Microsoft released a pair of trailers for Halo 5: Guardians Sunday featuring two distinctly branching conclusions involving the Master Chief and a new character, Locke. Halo 5: Guardians will be the first official entry on the Xbox One for the Halo series and will debut on October 27, 2015.
The trailers are simple enough, each featuring a voice over by either the Master Chief or by Locke, a wartorn battlefield with one soldier wounded in front of a massive statue. If the tone of the trailer is any indication of the potential of Halo 5, this next entry will be much darker than previous titles and certainly does not paint the Master Chief out to be the hero who sacrificed himself at the end of Halo 3.
For those invested in the storyline surrounding the Master Chief, I hope you’ve kept up with the live action piece Halo: Nightfall. Locke is the central character in that series as an ONI (gotta love the old Bungie references) acquisitions specialist. Locke is being branded as the antagonist in the new trailers, hunting the former hero. It seems like there is a ton of beneath the surface stories that motivate Locke to go against the Chief.
It is a smart series of trailers that certainly gets the conversation started. Now is a great time to get the groundswell spinning with Microsoft hitching their Fall tentpole to one of the most revered franchises in gaming. Especially at a time where Sony’s library is appearing a little weak with the delay of Uncharted and the poor performance of The Order 1886, having Halo 5 capture the attention of the Fall season is crucial for the Xbox brand.
Of course Microsoft is no stranger to the rocky launches as the remastered Halo: The Master Chief collection was plagued with terrible matchmaking systems, rendering the multiplayer component largely unplayable. A solid holiday slate of Halo 5 and Rise of the Tomb Raider would certainly put the ball in Microsoft’s course
Whether or not Halo 5 turns out to be the epic it promises to be remains to be seen. Halo 4 was good, but not stellar. If 343 Industries can succeed in injecting some life into what is now seen as a slightly archaic shooter, a solid story would certainly help. The story is, after all, the best part of Halo Reach, my personal favorite in the series.