Bungie's under-wraps Halo project has finally been revealed. Halo 3: Recon is a standalone expansion that drops itself into the series timeline directly before the events of Halo 3. And that means we'll get to see what happened on Earth before Master Chief's final showdown with the Covenant in the concluding part of the trilogy. But the iconic green-suited Spartan isn't the main man in Recon. Instead, players will take charge of an as-yet unnamed Orbital Drop Shock Trooper.
The brand new Halo 3: Recon trailer and images released by Bungie gives us a quick meet and greet with Recon's all new body-suited bad ass...
Fully paid-up Halo heads will already be familiar with ODSTs, as they've previously appeared in Halo's 2 and 3. So what do we know about ODSTs? Have some trivia:
- They're renowned for being bat-shit brave, which helps as they're generally the first to be dumped into enemy territory.
- Insertion into enemy territory is usually achieved by the use of a Human Entry Vehicle - a pod-like craft that carries a single ODST.
- ODSTs are nicknamed 'Hell Jumpers', supposedly because of the inferno-like heat that they must endure upon re-entry inside an HEV.
- Their body-suit is equipped with comms gear, thermal and motion detectors, a short supply of oxygen and a cooling system that ensures they're infrared invisible.
- On the battlefield they've been seen carrying battle rifles, shotguns and sniper rifles.
- They are known to fight in squads consisting of up to four ODSTs.
In the official Halo 3: Recon blurb released by Microsoft it promises that players will be required to use more elements of "stealth and cunning than ever before". And with the implications of the Recon sub-title and the appointment of an ODST protagonist, it seems pretty set that Bungie is cooking up something different from the usual guns-blazing Halo ethic.
Besides the new hero and campaign missions, Halo 3: Recon, which has been dated for release late 2009, will also come with a bunch of new multiplayer maps, all of which will support the Forge editor.
Based on informed guesswork and what little hard fact we know about the game, we have to say we like the sound of where Bungie is going with Recon. A Halo without Master Chief in the driving seat is certainly a brave move - as is a shift towards more squad and stealth focused action, if indeed that's where it's headed - but we're all up for some diversification so would gladly welcome a shake-up rather than a safe-bet.