Halo 4 saw the end of one of gaming’s most revered character duos, Master Chief and Cortana. Having been with players since the beginning of the franchise with the original Halo in 2001, players came to treat Cortana as a sidekick, rather than just a voice in your head giving you commands. In Halo 4, 343 explored the theme of humanity and whether or not the Chief was just a machine or if there really is a man inside the suit.
Cortana was the one thing the Chief was tasked with protecting, and with Cortana nearing the end of her lifecycle during the events of Halo 4, Chief showed an emotion we had not previously seen in Halo games. This is the major reason I don’t want 343 to find a way to bring Cortana back in the next Halo. Obviously we have no details currently on the next Halo and the story arc that 343 will follow, but I’m curious as to how Chief will deal with the loss of Cortana.
As we saw a more human side of the Chief in Halo 4, it’ll be interesting to see how he deals with loss. The teaser trailer obviously made a note of this as he wears her data card around his neck like a set of dog tags for a fallen soldier. Will the loss of Cortana affect how Chief fares in battles, will gameplay changes be made? I think the weirdest part of the whole ordeal is if 343 introduce a new AI to “replace” Cortana. Players may be set back by this and even frustrated, which in my opinion would be a great move by 343. Having a new AI take Cortana’s place would really drive home the fact that she really is gone, never to return.
Too often developers are afraid to kill off major characters, but 343 has a chance to pull a George R. Martin and make a big impact on Halo’s core story with the loss of a character as iconic as Cortana.
Some liked the ending of Halo 4, others didn’t. What did you think? Would you want 343 to bring Cortana back if they could make it fit within the story? The only possible solution I can think of for 343 to bring Cortana back is if Dr. Halsey were to make another AI in the way that she made Cortana by cloning her brain again, but in the same sense players would know, this isn’t the same Cortana.