Microsoft: Halo 4 to take franchise back to its roots

The Anniversary edition of Halo: Combat Evolved is “very much for those who grew up with the franchise,” says Microsoft's UK Xbox/Entertainment director Stephen McGill in an interview with MCV. “The tenth anniversary is huge and is a product of great passion. It’s important we celebrate this.” But the upcoming Halo double whammy isn't just for Halo OGs: “The people who are 18 years old now were only eight when Halo appeared. They probably didn’t play it. That’s the opportunity the Anniversary pack and then Halo 4 have.” McGill says the games, which will kick-start the new trilogy, are a return to the series' roots.

“One of the key things with Halo 4 is going back to what made it amazing for people playing the first Halo... the platform has evolved dramatically in [the last ten years], so it’s worth going back to show how it still stands up as a product made today,” says McGill. Surely many of those memorable features – the regenerating health, cinematic set pieces, organic transitions between styles of play – are things that have since become the norm in other series? McGill doesn't think so: “It’s different to Gears of War, it’s different to Call of Duty. So it stands alongside them.”

Above: “One of the key things with Halo 4 is going back to what made it amazing for people playing the first Halo,” says Microsoft’s Stephen McGill

Scheduled for a 2012 release, Halo 4 will be the first in a new trilogy and will be the first Halo game not developed by Bungie. Instead, development will be led by Microsoft-established studio 343 Industries, which is responsible for Halo: Reach’s “Defiant” map pack and stat tracking app Halo Waypoint.

Jul 6, 2011


  • xXxsilentassassinxXx - July 26, 2011 9:55 p.m.

    @Berretxz4t4. It was for a reason, but the storyline to the books don't match the storline for the games. I can explain, but only if it is needed.
  • Berretxz4t4 - July 26, 2011 4:53 p.m.

    Oh wait! If you read First Strike, you'd realize that Spartan 087 Kelly disapeared, being flown away in a slipspace enabled Chiroptera class space vessel. Surely that was for a reason?
  • Berretxz4t4 - July 26, 2011 4:45 p.m.

    I'm with Doctalen,but Axcleblade obviously hasn't played the three Halos back to back (ignores Reach andODST), or else he would notice that (and this is for everyone who says the game has not changed/evolved): a) conversation has degraded - ALOT -. I mean, sure it has no effect on the actual fighting in the gameplay, but it is kinda off putting for fans when people speak in monotonous tones (not "ominous" people, although that comes up too),with long pauses between different people (you surely don't need to digest what they said THAT long, do you?). b) @ RicePuddingUK: damn right- I hate that they changed the names. You really shouldn't need too do that unless an older/newer version of the weapon is brought into play, and you have a choice. C) I hate that the plasma grenade doesn't stick to EVERYTHING. Tactics such as throwing one onto a wall to get the Elite rushing around the corner, or the jackal hiding behind a plasma shield, NO LONGER WORK. It'll voice off and roll away until it touches some thing alive (plants not included). D) what about the tendency of marines to shout out random coments (remember "the cavalry has arrived"?) and the and the grunts fear/surprise induced outbursts ("bad cyborg" anyone?) - it might not be major, but it gives you some thing to laugh at. *breathes deeply from relief* whew. Needed to get that out of my system...
  • Doctalen - July 10, 2011 10:17 p.m.

    It will be interesting to see what happens. I personally love Halo to death but I am iffy about 343 making a trilogy instead of Bungie. All I can do now is wait and see.
  • Axcleblade - July 8, 2011 8:16 p.m.

    Damn, I was really hoping they were going to make it more like Halo 3 than CE. ODST and Reach were supposed to get close to the original while still retaining the current style of gameplay, which I think they did spectacularly. Now they're making an EXAXCT remake of the original. So why do we need to keep going back to the roots in Halo 4? Why can't we continue with the way the series moved forward from CE-Halo 2-Halo 3? I thought that worked out pretty well. Im honestly more excited for Halo 5 than for 4. I think they're just trying to do the whole trilogy over again.
  • xXxsilentassassinxXx - July 7, 2011 5:52 p.m.

    When they say back to their roots they may just be talking about the fact that we're playing as Master Chief again. You guys act like a game has to be vastly different from the rest in the series to be a better game then the one before it, but if the fanbase enjoys it why does it need to be changed.
  • BadCompanyBrik - July 7, 2011 5:23 a.m.

    @Everyone saying the series isn't evolving: How did Matchmaking with Halo 2 not evolve console gaming? How did Theater, Forge, and the amazing custom options in Halo 3 not evolve console gamings. *glosses over ODST* And not only is there no argument that Reach didn't significantly change the core gameplay, but it also came with Forge 2.0, as well as capability for Bungie to make entirely new games possible at any time, without any downloads required. @AuthorityFigure: It says in the article you (presumably) just read that a different developer is making it. The only thing that bugs me is that they're making a 1:1 remake of Halo CE, same maps, same gameplay. That is the root of Halo. So why are they, right after that, going back to the roots with another game? Why not try to push the game to evolve?
  • Jaces - July 6, 2011 12:36 p.m.

    Evolved...Halo, that's kind of funny but only in the saddest possible way.
  • Zeb364 - July 6, 2011 11:31 a.m.

    I'm not a huge fan of the series but I have played almost all the games and quite liked Reach. I kinda wish they would have left Chief's triliogy at 3 though, his story felt complete.
  • jackthemenace - July 6, 2011 11:02 a.m.

    Please note, everyone, nowhere in the article does it actually say WHAT improvements they're going to make...?
  • AuthorityFigure - July 6, 2011 11 a.m.

    Wait, Halo ODST was the game that took Halo 'back to it's roots' - that's what the press releases said anyway. Does this mean Halo 4 goes to an even deeper root, or is it yet another watered-down, meangingless announcement from a one-idea developer?
  • Scammeleon - July 6, 2011 10:17 a.m.

    Isn't that what Halo Reach did?
  • RicePuddingUK - July 6, 2011 8:51 a.m.

    So they're going to Un-fanboy it? Seriously, Halo takes itself waaaay too seriously, just look at Halopedia and listen to the dialogue and text in Halo:Reach? I haven't got a problem with it but when it's taken too seriously it annoys me. I remember the days of Halo when an Assault Rifle was just an Assault Rifle, not an MA5B 7.4372mm Blady Blady Blah Assault Rifle
  • AlienHunter117 - July 6, 2011 5:47 a.m.

    Since nintendo milked the mario and zelda games why not milk halo, almost all of their games have gotten good reviews in the past whose not to say this might be one of the greatest games from the halo series.
  • Defguru7777 - July 6, 2011 5:34 a.m.

    Looking forward to Halo 4, but I really just want new information. Granted, I know they probably won't release any until after the Halo: CE remake comes out. I'm baffled by a lot of the comments here. How has Halo NOT changed every game? Play Halo 1 and 2 back to back and tell me they play the same. They don't. Same with Halo 2 to 3, and 3 to Reach. I know I've long established I'm a Halo fanboy, but come on. It's acceptable to not like Halo, but have legitimate reasons and not ignorant claims. And even if you don't agree with me, how have other high-profile games evolved more than Halo? Gears and CoD have evolved at the same rate at the very least.
  • Conversen - July 6, 2011 5:06 a.m.

    "People probably didn't play it when they were eight" Well that's probably true, but I've been playing since I was six years old, when Combat Evolved first came out. No need to take anyone back to the "roots", we've all been there with 2 and 3- unless they started with Halo Reach, which had the only major change in the series (besides different gun designs and dual wielding)...being the different equipable abilities. We don't need to go back- I'd love to see 4 innovate. However, even if it doesn't, I will most likely play it anyway... but 5 and 6 most likely not. Why pay $60 over and over for the same game? Time to change.
  • Vitreosity - July 6, 2011 5:06 a.m.

    They said the same about Reach, and look where that took them. Hopefully this time, they "go back to their roots" in the right way.
  • meh - July 6, 2011 4:42 a.m.

    Can't go back to the roots when they've already been pulled up.
  • VictorZombie - July 6, 2011 4:28 a.m.

    Did Halo ever evolve enough to have to go back to its roots? Pretty much the same game it was a decade ago. Good then meh now
  • Yeager1122 - July 6, 2011 3:48 a.m.

    I dont know if they really need to make a whole trilogoy but am at least a little curious to see how four turns out as im sure it wont be a bad game.

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