A mix of disappointment, awe, and satisfaction, the ending of Halo 5: Guardians certainly had a fragmented reception from thy humble Halo community. Some praised the semi-anticlimactic cliffhanger as a nod to Halo 2, where others longed for a more conclusive end to the story. However, neither side of the argument has acknowledged a striking detail:
That to give control of Genesis back to 031 Exuberant Witness and thus free Blue Team from Cortana’s Cryptum, they had to destroy a relay terminal. The destruction of the terminal, as intended, restored Exuberant’s control over the Genesis Installation, and allowed her to send swarms of Constructor Sentinels to tear the Cryptum from Cortana’s Guardian before it could leave with her through slipspace. This is shockingly similar to the insurmountable act of destroying the enemy core in Warzone.
Before being able to destroy the enemy core, a team must control all bases on the map. In the last mission of Halo 5, Fireteam Osiris had to activate a pair auxiliary stations in order to allow access to the relay terminal. Like how capturing bases requires players to eliminate defenders marine and Spartan alike, Osiris had to burn through armies of Prometheans in order to activate the auxiliary stations.
Once the player has all three bases, the enemy core becomes vulnerable. All the team must do now is simply fight through hordes of enemy Spartans and marines to reach the core and destroy it. Once Fireteam Osiris successfully activated the auxiliary stations, they had to do a borderline suicide run through pulse after pulse from Cortana’s Guardian to reach the relay and destroy it. Whether in Warzone or in the final mission, destroying the enemy core is no easy task.
Though Fireteam Osiris had the motivation of Exuberant Witness rather than Sarah Palmer, they most certainly did destroy the enemy core to free Blue Team from 10,000 years of imprisonment.