Halo fans better get their checklist ready because we're nearing the highly anticipated launch of Halo 4, and 343 Industries is slowly rolling out all of the promotional materials Bungie used to before releasing the next entry in the beloved franchise. For those that already can't tell, one of the biggest hype-builders going into the launch of any Halo is the live-action trailer.
Like those that preceded it, this trailer sufficiently sets the stage for Halo 4, and was created with the help of some of the filmmaking industry's top talent. Directed by Visual Effects Lead Tim Miller (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World) and produced by Oscar nominated director David Fincher, this trailer — titled 'Scanned' — comes courtesy of some true visionaries in Hollywood.
The decision to provide Master Chief with a face was a bold one, but nonetheless the trailer adequately establishes that Halo 4 will put Spartan 117 front and center. As well, the trailer introduces a live-action version of the Prometheans, the new antagonistic race Master Chief will be encountering whilst on this new mission.
Beyond just a closer look at the enemies in Halo 4, 'Scanned' provides a real life representation of the Promethean weapons, which thus far have only been showcased in gameplay trailers (as they should be). It's actually quite cool to see the destructive power of the Promethean weapons come to life, though; much in the same way previous live-action trailers depicted the energy sword.
Action is sorely lacking in the trailer however, relegated to a single scene where Chief dispatches a Promethean squad. Additionally, the scope is far less expansive than in past Halo trailers, especially the live-action shorts that were released in preparation for Halo: Reach. Moreover, the Forward Unto Dawn live-action series has us glued to the story of the Infinity, which combines genuine drama with some interesting world-building elements and almost overshadows the effect of Scanned.
Nonetheless, Miller and Fincher's work on 'Scanned' should be applauded for its distinct visual style, and for providing a compelling piece of marketing. Fans might be crying foul of the way the production decided to portray Chief without his armor, but once he suits up he's undeniably awesome.
Though many gamers will be turning to Halo 4 to fuel a new trilogy focused on Master Chief, Cortana, and the Prometheans -- dubbed the Reclaimer Trilogy -- the focus will also be shared amongst a new and improved multiplayer, and a new cooperative mode called Spartan Ops. Master Chief might be back for Halo 4, but a lot of bells and whistles are coming along for the ride.
What do you think of this live-action trailer for Halo 4? How do you think 343, Tim Miller, and David Fincher's vision of the real life Halo universe compares against past live-action trailers?
Halo 4 launches November 6, 2012 for the Xbox 360.