Note: This post is me expressing my personal opinion.
Halo 4, to me, made Cortana into a three-dimensional character.
Halo 5, to me, undid that character development.
Let’s start with Cortana’s character itself:
In Halo 5, Cortana is evil now because “Reasons.” We’ll have to wait until Halo 6 (at least) in order to know exactly why.
But, I imagine this was the thought process behind making Cortana the villain: Crap. The Didact is dead. We need a villain… All in favor of Cortana, say “Aye.”
People have said “Cortana isn’t really evil. It’s the rampant pieces of her personality that are behind this change that she has gone through.” But, I read that, at the end of Halo 4, Cortana was teleported to a planet called Genesis, where she was able to cure her rampancy using Forerunner technology, and become more powerful, and knowledgeable, than ever before. This leads to Cortana deciding “I need to bring order to the galaxy.” Hence Cortana using the Guardians to keep species in line. Hence, Cortana is now, of her own free will, evil.
Though, of course, Cortana doesn’t see herself as evil.
Now let’s talk about Cortana’s appearance:
In Halo 5, Cortana is wearing clothes.
Probably in response to the criticism that her appearance received in Halo 4.
It pains me to consider the possibility that 343 changed Cortana’s appearance — an essential aspect of who she is — for no other reason than that Social Justice Warriors yelled loud enough.
Naked does not necessarily equal sexist.* It is possible to have a naked woman be a character and say “See her, and treat her, as a person, not as an object.” But, apparently, people can’t be told to do that. It must be too hard…
*If a woman is naked for no other reason than to give people something to gawk at and jack off to, than I can see where claims of “Sexism” are coming from. But, with Cortana, that was not the case. Cortana was a three-dimensional character: She had hopes, goals, fears, wit, to name only a few characteristics. She also just happened to be naked, too. (Cortana was naked before Halo 5.)
UPDATE: October 31st:
The Cortana in Halo 5 isn’t the real Cortana. It’s a rampant fragment of her.
Incorrect. Cortana says that she was able to cure herself of rampancy. Cortana is doing everything she is doing of her own free will. Hence, it is the real Cortana.
Watch 7:51 — 10:03
Cortana could redeem herself in Halo 6.
While I am glad there is the possibility of Cortana redeeming herself — while it would certainly lessen the hard feelings I have about Halo 5’s story — to me, if Cortana were to redeem herself in Halo 6, it would feel redundant.
Here’s what I mean: In Halo 4 Cortana was suffering from rampancy. As a result, she often did things that placed Chief in danger. But, in the end, Cortana was able to pull herself together and save Chief: At the end of Halo 4, Cortana redeemed herself and died a hero. If Cortana were to do redeem herself in Halo 6, the first thought I would have would be “I’ve seen this before.”
It would be like if, at the end of Return of the Jedi, Luke blew up the Death Star. Yes, it would be awesome that Luke blew up the Death Star. But I’ve seen Luke do that before, so its makes less of an impact on me this time.