Halo 4 is finally taking the fight back to Master Chief when it launches this year, but with a new developer behind the helm and the prospect of a new trilogy on the way, simply thinking of it as a sequel might be selling it short.
That’s what 343 Industries says, anyway. Speaking at the Xbox showcase last week (via GamerZines) the team noted that the new game could be considered a reboot of sorts as well as a sequel.
“You have all of these people who have come together, 200+ developers from across the industry based on this shared love and admiration of this universe and a series of games that are at a core of that universe,” 343 said. “Yet we don’t want to just imitate what’s been done before: we want to make sure that we find our own voice and give ourselves the freedom to take risks and take chances and push things forward.
“So in some ways you can think of Halo 4 as a reboot, but it’s different from reboots you might see in the Hollywood film world where you’ve got franchises like Star Trek, Batman or Bond. The difference here is that we’re not resetting the story or the state of the universe, this is very deliberately a continuation of the events that started in Halo 1, 2 and 3, and this picks up exactly where Halo 3 left off.
“It’s really important that we have the fictional connective tissue and we have the consistency with all of the established canon that’s gone into the series to date. At the centre of this story is this iconic hero in Master Chief.”
But what exactly is new, then?
“There are two primary goals that we focussed on,” the team added.
“The first of which was really about gameplay in a first-person experience, really delivering on a visceral first-person experience and the fantasy of being this 900 pound Spartan, of being Master Chief and feeling that combination of strength and athleticism that really defines him.
“We also spent some time on the HUD to really understand what it would feel like to have that helmet on and really see what that technology would be like in the 26th century.
“And then the second goal was really around a design pillar: story-telling and character development. There’s such a rich fiction around Chief that we get in the books and other media that hasn’t traditionally come through the games. So, how do we take some of that and pull back the curtain on Chief and his motivations, trying to look a little bit under the mask without being disruptive to the game experience.”
We’re just about ready to stopping hearing and start seeing what 343 is going to do with the franchise. Hopefully Halo 4 gets a full gameplay reveal soon.