by Greg Pilkington, Art by Jasreet Pratap
Since Combat Evolved, Halo has become richer and richer in its lore. Largely, I think this due to the prowess of writers like Eric Nylund and Karen Traviss, and of course, the fans who wanted to explore this compelling universe that Bungie created. As a result, we’ve been gifted with some pretty amazing adventures: in game, novel, and now in film. However, despite the engrossing stories, Bungie and 343 have dropped the ball before. I’m talking Halo 2 and Halo 5, the neglected middle child, as it were. Now don’t get me wrong, the gameplay in both of these games really pushed Halo to a whole other level, but when it came to their campaign stories, both games felt unsatisfactory, to say the least. Some may disagree, and some may even forgive due to the games being the middle part of a trilogy, but here at Low Five, we don’t think that’s a valid excuse. We think that regardless of when the games are taking place in the greater whole, each story should still be fully realized, compelling, and leave a lasting impression to the many dedicated fans. With that in mind, Jazz challenged Greg to rewrite the Halo 5 campaign so that in the end, we would feel satisfied by the story and still set up for the events of Halo 6. So without further adieu, this is Low Five’s take on the Halo 5 campaign
As a precursor to this miniseries, I will note that I’m going keep things relatively the same as what 343 had originally, but with some slight modifications that will have a larger impact then what was in the game.
Not a whole lot to change here. The goal in this first mission was to introduce a new type of Spartan and a new group of characters while establishing the initial plot of the game. 343 did an exceptional job in this first two missions as to set up what was to come.
In this opening mission, Fireteam Osiris is charged with rescuing a kidnapped Halsey from Jul ‘Mdama, the leader of the Covenant forces. ‘Mdama is currently fighting a civil war against the Arbiter and is trying to use Halsey to gain an edge. Osiris lands in Kamchatka and proceeds to fight through Prometheans and Covenant. Osiris fairs well against the forces, but start to bottlenecked and pinned down by their enemy. When the team is about to call for a back up, the Prometheans inexplicably turn against the Covenant and start fighting each other. The team question the change, but without further knowledge they decide they can’t figure out why and decide instead to take advantage of the situation and win over both sides. During this mission, Osiris is swapping stories about fighting against ‘Mdama and how they’re excited that they may be the ones to kill the son of a bitch. They continue to fight through a mixture of Covenant and Promethean forces and eventually reach ‘Mdama and Halsey. Just like in the game Osiris masterfully takes out ‘Mdama’s team and Locke kills ‘Mdama in a one-on-one fight. They rescue Halsey and return to the Latsky’s UNSC ship Infinity.
The cutscene post-mission essentially stays the same as well.
Again, mostly the same, but with some minor differences.
Blue Team is sent to secure the ONI research vessel Argent Moon which was captured by Covenant forces. Nothing crazy here, but the mission should highlight, regardless of the difficulty that you’re playing on, that Blue Team have grown up together and are beyond superior when they’re in a team. This could be shown in a brief cutscene or even in the way they talk to Chief during a fight. For example:
Kelly starts focus firing on a Elite and calls to Chief, “Chief, setting one up for you. Take him down!” When she calls this, if you as the player choose to help Kelly out, the Elite will be that much easier to take down.
However, I digress. During this mission, Chief is separated from Blue Team and receives a vision from Cortana. Instead of Cortana cryptically telling Chief “Meridian is next,” she simply says, “Meridian.” Chief replies by asking her what she means and where she is; Cortana responds by telling Chief “the mantle…it’s within my reach.” Before Chief can muster another word, Blue Team finds him and snaps him back to their current mission. The mission goes on as it was in the game, resulting in Blue Team activating Argent Moon’s self destruct. Before they escape on the ONI experimental Prowler ship, Chief calls in to the UNSC that he’s got a lead on Cortana and that he requests to go after her. He doesn’t say where. The UNSC commander denies the request and tells Chief to get back to base. Without acknowledging his superior officer’s order, Chief heads to the pilot seat of the Prowler. He makes a motion to say something to Blue Team about what he plans to do, but they interrupt him and tell him “we know what you’re thinking and there’s no way we’re letting you do this alone.” They blast away from the exploding Argent Moon and head off into space.
The cutscene after this mission, again, remains essentially the same. The Infinity and Osiris get word that Chief and the rest of Blue Team have gone AWOL and that Osiris will be sent after them to bring them in. When Osiris asks where do they begin, Locke explains that his old ONI clearance can tap into the coordinates of the Prowler. In the briefing, Halsey explains that if Cortana is somehow still online it’s most likely that she entered the Domain.
This is where things start to change. Instead of delineating from the marketing campaign of Halo 5, we’re going to stress it even more. This is a manhunt.
Now, instead of Blue Team ending up on Meridian right away, they fall out of warp near Sanghelios’s orbit. They witness a ton of Covenant ships warping in at the same time and see that they’re bombarding the planet. Chief tries to pilot around the incoming Phantoms and other Covenant ships, but gets sideswiped as one falls out of warp. They crash land on the planet near the city Sunaion right in the middle of a group of Covenant.
Chief takes off like a mad man, fighting ahead of the rest of the team. Blue Team try to reign him in, but he’s on a warpath to get back to finding Cortana. After they’ve cleared out a chunk of Covenant, they come across the Swords of Sanghelios. The Swords bring Blue Team to the Arbiter and there’s reunion between him and Chief akin to Dillon and Dutch in Predator.
The Arbiter asks Chief what he’s doing on Sanghelios, and Chief explains the situation with Cortana and what it could mean if she actually tapped into the Mantle. He tells Arbiter that he’s had a difference of opinions with the UNSC and has gone rogue in order to secure and return Cortana back home. Arbiter is shocked that Chief, a warrior, has disobeyed his orders; he even notices a bit of uneasiness from the rest of Blue Team. He tries to reason with Chief, but they’re interrupted by the call of the Guardian residing under Sunaion.
That will be it for now, we will back with some more updates in the future. Do you have thoughts on how halo 5 should have gone? Let us know in the comments.
For a high res of the image above go here.