Yesterday, we were given an enticing glimpse into the future of the Halo series with twin trailers for the upcoming Halo 5: Guardians. However, what we know now offers more questions than it does answers — one thing's for sure, 343 Industries is going all-in with the series' narrative as the studio attempts to put its own stamp on the hugely popular franchise.
Each trailer follows the same pattern: we see one of the two protagonists from the game — Master Chief and Spartan Locke — approaching the injured body of the other while ranting about their mission. Both clips end with one of the warriors taking out a sidearm to put the other out of their misery.
The implication is that one is right, and the other is wrong — an extension of the Hunt the Truth ARG that has been running for the past couple of weeks. This breaks new ground for the series, as the Master Chief has typically been an unquestionably moral and upstanding character. However, looking at these trailers from another angle, it's easy to see parallels with earlier entries in the series.
Halo 2 surprised fans with its dual protagonists, offering up the Arbiter to give players an insight into the inner workings of the Covenant. Spartan Locke could very well be a new take on this idea. Superficially, his helmet has a passing resemblance to the headgear and mandibles of the Arbiter — perhaps a tacit reference to his similar role as a parallel to the Chief.
There's also the Master Chief statue to consider, which suggests that John's return home was at one point filled with celebration and recognition. However, those moments were short lived, as clearly some invading force has attacked this planet. Could we see Master Chief's war come home?
We know that John-117 has spent quite some time away from Earth, and things back home will likely have changed considerably in the meantime. Playing as the mysterious Locke will give us a chance to understand how and why he feels the way he does about the Chief, further establishing what's going on in the greater Halo universe as the developers at 343 Industries continue to grow their take on the series.
However, one thing that seems fairly clear from these trailers is that neither will in fact be the 'truth'. Chief and Locke are likely both being manipulated, although by whom or what is less clear. However, picking a side isn't the same as hunting the truth — we're going to have to dig deeper to find out what's really going on.
Fans are now set to speculate as to what Halo 5: Guardians has in store. Are there more clues hidden away in these trailers? Will the Hunt the Truth ARG hold yet more revelations? Could some other form of content drop be in store to tide players over until release? It's difficult to say at present — but things will continue to become clearer over the next six months.
Have you got your own theory as to what these trailers mean for the plot of Guardians? Let us know about it in the comments section below.
Halo 5: Guardians is set to release on the Xbox One on October 27, 2015.