AXIOS! I. AM. WORTHY. – Halo & Military Aspects

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Axios. I am worthy.


So, here we are with another piece. This time, about the military aspects of Halo, specifically the UNSC’s. 

I’ll be frank, at the start of this I didn’t know what to write about with exactitude, but now that I have looked into some comics, saw the differences between Bungie and 343, went back and forth between the games and played the entirety of Halo 3, once again. I can see where I should go with this.

And that is, what is missing from Halo’s military aspects. Rather than what is there. If I went with just what is there, we’d be here all day and you’d end up reading a 20,000-word piece on the many things I have collected.

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And I am not joking. 

So, let’s keep it short shall we, let us venture into this new article. I would also like to let everyone know, that this is a possible response to ActMan’s video about the Military in Halo, but not only that, it is also an analysis for 343, something to let them know what they’re missing.


In short, what is missing is not the huge battles, the chain of command, the military, grittiness, everything is there. And I mean it, absolutely everything is in Halo 4. And you cannot really think just because of Halo 5: Guardians decided to go the way it did because of its story, the fact that it was a Special Forces Operation and nothing more, Halo is moving away from this, because it is not.

In fact, there’s more military stuff now than there had ever been and even in Halo 5, we got to see our first in-depth look at how the Sangheili of the Swords of Sanghelios operate, even some more on the Covenant.

The battle of Sunaion? Yes, that is an immense battle, a lot of things going on, a lot of equipment, a lot of bodies and AI, 343 got it right there.

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Marines fighting Prometheans in New Phoenix

But I am going off on a tangent here, what is missing are none of the things that conform a military, but the things that make them present.

Military equipment scattered, weapons, present bodies that you can easily see, damage on the bodies, wounds, burns, high-quality wreckages; the little things.

And speaking about the grander things, this one is easier to tackle upon. We need to scale back on the intelligent AI

Halo 3 had incredibly intelligent AI if we could do that in ’07 imagine what we can achieve now, capitalise on AIs 343, make them even better than Halo 3 and you have a win there.

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Proof of intelligent AI, the chieftain challenges you to a duel.

Now, with the Scorpio, we don’t have to worry about quantity either, scale the quantity back up, crank it up over 9000 if you have to (Yes, Dragon Ball reference). Make our friendly AI and the enemy AI even more intelligent.

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UNSC forces engaged in a firefight in Requiem

As for the Halo 5 squadmate AI, scale it back, give us the ability to play alone if we’re not playing co-op, their dialogue can still be there, there are a hundred ways to explain it.

Either that or give us more tools to control them a la Republic Commandos or Rainbow Six, let them be useful to us, not be a distraction.

Because as far as it goes, they’re incredibly distracting in Halo 5, they’re useless too, you barely even use the orders.

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A Sniper on New Phoenix.

And let’s be frank, having them through the trip as an immense distraction takes away that scale we felt before, look at Thel in Halo 3, he accompanies us more than once in battle, but he’s never stupid and he’s never a distraction.

So, in resume, what is missing from Halo right now is not the military aspects, but the little things that make up a battle.

Not the grittiness, not the chain of command, not orders, none of this.

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High-quality wreckage, ongoing smoke after it is destroyed.
  • Props are missing.
  • Good visuals that make these stand out
  • High-quality wreckages
  • High-quality explosions
  • Visible wounds on character models
  • Dynamic destructible parts on vehicles and props
  • Good ragdolls and death animations
  • Better AI
  • Allow me to shot the hat off a marine with a rifle like I used to in Halo 2 and let that be a separate prop on the environment for me to shoot at
  • Among many other things.

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Master these, 343, and you’ll master the battlefield and our hearts.

And that, I believe, is all that is missing, after going through the last few games and seeing all the little things with an analytical eye. This is all we need, argue for this, provide this feedback, but do not cry out into the sky and yell that 343 does not pay attention to the military because they absolutely do.

If you need more proof, then I am glad to give you as much proof as you want.


Halo 2 Anniversary (Blur, 343.)

While we may have seen these before 343 took the helm, 343 and Blur truly made these shine, not only with beautiful graphics but with details that Bungie would’ve ignored in the long run.

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Four ODSTs in diamond formation.
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Sniper Team, never looking away from the scopes.
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Decorations and medals on the fully detailed dress uniform.
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Two Navy Officers(presumably) in dress uniform standing at attention, along with two fully armoured marines on guard.
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Marine prepping for battle; notice the accurate cammies.
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VIDCOMs, stating name, rank, location, etc. An actual intel feed.

Halo 4 (343, Axis Animations)

With all the things I could show you about Halo 4, I have decided to narrow it down to these images.

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A small unit being inserted into the AO (Area of Operations)
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Captain Del Rio, staring beyond the observation windows at a small broadsword recon sortie team.
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Marines saluting you on approach; acknowledging the rank, not the man.
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Captain Del Rio briefing the unit led by Master Chief Petty Officer John-117

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Marines providing cover for the HAZMAT Team, crouch and at the ready.
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Commander Palmer and two Spartans clearing out the area before acknowledging you.

The elephant in the room; Halo 5: Guardians.

Now, we tackle this one, the one who sparked the whole worry about Halo not being military anymore, let’s tackle it directly.

This game is military proficient, for one thing and one thing only. Can you guess what it is? It is a Special Forces operation. The Spartan branch is one big special forces dedicated branch, they’re the elite of the elite. These men and women run operations like this every day, it is called unconventional warfare. Yes, there’s a term for it.

Halo 5: Guardians could also be classified as a direct action operation, even demolition to a certain extent, Fireteam: OSIRIS also acts as an AWOL Apprehension unit.

By all means, Halo 5: Guardians carries away from depicting a certain thing that many Halos have done before, but the military is still there, the chain of command ever present, the only difference is that this is a highly sensitive UNSC operation, you aren’t even supposed to be on Sanghelios aiding the SoS, this is why we do not see marines of any kind on the planet, nor do we see any kind of UNSC presence anywhere in the game outside of our own teams.

But Halo is still very much grasping tightly from its military roots. And 343 has done this everlasting.

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Hangar bay full of life and motion.
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Lasky and Commander Palmer briefing OSIRIS
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OSIRIS ‘stacking up’ upon a door.

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Now, with all of this having been said, I think it is fitting to bring it to a close here, I intended to do more, but after seeing how much I had it seemed redundant and that I would run on a tangent for too long.

But Halo is not losing its military roots, nor will it ever.

Halo is, however, losing its dynamics in the sandbox, while 343 is learning still, they haven’t fully learned from what Bungie had brought us before.The games back then were never exactly 1:1 military accurate either, they were combat accurate and this is what people are mistaking.

As for 343’s military accuracy, I believe this should be more than enough proof that they know what they’re doing and they have provided us more accuracy in that field since ODST and Reach. Which both are the most military accurate Bungie games. And their last ones.

So, as always, live your life, be good and learn a little. There’s always more to learn around the place, information is limitless.