Okay, usually every other day, a Halo 3 rumor pops up, and it gets tested, then shot down. Well today, Joystiq informed me about Game Informers April offering. Besides the God of War 2 hot ‘deets’, on Page 18-19 there is some sort of Halo 3 Info. Well, you just have to read it:
“Is it true that there will be no Halo 3? If you ask bungie or Microsoft the current answer will be, “Yes.” In fact, at the time of this writing, both companies have flat-out denied that Halo 3 even exists. And yet the game has not only been the constant subject of talk and rumors by both fans and the industry itself online retailers have thrown up bogus release dates from time to time to stir up the masses. How can a game that supposedly doe snot even exist be speculated about so much? We know that Bungie is working on various projects, and despite employment advertisements asking that applicatants love “combat on the high seas,” Game Informer has learned through its network of industry spy pirates that Bungie’s next release will be a Halo Xbox 360 project. However, as of now, it’s not even called Halo 3.
The relentless confusion over Halo 3 starts with the powers that be at Bungie. Shortly after the release of Halo 2, the company’s studio manager Pete Parsons told the BBC, “After Halo 2 we are planning to do something different. We will do something else and we have a few ideas.” This led the public to the logical conclusion that the next project wouldn’t be Halo-related. None other than Microsoft’s Bill Gates himself put down the gauntlet on Halo 3 and seemingly confirmed the game’s existence in the spring of 2005 when he told Time that he game would release alongisde and compete with Sony’s Playstation 3. Gates would later recant this ex act release date of the game but didn’t deny the project existed. That job has instead been left to others such as Microsoft Game Studios head Shane Kim who dubbed the game “the mythical Halo 3” in a February update of the website Next Generation. And, of course, all the while Bungie has held the course that Halo 3 does not exist.
In its customarily clever way, Bungie is not telling a lie – it’s just not telling you the whole truth. A well-connected Game Informer source has seen this game up and running and tells us that the project is dubbed Forerunner (and no, this is not an April Fool’s joke). At this time the game is not being called Halo 3, which is perhaps how Bungie has been able to deny the existence of a title that literally bears the name “Halo 3.” Of course, when all is said in done, the game could be officially dubbed Halo 3: Forerunner or some variation thereof. It is very common for a game in development to be tagged with a temporary codename. For the time being, however, our source tells us that it’s being referred to simply as Forerunner. We contacted Microsoft about the game, but it would not comment on “rumor or speculation.”
The game is being designed around huge persistent worlds that will be created with what we’re being told as a modified Halo 2 engine. “Big” is the operative word, and many aspects of the title will be affected by the large scale of the game. For instance, Forerunner will showcase four player co-op in a move away from a strict linear single-player experience. Make no mistake about it , though, Master Chief is the game, and gamers will play as him to drive along the story. however, the world itself and the events that draw from it will be more malleable to the player and any co-op friends that join in on the action.
If you are charged to capture a weapons depot, for instance, you might not choose to do it, or may fail trying. Although our source says the game still has a definite mission structure, your failure at this particular task will mean that wh atever extra firepower may have been yours for the taking had you caputred the depot will instead strengthen your enemies from then on. This cause/effect concept applies to the game’s destructible environments as well. Of course, the philosophy is nothing new in video games, but it clearly embraces Bungie’s love of multiplayer and the lessons learned from the series’ success online. We imagine that these tidbits are surely only the tip of an iceberg that hopefully includes plans to merge the offline and online worlds together to great effect.
We’re told t he game’s storyline will delve into the origins of the Forerunners, the long-absent, technologically advanced civilization that inspired the Covenant’s Great Journy. Up to this point, the Forerunners are a mysterious element within the Halo story that has yet to be fully explained. However, the pots of Halo and Halo 2 imly taht humans, the Master Chief, and the Forerunners are linked, but with as little we know about the actual plot of this upcoming project, we don’t know how everything is going to fit together. Although our source has seen the Chief in action, even his presence could only be half the truth. After all, this is from the company that surprised everyone with the introduction of the Arbiter as a playable character in Halo 2.
Bungie’s denials that Hlo 3 exists have led fans to surmise that he compnay says so simply because the next Halo project doesn’t involve an actual halo, unlike the first two titles. That would make sense, given what our source has told us regarding the game’s focus on the Forerunners. However, that does not preclude the title from picking up where Halo 2 tantalizingly ended – with the M aster Chief returning to Earth with a mandate to kick some ***.
The project could also be aligned with the Halo movie s cheduled for release in the summer of 2007, which has Peter Jackson at the helm as executive producer. Our source tells us that he film will be based on the book Halo: THe Fall of Reach, chronicling a time leading up to the first game. If the mysterious Forerunner project is in fact related to the movie, then perhaps the video game’s title could not only refer to the civilization, but to the game being a prequel set during the early part of humanity’s war with the Covenant.
Clearly there are more questions remaining than have been answered with the information we’ve brought to light. Does this Forerunner project actually mean there won’t be a legitimate Halo 3? Could there be a game called Forerunner and an entirely other project entitled Halo 3? What if Forerunner is simply a side project meant to explorer storyline t angentswithin the Halo universe? If “Forrunner” is indeed the actual name of the game our source has seen, and not simply a temporary codename, we can’t imagine a Halo product leaving Bungie’s doors without a Microsoft marketing executive slapping the word “Halo” somewhere on the box for maximum effect.
As alawys in the development process, there are myriad aspects that can change at any moment. But for the time being, our source has assured as that the tantalizing snippets that have come our way are indeed true. Whether or not they point to the whole truth is something we won’t know until Microsoft pulls back the curtain on the project at E3. Bungie clearly delights in winding up the public, so we wouldn’t at all be surprised if what we know now are merely isolated pieces of a larger puzzle that Bungie has cleverly constructed. Regardless, any project from the developer is a big deal and one that’s guaranteed to get fans e xcited, regardless of what it’s finally called.”
I’m working on getting some scans, so wait a couple of days. In the meantime, keep in mind this could be fake, and it is in the APRIL issue, so April fools? I however think that if this is indeed real, that this shouldn’t be Halo 3. I think maybe, it could be its own game, Sort of like The Legend of Zelda: the For Swords. I think Halo 3 Should Be Master Chief alone. NO ARBITER! But I wouldn’t object to playing as a Hunter. Those guys are tall.