With just roughly three months left until Halo 5: Guardians arrives on Xbox One, Microsoft is taking the time to talk at length about the game including why it decided to add co-operative multiplayer, why this year’s title isn’t so focused on John 117 and why studio executives were worried about the game early in its development process.
Instead of a new article, it’s an IGN video documentary that reveals more Halo 5: Guardians details. Called A Hero Reborn, the video is 12 minutes long and goes into all the natural behind-the-scenes questions that Halo 5: Guardians fans would want answered. Halo 5: Guardians is set to début on October 27th.
At first the video focuses on the team building Halo 5: Guardians itself, 343 Industries. In between talking about the game, 343 Industries executives Frank O’Connor, Kiki Wolfkill and Bonnie Ross discuss what it was like to build a new development team as it was gearing up to develop Halo 5: Guardians. One person being interviewed even lets slip that the Halo 4 development process was rough because of the need to create a studio at the same time as develop games.
Creative Director Tim Longo shakes his head while alluding to their being very, very rough stories about Halo 4’s development. We don’t actually get to hear any of those stories, but it acts as a segue into tales of inspiration for Halo 5.
343 Industries says that at its core, Halo 5: Guardians is the story of “two different” families led by two very different people. Apparently, Agent Locke, the leader of fire team Osiris was brought in to give players a different take on universe Microsoft has crafted than what they’d get from Master Chief John 117. Master Chief is described as being more ready to pull a trigger, then learning about a situation Locke is supposedly more nuanced, ready to investigate all angles and learn about a situation before he is ready to fire.
As for the family dynamics, 343 Industries is aiming for two flip-sides of the same coin. fire team Osiris is a new team with the struggles that come along with that. Meanwhile Blue Team, the group of Spartan’s that the Master Chief belongs to, is more seasoned and have worked together for years. At one point in the video the studio even compares the fire teams in Halo 5: Guardians to The Avengers, Marvel’s team of super heroes with their own strengths and distinct personalities. The fire two teams exist because Halo 5: Guardians biggest innovation is co-operative multiplayer. In single player mode players can give their fire teams orders as they make their way through the game. Called musketeers in the documentary, some at the studio think this is the game’s biggest upgrade from past releases.
Soon we see 343 Industries executives discussing their ideas for Halo 5: Guardians back in 2014. Executives featured in the video say that they focused on trying to deliver on ideas that hadn’t been seen in past games because they just weren’t possible. The Musketeers are an example of this. So is the massive Warzone multiplayer experience coming in the game. Everyone from the team pitched ideas and issues cropped up as the studio had to develop new tools to showcase the Xbox One’s features while building their game.
The lull in development time between finishing Halo 4 and starting work on Halo 5 allowed the team to work on upgrades that needed to happen to keep the franchise relevant. When Halo 5: Guardians launches, it’ll be able to run on the Xbox One at full 1080p resolution and 60 frames per second. The work to get the game there was done during that lull. Halo 5 will have dedicated servers too. That’s also something that only made it because 343 Industries had the time to improve on its toolset.
Besides looking better, Halo 5: Guardians environments will have secret tunnels and more levels to support all the different vertical game play that the upgraded Spartan uniforms add to the single player experience.
All told, it’s a very interesting documentary for anyone already excited for Halo 5: Guardians release on October 27th. Halo 5: Guardians will act as the main focal point for Microsoft’s Xbox One fall 2015 push for buyers. It won’t be coming to the Xbox 360.