Will Halo Dominate E3 2014?
Call me what you may, but I’m a huge fan of the Halo series and love the world that Bungie had crafted, and was equally impressed at the package we had delivered from 343 in 2012 with Halo 4. Sure, some people weren’t too impressed with the overall experience in Halo 4, but I still thought it was a solid game, and still had a great time with the game. Hell, it tied with Far Cry 3 for my GOTY back when it released.
I also find Nerdist to be very reliable about these kind of things, and after doing some internet hunting it looks it is indeed true, and that 343 Industries has some big stuff planned regarding Halo at E3 this year. Does this excite me? Quite a lot actually as Halo is the main series that sold me on the FPS genre in the first place as I was always drawn to RPG games. When I got my hands on Halo: Combat Evolved on the original Xbox I knew I was sold on the series, and genre as a whole.
But, what can we expect from E3 this year regarding Halo and will it be the biggest thing that comes out of the conference? The Halo “fan-boy” inside of me would like to think so, and pray that Halo steals the show but right now I’ll remain skeptical on that front. We are just starting into this new generation of game consoles, and there’s going to be a ton to get excited about in the coming months, and years with these systems, regardless of your loyalty. Both the PS4, and Xbox One are doing cool things and people seem pleased with their products. I can’t wait to see what both will offer at this coming E3.
Back to Halo though. There’s been some speculation as to what we’ll see regarding the series this year. It’s probably obvious that we’re going to get some details, insights, and probably some gameplay regarding Halo 5 (which I’m extremely excited about) and possibly some details regarding a Halo 2 re-release, and that Halo TV series that’s been in the works with Steven Spielberg (also very intrigued).
However, the question remains. Are people still interested in Halo, or has the love for the franchise dipped over the past few years? We can all agree that Call Of Duty has pretty much dominated the FPS market now for a while, even though Ghosts was a pretty shite experience in general. That being said, I still like to think there’s a huge fanbase out there for Halo, and we’ll see some awesome launch parties once again when the next iteration is ready to hit shelves.
For me, Halo is my choice when I want some FPS action (I expect some hate from that statement). CoD isn’t something I’m keen on, and feels more like a clusterfuck of unbalanced systems, and just frustrating gameplay however, you can forget the atrocities with the franchise as of late when you’re mucking about with some friends. Counter-Strike is a fantastic series, but it’s not something anyone can pick up and play. There’s a learning curve to it, and I find it extremely difficult as to hell to be good at when most of the community has had years, upon years of experience with the games. Plus, I think we can agree that Battlefield isn’t feeling as memorable, and great as it was in the old days, but that’s a personal opinion. In the end, Halo just feels like the best game to pick up and play with some buddies, and I can still have a great time running solo in the multiplayer component. It’s also safe to say that the Halo series actually has an interesting plot, and characters which can’t be said for many games in the shooter genre.
Plus, most of my memorable online gaming memories come from the Halo series more so than any other game I’ve played.
Let’s get down to business though, and what I expect we’ll get at E3 this year and mostly what I’d like to see. Then, I’ll probably polish off this piece with some things I’d like to see/hope to see in the next Halo game. That being said, I have a feeling that the next batch of Halo games will help boost the sales of the Xbox One. If I recall correctly, Halo, Halo 2, and Halo 3 did some wonderful things for their respective consoles (Xbox, and Xbox 360). Hell, Halo 3 was the reason I bought an Xbox 360 over the Nintendo Wii. I’m glad I dodged that bullet.
I think it’s safe to say that we’ll something regarding the next iteration in the Halo series, and chances are that’s going to be Halo 5. However, who knows? We may get another “spin-off” game like Halo 3: ODST, or Halo Reach. Both of which were fantastic games, and Halo Reach was actually my favorite of the series. Either way, I expect to see this new iteration and can’t wait to see where it takes us in terms of the story, and locale.
It’s also probably very safe to say we’ll hear some details regarding the release of Halo 2: Anniversary. If this is really a thing I’d expect we’ll see it on Xbox One, or on both the One and 360. It would be a great thing to revisit Halo 2 again and experience that wonderful story remastered in HD. Who knows, maybe we can expect a pre-order bonus inviting us into the Halo 5 multiplayer beta? Time will tell.
Yeah, we’ll probably hear more about this. I don’t expect a trailer, or clips but just some small amount of time dedicated to talking about the project. I enjoy Spielberg’s work, and can’t wait to see how he’ll tackle Halo.
But what will we see in Halo 5, and where can the direction of the series really go with the ending of Halo 4?
Cortana essentially “died” at the end of the last game (Halo 4) and from what we saw in the reveal for the next title, Chief is wearing some poncho/robes in a large desert environment and carrying the empty AI chip that had Cortana stored in. I’m just curious as to where the plot is going to go, and I expect it to have something to do with either Chief trying to get Cortana back, or something along those lines.
But what do I want to see in the next Halo game? Quite a bit actually, but nothing too ridiculous. I don’t want a segment with Master Chief riding around on a unicorn blasting Covenant Forces with a gun that shoots out cookies. I want something that feels reasonable in the Halo universe.
I’d love to see The Arbiter make a comeback to the series. He seemed to developed a very close bond with the Chief over the course of Halo 2/3 and it would pretty neat to see how he’d react to find find out that the Chief is actually alive, and how he’d be handling the whole new threat, and enemies. Not to mention I found him to be a really interesting character, and I’d like to see him get some more development, and story thrown his way. Who wouldn’t love to see this cuddly Elite make a comeback?
Some of the rumors floating around as to why the Chief is now adorned in a robe/poncho really interest me as well, and I’d like to see that play a part in the next game as well. The whole rumor/theory is that Master Chief is wearing this poncho to conceal his identity from the UNSC forces and has went into “hiding” and could play into the story. Or, it’s just to stop his armor from being eroded by the sand on this desert-like planet. However, it would be neat to see something along the lines of some type of “rogue sector” of the UNSC trying to eliminate Chief. I just think it would be neat to thrust the Chief into an environment where’s alone without any allies, and I think it could work considering the ending of Halo 4.
The image above has given light to some rumors of a Covenant/UNSC colony considering that one of the ships appears to be a Covenant Phantom re purposed for Human use. So, either the UNSC has been learning to design Covenant vehicles, or we’re going to see another ‘team-up’ like we had in Halo 3 to unite against a single threat. Instead of it being the Flood, it seems to be the Protheans/Forerunners this time around.
Not to mention this looks like a colony, and I can’t contain my excitement as to how awesome it would be to explore a colony for both Covenant forces, and UNSC forces. Plus, it just opens up the possibility at a return for The Arbiter.
I’d also like to think with a release on the Xbox One we could see a more advanced iteration of Forge Mode. Imagine the possibilities if this next Forge release had a more Far Cry-esque feel to it, and we could generate the levels completely from scratch. If we can finally have this sort of Map Editor in a Halo game I could truly die a happy gamer. I can only imagine what kinds of levels we would see coming from the community. I think it would truly redefine the multiplayer aspect of the Halo series, and not to mention what it could do for Machinima series like Red Vs Blue.
Multiplayer is the main selling point for the series now, and with a release on even more powerful consoles than before I can imagine the multiplayer going to some wonderful places in terms of over-all experience, and gameplay. I’d like to see a better system than Halo 4′s multiplayer, and wouldn’t complain if a little back-tracking happened and we had a more classic approach, or something more along the lines as to what we had in Halo Reach. For me, that multiplayer has been the best yet.
Not to mention we could probably see more in terms of customization for the player characters, but maybe we can have a return to playable Elites? I miss those guys. That being said, the formula for Halo’s multiplayer is pretty much golden already so there wouldn’t be much needed in terms of updates, and additional content. Larger maps, and more of them in the initial release wouldn’t hurt. We’d also most likely get an ever better Theater Mode, and some more gametypes to mess about with.
As long as Grifball, Team Snipers, and Team SWAT come back to the playlists in the next game I’m pretty much happy. Spartan Ops would also be a welcomed comeback for me, as that was a blast with friends, but I wouldn’t complain if Firefight came back either with some minor tweaking. Hell, there’s just so much I’d want to see in some Halo multiplayer. That being said, new weapons & vehicles is pretty much a giving. Maybe even give us Chief’s Poncho as an armor customization option too. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
In the end, I’m pretty excited for E3 this year and cannot wait to see what we’ll get in terms of Halo goodies. That being said, do you think Halo is still a great series, and what would you like to see in the next iteration for the Halo franchise?