In the midst of all the excitement that surrounded the announcement of the epic Halo: Master Chief Collection bundle coming to Xbox One later this year, the spotlight shifted away from the franchise's next numbered installment, Halo 5: Guardians, for a brief moment. In addition to all the awesomeness coming in the Master Chief Collection, including Forge mode, players will also receive beta access to Halo 5. Although the beta is likely to focus on multiplayer only and won't reveal any plot details, the first cinematic trailer and a few follow-up interviews have started to reveal a bit more about the setting and story of the next campaign.
When the box art for Guardians was revealed, theories immediately started to circulate about who the Spartan mirroring Chief was. We explored some of the most likely candidates, but ultimately gamers just had to wait patiently for 343 to spill some details on the Spartan with the blue visor. The company squashed the popular theory that the soldier was Cortana early on and yesterday at E3, 343 Industries general manager and studio head Bonnie Ross finally gave us the name of the new character.
The soldier is Agent Locke and according to Ross he will play a key role in the upcoming game. Halo fans who want some back story on the new character before Guardians launches in 2015 will want to tune in to the Halo Nightfall series, which is included in the Master Chief Collection...
"We're using Halo Nightfall to basically tell his backstory and tell his origin story... You don't have to watch this, but knowing this will kind of tee you up for all the new things that are going on in Halo 5: Guardians."
Nightfall is currently being produced by the highly capable hands of legenedary sci-fi filmmaker Ridley Scott. The series is shooting in Ireland and Iceland and the episodic adventure will lead up to the launch of the game's beta in December 2014. 343 Industries will make the trip to San Diego Comic Con later this summer to reveal more details about the show. Hopefully, we might even get a teaser trailer at that point.
In an additional attempt to keep Agent Locke on the minds of gamers long before Halo 5 arrives, animated stories are being incorporated into the remastered edition of Halo 2. The unlockable stories can be accessed by finding terminals in Halo 2 and the narrative will use the Arbiter to help connect the dots between Halo 4 and Halo 5. 343 Industries are also working with Blur CG studios to produce prologue and epilogue cinematics that will expand on the message from the Arbiter to Agent Locke.
Nightfall footage may still be months away for fans, but for now we do have the cinematics and the beta teaser to keep us entertained and longing for more. The Halo 5 beta will kick off at the end of 2014 for consumers who purchased the Master Chief Collection, which is likely quite a long time before the Halo 5 launch.
Are you excited about the prospect of a new main character in the Halo franchise or would you prefer to have seen a familiar face under the blue visor? Let us know in the comments.
Halo 5: Guardians beta access begins December 2014. The full game will arrive in 2015 exclusively for the Xbox One.
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