Without doubt it was the launch of Halo with Microsoft’s original Xbox that put the console on the gaming map. Our own intrepid editor famously made the trip all the way to the US to get his hands on an early copy and the series is clearly Microsoft’s most powerful asset. Sp how do you bring a similar boost to your second generation system? Try releasing three new Halos and a movie!
Which such mind numbing news it is hard to know which of the announcements to approach first so I’ll deal with the one that caught us all out: ‘Halo Wars’. In true Apple style, the title was kept under wraps until the final moment of the company’s X06 presentation when Chris Lewis, Regional VP of Microsoft’s EMEA Entertainment and Devices division, teased “But before we leave, there’s one more story to tell…”
What we got was a stunning pre-rendered trailer (see it here) from which you can see three grabs, one above, two below. Subsequently, what I’ve learnt is Halo Wars will be the first real-time strategy game based on the Halo world. It is set before the events of Halo 1 during the UNSC’s first encounters with the Covenant and players will lead the crew of the UNSC’s ‘Spirit of Fire’ from initial skirmishes to an all out war. The official site went live today, find it here.
No in game footage is yet available, neither was a release date but it will be on Xbox 360 exclusively (yes, no PC) and is being developed by Emsemble Studios.
Rivalling Halo Wars for headlines is also the announcement that Peter Jackson (there on the night) has entered into a partnership with Microsoft Game Studios to create a new Halo series of downloadable content that will be co-developed and co-produced with Bungie.
Jackson has formed New Zealand based ‘Wingnut Interactive’ to take on the project and he will also use this team to work on new stories in which he aims to merge the game and film mediums. No solid facts were available but Jackson signalled his intention to create a whole new medium which he said he “was going to have to think of a name for!”
Wingnut will swing into action after Jackson completes work on the upcoming Halo movie.
Other than that we have the little business of Halo 3. Unfortunately there was no new content released at X06 which ironically makes the hotly anticipated title the smallest of the event's Halo announcements but doesn’t that just say everything...