Tin Salamunic: Compared to its predecessors, Halo 5: Guardians is both similar and different in all the wrong ways. Its campaign, level structure and rushed ending are all uncomfortably similar to Halo 4, while the gameplay leans too heavily towards something you see in Call of Duty or Titanfall. Breathtaking presentation aside, the latest Halo suffers from what I like to call “big budget fatigue”- meaning all effort and money is put towards marketing and graphics, while gameplay design takes on the usual AAA paint-by-the-numbers approach.
In Halo 4, 5, and Infinite, Master Chief became a more nuanced, human character.
In spite of the Halo series’ struggles, 343 deserves praise for adding nuance and characterisation to the ever-beating heart of Halo - The Master Chief. Playing through Infinite, it's abundantly clear that the events of the current and previous trilogies have irrevocably changed the iconic hero. He’s no longer the ‘blank slate’ that was previously presented by Bungie. He’s a fatigued, damaged and fallible protagonist, and one who is meandering through currents of grief, while reveling in his newfound agency. Giving the Chief a compelling and meaningful voice was no small feat, and 343 should be proud of that victory.