‘Halo’ returns with new thrills

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By Rafael Rodriguez / Staff Writer

‘Don’t call it a comeback’ (GamePress)

By Rafael Rodriguez / Staff Writer

Later this year, “Halo 4” will be released, a highly anticipated title exclusive to Xbox 360.

This new entry to the series is the start of a brand new trilogy. The new games take place sometime after the first three “Halo” games have ended.

The initial company that produced the first three games will not be taking part in the new series’ creation.

The new company, called 343 Studios, are taking over the franchise.

They are hoping to expand the games in more ways than “Halo’s” original production company, Bungie, ever did.

The “Halo” franchise began with the first entry into the series, “Halo: Combat Evolved,” on the original Xbox. It is often revered as the franchise that kick-started the re-invigoration of the first person shooter genre.

Since then, the games have grown into a multi-billion dollar franchise.

It has spawned many spin-off games, books, and even graphic novels.

However, the franchise’s main draw-in, and quite arguably its most important contribution to the gaming world, would be the multi-player component.

The multi-player component uses the Xbox Live feature to allow players from all over to join in through a matchmaking system. The system is frequently praised and emulated by other gaming companies.

So far, most of the “Halo” games’ plotlines have revolved around the story of John 117, known simply as the Master Chief.

Master Chief is a super soldier who has been enhanced with cybernetics.

Their main goal is to stop the Covenant, an alliance of alien races that threaten the existence of the human race.

Not much is known about the story of this new game but it does seem to directly continue on this plot line that has been prevalent in all the previous titles.

One thing that is known is the game will take place on an ancient civilized planet and will follow Master Chief as he explores this new terrain. According to the new developers of the game, “Halo 4” is making an effort to differentiate itself from the original trilogy.

It will try to focus on mystery, exploration, and discovery as main components, rather than falling back to the typical first-person shooting that the original series had.

Fans enjoy and have grown quite accustomed to expecting the first-person shooter game play they are used to in this series, so making such a drastic change may possibly compromise some support for the new company.

Studio 343 said the reason they are making this change is that they want the game to be more grandiose in scope and scale.

This is partially an effort to differentiate themselves from the previous developing company.

Another reason for the changes is that they are creating more content to transfer over to other aspects of the franchise, like the books and graphic novels.

Since the franchise is also headed in a bit more mysterious direction, the art director, Kenneth Scot, also described the visual style of “Halo 4” as being more ingrained in the expanded universe fiction, and much more mature than before.

According to the developers, these subtle changes to the game will still be able to leave much of original the core mechanics of the series intact, such as the series “sand box” feel the allowance of customizing your player.

The game will also introduce many new vehicles, weapons, characters, and elements that should keep the players intrigued and coming back for more.

Judging from the games’ long and impressive pedigree, one can assume that this new entry into the series will be one that most players will not want to miss out on.

Not much else is known about “Halo 4” besides its stated release of holiday 2012, but fans are sure to look forward to finding out more about the game as the game comes closer to launch.

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