When Halo 4 was announced at E3 2011 as the start of a new trilogy featuring Master Chief, I was immediately skeptical. Do we need more Master Chief? Is there a story to be told that will bring me back in? Is this just a ploy to get some cash? With Bungie out of the way, will Halo really be the same? It’s been a while since I spent any time with Halo: Reach and in a universe where I spent so many hours before, I knew it was going to take a strong showing at E3 2012 to get me to sway back in the direction of Spartan 117. It turns out 343 Industries may have some tricks up its sleeve to add to a winning formula and bring back some nostalgia while giving you a new experience with Master Chief.
I chose to cut the live-action portion of the trailer presented at the Microsoft Press Conference simply for the fact that no matter how nice it looks it, has little to do with the actual game. It’s about building the dramatic return of Master Chief. Enough with the actors screaming because horrible things are happening and show me the game! Admittedly, I’m also choosing not to look at this trailer as a critic but as a fan. Does the trailer get me excited?
Despite my initial skepticism about Halo 4, I found myself leaning forward intently as they showed Master Chief walk through the jungle toward the downed UNSC Infinity. Was the enemy the Covenant once again? We were promised a new enemy, but how much was going to be shown? It did not take long before Chief dispatched some Covenant goons and was inadvertently assisted by something off-screen. I leaned closer, nearly falling out of my chair, and watched. What was happening to me?
The new enemies, the Prometheans, didn’t take long to make a scene. The AI-based enemies came in big numbers and had some amazing tricks which will change things a bit. Grenades thrown were often returned to Master Chief, and as one slipped space and warped its way to the Chief I found the Halo fan in me getting excited. There is something about watching Master Chief dish out pain, but there’s something else to watching him meet some sort of equal.
The defining moment for me was the in-your-face introduction to a powerful Promethean which opened its mask to reveal a glowing orange skull. This more than symbolized the new foe was here to meet its match, but Halo 4 is planning to do the same. The trailer has me excited for the release on November 6, 2012. It did its job. It looks like it’s bringing back some of the elements we missed, like Cortana’s relationship with Master Chief, as well as a defined hero many Xbox players know and love. In 2001, I fell in love with my first Xbox purchase in Halo: Combat Evolved. Like an ex who can’t let go of old feelings, I know I’m coming back for more (which can be best described in song.)