By William Kee
Master Chief makes his triumphant return to the Xbox 360 in the first of a new trilogy of Halo games released Tuesday.
Developed by 343 Industries and published by Microsoft Studios, players take control of John-117, a.k.a. Master Chief, whose ship crash lands on the mysterious Forerunner planet, Requiem. The game takes place four years after the events of Halo 3, which marked the end of the original trilogy in 2007.
The Halo series has spawned other titles, including Halo: ODST and Halo: Reach, which followed new characters and new stories within the Halo universe.
Justin Chu, a computer science student at McMaster University, attended a midnight launch early Tuesday in Hamilton.
“Coming from a guy who’s read the books and has always been really into the Halo fiction in the books made me really appreciate this game,” Chu told Humber News, three hours after completing the game. “I felt like they were very careful on how they handled it.”
An EB Games employee in Mississauga on Erin Mills Parkway said the store has been busy all day, and will probably continue into next week.
“Its Halo 4, its the next big hit in the franchise and its been 4 years so its a pretty big deal,” the employee told Humber News.
With the upcoming release of Call of Duty: Black Ops II next week, industry observers don’t think the game will be enough to trump the momentum Halo 4 has brought.
The Halo series has generated more than $3 billion in sales since the release of Halo: Combat Evolved in 2001 on the original Xbox console.
“The think that is unique about Halo in the game space is it is this very grand scale, epic, sci-fi world and story,” said Kiki Wolfkill, executive producer behind Halo 4, in an interview with the Globe and Mail. “But it also, at its core, has some very human themes to it.”
Wolfkill sat down with CVG.com, a popular online industry news site, and discussed the challenges in bringing together a team to develop the next phase of Halo games, which were originally developed by Bungie Studios.
“It was definitely a rocky ride and part of that was the challenge of putting a new team together, learning to work together and sort of navigating that,” said Wolfkill.
“It takes time for a team to build trust with each other and we were absolutely able to do it through the cycle.”
Halo 4 is currently trending on Twitter, and is keeping in stiff competition with the U.S. Election.
— grufftech (@grufftech) November 6, 2012
Going to do my civic duty today but then… Then it’s all Master Chief all day and all night. #Halo4
— Trey Underwood (@drivebyNerding) November 6, 2012
— BFlynn (@flynnBVEGAS) November 6, 2012
— Jenn (@MLGQueen) November 6, 2012
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