Halo 5 had some…interesting marketing. Spoilers warning: Every trailer, billboard, commercial, or other piece of marketing was aimed at throwing the player off the trail of what the actual story was. They promised the “greatest manhunt in video game history”, which in the actual game ended up being a short cutscene of a fist fight, followed by general agreement that everyone was on the same page. But what if 343 and Microsoft had embraced their story, showing off what was actually in store for fans of the overall Halo narrative?
I think the hype hurt it more than it helped
A fan made trailer released yesterday does just that. Coming from YouTube user astrocoolbug, the trailer shows the real story of Halo 5, that of Master Chief searching for Cortana, who is causing havoc across the galaxy. It trims out the less interesting parts, those where Agent Locke and Fireteam Osiris piddle about the galaxy doing some general clean up duties, and focuses on the actually interesting beats between Chief and Cortana.
Near the end it gets into some pretty heavy spoilers, so perhaps it could have been trimmed down to avoid that, but overall this seems like a much better trailer than what we received. At least, once you see how different the marketing was to the actual product delivered. Of course, this misdirection was likely a calculated move on 343’s part, making people think the game was about Locke and Chief, so they didn’t realize the Cortana parts were coming. However, it definitely led to disappointment for many fans, especially once the full story was revealed as just a tease for what was to come in Halo 6.
Astrocoolbug commented about his trailer on Reddit, saying “After going back and playing it again I could see where they wantd to go story wise so I just used what they did well…I think the hype hurt it more than it helped, especially considering the marketing did not match the game accurately.” We’ll see how 343 chooses to market Halo 6 when it is inevitably announced, most likely at E3 2017.