Microsoft and 343 Industries have announced details regarding the next major instalment in its ever-popular Halo series. We already knew that the game was heading to Xbox One, but the news sheds light on the title and release window for new entry, as well as details regarding the Spielberg-helmed live-action series that will accompany the game.
The first part of the announcement confirms the somewhat unsurprising news that we won’t be seeing a brand new Halo title this year. Instead the next big franchise instalment will hit in fall 2015 with the title Halo 5: Guardians.
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Beyond that, Microsoft has hinted at what to expect from the new game, stating that it runs on an all-new engine at a solid 60 fps. Given the ongoing battle of resolutions and frame-rates between Microsoft and Sony, it's not surprising that the company is keen to push the game's smooth frame rate. Though cynics will note that Microsoft didn't say a peep about resolution.
The 2012 title Halo 4 was developer 343 Industries’ first swing at the popular franchise, with the game receiving a positive response (its Metacritic score is 87). Given the success of its first effort, the studio is keen to prove itself again, with the developer’s general manager Bonnie Ross stating that “Halo 5: Guardians is a bigger effort than Halo 4.”
There are no details on what form that larger scope will take, but the dev is keen to emphasize that it’s taking full advantage of the much more powerful Xbox One hardware in an effort to provide that elusive “next-gen” experience we hear so much about.
In addition to the Halo 5: Guardians news, Microsoft has also announced that the franchise branded live-action television series, created in collaboration with Steven Spielberg, will also air in the (Northern Hemisphere) Fall of 2015. It’s currently unknown how closely linked the two projects will be.
The Journey Begins
Perhaps the most interesting piece of news is the developer’s comments on what to expect in 2014, as it stated that “the journey definitely begins in 2014 with a giant leap, rather than one small step.”
This may be a reference to the much-rumoured re-release of 2004 series entry Halo 2. Microsoft released an anniversary edition of the first Halo title in 2011 to mark ten years since its release. With no new Halo title hitting this year, it makes sense that the company would do the same with the second installment.
However, the “giant leap” wording may lend credence to the rumour that the company will in fact release a Master Chief Collection, encompassing retooled versions of Halo 2, 3 and 4, as reported by Engadget.
Whatever the company’s plans, we’ll soon know a lot more, with full details about what to expect from the franchise coming at the Xbox E3 2014 media briefing on June 9.
In the mean time, scroll down to check out the E3 2013 Halo 5 teaser trailer.