Halo 4. New game, new trilogy, new developer. That’s a recipe for change in itself but new kids on the block, 343 Industries, still want to reassure fans that they won’t just be “regurgitating” the past games while admitting that any changes they do make will be subject to a lot of scrutiny.
That’s all according to studio boss Frank O’Connor, who spoke to OXM about the upcoming game. “Our goal is an amazing Halo game,” he explained. “People looking back will probably be able to say: ‘this is the flavour that 343 added’ in relation to the games that came before.
“We’ll come under a lot more scrutiny than Bungie did, even though their teams shift monumentally between games. There’s definitely core people still there, but other than that vastly different people worked on each game. There’ll be differences in style that will be attributed to 343 that wouldn’t have been examined under the same microscope if it had been another Bungie team doing it.”
O’Connor backed his theory with an example: “You get that between levels in a game – level 2 in Halo 3 is different to level 3 because slightly different pockets of the team are working on it. There’s little subtle things that we’ll be held to an exacting standard for, that would have happened anyway. But there will be 343 elements and there will be core Halo principles.”
Creative director Josh Holmes expanded on O’Connor’s comments: “There were so many ideas, and part of the challenge was to really focus on the things that we felt were the most important.
“The other big challenge was finding the strength and the confidence to take risks, and bring a new and fresh perspective whilst balancing that with the core of what makes Halo great – the things that made us fans of the series in the first place. We can’t just regurgitate the same experience.
“For the team, I think finding that balance has been one of our biggest challenges: how do we push new ideas, whilst continuing to respect the legacy. In terms of specifics, we’re still pretty tight-lipped about what we’re doing.”
It’s all well and good talking about the game to this degree but we still haven’t actually, y’know, seen it. Perhaps we will at this year’s VGA’s like Reach‘s reveal two years ago?