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- “Foreword: This article contains spoilers about the Halo games and literature behind them, you have been warned. This article is a continuation on my previous article.”— Wilc0
With two sequel games (H5 & H6) on the horizon I wondered what would come after that. Especially with the next generation of consoles not far away; while the PlayStation 4 was announced back on February 20th, the next-gen Xbox is still nowhere to be found (Edit: However, it will most likely be announced 21st of May; Link). Because Microsoft is not so stupid as they look, the next-gen Xbox won’t launch far behind the PS4, if not sooner. Those new consoles will not only bring a fresh, new device in your living room, they will also pack a lot bigger punch than current consoles. The time when a pictures is indistinguishable from something produced by a console is not that far away anymore.
As said, the next console will be more powerful than the previous (duh!), but how does this translate this to gameplay? Well, while you can view at a lot of beautiful still from Halo 4, it still does not ‘feel’ right. Halo 4 really takes all it can from the Xbox 360 which is why they implemented things like: Weapons despawn within seconds, dead bodies disappear within seconds, campaign and multiplayer on separate discs which you have to install on your device, not many open spaces during campaign and Spartan Ops that didn’t fit on the disc in its entirety. While most of these things don’t really interfere with gameplay, it would be nice to have one big battle in the campaign like those during previous installments. Or a FPS version of Halo Wars, where you are one of the soldiers receiving commands from your Captain or any other superior.
While Halo could just continue in its current way, with John-117 kicking some alien ass and chew bubblegum. But a smart company like Microsoft and 343i know the same formula will only work for so long; There are a lot of popular franchises that are has-beens, think of Sonic the Hedgehog, Duke Nukem, Tony Hawk and many more. If they want to keep Halo popular, they have to expand as they did with the backstory by releasing books.
Because the Halo Universe is so vast, the options are limitless. If you’ve read about the rebels in The Rubble you know that is a perfect setting for a MMO where you can choose between the different classes, from human soldier to Jackal, it could all fit. Or what about a RTS game where you are the (Ur-)Didact set in ancient times? As many of you probably know, the Didact was not only a powerful warrior with countless people at his command, he also had 'some' adventures of his own. They even could delve into the Human-Forerunner War, which has only been hinted at during Halo 4. This war is the reason why the Didact attacks Earth in the first place, but was never really explained in the game.
But closer to home, what will happen in the next two installments of the Reclaimer Trilogy? A few facts we know: Cortana is severely damaged but maybe not beyond repair (probably not), Dr. Halsey has her arm blown of and seeks revenge unto the UNSC, Requiem is incinerated and John-117 is back on Earth (unmasked?). The plot probably will focus first on John needing to adjust to his new surroundings; It has been nearly five years since he was on Earth, not to mention the absence of Cortana. Since then a lot will have changed, to Earth and of course to himself. As Lasky put it: “I’ve lost people I care about, but… never anything like you’re going through.” But while Requiem was destroyed, there was 6 months gap between the attack on New Phoenix as stated by Dr. Halsey. This should be enough time for John to recover physically as well as mentally to retrieve a broken Cortana. And as Dr. Halsey was attacked by Sarah Palmer and then sided with the Covenant Remnant, this should also be enough time with Halsey doing repairs to Cortana. Cortana herself admitted that there was a possibility of her recovering as she was the first AI to be crafted from living tissue. However, during SpOps Dr Halsey mentioned she didn't know John was ever on Requiem. This makes it highly unlikely she ever spent some time with Cortana, she would've probably told Dr Halsey everything.
As for the rest of the trilogy, the Didact most likely (never seen him die, have we?) is still alive and planning his next move. Because of his immense knowledge about warfare, this could turn into a huge massacre, a pyrrhic victory probably. Maybe more Forerunners will be introduced, maybe Bornstellar’s identity will be explored, the possibilities are endless. I sure hope the trilogy will talk about more than the 2nd Human-Forerunner war, maybe throw some Flood in the mix? It is as they say, nothing unites people like a common enemy and the Flood would certainly fill the part. This could mean the Forerunners/Humans could turn best buddies like they did with the Covenant, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
That about wraps up this article about Halo’s Promising Future, not just the next 2 installments but what comes after that. I really hope the Halo MMO could become a reality and they venture more unto the RTS path, there is room for much more. Because of the ever-increasing computer power, a lot more can be put on your screen with ever-increasing resolution. While better resolution never makes a good game, it really helps when you are playing an awesome game franchise like Halo. Wilc0 out.
Afterword: This article was a natural sequel to my previous article, do you want something of the Halo Universe or something you would want to see an article about? Leave it in the comments below, I'll see what I can do with it.