Another Halo Trilogy?
by ZackC on March 14, 2012 at 10:00 AM EST


On Halo Waypoint, Under the section titles Halo 4, it says that the newest game will be the start of a new trilogy.  Trilogies are perfectly fine if they are done right, however, it is very easy to screw up.  Look at the original Star Wars trilogy, they had a great stand alone first movie,  a cliff hanger in the middle, and then a good resolution.  For a gaming trilogy to work successfully, the game should be able to stand alone from each other.

The word trilogy is defined as three related things. This does not mean that they have to be completely inseparable from each other. Star Wars did it wrong and if you watched the second movie, you had to also watch the third.

I love the Star Wars movies; don’t get me wrong. I am simply frustrated by how they were cut together. If George Lucas had changed a few minor things, he would have had three movies that would have stood by themselves. This is what the Halo franchise needs to do with these new set of games.  Instead of making a good first game and leaving us hanging with the second and then begging for the third one, the games should stand by themselves.

When I say stand by themselves, I mean that the games should have a large over arching story line, but each individual game should have resolution to its story.  An example where each installment was resolved would be the Terminator movies.  There is a large over arching story,  the robots are going back in time to kill John Connor,  but each movie has a different set of villains allowing for resolution.  Another example of a good series,  is almost any novel.  Good novels are written in such a way that you don’t need another book to be able to understand what is going on.

There are ways to reward people who have played, read or watched a previous installment in a series.  If 343 Industries, the developers of this Halo, want to make a good trilogy, they should add little things in this title to reference the previous game,  but not tie the stories together in such a way that if you pick up the second one, you don’t know what is going on.

There are ways that you can go about making a good gaming trilogy.  The most important thing to do is to make the games able to stand by themselves in terms of the story. It is the most frustrating thing in the world when you beat the second game and you have to wait for a year to get a resolution.  The second thing that should be done to make a good trilogy is that you should reward the gamer for playing the previous games.  Add little jokes here or there, or include subtle references to the previous game.

343 does not need to make a good trilogy for it to be a financial success,  the public will consume almost any game relating to Halo.  But it would be so much more satisfying if they made the games the right way.

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  • Chris

    Did he really just
    complain that the Star Wars trilogy didn’t work because you needed to
    watch all three of them? I’m fairly certain if you just read The Two
    Towers, you’d be a bit confused as to what the big deal was with this
    ring. But I guess that makes it a bad novel.

    The point of a trilogy is that they are tied together. It’s a single
    story that’s too large to be told in a single installment (whether it is
    a game, book, or movie). Otherwise, they’re just separate entities
    within the same world. His example of the Terminator franchise is
    flawed, because while the stories are tied together, they were not
    explicitly made with the intent to be a trilogy.

    As far as playing the second game in a series and being upset that
    you have to wait for the next game to get a resolution, there are plenty
    of them out there that are successful. The most recent example being
    Mass Effect. You’re not going to play the second one and be content with
    the ending, because it’s part of a larger story arc. By his standards,
    the ME trilogy was not “good.”

    Sorry, this article just read terribly, with really poor examples.

    • Brian

       I liked your reply better on Reddit, Chris.

    • CovertOps

      I completely disagree with you – the article was a quick and interesting read.  The examples were good.  The ending of the ME trilogy was a HUGE disappointment for many, many people – and don’t even get started on the criticism people have leveled concerning the second Star Wars trilogy. 

      I agree with the writer that each “episode” of a trilogy needs to have its own separate dramatic arc (exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and dénouement), while at the same time being part of a larger dramatic arc of the entire series.  

      With Halo they can probably do it, as the end of Halo 3 was an interesting drop off point and the story could be told about humanity “bouncing back” from the brink of extinction.

      • Chris

         The end of the ME trilogy has nothing to do with the point I’m making. Nor does the quality of the prequel Star Wars trilogy. It’s the fact that if you take Mass Effect 2, The Empire Strikes Back, or The Two Towers and play/watch/read them, you’re going to be missing the resolution of the story. And each of these are examples of highly successful trilogies. Yet the author of this article says that because of how they were written, they cannot be good.

        Yes, each game in a series does need to have its own dramatic arc, just as most other mediums do. However, the author of the article is trying to say that you should be able to pick up the second game (book, movie) of any series and be completely happy with the story. That works for some games, but to say that games can’t be good if you need to play all three games to understand the story is crap. ME was just one example. How about Half-Life? I’m pretty sure that it’s one of the most successful franchises around.

        “It is the most frustrating thing in the world when you beat the second game and you have to wait for a year to get a resolution.” I’m pretty sure that poor gameplay, terrible controls and a crap story are more frustrating to people than having to wait a bit for another awesome game.

        I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with not liking games with episodic stories. Just don’t presume to tell a game developer that their game won’t be good if they don’t make it the way you like it. His line ” The most important thing to do is to make the games able to stand by themselves in terms of the story.” is obviously squarely directed at the people making these games. I’m sure that developers everywhere will read his article and realize the error of their ways, because some dude said games that require you to play more than one aren’t good.

  • f4uxnews

    Is this article written by a middle school dropout?

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