When Halo 5 was released a couple of years back, many were disappointed in the game’s storytelling. This was majorly because 343 Industries chose to switch the narrative between Master Chief and Spartan Locke. Not everyone appreciated the deviation when the franchise already boasts one of the most iconic characters in history.
Speaking with GamesTM, franchise development director Frank O’Connor admitted that the feedback was absolutely merited. The developer had hoped to market the game in a way that would “bring surprise” but ultimately fans were not too happy with seeing Master Chief as more of a side-character rather than the central focus.
“Chief we tend to think of as kind of a vessel for your adventure rather than necessarily this major character in the universe. He’s really just your entry into the universe,” he said. “But people have become attached to him over the last fifteen years and they’ve started to sort of fill in the gaps that the character deliberately has for gameplay reasons with a genuine emotional attachment. We certainly underestimated that with Halo 5.”
O’Connor went on to say that Halo 5 provided a “big learning” opportunity for the team. If anything, 343 Industries is now fully aware of the importance Master Chief holds for the franchise. The developer has already established that future installments will focus more on the series’ protagonist than adding new playable characters.
O’Connor teased that the next installments will “shift the focus a little bit to making the world a little bit more realistic and compelling and, I would say, more fun for players who get to inhabit the Chief in the future, pretty much as they demanded.”
The reference is probably towards Halo 6, which is confirmed to be in development but has yet to be officially announced. We do not even know if the game will be called Halo 6. While the next installment in the series is unlikely to release this year, we can expect 343 Industries to drop a few details on the way to get us ready.
The treatment of Master Chief was not the only reason Halo 5 received its fair share of flak. The handling of microtransactions was also a key factor that majority from the community ended up frowning upon.