Speaking with OXM UK, Microsoft Games Studios Corporate Vice President Phil Spencer discussed the nature of Master Chief and his relationship with Halo 4. Put simply, Spencer claims that Microsoft and Bungie took the story in unnecessary direction with Reach and O.D.S.T. by leaving Chief out.
That, apparently, is being corrected in the next chapter.
“The key question for me in managing the studio and the creatives is ‘what is Halo?’, making sure Halo lives up to what I think gamers fell in love with [playing Combat Evolved]…
What does that mean? Playing Master Chief…We kind of lost our way a little bit, I’ll say. And that’s why I wanted to make sure that at the unveiling of Halo 4, you knew you were playing Master Chief, that John was back. Because Master Chief is the John Wayne character of that universe, and that’s who you want to play.”
What Microsoft may be missing, however, is that Master Chief has never been much of a dynamic character. At one point in the interview sourced below, Spencer argues that Halo‘s immersive story is what separates it from the comic pulp that is Gears of War. While that may have been a good point for Halo 1, 2, O.D.S.T and Reach, Chief’s last story in 3 was arguably the weakest. And one could argue that Bungie put Chief to bed there specifically because they felt they were done telling his story.
To me, as a fan of Halo, it feels like Microsoft may be trying to turn Master Chief into an instantly recognizable action hero hellbent on selling tons and tons of copies. That’s fine. Honestly. But I find it hard to believe that Chief is the best direction for the Halo storyline. Bungie built a universe, not a single character. If Chief does nothing but fight Flood and Covenant for the next 9 games, what makes Halo special?
[via OXM UK]