I cannot help this sinking feeling I get from Halo Master Chief Collection art style. Structures are all wrong, unnecessary space lingers causing disruption in aesthetic flow. Halo levels are being homogenized, re-imagined rather than streamlined. Halo is Forerunner alloy, Covy carbon, Ancient ruin, or Human metal not plastic.
Legendary map design characteristics begetting new map designs that get people talking for years aren’t being transferred well in new Halo games. Midship successor’s stellar arena design, Heretic, rightly scaled to Halo’s core gameplay improved the vested, curvy, round arena aesthetic. Lockout successor Guardian altered design and became a standalone all original theme most complimentary to its design. Blackout and Cold Storage as successors to legendary map designs did not scale to its native core gameplay and added unmerited background, a good example of thoughtless change that I’m seeing a lot of in 343 Industries Master Chief Collection.
Halo 5 uninspired arenas are probably going to be dirty, broken down, cemented, piss stained, giant plaza warehouses, or cluttered floating plastic. Yes, it affects gameplay more than you know and reflects story. If Halo is going to recapture the golden triangle it once prized as an arena shooter 343 Industries is sending all the wrong signals.
The thing about Bungie’s classic Halo that is most American and exemplary of American values is not necessarily the fact that it’s set in space, or that it pioneered a brutally honest though brilliant rank system. It’s that it once represented our frontier values by technical savvy, medium as the message, because we are frontier people. The reason why video games are in the trouble they’re in is because they’ve lost sense of this frontier, everything is so safe and mediocre.
The idea of a six-shooter defending himself in civilization, his country, his people and all that other jazz is what made this country great, to be left alone and own a gun. It doesn’t have to be a six-shooter Destiny. Although six shooters are pretty darn cool and inherit in the culture. The older I get the more I learn that creativity is allowing for mistakes, now that Halo is a cultural icon, design is knowing what’s worth preserving.