Trailer: Halo (Official E3 Trailer)


What would an Xbox console be without it’s flagship title. The Xbox One will have it’s Master Chief and at Microsoft’s E3 Presser we were introduced to the first trailer of what could only be the next title in the long-running and critically-acclaimed series simply called Halo.

If the announcement that the game will run on a smooth and native 60 frames per second then this trailer may just be in-game (though we’ll find out in due time if this is a correct assumption or not). Whether it is n-game scenes or a pre-rendered cinematic matters not. It’s a new Halo title and after the success both financially and critically of Halo 4 there’s no doubt that there’s now new life in the franchise that both fans and critics alike were calling dated and obsolete.

343 Industries will have a new playpen with advanced tools to make the move of the franchise from the Xbox 360 to the Xbox One a smooth upgrade.

Halo for the Xbox One is set for a 2014 release date.

Song of the Day: Green and Blue from Halo 4 (by Neil Davidge)

The latest “Song of the Day” comes from the Halo 4 soundtrack. I have just finished playing the campaign and for a first-person shooter the story is what makes the game great. The song from the soundtrack I’ve ended up loving through my first listen through the album is track 15 with the simple title of “Green and Blue”.

The past Halo titles while it was under the development of it’s originators over at Bungie Studios had Martin O’Donnell composing all the music. His Halo theme as become one of the most iconic and recognizable piece of video game music. One doesn’t even have to be a fan of the series to recognize O’Donnell’s theme. When Bungie finally ended their work on the series and Microsoft’s in-house game studio created to take over with 343 Industries fans of the series were concerned that any future Halo titles wouldn’t be able to stand up to O’Donnell’s work under the original regime.

For Halo 4 a new composer was hired to create the appropriate score for the title. In comes Massive Attack’s Neil Davidge to follow in the huge foot steps of O’Donnell. The track I chose is just one piece of a huge orchestral score that Davidge (with assistance from Kazuma Jinnouichi) ended up creating for the title. It’s not just my favorite but also the one piece of music in the entire score that best describes the themes and emotional content of the narrative created for the campaign of Halo 4.

The song begins with a subtle opening that speaks of the revival of the game’s two leads in Master Chief and his A.I. companion, Cortana. They are the Green and Blue of the title. From their revival, to a ethereal lament that then moves moves into a growing, rousing section that best describes the two characters’ relationship and feelings for each other. These are two individuals who have been through hell and back and going into the breach once again and there’s a chance that one or both won’t be back.

As a fan of O’Donnell’s work on the series I was one of those who had concerns about whether Davidge could handle being the new musical caretaker for the Halo franchise. With this example from the game’s orchestral score my concerns have been alleviated and now have another Halo score to enjoy.

Halo 4: Launch Trailer “Scanned”

As I write this it’s 2 hours and 52 minutes til the release of one of the biggest titles in entertainment for the year of 2012. Yes, I say entertainment and not just video games. The last ten years has seen the ascendancy of the video game as a form of entertainment to rival and, at times, surpass the big kid in the block: film. It was in 2007 that we saw Microsoft and Bungie Studio release the final game in the Halo trilogy. That game marked the first time a video game title beat any film in terms of first-day sales with $170million dollars on its first day of release. This record would be broken many times since and all of them on the video game side of entertainment.

In 2010, Microsoft and Bungie Studios released a prequel to the trilogy with Halo Reach which also marked the final Halo game Bungie Studios would develop and release. It wasn’t a well kept secret that Bungie had begun to tire of being known as just the studio that made Halo for the Xbox/Xbox360. So, once they arranged for the studio to leave as an internal studio for Microsoft Games there were some concern that whoever would takeover development for the series would fall in reaching the high bar Bungie had set for the series.

It’s now 2012 and 343 Industries is just hours away from releasing their first title in the Halo franchise and it continues the events which ended with the original trilogy. We find Master Chief and his A.I. companion, Cortana, stranded in deep space, cut-off from the rest of humanity. The final scene we see from Halo 3 (if one passed the single-player campaign on Legendary mode) was the two seeing an unknown planet come into view. The questions which arose from this final scene was whether this was a Covenant home planet or was it the planet where the Forerunners (builders of the Halo ringworlds) originated from.

We’ll find out when 12:00 midnight hits on November 6, 2012. In years past I would’ve called off work and stood in line at midnight to get my copy and play the rest of the day. I’m a bit older and wiser (likes sleep and making money  from work) now, but it doesn’t mean I won’t pick up my copy after work tomorrow.

Whether one likes or doesn’t like the Halo series no one can deny that it help revolutionize console gaming, especially multiplayer gaming on the console, and entertainment in the first decade of the 21st century. Everyone is all about Call of Duty‘s modern iteration like Modern Warfare and Black Ops, but without Halo those games wouldn’t have had to evolve to keep up (and for some surpass) what Microsoft and Bungie had created and for 343 Industries to continue to do.

Now let’s enjoy the launch trailer for Halo 4 (both live-action and CGI) that was produced by David Fincher (yes, that Fincher) and directed by Tim Miller.

EDIT: I can be found on XBL with gamertag: ArleighTSL