It’s been one solid week since the latest chapter in the Halo series has hit the shelves. After a disappointing five to seven hours of campaign play at best, many of us have silenced the Didact and saved Earth once again from certain destruction. However, in recent development, general consensus of the story is not favorable. Fans are already flooding forums and message boards with 343 Studio’s decision to kill off Cortana, a staple character in the franchise since Halo: Combat Evolved first appeared.
Over the past three games featuring Master Chief, Bungie forged a memorable bond between Cortana and the Spartan; one that stands out among most duets in the industry’s most recognizable character lineup. Her relationship with Master Chief and its evolution from witty AI companion to weird mother/daughter symbol has personally been the highlight of the Halo series for me thus far. If there is one thing that was done right, it was character development. So when a message rolls across the screen from 343 Studios that reads, in summation, “Thank you for trusting us with this franchise”, most fans have been left in rage at the developers audacity . Frustrated comments of “killing off a main character and a great story line are not the same thing” and “How is Halo going to be Halo without Cortana?” have been posted on nearly every related forum I’ve seen. While I can’t say I’m necessarily surprised by this turn of events after development director Frank O’Connor detailed the information of Cortana’s “disease” in issue #229 of Game Informer, I no less share in the displeasure.
All of this comes to us while the sting of the Mass Effect 3 catastrophe can still be felt, and a lot of die hard enthusiasts and predicting a similar train wreck. Though, personally, I feel all this aggravation is entirely too presumptuous. The elements of Cortana’s death are left vague enough that with even with minimal effort, the writers over at 343 Studios could revive the icon they’ve endeared to us all. What are your thoughts? How would you bring Cortana back?