‘Halo 5’: Cortana’s Back [Spoilers]

Halo 5: Guardians is bringing back the series’ most famous AI, Cortana — and she’s going back with a twist.

Warning: This post will contain major spoilers about Halo 5: Guardians.

On October 27, Halo 5 released for millions of Xbox One gamers the world over, creating an outpouring of demand for Halo 5 news on the internet. Those who weren’t able to get their hands on Halo 5 when it launched this week should know that Halo 5: Guardians is bringing back the most beloved AI assistant of the whole Halo franchise, and that’s another twist in the already complicated plot line of Halo 5’s story mode.

Cortana's death scene in 'Halo 4' (via YouTuber calloftreyarch)
Cortana’s death scene in ‘Halo 4’ [Image via YouTuber calloftreyarch]
Cortana, the AI that fans were with from the start, is back and alive inHalo 5. Those who have been with Halo all the way would know that Cortana didn’t die in Halo 4. Halo 4 was very crucial for Cortana because she became the main protagonist, very different from her previous roles as a pure AI assist. Emerging from Halo 4, Cortana found some promethean networks to cure her rampancy and, apparently, it brought out the other side of her in Halo 5.

In Forbes’ words, “She’s seen a lot of war in her time, and she’s grown impatient with the variability of organic life. She wants to take the reigns, and she’s got the Prometheans to help.”

So how big is exactly is Cortana’s role in the game? If you have yet to get your hands on Halo 5 and are dying to know more about Evil Cortana in the new title, you’re in for a treat. Microsoft’s new Cortana means business.

Eight months after Cortana saved the Chief and stopped the Didact from doing whatever it was supposed to do, she was teleported to Genesis, a forerunner world in the franchise. Genesis is where she found Domain, a system that extends its reach into the whole of the galaxy and cures her of Rampancy. But instead of making everywhere a better place to live, this new element in the plot made things 10 times more difficult, and it’s all thanks to the new and improved evil Cortana.

At the start of Halo 5, it was Cortana behind the Forerunner Guardians, taking up the “Mantle of Responsibility” that the Forerunners initially intended for the humans. The Domain making her practically immortal, Cortana brings together other UNSC AIs to begin the Reclamation in the “name of peace.”

Master Chief, of course, is not happy with what Cortana is planning to do and decides to stop her, chasing her down using her signal. Cortana, being this new all-powerful creature in Halo 5, isn’t happy with Master Chief either, and she decides to imprison him and the Blue Team in a Cryptum. At the end of the game, she unleashes a wild EMP that can affect the whole planet, and she gets access to a Halo ring.

Days into Halo 5, a lot of critics have already been criticizing Halo 5’s plotline, but the Cortana ark is one saving grace pointed out by many. It’s actually an interesting twist to the story since everyone thought from the start when Halo 5 started getting teased by Xbox One that the game was all about determining whether Master Chief has become evil or not. In the end, it was actually Cortana we had to look after.

Jen Taylor as Cortana (via Bungie)
Jen Taylor as Cortana [Image via Bungie]
Actress Jen Taylor is the voice behind the Halo franchise’s AI Cortana, and she has been voicing a lot of game characters already, including Zoey in Left 4 Dead, Princess Peach in various Mario games, and Lina, Windranger, Puck, and Medusa in Dota 2. We also know that Cortana is the new AI assist Microsoft is putting on Windows 10 devices across the board, and this added depth to the character of Cortana, thanks to Halo 5: Guardians, could possibly bring about new possibilities, not only in Xbox One consoles but across other Windows 10 devices as well.

[Image via Xbox One UK]

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