This actually counts for the entire series. It's strongly implied Master Chief and Noble Six have the same skill set and ability. What's the difference between them? LUCK.
Noble 6 is noted to be a "lone wolf;" reckless, going off on his/her own, and being very lethal, having the same rating as Master Chief. Of course. That's the typical description of a Player Character.
This goes a bit meta in the first cutscene, when Carter tells Noble Six (and, by extension, the player) that s/he's part of a team now, and to leave all that "Lone Wolf" business (i.e. everything we've been doing from the first Halo game onwards) behind.
"There'll Be Another Time..." The last line is a reference to the fact that you, the player, get another chance to finish the mission that Six started as Master Chief.
The characters are all seen without their helmets on, at some point, except Emile. Emile never takes his helmet off because he doesn't see himself as human, and that skull face is, for all intents and purposes, his face.
Why'd the elites and Captain Keyes suddenly get bigger? You're not as tall as Master Chief was.
Why does the Sniper shoulder armor only have three rounds on it? It's so the character can manually insert new rounds into the half-empty clips you take out of the rifle after every couple kills.
Jorge being the most "human" SPARTAN makes a lot of sense, seeing as SPARTAN-IIs undergo biological enhancements, while SPARTAN-IIIs take a cocktail of drugs to catalyze the enhancements. Sure it makes them easier to produce, but, well, mentally, taking all the drugs...
Also, the Spartan-II's motivation for becoming Spartans was that they would protect humanity; the Spartan-III's was that they would exterminate the Covenant.
Your objective on Lone Wolf is 'survive'. Check it in the menu, and all it says is 'Spartans never die...' As a Spartan, Six will always be classed as MIA, and is technically alive as long as the records exist.
Relatedly, when choosing a campaign mission to play, you can start from the beginning, or somewhere in the middle at Rally Points Alpha or Bravo. Should you choose Lone Wolf, you can only start at Rally Point Omega.
One troper was playing the game with a friend, and made the comment of "There's a reason they're called 'Spartans.'" He replied by saying it wasn't going to be like 300. Thinking on it later, the troper realized that the situation at Reach practically is the Sci-Fi version of the Battle at Thermopylae.
You might be tempted to try and survive indefinitely on Lone Wolf when playing co-op campaign by making use of respawning. However, once your ally dies, the message saying "Waiting to respawn (area not safe)" will appear. And never disappear. The area will never be safe, ever. It also explains why only 2 players maximum are allowed on co-op campaign; any more than that and you possibly could survive indefinitely.
Also, why does your visor crack on the final level only? Your suit, which served you throughout the entire Reach campaign (and presumably beforehand), has accumulated too much damage, and is finally starting to fail.
This troper went to check his Lone Wolf stats on Halo Waypoint and was surprised to find no deaths were recorded. Then I remembered that Spartans never die...
Noble Six starts most of the early levels with the Assault Rifle, and later levels with the DMR. This shows the shift from a lone wolf killing machine to member of the team, as the DMR is only in service of the Army at this point of the series. Notably, when everyone else is dead, the first cutscene Six has a DMR, and the last s/he fights with an AR clutched in his/her hands.
They're called "Noble Team" and they all die Noble deaths.
Here's one involving Arc Numbers. Six is the number just before seven, and Noble Six is the Spartan we play as just before Master Chief (whose call sign ends with 7).
Noble Six is also technically the seventh member of Noble Team, if you included Thom as the original Noble Six.
Or you could count Rosenda, the seventh Noble member who was cut during development.
Also, a minor one that was likely unintentional: Noble Six is the Sixth Ranger in the group. Granted, that one's easier to notice, but still.
Almost certainly unintentional: it's become sort of a meme that Kat is horrible at driving. In real life, cats don't have very good vision, even being colour-blind, which is the kind of condition that would negatively affect a driver. (I know that the creators obviously didn't plan to have Kat be an awful driver, but still, it's a pretty funny thing to notice.)
Fridge Horror: Try playing Halo 3 after the realization that the leader of the forces that killed you, your teammates, and all those civilians on Exodus, not to mention the whole planet, is the Arbiter, Thel 'Vadamee.
It does explain the Chief suddenly threatening the Arbiter upon being unlocked at the start of Halo 3; who would want the Butcher of Reach watching their six?
Not really. The Master Chief threatening the Arbiter has more to do with the fact that an Elite was coming up from behind a group of Marines while cloaked, which in his experience is a bad thing. At the time, there was no way for John to know that the Arbiter was the one who lead the assault on Reach; he probably didn't even know about the Schism in the first place. His prior contact with him consisted of dangling in the air with him in front of the Gravemind, after all.
It's worse than you think: most (but not all) of the Master Chief's fellow SPARTAN-II's were killed on Reach. The SPARTANs were definitely True Companions. The Master Chief's six is being watched by the being who killed his family.
It helps to know that Thel 'Vadamee was deceived by the Prophets into a Holy War. When he realized that what he was doing was wrong, he did a pretty quick Heel-Face Turn.
Another bit of Fridge Horror comes from Anchor 9, considering that there was no UNSC fleet in the area at the time to defend it it was probably wiped out immediately after the Covenant fleet arrived.
The only survivor from Noble Team is Jun. All Spartan-III's become mentally deranged in some way over time, which decreases their effectiveness until they die, which is why they are used as disposable suicide troops. He is the only one with a derangement that does not hamper his effectiveness. His derangement involves sinking further and further into the Cold Sniper trope.
Or not. S-IIIs actually grow stronger over time as they adapt to the augmentations. They're used as suicide troops not because they have a limited shelf life, but because that was the whole point of the program: to trade lives for time.
That, and only the Spartan-IIIs of Gamma Company undergo mental degeneration. Jun, having an A in his serial number (A266) is from Alpha Company, and therefore not at risk for that.
Fairly obvious one- the meta-reason for Noble Six and Master Chief to be the only two "hyper-lethal" Spartans is because they are the only two we, the players control. They're hyper-lethal because we're hyper-lethal.
So... They're just that damn good because we're just that damn good?... I now feel like a complete, utter, and irrevokable Badass.
Another one that explains for this troper why the Spartan's seem to have Cutscene Power to the Max, and in books do things that would be impossible in the games. Is that they are so much better than the people playing as them. Take the few people who can do speedruns on legendary without dying once in their sleep, and you might be getting close to how good Six and Chief actually are.