Halo 5: Guardians was a risky game for 343 Industries, not just because its gameplay introduced an “aim down sights” mechanic for the first time and removed split-screen multiplayer, but also because its narrative largely focused on characters other than series mainstay Master Chief. Only a few of the game’s missions actually allowed players to control the legendary Spartan, but this likely won’t be the case in the game’s sequel.
Speaking to GamesTM magazine (spotted by WCCFTech), longtime Halo developer and franchise director Frank O’Connor admitted that fans wanted more of the focus in Halo 5 to be on the Master Chief instead of newcomer Jameson Locke.
“It wasn’t that surprising to me, but the volume of ‘give us more Chief’ at the end of Halo 5 was significant and so I think, if anything, he’s slightly more important now than he has even been, certainly to our franchise. Instead of focusing on bringing new characters into the world and expanding the playable characters, we’ve sort of shifted the focus a little bit to making the world a bit more realistic and, I would say, more fun for players who [want] to inhabit the Chief in the future, pretty much as they demanded.”
Halo 5 was hardly the first time the series has explored other playable characters. Halo 2 surprised fans when it abruptly shifted its focus to the Covenant “Elite” alien the Arbiter, but his tale of religious separatism, racism, and redemption was compelling enough to make him a worthwhile co-protagonist for the game — he even made a short appearance in Halo 5, still voiced by veteran actor Keith David.
Jameson Locke’s story, however, was largely tied into the Master Chief as he attempted to stop him from “rescuing” the AI Cortana, and it largely felt arbitrary when control shifted back to him and his fireteam.
Halo 6, if that is what Microsoft and 343 intend to call the game, hasn’t even been officially unveiled yet. The latest game in the series is the real-time strategy sequel Halo Wars 2, which launched in February for both Xbox One and Windows 10.