Note: This post is me expressing my personal opinion.
In my opinion, Brian Reed is not a good writer.
Specifically: Brian Reed is not a good writer when it comes to Halo 5. I thought the Spartan Ops story was good, and I haven’t read his other writing so I can’t give my thoughts on it.
I stand by what I said, though.
If Brian Reed stays on as the lead writer than, judging by Halo 5, the series is in trouble.
Actually… the series isn’t in trouble. The reason why is because as long as Halo keeps making money, than a mediocre story won’t matter.
Why do I think Halo 5’s story is bad? This is why:
Though I understand the characters’ reasons for why they’re doing what they’re doing, thinking about the story a little less than a month after Halo 5’s release I now realize that other than Exuberant Witness — because she’s like no other character in the series — I don’t care about any of them.
In two minutes, I cared more about Arrietty and Shawn than I did anyone in the entirety of Halo 5.
How is that possible? Here’s how:
Shawn is in a relateable situation. Shawn is scared that he is going to die. (He has suffered from heart problems all his life, and thus is not hopeful that surgery will help.)
In contrast, I can’t relate to any character in Halo 5. I can’t say to any character “I know how you feel.”
Arrietty and Shawn explain their feelings to each other. Arrietty and Shawn open their hearts to each other. I know that sounds corny, but I don’t know how else to describe it. Arrietty and Shawn tell each other what they’re feeling, and why they’re feeling that way.
In contrast, in Halo 5 I would have loved to have Chief ask Cortana this question: “Was everything you and I went through on Requiem all for nothing?” On Requiem, as a result of Cortana’s rampancy, Chief and Cortana were forced to confront who they were as people. Here’s an example of what I’m talking about:
Chief and Cortana had to ask themselves the question “Am I a person?”
But in Halo 5, Brian Reed got rid of that character development.
Characters are the most important aspect of a story.
If I don’t care about the characters, than I don’t care about the world they live in.
If I don’t care about the world they live in, than I don’t care what happens to that world.
And if I don’t care about what happens to that world, than I don’t care about the story that takes place in that world.
Halo 5’s story dealt a mortal wound to my fanboy heart.
And the addictive microtransactions, lazy multiplayer maps (Forge-made maps for Big Team Battle, as well as two remakes — Truth and Regret — of a previous Halo map, and variants of maps — Empire and Eden) and a cliffhanger ending make it clear to me now that, more than ever before, Microsoft is milking the Halo series for all it’s worth.