Reach was the last of Bungie’s Halo FPS universe with the reins now being handed over to Microsoft’s own 343 Industries for the up-and-coming Halo 4. The US computer giant bought-out Bungie after the original Halo stormed the sales chart for the XBOX. But with Bungie releasing 4 more chart-topping Halo FPS games thereafter, can Microsoft’s new 343 Industries live up to the Bungie standard with Halo 4?
Where will Halo 4 take us?
Throughout Bungie’s development, we’ve played as the Master Chief, the more vulnerable Drop Shock Trooper and even a covenant Elite. We all began the story as humanity’s last hope, played it from other characters perspectives and were even taken back to the point where it all started…the very moment earth was officially under attack by the covenant.
So where does Halo go from here? Will Halo 4 give us completely new characters, more perspectives, more answers on the existing story or will Halo 4 give us something completely new? So far, the only official detail released on the game is that Master Chief and his side-kick AI Cortana, are back. Master Chiefs armour is also very different with 343 Industries saying that it wasn’t just a mark of a new developer, but for a good reason in Halo 4’s story. Maybe to even fix broken pieces of the Halo puzzle. This may be little information but if you think of the reasoning behind the new armour…it actually tells us quite a lot.
Reach gave us the first Spartans and the original game put us in the boots of the very last of them. This means that if the Master Chiefs armour looks different to any of those games…there is a very high chance that Halo 4 will take place after the events of Halo 3. Remember, the Halo 4 trailer began with the Master Chief in hyper-sleep, not recovering from wreckage or appearing to be half dead. This must also mean that Halo 4 could forward us a year or two after the 3rd. Maybe the Master Chiefs armour had to be rebuilt due to the ending of Halo 3? Maybe new threats (new enemies, perhaps?) required urgent modifications to the Master Chiefs armour in Halo 4? Or it could simply be that 343 Industries thought the new armour was a more plausible and accurate upgrade to the original spartan armour in Halo Reach?
Microsoft’s 343 Industries
We’re confident that 343 Industries can not only maintain the popularity of the franchise, but better it! How can we be so sure of this? Well, when Microsoft bought-out Bungie the two companies would have worked together in creating every release after the original. This meant that Microsoft would have developed a very good understanding on what makes a great Halo game. Not only this, but if you look back over past Halo games (don’t get us wrong, we really enjoyed them) there is still a lot that can be improved on. Repetitive interiors, outdated game engines, suicidal AI, half-baked story lines (Halo 2), short campaign modes and graphical issues still leaves a lot for 343 Industries to improve on with Halo 4.
After working in the games industry myself, I can also see another major advantage for Halo 4 (which could potentially be the biggest). When Halo games were being developed by Bungie, they had to abide by Microsoft’s deadlines. I know first-hand that these can be rather challenging and even the very reason why Bungie had to go with the older, tweaked engine for Halo 3. Now Microsoft have created their own studio (343 Industries) they not only have the obvious advantage of a large budget, but more importantly…a more generous time-frame to create Halo 4!
Why do you think 343 Industries changed the Master Chiefs armour? Do you believe Halo 4 will take place after the 3rd with a new storyline or follow/adapt on the existing one? Do you think Bungie have left 343 Studios with enough to improve on, or do you think they’ll have their work cut out for them? Get posting and let us know!