HALO 5: Guardians

Goddammit, 2015 is so far away!


“Halo” isn’t simply a perennial game franchise, it’s a part of the Xbox platform itself. In terms of innovation and ideation, it’s sometimes important to people who might not even play “Halo.” And of course it’s a passion and an essential experience for two generations of gamers.  So we asked ourselves, how do we begin and where do we go with “Halo” on Xbox One?  
In the past, “Halo” games have pushed the Xbox forward, showcasing the console and its ecosystem in entertaining and innovative ways. Making a “Halo” game that runs at 60 frames per second, on dedicated servers, with the scope, features and scale we’ve been dreaming of for more than a decade, is non-trivial.  It’s a task that we, at 343 Industries, are taking very seriously to ensure we deliver the “Halo” game that fans deserve, and a game that is built from the ground up for Xbox One.     
I’m happy to reveal that “Halo 5: Guardians,” the next installment in the legendary saga of the Master Chief, will launch on Xbox One in fall of 2015.  In the tradition of every “Halo” game since its debut in 2001, it is a massive and exciting project. 
“Halo 5: Guardians” is a bigger effort than “Halo 4.”  That applies to the content and scope of the game, as well as the technology in what’s now a brand new and more powerful engine.  Certainly there are some core elements carried over from prior games, but we’ve invested a huge effort in retooling our tech to take full advantage of the Xbox One’s hardware and ecosystem to create worlds and experiences worthy of next-gen. 
It’s a game that will hopefully demonstrate the talent, learnings and abilities of the 343 Industries team. A game that will incorporate the things we learned from “Halo 4” about technology, aesthetics, performance and scale – and perhaps more importantly, understanding and embracing a community of gamers who love what lies at the heart of this game, and the limitless potential of the “Halo” universe. 
And 2015 won’t simply be the year of “Halo 5: Guardians,” it will also be a year that offers us a unique opportunity. The opportunity to invite old friends and new audiences into that universe through the “Halo” television series, launched as a unique collaboration with Steven Spielberg and some of the finest creative minds in the business.  A series that will stand alone, as well as complement and enrich the game experience.  We’ll have more to share on the “Halo” television series as we near its projected fall 2015 release. 
Your Journey Begins in 2014
There are lots of rumours flying around at the moment about what the next HALO release will look like- apparently there's even some discussion that it will in fact consist of  remasters of the first 4 Master Chief games.

If that happens, then the Xbox One will immediately go from "meh, don't need it right now- or maybe ever" to "I MUST HAVE ONE THIS INSTANT" on my list of priorities.

On the subject of HALO 5, though, I'm very much in two minds about it. On the one hand... well, it's a new HALO game. So it's it's going to be pretty damn good, almost by default- there is no such thing as a "bad" HALO game. (Yes, I include HALO WARS and HALO: Spartan Assault in that estimation.)

On the other hand, judging by the picture above, there may be a deuteragonist in the game- which is something that Bungie tried with HALO 2 in the form of the Arbiter. The results were mixed, to say the least; some fans enjoyed the experience of playing as the Arbiter, while others absolutely hated the idea of playing as someone other than the Master (Bad Ass Mother F***er in) Chief. In my view, the flaws in HALO 2- of which the Arbiter's gameplay, though not his characterisation, were a big part- were sufficiently irritating to make me regard that as the "worst" of all of the HALO games. (This is a relative term- I still love that game, just not half as much as HALO: CE or HALO 3.)

Since there is definitely a release for the XB1 coming this year, and since HALO 5 is confirmed for November 2015 (or thereabouts), I believe we will probably see a HALO 2 remaster, at the very least, released this year. Regardless, you'll definitely find me ready, waiting, and eager for the new media.

With HALO 5, though, I want 343i to really take their time about this new game, and to create the greatest game they possibly can. The HALO franchise isn't just a fun set of games for us fanboyz, it's a touchstone in our lives. HALO 4 had its flaws, but it was, in my opinion, an amazing game and a stellar entry into the HALO canon. The next game needs to be everything that HALO 4 was, and much more- it needs to be as good as, and hopefully even better than, HALO 3. Given that I think of HALO 3 as the greatest game of all time, of any genre, that's saying quite a lot.

The Master Chief is an icon, a legend, and he deserves a game that matches his epic awesomeness.

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