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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