Fans of the Halo series may not have to wait as long as they feared for a dose of Master Chief action – even if it is a walk down memory lane. The latest rumor surrounding Microsoft’s biggest exclusive claims that just like its predecessor, Halo 2 Anniversary will be allowing players the chance to experience the action of Halo 2 with remastered effects and graphics.
The game will apparently be releasing on the Xbox One, giving owners a truly next-gen Halo experience – although not the one they were likely hoping for. Halo 5, on the other hand, won’t be released until 2015.
Obviously this report should be taken with a large grain of salt, since it has cropped up on NeoGAF, of all places. That being said, the source has a fairly proven track record, and the claims being made aren’t entirely shocking. For starters, Halo 2 Anniversary will include multiplayer support (not simply access to existing multiplayer, as was the case with the first Anniversary), and as set to be released on November 11 for the Xbox One.
This rumor is sure to anger fans who feel cheated by Microsoft, as the company had recently promised that “their next Halo journey” would begin in 2014 (with the clear insinuation being Halo 5, not an HD re-release). However, the source claims that Halo 2 Anniversary will include beta access to Halo 5 as well. Meaning for those who choose to adopt early, two Halo experiences are technically available.
It’s still unclear exactly what to expect from Halo 5 just yet – as the developers even claim that won’t be its title – but if the rumor is accurate, then Microsoft will likely be preparing to make some significant announcements soon. We know that the leadership at both Microsoft and 343 Industries has been readjusted for the foreseeable future, so they’re clearly up to something.
It is also claimed by the same source that besides fancier graphics, the Halo 2 Anniversary will bring with it a “real-time show,” specifically not the one being produced by Steven Spielberg, but something else entirely (perhaps a continuation of Forward Unto Dawn?). The possibility of an “alternate ending” to Halo 2 is also mentioned, but the source warns that they have little information on that, so don’t hold your breath.
The task of updating the original game for the Xbox One hardware has apparently been given to Saber Interactive and Certain Affinity; the same studios entrusted with updating Halo: Combat Evolved. The results in that regard were staggering to say the least, so if their work on the Xbox One harnesses at least some of the next-gen hardware, fans may be more willing to accept a re-tread. Especially if it’s targeting 1080p and close to 60fps, as seems to be the case.
We’ll keep you updated as more news arrives, but for the moment, what do you think of these rumors? Is a chance to replay Halo 2 on the Xbox One an appealing idea, or would you prefer that 343 rush their next sequel – or going another year without Halo at all? Sound off in the comments.
[Update: the same poster has since provided even more details concerning the rumored release. Consumers will have their choice of picking up Halo 2 Anniversary Collector's Edition, granting access to the Halo 5 beta and the live-action series, or the 'War Collection,' including the previously mentioned perks as well as Xbox One ports of both Halo 3 and Halo 4. ]
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