“Wake me when you need me”. In our world, it only took Chief three years of slumber to be woken back up for action. Due to be released in the fall, Halo 4 will begin a new trilogy that includes brand new technology that wasn’t even out when Halo 3 was released in fall of 2007. Fans are really excited to use some of the features, but will 343 Industries be able to create an experience that can somewhat compare to the original trilogy, or will it come and go just like the prequel trilogy for Star Wars?
First reaction that I had as a very public fanboy, can be wrapped up into a simple tweet. The information and amount of content shoved into this four minute trailer, shows just how much of a balance they are working on for the multiplayer and single-player experience. I’ve had my doubts since the announcement for Halo 4 last June, but this trailer has sold me that Frank O’Connor has not lost his way in leading Halo down a good path. For those who haven’t seen the developer diary, you can watch it below.
The developer diary opens with a reminder for what the end of Halo 3 brought: a separation of the ship caused the Arbiter to return to Earth without the Chief and Cortana, leaving the duo to fend for themselves. Fortunately, nothing has been spoiled for the story other than the fact that there will be terran enforcements to back up the Chief.
For those unaware of it, 343 Industries doesn’t just do video games. They’ve created the whole experience behind Halo from novels, to comic books, animes & action figures. Honestly, there is a whole slew of other things that they’ve worked on but the main focus has always been on the video games and that’s what Halo 4 is all about; bringing back the core experience with Chief.
With Halo: Reach, fans of the franchise felt betrayed by Bungie for creating what some have called the ‘Space version of Call of Duty’. One of the great things about the Halo franchise is that its always remained sovereign to itself and not letting other franchises move it towards a different experience. With the loadouts and different guns that were created for the prequel, many fans felt Reach wasn’t a true Halo title.
Anyone who wondered if 343 would return to the weapons that were once in the franchise, all you need to know is that the BR is back with the traditional three-bullet burst, and the DMR will not be making any appearance in the Reclaimer trilogy. As to if weapon spread will return, it’s gone from what the video diary shows off at one minute and fifty-four seconds. For the competitive Halo scene, no one really wants to see the spread return, as it changed the key dynamics of gameplay for the multiplayer.
The campaign is looking pretty slick with the new graphics engine and redesigned weapons from Halo 3. New parts that are featured for the campaign lead many to speculate if it’ll change the experience, or maybe even require players to have a Kinect. For the Halo: CE remake, 343 implemented Kinect features allowing you to switch weapons and throw the grenades with voice commands, while still being able to focus on other gameplay functions via your controller at the same time. In the developer diary, you can see the Kinect being used around one minute and fourty-two seconds in. I can already see people raging on about this, but the fact of the matter is that Microsoft shouldn’t force Halo players to use Kinect. Motion controls are cool and all but don’t mess with core gameplay.
If there is one thing that the developer diary proved today, it’s that 343 Industries is trying to bring an experience that could possibly even top Bungie’s efforts. All of the multiplayer maps will be original with no modifications from campaign levels. Killing-sprees will be tracked and multiplayer game updates will appear but won’t block your vision for a portion of the map. One wraps it up by saying that Halo 4 “has it’s own voice and it’s extraordinary”.