At Microsoft’s X10 event in San Francisco, I had a chance to catch up with Brian Jarrard, community director at Bungie, to hear more about the upcoming launch of Halo: Reach for the Xbox 360 this fall.
This game is a shoo-in mega-hit, considering that the first four games have sold more than 30 million units. The latest game will arrive as a multiplayer beta on May 3 and then the full game with a single player campaign will arrive in time for the holidays.
In this prequel game, the story goes back in time before Master Chief, the Spartan warrior who was the hero of the first three games. In this game, you become one of the Spartans on Noble Team, whose job is to help defend the planet Reach from the invasion of Covenant aliens.
Reach is also home to the Spartan Warrior program which produced Master Chief and a small group of super soldiers. Based on the first Halo novel (Halo: The Fall of Reach), we know that the folks on Reach are not in for a good time. There are four squad members with varying degrees of firepower. The enemies such as the Covenant Elites are going to be more menacing. Bungie rebuilt the whole game engine and character models from the ground up so that it could stretch the Xbox 360 to the limit.
There is a lot more visual detail in the characters, and the environments are massive where it looks like you’ll be able to see for miles. With the new engine, as many as four Spartans, eight marines, and 30 Covenant enemies can battle in the same space. Each level is designed to be a sandbox, which means you can roam around and fight without ever running into the same scripted event twice. There’s still a lot to be revealed, but Bungie has certainly whetted our appetites. Here’s a link to Bungie’s own video released today.
Check out our video interview with Jarrard.
Please check out our GamesBeat@GDC event which takes places at the Game Developers Conference on March 10 in San Francisco.