“Locke is going to help solidify and contextualise the stakes.”
Given the amount of controversy that still circles around The Master Chief Collection and its utter flop of a launch, that has yet to be fully rectified, 343’s Frank O’Connor has recently thrown out some bold statements regarding Agent Locke’s narrative importance. Cortana, being the core upon which the Master Chiefs characterization is constructed, was and still is a favoured character amongst fans that brought depth and humanity to the Chief, despite being an AI herself.
O’Connor has said that Locke will give us a look at the Chief in a way that Cortana couldn’t. Speaking about Locke’s importance in the game and where Chief stands in the conflict. “I would say definitely not – that it goes back to your last question about how you humanise the Chief. We don’t want to do that; we want the Chief to be in some ways above the fray – he’s literally a legend in the universe he inhabits. Locke lets us humanise the boots on the ground without messing with the Chief – the irony is that Locke is going to do some of the heavy lifting for people’s need for better storytelling and characterisation without altering the Chief,” he said to GamesRadar.
He goes on to say, “The Chief is the core hero in the story, without a doubt. Forget how long you play as each character or whatever – it’s really about contextualising the Chief. As much as Locke’s an important character in the universe himself, he’s also going to be a useful cipher for you to explore Master Chief’s character from an outside perspective.”
Whereas Cortana delivered us the larger scope of the war by filling us about key moments in the history of the Halo universe, she was so close to the main event that there was no room to allow her to elaborate on the ongoing events across the conflict at large. Speaking about this, O’Connor said, “Locke is going to help contextualise the universe in a way that Cortana necessarily couldn’t. She was so close to the Chief and had the big picture historically, but she didn’t necessarily have the big picture of what was going on elsewhere in Earth’s conflict. Locke is going to help solidify and contextualise the stakes, as well as the legend of the Master Chief.”
Take from this, what you will. Personally, I’m concerned with the fact that he said “Forget how long you play as each character or whatever”. This makes me think that the Chiefs playtime may be cut short or that there may be a Halo 2 scenario going on here.