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As Microsoft and 343 Industries announced their secret Halo projects this Monday at E3, Halo 4 and Halo CE: Anniversary Edition, along with them came a trailer for each project. Here, we will dissect the various images and ideas presented in hopes of figuring out any little tidbits or secrets that are hidden in the trailers. How about we start off with the easier one.
Halo CE: Anniversary Edition:
The only real secrets that people are trying to find out about this game are what redone multiplayer maps will be shipped with the game for Halo Reach and what other secrets will be in the campaign. Beaver Creek and Damnation remakes have already basically been announced. The trailer shows a clip of a Hang ‘Em High remake and the screenshot is right here. There we have three out of the seven maps.
Frank O’Connor posted, in what might soon be a weekly update on Halo Waypoint, that another shipped will be one that was never on the Xbox before. That either means Death Island, Danger Canyon, Infinity, Timberland, Ice Fields, or Gephyrophobia. My bets are on Death Island, Danger Canyon, or Timberland.
As for the Firefight map that will be one of the seven, Frank talks about it being a brand new experience for Halo players and especially reminiscent of Halo: CE. This leads us to a few memorable moments of that game which were Firefight worthy. Holding off the Covenant on the level Halo and fighting off the Hunters during Truth and Reconciliation. The likelihood of the Flood being added as Firefight enemies is very small, so get that out of your head now.
In terms of campaign, it has already been announced that Terminals will be added, similar to those that appeared in Halo 3 and it might also be safe to assume Skulls and other new goodies will make their way into the game to surprise us.
For this one, we have purely the teaser trailer to go off of, but it definitely does gleam so interesting, juicy facts. Please note that, unlike the hard info we have for the Halo: CE Anniversary Edition, this is largely speculation.
First thing you might have noticed is this; Master Chief is not wearing his MJOLNIR Mark VI Armor. The armor does seem to be a natural progression following the Mark IV, V, and VI however. It was mentioned in Dr. Halsey’sjournal, an added bonus for anyone who bought the Limited or Legendary Edition of Halo Reach, that the idea of MJOLNIR Mark VII Armor was being tossed around. It is assumed that no work was ever done on it, but it does seem as though plans were possibly made. Who might have had those plans? I think Cortana would. Now, we have no clue how much time she might have had, or even ability to make something like this up, but it is definitely a possibility that Cortana has modified the John’s armor with these Mark VII specs.
And speaking of Cortana, she sure looks a little different. A good thing to note is that in the Halo Universe, AIs have a limited lifespan before they go rampant. Depending on how long they have floated through the coldness of space, Cortana could very well be nearing that point of rampancy. Visually, her hair is shorter and her body seemed less “alive” than in previous games. Since this is supposed to be a new trilogy, it would not surprise me at all if Cortana does not survive the next three games in a sane state of mind.
After the Chief picks up Cortana, he uses a now very familiar device to move through the ship; the Jetpack. This is a very obvious announcement that Armor Abilities will be back in Halo 4. This was very similar to the way Master Chief showcased equipment (i.e. a bubble shield) in the Halo 3 teaser, “Starry Night”. Perhaps 343 Industries will do us all a favor and forget that Armor Lock ever existed. Probably not, but toning it down some would be nice.
One interesting question that has stuck with me after first watching the trailer was, “What weapon did he just use?” This screenshot here shows a pretty good shot of what does generally look like a Magnum, but with some sort of large exterior rounds on the end. My first thought was to call this weapon attachments which would have been interesting, but probably impractical. This screenshot here shows what is clearly a new weapon for the Halo gaming universe. The bulky round on the end is clearly some sort of explosive, but beyond that little can be surmised.
And at last we come to the finale. The remains of the frigate Forward Unto Dawn are clearly floating, or being pulled, towards a very large, non-natural structure. The structure is definitely not Covenant, for any who were wondering. The leading theories, which have been going since the Legendary ending of Halo 3 was uncovered, have the planet/structure being Forerunner, at least in origin. Spoiler alert for those who never beat Halo 3, Humans are descendant from the Forerunner. This can definitely bring up some interesting plot lines.
Another string in this web could be the workings of the Forerunner AI, Mendicant Bias. For any who found all the terminals in Halo 3, one of the final ones spoke this line from Mendicant Bias to John “And so here at the end of my life, I do once again betray a former master. The path ahead is fraught with peril. But I will do all I can to keep it stable – keep you safe. I’m not so foolish to think this will absolve me of my sins. One life hardly balances billions. But I would have my masters know that I have changed. And you shall be my example.”
Only the future will tell if these predictions are accurate.
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