Mar 5, 2012

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343 Industries Releases Halo 4 Preview

343 Industries Releases Halo 4 Preview

After Bungie had left Master Chief and the Halo franchise, many had believed the series had come to an end. After releasing a solid trilogy, an RTS, and two spin-offs, Bungie left the Halo franchise in the hands of 343 Industries. Upon announcing the new heads under Microsoft’s marquee names, 343 announced an all new trilogy starting with Halo 4 releasing in fall of 2012.

During the Microsoft Spring Showcase last week, 343 Industries said that they’re exploring a “darker” new direction with Halo 4′s storyline. Halo 4 creative director Josh Holmes stated that while it’s important to keep the essence of Halo’s identity intact, 343 also wants to deliver a story more darker and grounded in realism. Holmes stated:

We really want to give ourselves the freedom to take risks and drive things forward in a way that goes beyond anything that people have experienced before with the Halo franchise. We don’t want to just imitate what’s been done before. We need to find our own voice as a team.

Unfortunately, due to the limited content shown, there’s no way of truly telling how much darker the newest title will be. The developers released a short video showcasing some highlights as well as the two multiplayer maps “War House” and “Wrap-Around.” But the most interesting revelation about the multiplayer was the fact that it will actually tie into the events of the single-player campaign. The developers have promised that there will be a legitimate reason why “Red Spartans” are waging war against “Blue Spartans.”

YouTube Preview Image

Franchise development director, Frank O’Connor, said that Halo 4 will allow players to explore the humanity of series hero Master Chief in a way unlike any of the previous titles. Connor also said that 343 will establish a more somber tone in this new installment with the introduction of a mysterious new threat. “It’s a fairly compelling threat and not just a physical one,” said O’Connor. “It’s going to challenge Master Chief in ways that he’s never been challenged before as a videogame character.”

Halo 4 will be the first title in the series developed without any input from original creators Bungie. The game is set to be released later this year during the winter holiday season for the Xbox 360.