To start this off, I'm I suppose what some would call a veteran Halo player. Been playing Halo most of my life now and I've seen it evolve from the start through the pass over from Bungie to 343 and to now. My goal is to look at each of the Halo games in some form of detail and analyse what happened to halo after 343 took over development.
Now some may use the argument of I'm an older player whom just wants to keep living in the past and the game needs to evolve but that simply isnt true, I like many others understand that the games need to evolve, but its no secret that Halo just simply isnt doing as well anymore. Here are some statistics to back this theory:
Halo Combat Evolved ( Halo 1 ) rated on average 9.15/10 and as of November 9, 2005 over five million copies have been sold worldwide so in 4 years more than 5.5 million copies were sold.
Halo 2 rated on average 9.7/10 and with at least 6.3 million copies in the US alone 8+ million worldwide, as of May 9, 2007 Halo 2 had over five million unique players.
Halo 3 rated on average 9.8/10 and as of 2012 has sold 14.5 million copies ( 3.3 million in the first 12 days )
- 343 takeover -
Halo 4 rated on average 9/10 and sold 9.75 million copies worldwide
Halo Master Chief Collection rated on average 8.375/10 and sold 3.13 million copies worldwide
Halo 5 rated on average 8.305/10 and sold 5+ million copies worldwide
I'll let you take what you want from those stats.
So firstly I want to look at the Official Sound tracks. Take a moment to youtube Halos music from halo 1 through to Halo Reach ( start to the end of Bungies development ) if you are not familiar with what Im on about. The older halos had a very unique and distinctive sound, each of the enemies you fought had their own sound if you will. There was the classic choir that any halo fan can reminisce in. Now compare the new sound tracks for Halo 4 and 5, they lack that same sort of feel. When you got into a firefight in the older games, the music really helped build an atmosphere ( one of the musics main goals ) it got your blood pumping, hell even made you slightly afraid ( recalling the first contact against the flood in Halo Combat Evolved ) but now the music just feels well wrong? Granted it may very well be to do with the fact that 343 changed composers for the OST.
Now I'm gonna try to wrap this up with cutting straight to the point, the identity of Halo. Well firstly we have to ask ourselves, what is Halos identity? Well It's a Sci-fi military shooter. granted yes the Sci-fi aspect has never left nor the shooter but something does feel wrong about it ( If you argue not wrong then simply off in comparison to the older games ) Lets look at Master Chief, he's over 6ft tall, weighing in at over 6 ton and most importantly an absolute bad ass. Trained from the age of 6 to be a killing machine. In Halo 1 through 3 you really do feel all of that, you tower over the marines and can slaughter just about anything with ease. However in Halo 4 and 5 you suddenly dont feel the same way, the Spartan IV's stand as tall as you but are as useless as any other marine yet specifically in Halo 5 when Master chief and Spartan Locke are fighting in hand to hand, Locke seems to be able to keep up and infact almost beat the Master Chief. In reality from the lore that we have, that should've been impossible. That one cutscene made our beloved Master Chief seem almost as weak as a Spartan IV.
I'd choose to ignore the 3 missions you get a chance to play as a member of Blue team ( Master chiefs team ) compared to however many it is in Halo 5 that you play as fireteam Osiris. 343 are simply forcing this new squad onto us, with their main character being Spartan Locke ... easily the most bland and boring character ever to enter the Halo universe. I'm sure most wouldnt have cared less if he'd died half way through the game.
With one last point to mention. I describe the current Halo player base in two separate parts; the older players Whom have been fans of the series for many many years and the newer players whom have flocked from another failing game series that's trying to take the Sci-fi military shooter genre *cough* Call of Duty *Cough* These are two different types of players and for players like myself whom have been playing for many many years it's starting to feel as if Halo is being tailored moreso to the "Call of duty fan boys" whom are no stranger to pay to win and will happily spend money on the new REQ system just to gain an edge over their opponents.
Now I'm sure there'll be people who'll easily add plenty more to this argument so I'll leave the rest to them.