At least one element of this rundown could be considered a spoiler. Tread carefully, friends.
Halo's always been a series that chases the big awards, and this year it's comfortably winning this "Most Information Revealed Before The Actual E3 Reveal" trophy I've just chiselled. In its latest prize-winning bid, The Guardian just posted a huge chunk of article after its first play of the game - who knows how long that's going to stay up, but we've got a sizeable set of details about the game as a result:
- The game's set 8 months after the events of Halo 4
- The campaign is definitely played from two different persepctives - Master Chief's Blue Team and Agent Locke's Fireteam Osiris
- Each member of Blue Team has different skills (it's not clear if that's a narrative point or an actual game mechanic)
- Fireteam Osiris is made up of Agent Locke, Kelly-087, Tanaka and Edward Buck (played by Nathan Fillion)
- Playing campaign alone, you can order the rest of the Fireteam using a set of simple commands such as "go here, attack that, revive, drive vehicle"
- Reviving other squad members offers you a reward (not clear what this is right now)
- Fireteams have dynamic conversations, reacting to what's happening around you
- The Covenant are an enemy once more, "resurgent and eager to reimpose themselves"
- Promethean enemies return, and with new enemy types to battle
- The Arbiter (who we already knew was returning) is fighting against the Covenant
- Campaign Spartans are given extra abilities on top of the multipler ones (dashes, ground pounds etc.) - "revive" and "tracking"
- Cortana returns in some respect, saying "The Reclamation has begun" in a cutscene that could be a hallucination or dream
- Single player maps are bigger than usual, with alternate routes to take and multiple ways to complete objectives - offers options for co-op and replay value
- Difficulty scales depending on the number of human players - the number of enemies, and their skill levels are affected
- In co-op, players are encouraged to work in pairs going down different routes
- Graphics-wise, it is "a huge step forward"
- The campaign takes you onto Research and Development vessel, the Argent Moon
- The soundtrack has been re-recorded at Abbey Road, with a piano motif added to the familiar main theme
- There are 40,000 lines of dialogue in the game
- Sound effects have been re-recorded in multiple locations
- Locke has his own bombastic theme tune
So there's a bit of stuff for you to chew over. Expect to hear a lot of this reiterated at the Microsoft press conference on Monday - but remember that there is at least one "brand new multiplayer experience" that's being saved up for the show itself.