The build-up to the release of Halo4 on November 6th, 2012 is well underway with the news that a new live-action digital series will be released.
The five episodes will be distributed online and followed cadets at the United Nations Space Command (UNSC) military academy as they train to fight against insurrectionists in the outer colonial planets. One cadet, Thomas Lasky, struggles with doubts about the war and the weight of expectation on him, but when the Covenant turn up, he’s inspired by the Master Chief to decide what it means to be a hero.
It’s directed by Stewart Hendler (“H+,” “Sorority Row”) and written by Todd Helbing and Aaron Helbing (“Smallville,” “Spartacus”), “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” features a cast of established and up-and-coming Hollywood talent, including Tom Green (“Dance Academy”) as Thomas Lasky, Anna Popplewell (“The Chronicles of Narnia”) as Chyler Silva, Daniel Cudmore (“X2,” “X-Men: The Last Stand,” “The Twilight Saga”) as the Master Chief, Ayelet Zurer (“Angels & Demons,” “Munich”) as Mehaffey, Mike Dopud (“Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol”) as General Black, Enisha Brewster (“Footloose”) as April Orenski, Masam Holden (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “Elizabethtown”) as Michael “Sully” Sullivan, Osric Chau (“2012”) as JJ Chen, Iain Belcher (“Supernatural”) as Vickers, and Kat De Lieva as Dimah.
An extended, 90-minute Special Edition featuring additional footage and bonus content will be shipped in the Halo 4 Limited Edition bundle for £69.99, along with fiction content expanding the characters, a special featurette and ‘making of’. It’s being distributed online via Halo Waypoint and Machinima (And as a result, even the trailer is blocked from being uploaded to our own Youtube channel), so if you want to check it out visit http://halo.xbox.com/ForwardUntoDawn.
Respawn Entertainment, the studio established by Infinity Ward co-founders Jason West and Vince Zampella, will not reveal their long-awaited FPS at E3 next month.
“Some of us will be present at E3, but we won’t be showing anything or doing any press related to the game,” says Respawn’s community boss Abbie Heppe.
The studio made up of ex-Call of Duty developers had previously teased a blurred image from the secret FPS onto their website (see below).
The studio’s first project has received plenty of hype and is set to take place in the future with EA president Frank Gibeau describing it as a “sci-fi shooter.” Respawn Entertainment is a partner studio of EA Games.
During a recent controversial court settlement, in which Activision claimed EA stole many ex-Call of Duty developers to form Respawn whilst they were still under contract, more details were revealed about the title.
According to reports by the L.A. Times: “Activision claimed the pair (West and Zampella) had discussed creating a science-fiction shooter intended to challenge the Halo franchise.”
The game is expected to be released on the next-generation of Microsoft and Sony consoles.
Will Respawn’s sci-fi shooter rival the Call of Duty and Halo franchises? Or does this latest delay of fresh details make it seem more like Duke Nukem Forever? Let us know in the comments section below.
If anything, this year appears to be yet another blockbuster’ing year for Microsofts’ Xbox 360, with the arrival of Halo 4 and other promising Xbox only titles. However, of them all, the anticipated return of Master Chief has to top the lot.
Why you might ask? Well, two reasons I’d say. Firstly, this is 343 Industries’ first Master Chief outing so has a lot to live up to. Secondly, they have set out to create “a new standard for blockbuster interactive entertainment,” or so they have been quoted saying in Microsofts’ press release from Tuesday.
Either way, it has been confirmed that Halo 4 will have a worldwide launch on Tuesday, 6th November 2012. Try not to forget.
We’ll have more news in the coming days, but leave your thoughts below on what you make of yet another Halo title.
Something magical happened in 2007 when Infinity Ward changed the rulebook with the original Modern Warfare. With its unique perk system, balanced maps and epic scale; the next generation had found its poster boy. But that was five years ago.
Many have become disillusioned at the lack of creativity in nearly every online shooter since. Yes Modern Warfare revolutionised the genre but did it really leave a positive impact?
From Halo Reach to Resistance to the upcoming Syndicate, every current FPS has Call of Duty 4’s footprints scattered all over. It is now a convention for every FPS to have its own inferior versions of the perk system and weapon customisation options that made COD4 so great.
Modern Warfare – doomed by success?
I have been a fan of Infinity Ward since the beginning and it has pained me to see their franchise (not Activision’s – they just milk it), descend into the annual process of re-wiring a five year old engine. The series has become an annual fixture much like a FIFA or Pro Evo; released with the same engine and two or three minor improvements.
I would even argue that with growth (MW3 made $1 billion in 16 days); Call of Duty has dumbed down the core elements of its gameplay to make it more accessible to players. MW3 contains guns with no recoil, an enormous hit detection and SMGs with the same range as sniper rifles – is this really where the gameplay of shooters should be heading?
Sadly as long as the billions keep rolling in, Activision won’t change their ‘winning formula’ and this will continue to influence other studios to make money in the same uncreative way.
Who am I blaming? Well, I think this generation of consoles has more than outrun its life cycle. Top rate PCs now outperform their console counterparts by massive margins and developers using old kit will cling to old habits. As a result developers are in no rush to build new engines for the 360 and PS3, and with constant rumours of incoming new Microsoft and Sony consoles, can you really blame them?
Yes Gearbox tried with Battlefield 3, but the console version is buggy and graphically inferior to its PC cousin. And with Valve keeping Half Life 3 a closer guarded secret than Area 51 and Respawn’s much anticipated shooter still a mystery, the short-term future doesn’t look too promising for consoles expected to continue for at least another two years.
There have been some brave attempts to innovate -we’re thinking Codemaster’s Bodycount, more than Duke Nukem. Sadly it’s hard to capture the imagination of gamers when innovation comes at the cost of a game broken in several places. So far, the likes of BulletStorm have introduced more comedy into the genre, but that’s about it.
As bleak as this sounds, I don’t expect to see another FPS come close to the quality or impact of COD4 on this generation of consoles. And when one does eventually turn up on our Xbox 720’s and Playstation 4′s, probably emblazoned with a Respawn Entertainment logo, will it really be good news for the FPS genre in the long run?