Stepping in after Bungie left on a high note, 343 Industries has taken the reigns on Halo 4. There is a lot of weight on the developer's shoulders, figuratively speaking, especially given Microsoft's recent statement that there is no exclusive bigger than Halo 4.
Development director Frank O'Connor recently revealed new details about Halo 4. Now, 343 Industries creative director Josh Holmes speaks out about where the studio stands on development, and where they foresee their future with the Halo series.
Bungie's co-founder has faith in Halo 4 and would be surprised if Microsoft botched it up, but how does 343 feel about all of this? Computer and Video Games sat down with Holmes at the Xbox Spring Showcase, and had this to say about the responsibility of the franchise:
"Personally it's incredibly exciting, in a lot of ways it's an honor and it's daunting. I won't lie to you; it's something that is a tremendous amount of pressure on a new studio and a new team, and yet at the same time we built this team with this task in mind. We all came to the studio knowing that this was the goal, that we wanted to create the definitive Halo game and that we were following in the footsteps of giants in Bungie Studios. I think it's one of the things that energises us as a team and it gets me up every morning and motivates me to want to do everything I can when I go in to work each day."
343 Industries is not looking to dramatically change the gameplay of the Halo series, as some might suggest after looking at the first official Halo 4 gameplay video, but rather are trying to evolve it into a new experience:
"We're definitely not creating Mirror's Edge set in the Halo universe - so I wouldn't go as far as to say we're radically changing the gameplay style in a way that it's unrecognisable. One of the things that we've said is that we want this to very much feel true to that Halo feel that we believe fans everywhere love. But we also want to evolve it and add new experiences, new ways to play and give players a greater sense of empowerment through choice."
Holmes talks about balancing new ideas while staying in the parameters of the Halo universe:
"I think it's important to give yourself the freedom to take chances. If you find yourself constantly in a defensive mentality where you're afraid to change because, 'what if someone doesn't like the changes that we introduce?' I think that would lead you to a place of stagnation, and that's obviously not what we want."
How will the new game's story be related to the original trilogy? Holmes touches on what we can expect plot-wise from Halo 4:
"The story is a direct continuation of the events of Halo 3. Everything that we've created has been designed with consistency and tie-ins to the existing cannon. So all of the historical cannon that comes before this game has been taken into account and connects in meaningful ways."
Not only have 343 kept continuity alive in Halo 4, they have also been thinking of story arcs for future Halo projects:
"We have a definite story arc in mind. We have a very, very clear vision and understanding of that story for Halo 4 obviously and as you go further out from that point in to the saga it obviously becomes a little looser. There are clear arcs that we have defined, but in terms of how we execute those arcs that will be worked out as we go through the creative process in the games."
Check out the complete interview at Computer and Video Games.
Halo 4 is one of Game Rant's 25 most anticipated games and will be released this holiday season, exclusively for Xbox 360.
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