Halo 5, the second of three games to be released in the Reclaimer Trilogy was officially announced at E3 2013 in Los Angeles. In addition to the announcement, a short trailer was released. The trailer featured a solitary figure garbed in a raggedy cloak, trekking across a barren desert. The hooded man is revealed to be Master Chief who encounters a large, ominous ship/creature reminiscent of Reapers from the Mass Effect games. The trailer leaves much about the plot of Halo 5 open to speculation. What planet is Master Chief on? Who or what is the mechanized menace that is unlike anything we’ve seen in the Halo games to date?
If you haven’t read it already, be sure to check out Joe Van Fossen’s Halo 5 on the Xbox One: What to Know and Expect article.
It’s difficult to speculate where Master Chief will journey in Halo 5. Humans have colonized many worlds and so have the Covenant aliens. There are galaxies worth of possibilities for the location of the next game in the Halo franchise. As to who the mechanized creature is that John encounters at the end of the trailer, there are many possibilities as well but those are easier to narrow down. The creature or ship is unlike anything created by the Covenant. At this point in the games, the Covenant has disbanded and the alien races that formed the Covenant are now struggling to reform their individual societies. It is therefore unlikely that any of the Covenant races had the capability to create or unleash the type of mechanized juggernaut we see in the trailer. Is it Forerunner tech then?
Or could it be that the ship/creature is a remnant of Promethean technology? Halo 4 saw the introduction of the Prometheans who were described in the novels as having unquestioning loyalty toward the Didact. The Didact used the Composer on the millions of remaining Prometheans in order to create an army resistant to Flood infection. The Promethean tech we saw in Halo 4 is the closest in design and technology to the imposing metal goliath seen in the trailer. Without direction from the Didact and after the destruction of Requiem, the Promethean AI may now decide to enact vengeance on humanity and pick up where the Didact left off. This seems the most likely explanation for the metal creature/ship seen in the trailer. Of the millions of Prometheans composed by the Didact, we see a scant handful in Halo 4 and little of the background of the Prometheans is revealed in either the game or the books. The Halo franchise has intentionally kept the plots of the novels and the games separate to prevent redundancies. The lack of information about the Prometheans in recent novels would be in keeping with franchise strategy then if the intent is to have them play a larger role in the upcoming game. It also seems unlikely that after spending time and money to create a new form of alien enemy and new alien weaponry in Halo 4, 343 Industries would not include the Prometheans in future games.
As for the fate of Master Chief, Dr. Halsey played a prominent role in the plot of Halo 4. Master Chief’s visit to Earth may result in some unpleasant revelations such as the order from ONI to execute Halsey or the specific reasons why Halsey was detained/imprisoned in the first place. It is possible that the Master Chief seen in the trailer, portrayed as a lone wanderer, may be disillusioned and angry. Possibly grieving for the loss of both Cortana and Halsey, the closest thing to a mother he’s had since the age of six. Will John 117 go AWOL after yet another suicide mission? Are his ties to Captain Lasky strong enough to keep him in the UNSC ranks? It would be an interesting change of pace to see Master Chief as anything other than his usual stoic self.
As for Halsey, Spartan Ops saw her lose an arm and declare her intent to get revenge on the UNSC. While Halsey would surely make an incredible villain, she cares deeply for her Spartans. It is hard to imagine that she would do anything to endanger the lives of her creations especially Master Chief but alas, this is all just speculation.
Do you have theories about the plot of Halo 5? Feel free to share them in the comments section below.