Anyway, there’s this area where a bunch of civilians are defending a small area from a flood (no pun intended) of Covenant. I was looking for a place to snipe from and I noticed a path. I followed the path for a while, and then my AI partner noted that we had abandoned the civilians and they were all dead.
There was no consequence as far as finishing the game was concerned. I could just have kept walking merrily down that path, not worrying about those dead civilians who aren’t really real and who are going to die a digital death anyway because we know this game ends with the destruction of pretty much everything on the planet Reach.
But guess what — I reloaded my game, went back to a save point before I abandoned the civilians, and I saved their lives. I really have no idea why. A sense of completion, maybe. It says something about either me (pathetic) or the game (pretty darn swell) that I even gave this a second thought.