In the wee hours of Friday morning (3am PST to be exact), developer 343 Industries set the video game world ablaze with the announcement of Halo 5: Guardians, the next chapter in Master Chief's ongoing saga. What's more, 343 confirmed that Halo 5 will not launch in 2014 as was previously rumored, but instead the title will hit the Xbox One platform in 2015.
343 General Manager Bonnie Ross broke the news in a blog post, teasing what fans can hope to see from the highly anticipated sequel. She also promised that her team would have more to say regarding all things Halo at Microsoft's E3 2014 Press Conference, which is slated for June 9th.
From a development standpoint it sounds like Halo 5: Guardians will be somewhat of a departure for the franchise as it moves into the new generation of consoles. Ross calls the game a "bigger effort than Halo 4," both in terms of its scope and its content.
Obviously, with Halo 5 making the leap to Xbox One, gamers can expect a new graphics engine for the game, but what else isn't entirely clear. Apparently, whatever 343 Industries plans to do, it will involve "retooling [their] tech to take full advantage of the Xbox One’s hardware and ecosystem to create worlds and experiences worthy of next-gen." Ross also teases that this is just the beginning of the journey for Halo 5, suggesting a lengthy and involved promotional process.
While the announcement of Halo 5 is sure to have fans excited, the unveiling also leaves us with plenty of questions. First and foremost, we're curious as to the nature of the 'Guardians' subtitle — why after all these years use one and what does it mean? There have been some hints as to the Guardians in prior games, most overtly as an invisible boundary protector in multiplayer matches, but it appears this next game will delve into their history. For that matter, who is the armored soldier on the box art opposite Master Chief. Is that a Guardian? Or is that Master Chief in a new armor? Blasphemy!
Then there's the question of the 2015 release date — not because we didn't expect it, but because Microsoft had previously teased a Halo release for 2014. Could this be confirmation that Halo 2 Anniversary is coming this year? Whatever the case, we never expected, what with the game moving to next-gen, that 343 Industries would be able to deliver a Halo 4 follow-up so quickly, although we did hold out hope.
So, there you have it: Halo 5: Guardians it is and we will have more news for you at E3 2014. What do you think of the Halo 5: Guardians title? What do you hope to learn about the Guardians from the game?
Halo 5: Guardians releases in 2015 for the Xbox One.
Source: Xbox Wire
Follow Anthony on Twitter @ANTaormina. He apologizes in advance for the lack of Halo knowledge, it's very late.