It's safe to say that Halo 5: Guardians was not the ultimate Halo experience that fans thought it would be (critics either for that matter). At the moment, Halo 5 has the lowest rankings of the series on Metacritic, with a lot of the negative comments being directed towards its campaign.
Even though Halo is famous for its remarkable multiplayer mode, it seems that a lot of fans care about the narrative that Bungie started. Guardians certainly had promise but it failed to deliver on a number of levels. While I thoroughly enjoy the state of Halo 5's multiplayer, we're going to need a very different story for Halo 6, and it seems as though we may have it.
Halo 6 - "A Much More Human Story" For Master Chief
“Without giving away too much, at the end of Halo 5, as you well know, the universe has changed so fundamentally that we have no choice but to tell what I would call a much more human story in the next game," says Frank O'Connor, Halo 5's development director.
O'Connor understands the legacy of Master Chief and what 343 Industries undertook by continuing his story. He sees Master Chief as the hero that we infer heroic actions on. He's almost a blank canvass for players. Thus, they had to populate Halo 5 with exuberant characters when it came to casting the campaign's fireteams. And it seems like this form of campaign will continue:
“Will it be an ensemble game? I think certainly we feel great internal success with the cooperative play in Halo 5, so I think it’s something we’re heavily invested in and we won’t simply abandon.”
Does Co-op Mean Split-screen, 343?
O'Connor understands the gap that has been left by Cortana's absence, and even stated that Master Chief's team are a kind of "surrogate for Cortana’s absence, for her Virgil role where she’s leading you through the Inferno.” Therefore, it seems logical that this co-op campaign experience is here to stay. The question is whether the outrage over the removal of classic Halo's split-screen mode will force 343 to bring it back. Let's hope so.
343 Industries understand the enormous pressure placed upon their team to create a modern experience to rival the groundbreaking achievements of Bungie's early Halo games. They'll have to find a new balance now that Cortana is out of the picture. We felt like Halo 5 was to be an emotional adventure; one in which we saw Master Chief hunted for crimes he didn't commit as he struggled with the loss of his closest companion, ultimately resulting in a clash of titans with Master Chief and Agent Locke.
Seeing as this wasn't delivered, perhaps Halo 6 is where we've to invest these narrative desires. Perhaps everything wrong with Halo 5's adventure can be fixed as split-screen returns to the Halo universe. Let's wait and see, shall we?