Halo 5: Rumour, Enigma and Anticipation Abound

Coalescing the inscrutable past few months of the next Halo.

Posted By | On 24th, Feb. 2014 Under Article, Editorials


Halo was one game that had completely re-defined first person shooter genre back in 2001. The game go Microsoft awed responses and much adulation. Halo was widely loved and rightly so. It had a unique set but what struck the right chord was how the game elements were portrayed and executed. No game had been able to execute an idea like the one Halo banked on so beauteously. The game was exemplary in almost every approach and it came not as a surprise when it was tagged the “killer app” for the Microsoft Platform.

After almost 13 years of churning out the most iconic and brilliant titles in the Halo series, Microsoft is anything but more fervid to continue this splendid series, evident from their recent announcement of the next Halo game at the E3. The word around is, that the internet has verbal diarrhoea when it comes to talking about the Halo. Quite frankly, there’s a lot things swirling in the dark chasms of the internet to be long-winded about.

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"Halo 4, in a way, marked a new beginning for the series as 343 Industries took the reins again. It was evident that the they were now more focussed on developing the characters and were trying to make the story more engaging, quite successfully so."

An upcoming title of Halo’s Reclaimer Saga was announced at the E3 2013 along with a teaser trailer. Some call it the ‘Halo – Xbox One’ while others stick to ‘Halo 5’ (assumed title) because Halo 5 was actually announced back at the E3 2011 alongside Halo 4 & 6. But for the sake of convenience, it’s better to associate the name Halo 5 to the title trailer that debuted at last year’s E3.

Post the Reclaimer trilogy becoming the Reclaimer Saga, there was a lot riding on Microsoft’s shoulders. After having introduced certain deviations in the story and characters starting with Halo 2, Halo 4 marked the return of John-117 a.k.a Master Chief as the protagonist, after a spending a long time adrift in space on the UNSC frigate Forward Unto Dawn. Halo

Halo 4, in a way, marked a new beginning for the series as 343 Industries took the reins again. It was evident that the they were now more focussed on developing the characters and were trying to make the story more engaging, quite successfully so.

As a result of making a more intuitive game that promised a deeper adherence to the story and events of the Halo series, a little dark side of the game was revealed. 343 themselves have stated that the titles in the Reclaimer Saga will be a radically different experience and that they are sure to make the subsequent Halo games a lot more dark and dismal. What that ‘darkness’ entails, we can only guess.

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"Although most of us had expected a Halo game to be a launch title for the Xbox One, the series being Microsoft’s linchpin, we were not truly surprised. This is because most of Halo titles have taken two E3s to treat us to something concrete and truly formidable. "

Even though there is very little for us to go on, how Halo 4’s end unmistakably alludes to Halo 5 picking up from sombre beginnings. If there happened to be any doubts about that, they were laid to rest by the trailer. The trailer in itself is not a representation of the game per se, but only a representation of what direction Microsoft wishes to take with the subsequent games in the Reclaimer Saga.

The trailer has a cloaked and hooded figure roaming a desert aimlessly before finding the sand in front of him part to pave way for a gargantuan bird-like creature – probably a Promethean – which then proceeds to issue forth a pulse, pushing back the cloaked figure’s hood revealing it to be the Master Chief albeit with a cracked visor.

He then goes on to take out a data chip, clasps his fingers shut into a fist around it and looks up with new found determination. While it stands affirmed that Master Chief would be a part of the next Halo, there are doubts about the role of Cortana.

We do not know if the Master Chief would try to resurrect Cortana, or if he has kept her data chip just as a remembrance. The way Cortana departs in Halo 4 has led a number of people to believe that the former may be true and that she still lives. But no official word or leaks have been there to corroborate that.

Although most of us had expected a Halo game to be a launch title for the Xbox One, the series being Microsoft’s linchpin, we were not truly surprised. This is because most of Halo titles have taken two E3s to treat us to something concrete and truly formidable.

All Microsoft has done for now is, stir us from our seats and leave us to our own doings until the E3 2014, which still seems a bit too far. Even with so less to go on with, leaks and official news keep the canard doing the rounds.

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"Amid all the spark of rumour, is the talk of when the next Halo will be released. Now Microsoft has only said that ‘a Halo’ title would be released in 2014. If you add to this the fact that 343 had announced that they are concurrently working on another title, it means that the ‘Halo’ title which is supposed to happen this year could very well be the Halo 2 Anniversary edition. "

343 Industries was generous enough to tease us with a concept art sketch earlier in January. Executive Producer of 343, Josh Holmes, in an official Halo Waypoint blog post had described the artwork as “an early exploration of a new location that features prominently in a little game project we’re tinkering with”.

He had gone further to describe how they’re focussed on making the leap to the new generation console after the success of Halo 4. As for us fans out here, that’s all we could get out from him. We do not know how the location would be utilised in the game.

Amid all the spark of rumour, is the talk of when the next Halo will be released. Now Microsoft has only said that ‘a Halo’ title would be released in 2014. If you add to this the fact that 343 had announced that they are concurrently working on another title, it means that the ‘Halo’ title which is supposed to happen this year could very well be the Halo 2 Anniversary edition. It is expected to come this November.

With Halo 4 came the confirmation from 343 Industries that Steve Downes will reprise his role as John-117. The Halo 2 Anniversary edition confirmation as well as the pushing back of the Halo 5 release to some time in 2015 came from Steve Downes interview with GameZone where he’d said, “I think you’re ahead of yourself on H5. I have read some things on line that you can look forward to a H2 anniversary edition maybe this year, but I have no official information one way or the other.”

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"It would have been great if PC users had got an opportunity to actually resume the story after Halo 2. The transition to Halo 3 was the worst platform screw ever done. And it wouldn't have been that big a problem if PC users had received a completed Halo 2. "

Following this, Downes tried to explain that he wasn’t confirming an anniversary edition as he had no knowledge about it. A lot of doubts still linger about around this and Microsoft had interfered with the rumour regarding Downes statement but they had not made things any more clear. So it seems very likely that we won’t say hello to Halo 5 until next year.

Having extended the release date of Halo 5 to next year, 343 and Microsoft should have enough time to optimise the game and utilise the Xbox One’s capabilities to the fullest. It was already confirmed by Microsoft at the E3 last year that the new Halo would run at 60fps and utilise dedicated multiplayer servers which was received with appreciation and sighs of relief.

That being said, it’s quite obvious that Halo 5 would be an Xbox one exclusive. Halo Anniversary Edition was rolled out as an Xbox 360 exclusive, so no point in PC users fretting over when the anniversary edition would hit the market for Windows.

It would have been great if PC users had got an opportunity to actually resume the story after Halo 2. The transition to Halo 3 was the worst platform screw ever done. And it wouldn’t have been that big a problem if PC users had received a completed Halo 2. Every time the sore memories of the faux pas well up, we see Microsoft mumbling “All water under the bridge eh?”.

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"We do not know what dangers will Master Chief will find himself in or who would be the antagonist. We don’t even know what pursuit has had the Master Chief stranded in a desert covered with a patched cloak like a tinker’s. Even the title of the game is not clear! "

All things said and done, 343 and Microsoft have really kept things wrapped up this time around. There’s hardly anything that they have let on to let us frame a rough picture of what the game might be. We do not know if we’ll be re-visiting the places that we have visited before, or if old foes would rise up to face us although the former does sound appealing for the sake of the bygone days.

We do not know what dangers will Master Chief will find himself in or who would be the antagonist. We don’t even know what pursuit has had the Master Chief stranded in a desert covered with a patched cloak like a tinker’s. Even the title of the game is not clear!

Regardless of the lack of official statements, we have been given enough to hint and speculate about the Reclaimer Saga and have at our disposal the combined conjectural power of the entire Halo community. We’ll keep you posted with the latest news that comes around. Stay tuned.


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