Microsoft Admits they “Lost Their Way” with Halo: Reach, ODST

halo lost its way

I know, I know, this is another gaming industry trash talk article, but bear with me for a minute. Now that Bungie has said good-bye to Halo, Microsoft has taken up the banner, trumping up their upcoming schedule of Halo titles like the Combat Evolved remake this fall and Halo 4 later next year. Since Halo 4 features the return of Master Chief, Microsoft’s Corporate VP Phil Spencer talked with OXM about bringing back the O.G. Spartan and why Halo 4 evokes the spirit of the first Halo. I get that he’s promoting Halo 4, but the way he does it is kind of odd. Have a look at the quote, and see if anything strikes you as unusual.

“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],” Spencer told OXM at E3 after the new game’s official reveal.

“What does that mean? Playing Master Chief,” he said. “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.”

It’s the “we kind of lost our way a little bit” coupled with the fact that Mr. Spencer seems to think that Master Chief is what makes Halo Halo. Now that Bungie has officially parted ways with their old publisher, I think a little bit of resentment is starting to crop up in the 343 Industries office. Saying that Halo lost is way in ODST and Reach was a bit unfair, especially considering that Reach was lauded as the closest the series has ever come to emulating the magic of Halo: Combat Evolved.

I guess you could look at this from a story standpoint, but I just don’t think that gamers care that much about who they’re playing as in Halo, as long as the combat is fun and there’s co-op and multiplayer to boot. What do you guys think? Is Phil Spencer dissing Bungie, or does he geniunly believe that people want the Master Chief back really, really badly?

Source – OXM

Written by

mitch@gamersushi.com Twitter: @mi7ch Gamertag: Lubeius PSN ID: Lubeius SteamID: Lube182 Origin/EA:Lube182 Currently Playing: Stardew Valley, Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords, Battlefield 4, Tom Clancy Double Feature: Rainbow Six Siege and The Division

7 thoughts on “Microsoft Admits they “Lost Their Way” with Halo: Reach, ODST”

  1. Im pretty sure Microsoft didnt loose squat. ODST was pure bullshit but they knew it, they just wanted more of this $$$$$$. So he is just making an excuse there. And Reach was good, so I dont know what the hell he is talking about there. Oh and lets just go further. I think the Halo series could die right now as is with the final farewell being the Anniversary collection. But no, its going to get 3 more games. “Magic” is not how I would describe that, I would try a word like “Greed”.

    He is kind of dissing Bungie. Which is ridiculous because he didnt have shit to do with the game really, he just profited off of it. Besides, Halo 4 is kind of blasphemy within itself. The idea of Halo is GONE. Done. Finito! Master Chief doesnt make up the entierty of Halo. If Master Chief was in Call of Duty would it really be Halo? No. They want more cash. There will be some new enemy and some new plot. Bungie did a good job with the series (minus ODST) and I felt like they were all, for the most part, fun. Sounds like he is trying to hype everyone up for Halo 4.

  2. I think that what he said was complete nonsense, yea, playing as Master Chief was fun, but they hardly “lost their way” with ODST and Reach.

    How would you have told the story in ODST, which is the story of Halo 2 from a different point of view, if it was still from Master Chief’s point of view? I believe that Halo: Reach has the best campaign in a Halo game I’ve ever played, and there’s no Master Chief to be seen (except for that easter egg).

    I wouldn’t say Master Chief is what makes Halo great, I would say it’s the fun gameplay, and the engaging stories that make Halo great.

    He may be trashing Bungie a bit here, but I don’t think that’s the case. I think he’s saying this because of all the people who complained that you wouldn’t play as Master Chief in ODST. Again, that was just those people who complain a lot about nothing.

    I think he genuinely believes that people really only want Master Chief, but I genuinely believe he’s wrong.

  3. For some reason, people do want Chief, but that doesn’t change the fact that Reach was fantastic.

    This comment is kind of tacky.

  4. The great universe is what makes Halo, although I will say I love me some Chief, and I’m glad I’ll be stepping back into his shoes.

  5. Being a PS3 guy, I wasn’t aware that this was an issue. Much like all first person shooters, I thought nobody played Halo single player campaigns after the initial playthrough anyway. Doesn’t Halo live or die by its multiplayer and co-op campaign?

    I remember there being a semi-big controversy when you weren’t in control of Master Chief for the entirety of Halo 2, so I guess this makes sense in a way. Still, I think it’s more of an indication that developers are spending way too much time listening to chatter on their message boards.

    I don’t think the sales or reviews of Reach were hurt by the fact that Master Chief didn’t make an appearance. Hopefully the team at 343 will spend more time tuning the multiplayer balance and level design than they do arguing over the proper dimensions of Master Chief’s helmet.

  6. In all honesty I haven’t been a Halo fan since Halo 1. Halo was my first M game, I played it back when I was in fourth grade in about 2003. At the time, it was amazing. But then Halo’s 2, 3, and ODST came around. The campaigns had lost all the magic the campaign of the first Halo had (I couldnt even play past the first few levels of 3 and ODST, I lost interest that quick) and I found the multiplayer underwhelming compared to my PC favorites like Counter Strike and Quake III and later console games like Gears of War, Call of Duty 4, and Rainbow Six Vegas. After Reach came out, and after playing it at a friends house and later renting it, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the multiplayer combat. Halo had finally made me ENJOY it’s multiplayer as opposed to just being bored the whole time. That in itself is quite an accomplishment. I feel like Microsoft is unfairly dissing Bungie. Master Chief was always something I DISLIKED about Halo. He’s so bland and lifeless that he isnt even truly a character. I would say that he’s more like a robot, but then again, GLaDOS is a robot, isnt she? And even if all their BS claims of losing the way were true, it’s still a dumbass move to diss your FLAGSHIP franchise. Spencer was just being an idiot.

  7. Spencer sounds like a politician:
    First, he arbitrarily claims the last two games were bad because the Master Chief wasn’t in them.

    Then, he prophecizes the next two games will be successes because Master Chief will be in them.

    Finally, he takes credit for Chief being in the announcement teaser.

    I was most offended at the notion that the Master Chief needed Spencer as an advocate, or needed to be compared to John Wayne… John Wayne? Seriously? Late Pass.

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