeatedly. At the end of the day, they are just machines, highly advanced and intelligent machines, but machines none the less. Now whether or not you /like/ that explaination is totally down to personal taste, if you ignore the science bit of "Science Fiction" it just becomes Fantasy.

I think the problem with the forerunners being a bit of a downplay from Halo 1-3 has less to do with the fact that they've been made less mysterious, and to do with the fact that the threat is inherently just less palpable. You can't really go anywhere in terms of threat after the death of all life in the galaxy. Master Chief just doesn't really feel necessary in Halo 4, especially considering they have a new breed of Spartans. He became Messianic in 1-3, not only because he was the last Spartan, naturally giving him Legendary status, but because the threat of the flood was something only a Spartan could realisticly take down.

This is also reinforced by the Covenant referring to him as The Demon, which to them he is, but because they're the enemy and the player also sees them as such, he becomes messianic, because he's fighting for Humanity. You still felt small though, because the threat was on a universal scale. The flood are endless and they WILL keep coming. The Promethans, despite their legendary status, were and are just aliens, their numbers will ebb eventually, and they don't even seem to rival the covenant in terms of military might, but then if they were supposed to be dead, it makes sense that there would be significantly less of them.

DSP_Zulu:

Paragon Fury:
The two biggest turn offs for me where how the 343i's version of the Halo universe reads basically like crappy fanfiction (and ruins some of the older games too).

Yeah.. the Karen Traviss marks were everywhere. That woman is a menace.

I particularly love the MASSIVE continuity problems caused by Halo 4... if by love i meant hate with a burning passion.

Lets just start with this one:

Play Halo 3. Read all the Terminals. Who are they written by ? The Didact.

You know what The Didact did? He Fired the Halo Array from the Ark before ending his own life, thereby wiping out The Flood.. (mostly).

So... how is he the villain of Halo 4? How did he fire the Array if he was actually imprisoned in the Shield World centuries before the Forerunner war with the Flood?

Because Karen Traviss is an idiot, that's why.

And that's just the start of the continuity problems (most of them flow out of that one).

Didact is a title, not a name. There's more than one. But I can see how stuff like that starts to muddle things up.
http://halo.wikia.com/wiki/Bornstellar_Makes_Eternal_Lasting

Bornstellar is the one who activated the Halo Array.

http://halo.wikia.com/wiki/Shadow-of-Sundered-Star

Shadow-of-Sundered-Star is who Chief fights in 4.

Cartographer:
No-one is under any obligation, ever, to consider the feelings of irrational people, as anyone who took any sort of offence to the comparison, has shown themselves to be. The Jesus myth that Christianity is based upon is subject to no more consideration for the feelings of people who choose to believe it than the Horus Myth, the Odin myth, the Zeus myth, the Amaterasu myth etc. are. Frankly, you sound like you've come to specifically take offence, but have cloaked your trolling in the age old "other people might..." excuse.

dawg

why u b frontin?

aint no reason to b dissn peeps religion just coz a game be called Halo

check your privilege

What bugs me about Halo 4 is that Master Chief is not in any way an interesting character. He's got no personality outside of Cortana (which they killed). She is the only thing that at all made him a character but still not as interesting as a cardboard cutout. Halo 2 at least Arbiter and than fanboys lost their shit over nothing and Halo 3 got blanded down when they took out the Arbiter as a PC.

Excellent article, Robert. Good insight.

I was only ever really invested in the original Halo: Combat Evolved as far as the story went. I felt the Halo games consistently made interesting and often desirable mechanical iterations, but the expanding canon and mythology of the universe actually detracted from the impact of the original's tight, simple focus.

Like most folks I didn't keep playing Halo for the story, but like most folks I DID play through all the single player campaigns, all the same, since Bungie and 343 crafted a great variety of adventurous action and tactical set pieces in a colorful universe. Silly, but ripe and enjoyable.

Dead Century:

DSP_Zulu:

Paragon Fury:
The two biggest turn offs for me where how the 343i's version of the Halo universe reads basically like crappy fanfiction (and ruins some of the older games too).

Yeah.. the Karen Traviss marks were everywhere. That woman is a menace.

I particularly love the MASSIVE continuity problems caused by Halo 4... if by love i meant hate with a burning passion.

Lets just start with this one:

Play Halo 3. Read all the Terminals. Who are they written by ? The Didact.

You know what The Didact did? He Fired the Halo Array from the Ark before ending his own life, thereby wiping out The Flood.. (mostly).

So... how is he the villain of Halo 4? How did he fire the Array if he was actually imprisoned in the Shield World centuries before the Forerunner war with the Flood?

Because Karen Traviss is an idiot, that's why.

And that's just the start of the continuity problems (most of them flow out of that one).

Didact is a title, not a name. There's more than one. But I can see how stuff like that starts to muddle things up.
http://halo.wikia.com/wiki/Bornstellar_Makes_Eternal_Lasting

Bornstellar is the one who activated the Halo Array.

http://halo.wikia.com/wiki/Shadow-of-Sundered-Star

Shadow-of-Sundered-Star is who Chief fights in 4.

That's the problem - that's all a massive, novels-only, gigantic bullshit retcon. Prior to that, Didact was a name AND a title. There was only one.

It's Karen Traviss at her ruining-your-favorite-fiction best. You know that LucasArts ate the breach of contract fee (over 500k) so they could fire her and be rid of her because she was so bad, right?

To be fair, and in much the same fashion that Bungie basically ripped off functionally every aspect of Halo from earlier works, the waking of the sleeping messiah is practically a subgenre of science fiction itself.

In my opinion, where Halo 4 falls flat in that regard isn't so much that he's woken, but the fashion in which it occurs. As a general rule, a few things have to happen to make it work.

First, there needs to be significant passage of time. Typically associated with either a general cultural backslide or stagnation, or at the very least some measure of degeneration in capability in said future.

Second, he has to be woken. Yes, Cortana wakes up the Chief in Halo 4, but since she in effect was entombed with him, she doesn't count.

Third, and finally, the threat has to be massive, and known, at least in some vague sense.

Halo 4 misses at least two of those beats, and winds up coming off less as an execution of the sleeping messiah trope, and more like a "welcome to season 2 of your favorite anime".

DSP_Zulu:

It's Karen Traviss at her ruining-your-favorite-fiction best. You know that LucasArts ate the breach of contract fee (over 500k) so they could fire her and be rid of her because she was so bad, right?

[Looks at Forerunners books]

[Looks at author: Greg Bear]

[Looks back at post...]

Are you seriously blaming Karen Traviss... For books not even written by her? Is that the level of hatred we've
gotten to now? Wow...

Korten12:

DSP_Zulu:

It's Karen Traviss at her ruining-your-favorite-fiction best. You know that LucasArts ate the breach of contract fee (over 500k) so they could fire her and be rid of her because she was so bad, right?

[Looks at Forerunners books]

[Looks at author: Greg Bear]

[Looks back at post...]

Are you seriously blaming Karen Traviss... For books not even written by her? Is that the level of hatred we've
gotten to now? Wow...

Yes.. because she was hired by 343i to plot the entire story for all of the franchise before those books were written. They had a huge press release about it.

Essentially, she's the story director for the entire franchise now. She's the one responsible. That's sorta how that kind of thing works.

DSP_Zulu:

Korten12:

DSP_Zulu:

It's Karen Traviss at her ruining-your-favorite-fiction best. You know that LucasArts ate the breach of contract fee (over 500k) so they could fire her and be rid of her because she was so bad, right?

[Looks at Forerunners books]

[Looks at author: Greg Bear]

[Looks back at post...]

Are you seriously blaming Karen Traviss... For books not even written by her? Is that the level of hatred we've
gotten to now? Wow...

Yes.. because she was hired by 343i to plot the entire story for all of the franchise before those books were written. They had a huge press release about it.

Essentially, she's the story director for the entire franchise now. She's the one responsible. That's sorta how that kind of thing works.

This is a troll post right..? Right?

Korten12:

DSP_Zulu:

Korten12:

[Looks at Forerunners books]

[Looks at author: Greg Bear]

[Looks back at post...]

Are you seriously blaming Karen Traviss... For books not even written by her? Is that the level of hatred we've
gotten to now? Wow...

Yes.. because she was hired by 343i to plot the entire story for all of the franchise before those books were written. They had a huge press release about it.

Essentially, she's the story director for the entire franchise now. She's the one responsible. That's sorta how that kind of thing works.

This is a troll post right..? Right?

Funny, i was going to say the same thing about you. Reading is hard, i guess. But hey, keep being a Karen Traviss apologist. It wont change the fact that she's an awful writer and tends to write below the level of the average fanfic.. so bad, in fact, that multiple employers have cut her loose in the past for screwing up their fiction. How she keeps getting hired (and getting hired to do things like direct the story of an entire franchise, at that) i have no idea.

DSP_Zulu:

Funny, i was going to say the same thing about you. Reading is hard, i guess. But hey, keep being a Karen Traviss apologist. It wont change the fact that she's an awful writer and tends to write below the level of the average fanfic.. so bad, in fact, that multiple employers have cut her loose in the past for screwing up their fiction. How she keeps getting hired (and getting hired to do things like direct the story of an entire franchise, at that) i have no idea.

Karen Travis was hired to write the Kilo-Five trilogy, she was NOT hired as the story director for the entire franchise. What the fuck are you talking about?

DSP_Zulu:
-a very good point I might say-

It stil goes to the route of one of my main frustrations with the fiction outside of the first three games. First three games, every time Master Chief shows up every Marine is like "F*ck yeah, we might live!" and the ODSTs are hyped to see you. Then I go to the other media and both the marines and ODSTs are constantly shitting on the Spartans like in the short

Also Glasslands with people being like "OMG, Spartans so awful. Wow,such inhumanity. Halsley is soooo mean to the special little mute Spartan III, what a bitch."
Also
>Will Spartan no one really cares about choose the UNSC,or her terrorist father she barely knows...
>Derphaderder

evilnancyreagan:
Prolly not the best idea to lump King Arthur and Jesus into the same analogy, especially when it's in regards to fiction.

There are those that still believe Zeus and his pantheon are the only real, true gods. Should we refrain from ever referencing Zeus in discussions of mythologies and fictional characters, simply because these people might be "offended"?

Quite frankly, until one can prove someone or something is actually real, we are well within our rights to consider that someone or something to be fictional.

Any offense people perceive in that act is entirely on them.

Honestly, my biggest problem with Halo 4 was the huge gaping plot hole of where the fuck are all the Covenant coming from and why the hell are there so many Elites with them? If it was just the small number of ships you see at the beginning of the game I could somewhat believe that, but that force gets whipped out at the beginning of the game and yet the fuckers just keep coming. Granted that's not the only thing about the game that bugs me, but it's the biggest in my eyes.

deathstrikesquirrel:
...And then for the UNSC derping about with Captain "Oh, that Didact guy isn't important at all! Now I'm going to pull rank on Master Chief to point out what a colossal waste of oxygen I am!" at the helm...

The actions of that Captain were highly justified. The survival of the Infinity was of a higher priority than taking out the Didact. Plus if the Infinity were to be defeated, then who would come back to Eath and warn them of the coming Promethean threat?

ThunderCavalier:

Paragon Fury:
The two biggest turn offs for me where how the 343i's version of the Halo universe reads basically like crappy fanfiction (and ruins some of the older games too), and how they went complete CoD-casual for the multiplayer.

The issue regarding Cortana's mortality was actually well-written (even if the ending ended up shitting itself with such a corny and stupid "moment"). But yeah, the Storm Covenant seemed like a contrived excuse to recycle the Covenant AI from the old games.

Contrived as it was, Cortana's line "A lot can happen in 4 years", made everything worth it.

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