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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

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35 comments

  • GringoStar - July 6, 2011 12:58 a.m.

    Halo should have ended with 3. Please stop milking a franchise to the point where it's going to be as bad as an Uwe Boll movie. Microsoft, come up with a new IP and just give the fans something fresh and innovative. (Next on Microsoft's plate is to give a Halo Kinect game called Halo Party.)
  • InvasivePlague - July 6, 2011 12:58 a.m.

    I'm curious if halo anniversary will work similarly to halo odst
  • TheRandomFool - July 6, 2011 1:07 a.m.

    Woah... well, looks like Bungie told the truth when they said they weren't going to do another Halo. Just hope that it is just as good as the first was!
  • FOZ - July 6, 2011 1:13 a.m.

    As long as they don't just re-use all of the animations and models from Bungie, it could be interesting. I still don't see why it needs to have Master Chief.
  • Syncmaster - July 6, 2011 1:21 a.m.

    the only halo I never played was 2, and I dont see whats wrong with the franschise as it is. sure, all the spinoffs lack some epicness to it but are all awesome games. Reach showed halo can keep things fresh. anyways, halo 4 its right on time, masterchief needs to show up by now
  • powerpc127 - July 6, 2011 1:58 a.m.

    It's taking the franchise back to its roots? Isn't this series infamous for not evolving? That just sounds weird to me.
  • BackwaterRifle - July 6, 2011 2:36 a.m.

    Honestly I think 343 will do a helluva good job and we will have an amazing game when this is said and done.
  • D0CCON - July 6, 2011 2:44 a.m.

    I actually decided to start reading the Halo novels. I'm reading Contact Harvest and own Fall of Reach. The books aren't excuses for the game's incoherent stories, but I'm much more interested in the Haloverse than I ever was before. I really am excited for Halo 4.
  • Redeater - July 6, 2011 2:53 a.m.

    LOL @trilogy So how many Halo games are going to be made during the trilogy's run? I can't wait for Halo:Revelations!
  • austincharlesbond - July 6, 2011 3:01 a.m.

    when I read the heading I was thinking Marathon
  • IceBlueKirby - July 6, 2011 3:03 a.m.

    I can't help but find it funny when he says "people who grew up with Halo." It's hard to imagine someone growing up playing the Halo games...but that's because I didn't, I guess. I lost interest in the Halo series when I played Halo 3, because I really didn't like it. But I recently played ODST and I'm enjoying it so far, so my I'm getting a bit of a spark for the series again. Maybe I'll end up playing 4, especially if, like they say, it goes back to what made the first one good, since I like the first one the most and will likely get the remake.
  • Redeater - July 6, 2011 3:06 a.m.

    @D0CCON I've listened to a couple Halo audiobooks at work. I didn't care too much for them but I do think they go a long way to giving Halo a story at least. It's funny, for years I assumed Halo had some great story. Turns out the actual plot/story of the Halo games are utter shit filled with plot holes and nonsensical "GET TO THE RESONATOR!!" moments.
  • Plan10FromOuterSpace - July 6, 2011 3:13 a.m.

    Considering the series has never drastically changed im struggling to see how they plan to return it to its roots unless they mean taking out the new features the series piked up along the way such as forge or firefight, which seems unlikely.
  • Kethmach - July 6, 2011 3:17 a.m.

    I am a bit concerned about trying to go backward to go forward. Halo has upped it's game every release. If you don't see that- you don't play Halo. Period. If you only read fanboy biased reviews FOR or AGAINST Halo- you don't need to comment because you have no idea what YOU should be talking about. Halo is the peak of perfected game balance. To start messing around with that is extremely dangerous to the fanbase. Especially for new comers to do it. I have no doubt about the Anniversary. If they do what they've claimed and promised and it's exactly like it was with a fresh coat of paint-- perfect. It's Halo 4 that I find myself being nervous about. And honestly, as perfect as an introduction to a new series as the end of Halo 3 is - they could drop the "Halo" and make it something new with Master Chief somehow. I mean... the Halo units are gone- right?? The Arch was destroyed... is MC really going to go BACK to a Halo device??? Ever??
  • bigwill1221 - July 6, 2011 3:24 a.m.

    There;s no way to take it back to its roots with a new company...
  • 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.
  • 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
  • meh - July 6, 2011 4:42 a.m.

    Can't go back to the roots when they've already been pulled up.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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