Dedicated servers and 60FPS confirmed
Get set to come out swinging. Touchdown, hit it marines!
Microsoft are on a pre-E3 announcement binge right now, and this latest one's an absolute peach. On the front page of Xbox Wire, they've officially announced the next numerical sequel in the Halo series, entitled Halo 5: Guardians.
343 brand manager Bonnie Ross delivered the shock c0nfirmation in yet another seemingly innocent post. "I’m happy to reveal that Halo 5: Guardians, the next installment in the legendary saga of the Master Chief, will launch on Xbox One in fall of 2015," she writes. "In the tradition of every Halo game since its debut in 2001, it is a massive and exciting project.
“Halo 5: Guardians is a bigger effort than Halo 4. That applies to the content and scope of the game, as well as the technology in what’s now a brand new and more powerful engine. Certainly there are some core elements carried over from prior games, but we’ve invested a huge effort in retooling our tech to take full advantage of the Xbox One’s hardware and ecosystem to create worlds and experiences worthy of next-gen."
"Making a Halo game that runs at 60 frames per second, on dedicated servers, with the scope, features and scale we’ve been dreaming of for more than a decade, is non-trivial. It’s a task that we, at 343 Industries, are taking very seriously to ensure we deliver the “Halo” game that fans deserve, and a game that is built from the ground up for Xbox One."
So we're getting a big, shiny new Halo game in 2015. Fantastic news - is that Sarah Palmer in the reveal banner? - and you can see what we personally want from it here. Please, please, keep the series grounded in hard sci-fi (no lame messianic nonsense!) and increase the scale of the encounters, not just the graphical output.
In the meantime, however, Microsoft promises that our Halo "journey definitely begins in 2014 with a giant leap, rather than one small step." We expect that this refers to Halo 2: Anniversary Edition, which has been hotly rumoured for many months and would tie in with Halo 2's tenth birthday.
It's interesting to see yet another major Microsoft announcement being deployed before, not during, their E3 presentation - but not surprising. Microsoft's reveals tend to be subsumed by Sony's announcements at the end of the first day -- Microsoft lead in the morning, but tend to be overshadowed by the three following conferences -- so are likely trying to stir up some hype in what's usually a speculation-fuelled lull. Plus a new Halo game is likely to soothe some of the controversy surrounding the Kinect U-turn.
Anyway, Halo 5: Guardians. Discuss.