Halo 5: Guardians promises to contain the biggest and most ambitious single-player campaign in the franchise's history. If 343 Industries is to be believed, it's also going to rip your heart out, Reach style. Better keep some tissues handy.
On Day One of E3, we caught up with Tim Longo and Josh Holmes, Halo 5's creative director and 343's head of internal development, respectively. According to Tim and Josh, the game's storyline is going to take gamers on a gut-wrenching journey to rival Halo Reach.
To our minds, this can only mean one thing: you will get to know and respect your squad mates. Those squad mates will then die in tragic and/or heroic circumstances as the orchestral soundtrack wistfully bids them adieu.
The duo hinted that this was indeed the case when we asked whether the single-player campaign would be as emotional as the 2010 Halo prequel. (Spoiler: Everybody died, including the player-controlled character.) In response, they both laughed in a manner that came across as slightly evil.
"We have a lot of surprises in the campaign when it comes to that side of things and we've tried hard to instill those kind of emotions," Longo said. "That's really been a big goal for us."
In fact, the campaign is so harrowing that it made several team members cry during development, including Josh Holmes. (Tim totally grassed him up.)
"There's a part in the game where I have teared up," Holmes admitted. "And I have subsequently been ridiculed for it."
"People get really devoted to these characters and when you see them go through crazy situations, I think that's a natural thing that's going to happen," Longo added. "And that's exactly what we want — it helps to make the game memorable."
With two playable protagonists in the game (Master Chief and Spartan Locke), it's a pretty safe bet that at least one of them is going to get straight-up killed by game's end. Good.
If there's one thing we hate in video game storytelling, it's evil getting trounced with zero sacrifice from the good guys. If the 300 Spartans had proved victorious, nobody would give a shit. Kill 'em all, I say.
Halo 5: Guardians launches on Xbox One on October 27. Naturally, it will also come with a corking multiplayer mode which you can read all about here.
Kotaku attended E3 in LA as a guest of Microsoft.