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Halo 4 begins the 'Reclaimer Trilogy'

During its Halo 4 panel on the final day of PAX 2011, members of the 343 Industries team revealed the first details on the next trilogy staring John-117, more widely known as Master Chief.

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During its Halo 4 panel on the final day of PAX 2011, members of the 343 Industries team revealed the first details on the next trilogy staring John-117, more widely known as Master Chief.

"This is John's story," creative director Josh Holmes said, noting that Cortana will also play a major role in the upcoming trilogy. Dubbed the "Reclaimer Trilogy," Halo 4 will focus its attention on the Forerunners, the ancient race of enlightened beings behind the creation of the Halo Array.

In the Halo Universe, "reclaimer" is the term 343 Guilty Spark uses to refer to a human individual seen as the inheritor of Forerunner civilization.

In terms of gameplay, 343 isn't making any drastic changes. "It will play like Halo," Holmes said, sending the theater into a frenzy of laughter and cheers. "It sounds simple but that was really important to us," he added.

Halo 4 will take place immediately after the events of Halo 3. In the game's Legendary difficulty ending, Master Chief is seen hurling toward a planet-like structure in space. In the Halo 4 teaser trailer, Chief is awoken by Cortana to investigate the structure. As Chief looks on, a gate opens shining a bright beam on Chief and Cortana's ride, the severed UNSC frigate Forward Unto Dawn.

According to 343 Industries' Frank O'Connor, humanity is no longer being pushed back on its heels from constant attack from the Covenant. It is during this time that a volatile political struggle begins between both sides. The upcoming novel Halo: Glasslands connects some of these elements to Halo 4's story, and features characters familiar to fans of the franchise, including the Arbiter.

Humanity also has time to research and investigate new technologies, including those left behind from the Forerunners, O'Connor noted in response to questions about new weapons and vehicles in Halo 4. ""You're going to see things in this game that are both familiar and new," Holmes said.

"Karen Traviss' novel Glasslands is going to touch on how the human race, when it's not being rocked back on its heels, is actually a fairly formidable force. Given time and given the scientific curiosity we have as a species, all of this stuff is going to be really interesting in terms of how we can advance our technology. But the UNSC stuff will still be gritty and war-like and very human. But there's lots more to come." This certainly sounds like Forerunner technology will help push human advancement as Covenant tech did before it.

The panel mentioned Halo 4 would help fans delve deeper and "gain insight" into John's mind, but don't expect the "man of few words" to suddenly start jabbering on and on. 343 is keen on making all of the pieces fit into what is considered "right" for the Halo franchise.

This story is about the "fate of John and Cortana," the audience was told. Halo 4 will look at the relationship between the two characters in a way the series has yet to tackle in video games.

"There's a lot of speculation about Cortana's mind state. There's a lot of relationship between those two characters. Character is something we're focusing on very strongly this time," O'Connor said.

The panel did also mention the importance of Halo staples such as co-op play and the franchise's Forge Mode, which was introduced in Halo 3. "Forge has been an engine for the community to create and share amazing creations, and it's something as a studio we believe very, very strongly in. We are continuing to invest and developing that toolset. Definitely that's going to be something that's a big part of what we do in Halo 4."

From The Chatty

  • reply
    August 29, 2011 11:30 AM

    Xav de Matos posted a new article, Halo 4 begins the 'Reclaimer Trilogy'.

    During its Halo 4 panel on the final day of PAX 2011, members of the 343 Industries team revealed the first details on the next trilogy staring John-117, more widely known as Master Chief.

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      August 29, 2011 11:43 AM

      and thus begins....the fall of halo

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      August 29, 2011 11:45 AM

      Already committing to a new trilogy? Bad move.

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        August 29, 2011 3:18 PM

        That's the modern-day format with all movies and video games lately ;P

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      August 29, 2011 12:06 PM

      It's not a planet. It's a Forerunner Dreadnaught.

      The new book trilogy is dealing with this (by Greg Bear).

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        August 29, 2011 12:06 PM

        That's no moon...

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        August 29, 2011 12:16 PM

        Yeah, I know it's not a planet! I said planet-like structure. GOSHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

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          August 29, 2011 12:37 PM

          I hope they deal with how the Covenant have a reverence for forerunner technology and how that would be in conflict with the human desire to research it.

          The story told in the new novel is interesting. I'm curious to see what effect that story will have on the prophets and elites since it basically throws their entire history on its side.

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            August 29, 2011 3:20 PM

            I would image that depends on how widespread among the covenant the knowledge of what their prophets misunderstanding of forerunner tech nearly lead to is.

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        August 29, 2011 12:53 PM

        Is that book any good? I like Bear's stuff but that screams total sell out.

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          August 29, 2011 2:28 PM

          I'd rate it a 5 on a scale of 1-10. For Halo fans curious about the Forerunners.

          The prose is dense and the plot disjointed. It feels like having nails run across your brain to read it, unlike the clear prose and plotting of something like Revelation Space.

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      August 29, 2011 12:44 PM

      This all sounds fun to me. Looking forward to it.

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      August 29, 2011 12:44 PM

      Sounds cool, but my real question is if there are going to be the same grunts, elites, and brutes to fight or if this can be about something else. I enjoyed the Halo games but I would really like them to move on from that.

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        August 29, 2011 12:48 PM

        I wonder if the UNSC will show up. I'll miss not having my marines with me. They're presence is both funny, dramatic, and ultimately tragic when they all die.

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          August 29, 2011 12:49 PM

          I'm hoping they'll tie it in somehow with the characters and ship from Halo Wars.

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      August 29, 2011 1:47 PM

      "Halo 4 will look at the relationship between the two characters in a way the series has yet to tackle in video games."
      There's just so much wrong with this sentence. Did Halo suddenly become the only entity by which we judge all media? Halo books are the only books in all existence? Halo games are the only games in all existence?
      They're going to write 3 lines of dialogue for Master Chief.. .ahem oops I mean JOHN --- John, oh John, so human, so vulnerable, ----and because its the first time Halo has done it, its a breakthrough for all video game character development.
      Also, because Halo is the only media entity ever to have existed, its not really fair to judge a Halo experience in one medium against a Halo experience in another medium. Because Halo books have a few lines of character development, why would you need the games to? The books EXIST after all. And its not like there's anything else in the universe that has characters, or science fiction, or anything!

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        August 29, 2011 2:12 PM

        I think you're taking that sentence and comparing it to everything in all media, whereas I wrote it as it will attempt to do something in the game that was previously only done in the books... but I'm talking about THIS specific franchise.

        Halo 4 [this game] will look at the relationship between the two characters in a way the series has yet to tackle in video games [because they have done this in the books].

        Basically, chill out!

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        August 30, 2011 12:28 PM

        What the hell. The sentence is perfectly fine, and what you added has nothing to do with Xav's sentence.

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      August 30, 2011 7:43 AM

      SHLOSH! SHLOSH!
      Hear that sound? That's M$ milking your wallet with more of the same of this lame ass series.

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      August 30, 2011 8:44 AM

      Wait how do you make A trilogy starting with a 4? And by the way let's just call it a 6 or do the other two titles not count? Oh that's right they were spin offs from "finish the fight!" apparently not.

      Halo's going down hill anyway so who cares. Not enough change and there are now several better shooters on the market. Not to mention Bungie's next game.

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      September 12, 2011 12:47 PM

      Halo just does not excite me what so ever. I played 1 and 2 they where meh and the port of Halo 1 onto PC was terrible.