Halo 6: Halo 6 has been on our radar ever since that fateful day when series director Frank O’Connor revealed future plans for the franchise. While not yet officially announced, O’Connor’s interview, in which he stated clearly that the series was not coming to an end anytime soon, gave us all the right vibes about the upcoming next installment. So without further ado, let’s dig right into what we have found out about Halo 6 over the past year.
Halo 6: What are the chances?
Update: We know that the creators have plans for the series beyond Halo 5, and the next game will probably round off the Reclaimer Saga that began with Halo 4. After the last game, which impressed everyone overall, took a beating for its poor story execution, it now looks like 343 Industries have some fan pleasing to do. This, they have made it clear, will involve a character that has been a favorite since his first appearance.
This is especially notable, for Halo 5 alienated a lot of players by making it appear as if the armour clad super soldier would be the major character, but his involvement was not nearly as much as they had expected. 343 Industries’ Frank O’Connor definitely recognizes this, as he said: “We took some digs for storytelling in Halo 5, but they were absolutely merited. We very much realized that people wanted Master Chief’s story of Halo 5. We definitely marketed in a way that we hoped was going to bring surprise, but for some fans and certainly fans of Master Chief, it was a huge disappointment because they wanted more Chief.”
O’Connor says that in their creative process, Master Chief is undoubtedly important as a kind of pillar for the entire universe- a sort of entry point. But they know that fans want more of him, and it sounds like they are ready to comply.
“It wasn’t that surprising to me, but the volume of ‘give us more Chief’ at the end of Halo 5 was significant and so I think if anything he’s slightly more important now than he has ever been, certainly to our franchise.
Instead of focusing on bringing new characters into the world and expanding the playable characters we’ve sort of shifted the focus a little bit to making the world a little bit more realistic and compelling and, I would say, more fun for players who get to inhabit the Chief in the future, pretty much as they demanded.”
So while we don’t really know how much of the next game will revolve around him, it sounds to us like Master Chief will be back with a bang in Halo 6.
To answer this specific question, we are one hundred percent certain that Halo 6 is only a matter of time. Why? Only because the heads over at 343 Industries told us so. In an interview back in 2015, O’Connor revealed that even though they do not know what exactly the next game in the series will bring, they were thinking much beyond that. So if he’s right (which he obviously is), then 343 is already hard at work to chalk out a two-decade long future for the acclaimed Halo series. “We’re doing serious real planning and even some writing on the next game already, and that’s a luxury – we’ve never been in that position before,” he said. Studio head Bonnie Ross added, “You can look at the ending of Halo 4 – and where Master Chief is, and obviously we had to know where we were going to take Halo 5 and Halo 6 with that. You have an epic sci-fi universe and we have multiple ways that we can go with this story, but all the pieces are laying there. The canvas is there for us to paint”.
We’re obviously excited about the future of the Halo series. Twenty years may seem like a long time, but in the gaming world, it translates to about five titles. But for now, we’re happy with Ross’s blunt reference to Halo 6. So as things stand now, Halo 6 is not only happening (and is probably already in development), but it will also lay the foundation for what we’re going to see in terms of the story over the next few games in the series.
Halo 6: Is it underway?
Quite possibly, yes. The games in the main Halo series have traditionally stuck to a three-year window in between each title with the exception of Halo 4. Considering that Halo 5 released back in late 2015, about a month after the time when O’Connor and Ross sat down for the interview with GamesRadar. Considering the fact that
“Halo 6” was explicitly mentioned by the makers at that time, we are pretty sure that the devs already know what they’re doing with the story in the upcoming game. However, with Halo 5 Forge being released in September this year and Halo Wars 2 coming up in 2017, we are not entirely sure how far along the development of Halo 6 has come.
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Halo 6 Wishlist: Features and Gameplay
Halo 5 was a major step up in the franchise in multiple aspects, but that doesn’t mean that it didn’t leave much to be desired. Several new elements were added to the Halo universe, but at the same time, there were some popular ones that the creators chose to do away with. And on some other fronts, there was a major movement backward. So here we compile our Halo 6 wishlist with some of these features, and if we’re lucky, we may be able to see these making their way into the upcoming game.
A Better Story: While Halo 5: Guardians scored big with both critics and fans for its complex and intriguing old-school inspired gameplay mechanics, its overall story failed to impress many. This is one of the many things we hope 343 and Microsoft address with the upcoming game. We say we hope because even though it may be natural for game makers to review and improve upon the features from their previous games that fell short, that was not quite what happened with Halo 5. In fact, some fans of the first-person shooter series have even said that the last entry’s campaign mode actually felt like a deterioration of sorts compared to 2012’s Halo 4. So first things first, we expect a major story upgrade for Halo 6. But what is interesting is that the creators already have some cool ideas to take this wish of ours forward.
We know that Halo Wars 2, the upcoming RTS game from 343 Industries and Microsoft, is a continuation of sorts of the Halo series and will be set right after the events of Halo 5: Guardians. But while the spinoff may not have found a sound fan base among hardcore fans of the main FPS series, it may do them good to try it out. A couple of months back, Gamespot spoke to Kevin Grace, 343 Industries’ narrative design director, who hinted that the Halo universe depicted in the two series will come together in one binding story in Halo 6. In Grace’s own words, the narrative of Halo Wars 2 will have a big impact on Halo 6. Moreover, Halo Wars 2 may bring back some important characters previously seen in the Halo series as an important step towards that direction. But while we don’t quite know who those characters will be, one thing is for certain- all this will tie in neatly with the proceedings in Halo 6. But in order to find out what that means, we have to wait for more information from the devs.
Upgraded AI System: Besides the story, we’re also expecting some major technical overhaul in Halo 6. One of the most widely criticized features of the last game in the series was its slightly shaky AI system, which, frankly in today’s date, is a bit of a shame for such a huge franchise. In Halo 5, this impacted not only the enemy that we had to fight but also the companion characters. Not that it was all bad, but from a game of this scale, we expect the AI to be super crisp and responsive. We hope Microsoft pulls out all the stops for this one with Halo 6.
Halo 6 Gameplay and Rumors
While Halo 5 was criticized on several counts, its overall gameplay and its pace were rather well-received by fans. On the multiplayer front, especially, the game gave fans a lot to enjoy. So we expect some of the core gameplay features of Halo 5 to make a return with Halo 6. Among the list of possibilities, we think there is a high chance of the NPC companions to make a comeback, and perhaps this time around we would be able to exercise some more control over them.
However, one of the most notable deviations that the 2015 title had in comparison with the previous main entries in the franchise was the lack of the split screen options. While the creators cited technical issues for foregoing the series staple, fans were not happy. And we would not be too wrong to assume that this was one of the primary reasons why the title did not do too well commercially. For Halo 6, therefore, we want 343 Industries to bring this feature back.
Other possibilities are that Spartan Locke may be brought back as one of the main focuses in Halo 6. Fans had observed that the character had a lot of potential to be explored further, and Halo 6 might just be the platform to be able to do that.
Halo 6 Trailer
While we don’t have anything to show you in this section right now, we are sure we’ll be able to update you soon. It is no secret that Halo 6 is in development, so perhaps E3 2017 will be the time we’ll get lucky? This year’s E3 will be massive, as this will be the first time ever when the event will be open to the public. We expect to see a lot of new titles and trailers being dropped at this year’s event, so what better place for Microsoft to give us our first official look at Halo 6?
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Halo 6 Release Date and Platforms
|Halo: Combat Evolved||November 2001|
|Halo 2||November 2004|
|Halo 3||September 2007|
|Halo 4||November 2012|
|Halo 5: Guardians||October 2015|
In light of the general launch tendencies of the series, there is a high probability for the game being released sometime in 2018 (we think a late, third or fourth quarter release). This falls in line with the fact that the main Halo titles have always been spaced by a gap of three years except for Halo 4, which came out five years after Halo 3 owing to internal changes happening over at the studios. However, this report considers all recent details associated with the franchise and predicts a November 2017 release date alongside Microsoft’s upcoming 4K console. As for where you can play the game, Halo 6 will be playable on the Xbox One and Xbox Scorpio.
That’s all we have for now for Halo 6, but we’ll come back with more soon. We know that anticipation is high for the upcoming game, especially because the next entry will probably mark the end of the Reclaimer Saga that began with Halo 4. Watch this space for more, And while you’re still browsing, check out what we think about the possibilities of Gears of War 5 here.