E3 2012: Halo 4 Impressions
Spartans never die, they’re just missing in action and Sierra 117 has been missing for five years now. The thought of another Master Chief-based Halo game pre last year’s E3, I’ll be honest it didn’t interest me. I was quite happy with the “wake me when you need me” ending, and while I didn’t have a problem with other games set in the Halo universe I was ok to leave him just floating there. Well that’s what I thought, but there’s something about hearing Cortana’s voice and that music that just brings it all flooding back. Everything from stepping out of that crashed escape pod to that final gasp as you make the jump onto the Forward Unto Dawn comes flooding back all at once and in a very strange way you feel almost empowered by it.
With the exception of taking the reigns for the remake of Halo Combat Evolved this is 343 Industries’ first outing at not only a game but one of the biggest games of the last two console cycles. To make matters worse the previous gate keepers were Bungie, whose love and attention to their community are the ones who really made Halo what it was. They made it more than just a shooter, they gave it something special… They gave it a soul.
No pressure then 343. No pressure at all.
So what do we know so far about Halo 4? Well Chief and Cortana had been left floating in space aboard the half of the Dawn that didn’t make it back to earth before crashing some years later on an alien planet. Meanwhile back on earth the UNSC have been busy putting the finishing touches to the now repurposed Infinity – a ship once built for war but now filled with Earth’s best and brightest, embarking on a mission of exploration.
That explains the mystery of the new look Warthog and new look equipment then. In the gameplay demo we were all treated to on stage at this year’s E3 we caught a glimpse of the Infinity as it entered the atmosphere of same planet Chief is stranded on. It’s set on a collision course with the ground after presumably being pulled in by the same force that brought down the Dawn. It’s then when an ominous sphere appears and takes off to intercept the Infinity.
There has clearly been an interaction before with what I’m guessing is the “big bad” of Halo 4, with the way Cortana speaks of him, but he doesn’t appear to be the only problem for Chief; the Covenant are back and seemingly unaware of the truce between us and them. The local wildlife also seem to be posing a threat and on top of that there’s a new species Cortana refers to as “not organic”. This new race appear (at least in design) to be similar to that of the sphere and carrying Forerunner tech, but they don’t resemble forerunners themselves. If I had to take a punt I’d say that this possibly something the Forerunners have constructed like an A.I. that got out of hand, or possibly something a little simpler and just an enemy the Forerunners left behind.
The fanboy in me is just running with this and making it up in his head as he goes along based on what little information 343 have put out so far. Which is exactly what I want… please don’t show me any more, I don’t want any knowledge I have of the extended Universe to suddenly click together and spoil my own fun. Keep us guessing 343, don’t tell us a dam thing, and for what it’s worth…
I’m sorry I doubted you.