Halo 4 has been in development for 'a couple of years'

Comic-Con 2011: 343 Industries' Frank O'Connor, Kevin Grace, Dan Ayouh joined by writers Karen Traviss, Greg Bear to discuss sci-fi shooter franchise.

Who was there: For its Halo-centric Comic-Con 2011 panel, Microsoft trotted out some of its top players at 343 Industries, including franchise development director Frank O'Connor and franchise manager Kevin Grace. Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary director Dan Ayouh, Red vs. Blue lead Ray Burns, and New York Times best-selling authors Greg Bear and Karen Traviss were also in attendance.

Halo: CE Anniversary will feature new, Guilty Spark-related story elements.

What they talked about: O'Connor kicked off the panel with a recap of what's been going on with the Halo universe over the past year, giving shout-outs to the teams at Bungie and 343 Industries. He also said it was a relief to have finally announced Halo 4, given that the team at 343 has been working on it in "relative secrecy for a couple of years."

Before getting to the games, the panel briefly discussed the in-development upcoming books, which are being written by Bear and Traviss. O'Connor said that though the fiction is expanding both into the future and into the past, it is all moving the franchise forward. He noted that the team has decided to make all fiction canonical. However, he emphasized that while it isn't necessary to read a book to understand the story between games, there will be resonant connections that enhance the experience.

Traviss' new books (the first of which, Halo: Grasslands, is due this October) seek to fill in the time frame between Halo 3 and Halo 4, when Master Chief is adrift in space for an indeterminate amount of time. She said that it is a significant challenge to bridge the gap between the two games, as she has a set beginning and set ending and must work within those parameters. Traviss noted that her books seek to give screen time to some of the lesser known characters or those who haven't gotten enough play, like the Office of Naval Intelligence.

With Traviss trudging forward, Bear is reaching into the past with his line of novels, Halo: Cryptum. Specifically, his books will be delving deeper into the story of the Precursors and Forerunners. Bear noted that these novels will delve deeply into these storylines, illuminating exactly what the Precursors did and what their Halo program was all about. Hubris is a central issue in these books, as well as what happens when godlike beings screw up.

According to O'Connor, Traviss' book is about 99 percent complete. Likewise, Bear's book is about 85 percent to 90 percent complete.

The conversation then shifted to Halo: CE Anniversary, which is an HD update of the original game that is slated to arrive for the Xbox 360 on November 15. The panel then announced one new edition to the game, saying that just as Halo 3: ODST had terminals and data pads that provided backstory, so too will they be adding a similar mechanic into Halo: CE Anniversary. The subject of this extra story will be Guilty Spark, the slightly mad AI that resides on the Halo.

Ayouh emphasized that these new terminals will not in any way impact gameplay. However, he said that some of the new story elements will be related by Guilty Spark itself, and other tidbits will be conveyed by other people or objects that are encountered in the game.

From there, the panel offered up a live gameplay demo for Halo: CE Anniversary, which was set on The Silent Cartographer level. GameSpot's previous coverage of this demo has more information. However, one element worth calling out is a player's ability to switch between the updated graphics and the classic look on-the-fly with a quick touch of a button.

Takeaway: Halo may have begun at Bungie, but the franchise has clearly taken on a life of its own. That's great for Halo fans, as 343 Industries has no shortage of ideas and ways to expand the universe. However, at the core of this expansion is the games, so those who can't be bothered to read a book or watch a movie shouldn't worry about missing out.

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Discussion

130 comments
GamerJedi29
GamerJedi29

@lifemeister Cartoony? Reach was an absolutely beautiful game and didn't look "cartoony" at all.

TheUnholyBudder
TheUnholyBudder

Who else thinks that there's a good possibility that, due to the rumors of the newest Xbox being announced at E3 2012, we could see Halo 4 being one of the debut games on the new console, and that's why we haven't seen any other sort of footage or gameplay yet?

kenthuss
kenthuss

I Wish It Would Be Better Than Reach

geordiebe
geordiebe

this game is awesome can't wait to forge on the halo 1 maps

jayson8899
jayson8899

343 industries is bassically bungie because it's made up of old bungie members and new people too.

jayson8899
jayson8899

I agree on 343 idustries making a flood firefight thing on Halo 4 but I also want to switch to covenant firefight as well not just flood firefight or maybe even both at the same time. I hope in Halo 4 that they make a heaps longer campaign like Crysis 2 maybe because Crysis 2 had 19 levels and long ones too. Most of the Halo games only have like 10 or 11 and one of them only has 9. Some of you might think thats long but I dont even think thats close to long. Oh and why in the world havent they givin us much details about Halo 4 since it has been in progress for like like 2 years already. Weird. I think we need another trailer for Halo 4 because the one we got was short.

GamerLegend10
GamerLegend10

@jasonzilla11 yeah i hated that level in halo3, especially on legendary difficulty :( and i agree with your opinion on the halo series, they make significant changes to each new title, which is great as it keeps the games feeling fresh and new.

jasonzilla11
jasonzilla11

What's with all the hate? Every Halo had originality and each Halo adding something onto the original. They weren't rehashes, and I think they never will be. And for all we know, Halo 4 could be the greatest game ever, even better than Half-Life or Elder Scrolls (I always thought Halo was the best IMO) Halo 2 -- Added vehicle jacking, duel-wielding, and Xbox LIVE multiplayer. Halo 3 -- Added Forge, Theater, online co-op, and an upgraded multiplayer. Halo Wars -- Changed Halo FPS to strategy. Halo 3: ODST -- Changed the story to ODST's, and had an open-world type story, plus Firefight. Halo: Reach -- Changed story to Reach, had new multiplayer, had all game modes while upgrading each. Oh, yeah, each Halo was a complete and total rehash. Of course, we should all abandon Halo and go to Call of Duty and Mario.

jasonzilla11
jasonzilla11

@GamerLegend10 Yeah, I agree. I thought they were really, really cool in the first, and then I got so excited to be able to fight them again in Halo 2, until I found out that they went from awesome to annoying. And then the one level in Halo 3 where they were the only enemy you fight? It was the only problem with 3.

josh7845
josh7845

@zenter123456789 The PS3 is compatible with multiplayer too. The main focus of it is on single player gameplay, whereas the XBOX 360 is more focused on multiplayer. On the PS3, the multiplayer is an optional extra tacked on for free and on the XBOX it is the other way round.

klzthe13th
klzthe13th

@Ravenlore_basic yes. 343 stated that Halo 4 is the beginning of a new Halo Trilogy. This means that Halo 4, 5, and 6 are confirmed games.

Wensea10
Wensea10

the online is a great addition

mdchapel9
mdchapel9

yay back to basic FPS halo style, with no sprinting.

lifemeister
lifemeister

Here's hoping Halo 4 has realistic graphics. I don't like cartoony (Halo Reach-like) for Halo games. I believe Bungie didn't try hard enough in the end; I'm glad they're out. 343 might be a good future for Halo.

zenter123456789
zenter123456789

@josh7845 you ar wrong man... is like this: the wii is for family games, the ps3 for single player, and the xbox 360 is for multiplayer AND single player!

Ravenlore_basic
Ravenlore_basic

Does this mean that Halo 5 has already pased the ideal stage and is in production?? I think it will come out in 2014 maybe with the launch of the next Xbox or a year or two after the launch of the the next Xbox.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

Every success to the Halo franchise now that bungie have jumped ship.. It'll sure be interesting to see what happens with it, things were getting kind of stale already after Halo 2 (in my opinion), but I still love the games. Have to wait and see I guess. Hopefully it won't go down the 'Epic' button matching cut-scenes road like COD seems to be doing, but will actually include better gameplay. As long as I get my ghosts I'll be happy!

GamerLegend10
GamerLegend10

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

RojoBear24
RojoBear24

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

cbb1018
cbb1018

both Halo HD and Halo 4 are going to be great games!!!!

Malscyllis
Malscyllis

@xboxfanonly It is still in halo 2 files of the disk. i modded them into my halo 2 game. they move around quickly, are more deadly than hunters and do a lot more of what you say. you must of seen the vid of them just standing there :P

GamerLegend10
GamerLegend10

@lifemeister yeah, the first ones the best in my opinion...i hope the remake will be the same

lifemeister
lifemeister

Didn't play Halo 1, hence, this is perfect for me.

GamerLegend10
GamerLegend10

i hope they dont put the flood in halo4...it was good in the first game, but in 2 it was annoying and i hated it in 3

Niffirg6
Niffirg6

@emperiox Bungie made the myth and marathon series and oni. also, Bungie is not making halo 4, 343 industries is. and gaylo...really? what are you, 12?

Ovirew
Ovirew

lots more Halo content to look forward to in coming years. oooh-right, giggity-giggity-giggity!!!

emperiox
emperiox

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

josh7845
josh7845

@Ladiesman17 Yeah but at least it's change of scenery from every 20th century battle. I must also agree, however, that Half Life 2 and its offspring are the best shooters I have played because it makes you think. BioShock was a great one too (the first one, not the hasty sequal)

Hatemachine25
Hatemachine25

Development time means NOTHING folks, DnF was widely regarded as a flop and that was 12 years of limbo, and idiocy in action. i'll be taking any talk involving this or any other Halo related product with a pound or 2 of salt, or a single trip to KFC. Truly hope they can make this one live up to peoples expectations, old fan from long ago looking forward to a whole new set of possibilities for this Franchise and it's Abbot and Costello straight man act that is Master chief and Cortana.

xboxfanonly
xboxfanonly

@Malscyllis i did not know about that. i searched it and it does not seem to be to impresive. i saw footage and u can pass right by and the juggernuat does not even do nothing.

Malscyllis
Malscyllis

@xboxfanonly i agree 110%, but they should put in the flood juggernaut that was taken out of halo 2. thing was beast!

Ladiesman17
Ladiesman17

@dnarox @josh7845 I'm also PC Gamer but honestly I did not really want it :roll: and I don't think Halo is a good shooter either, I prefer Half-Life 2 though. hell.. even COD looks good than this bland & boring shooter. :P

zidan4000
zidan4000

you think i am gonna believe that? if it had been in development for couple of years then we should have at least seen some in game cut scenes or something and not that teaser.

monson21502
monson21502

one thing you gotta like about ms when they make a remake they make it better not just add paint to it like others have done like the gow collections and the mario remakes.... halo 4 is gonna be great and i cant wait!!

Printul_Noptii
Printul_Noptii

for the sake of god M$, make this for the PC already !!

thundaro
thundaro

for all the people who want halo on the pc to come back , well it will probably NEVER happen. Think of it like this the 360 and the Xbox brand in general has really only 1 major franchise and by franchise I mean the game EVERYONE thinks of when they think Xbox, and that is Halo, plain and simple if not for H1 the xbox prolly would of flopped or at least would not of been as successful, like it or not that game MADE the Xbox and MS knows it, just like Nintendo would not let a Mario game be made on another platform, MS knows that Halo was and still is in many ways their "killer app" , so they have no reason to port it when they can force people to buy a 360 to play it.

josh7845
josh7845

@zenter123456789 It may suck for you but it is perfectly suitable for me. Each console from each company is tailored to the individual. If you like a happy-dappy family game or some reboots of Nintendos most popular franchises then the Wii is a good choice. If you are a fan of online play and are completely dedicated to it then the XBOX 360 is the console for you. If you mostly play single player games but might also want to have a go at the multiplayer then the PS3 is a great thing. If you just want some strategy and some RPG madness then go for a PC. That is all I have to say on the matter. Feel free to respond.

zenter123456789
zenter123456789

@josh7845 sure it worth to check it out... but the ps3 sucks man!! jajajaja

zenter123456789
zenter123456789

@Ronnie_Rim the anniversary edition cost 40 bucks no 60 assh"#$

Infinity_Gauntl
Infinity_Gauntl

How is this news? We all know games take years to make. We'd be stupid to assume Halo 4 wasn't in development

hogsy
hogsy

@UserName521 He could easily be a PC gamer.

dnarox
dnarox

man its time that Microsoft starts releasing halo in to PC....may be halo2 for PC may have gotten bad reviews but for someone like me as a non-Xbox user it was a real treat..may be Microsoft should spend a bit more time and create some good maps for the PC....

vought
vought

If your interested on where the story of Halo 4 is headed a new book is coming out in October this year called Halo: Glasslands penned by Karen Traviss. The book is supposed to link Halo 3 and Halo 4. dude www.dudegamer.com

Ronnie_Rim
Ronnie_Rim

If you want Halo CE just get the original, no need to pay 60 bucks for this

josh7845
josh7845

I do hope it goes on the PC since I don't own an XBOX (I own a PS3) and it definately seems to be worth checking out.

UserName521
UserName521

@ bg_fernandez Thats why i laugh when people say the playstation community is filled with mature gamers.

bg_fernandez
bg_fernandez

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]