Normally I felt like I had everything said that needed to be said about the Halo franchise, but sometimes the fans of this series can surprise you. Particularly after the cinematic that 343i showed us for the new Halo game. This was shockingly met with some shocking reactions because some fans have convinced themselves that the humans aren’t as important as the Spartans. Apparently from their perspective, it only matters that we care about the Spartans. Everything else they throw at us is pretty much filler if it doesn’t involve them. My drive towards writing this is the fact that this should not be the case, not at this point.
As a universe, that means the story off the bat does not revolve around one person. For those who properly understand the story of Halo, then they know that at the core this is a race for the mantle of the universe. To be specific, this is all about humanity reclaiming their rightful place on the mantle of the universe. Hence why most of these people would be called Reclaimers.
Spartans play a key role in this, but at the end of the day they are as much pawns as everyone else who has a part to play. Being the weapon isn’t saying much in contrast to the numerous regular humans who had given up their lives to make sure the war was never lost. Miranda Keys, Sergeant Johnson, Cortana, the many close-calls Halsey even faced, the list goes on and any one of them you could say have had just as much of an impact. Enough so that it would be close-minded to call these things filler. To create a universe, that means that all of these different people, races, and species have to have some sort of influence over the way a story progresses. I would imagine that just focusing on these soldiers would have gotten very stale. In fact, we may as well have stopped the game at Halo 3 if that were the case, but this isn’t that kind of game. It’s not what Bungie and 343i set up through the books or the comics either.
I mean, if we’re really going to go down that road, then should Cortana not be grouped with all of those humans who are supposedly taking away story time from the Spartans? This is a Smart AI who captured our hearts because she challenged the lifespan of your average artificial intelligence. Not only did she do that, but she dared to question what makes someone like her human. These are things the Spartans like Chief were quick to cast aside for their mission. Does that make them any better than the others? Not one bit. Others have been able to make the hard call even with their emotions intact. To ever call that storyline filler would have been a smack in the face.
After E3 this year, there was some out there who were quick to turn their nose at the cinematic because they didn’t care about this pilot or his wife. All they cared for was the action they hoped to immediately follow the events of Halo 5. That’s a problematic mindset to me. We should care about this pilot. What we are probably seeing is the state of the universe after what Cortana did. The war will always be there, but the lives of regular people like this guy is fleeting. There’s no point in all this fighting if these people are ignored in the process just to shoot at aliens and abominations. How much would you bet that all these people have to do is wait to see what follows through other means than simply jumping right into the fire?
I could even get into the massive success that was “Halo HUNT The TRUTH”, but that is a whole other wall of text that could explain itself.
When Halo 4 first introduced the Spartan 4’s, I was genuinely excited because this was only the natural progression for Spartans in this universe. These were new people who were able to experience what it feels like to be a supersoldier. I could not believe that people could look at these characters and write them off as cardboard cutouts. Obviously that is what they are going to look like on the surface, but it is short-sighted not to be able to look deeper than that. These are also soldiers given the power to finally put up a fight against stronger enemies. Especially when some of them have been there on the ground and understand what it means to be powerless in the face of tragedy. Spartan Thorne was the best example of this, even if he is the kind of rare soldier to allow his emotions to get the best of him. Though at the same time, is that really a problem? Should all of the characters we follow be hollow? Master Chief isn’t a character you experience these emotions with without the assistance of other characters around him.
The most consistent argument seems to be Halo 5 because of Fireteam Osiris. This part puzzled me because people were not able to see how it mattered to see this situation from fresh new eyes. Spartan Locke is someone who observes, and then he acts. That is a quality pretty rare for a Spartan, and that is what made his confrontation with Chief so intense, even if it possibly could have been more than it turned out to be. Tanaka came from mining planets like the one they visited where people are easily ignored despite their massive casualties. Spartan Buck went from your average ODST who’s cannon fodder, and became someone who can actually stand a chance in a real fight. These are things that your average kidnapped as a kid Spartan could not offer in terms of skill and perspective.
If we’re going to be fair, then at the end of the day we need to see more from Master Chief, or the time he gets is less justified than everyone else. And I still could point out more characters of significance who can do more for us than point and shoot. I’m not even trying to bash the Chief, but let’s remember that story matters as much as gameplay. Between Bungie and 343i that balance has been their target, and right now I would think that they know best. We like to think we do, but we don’t