It’s been two and a half years since Halo 5: Guardians launched for Xbox One. By all accounts, Halo 6 should be coming this year. However, going off of past Halo releases, it’s likely that the game has been delayed until 2019 even if a reveal happens at E3 2018. However, earlier this year 343 Industries teased a second Halo FPS project in the works for this year, and now they’ve teased its reveal.
This Thursday, May 17th, will see the debut of the third episode of Inside Xbox, during which five hotly anticipated titles will be shown off in addition to their big feature on State of Decay II and some Forza 7 content. Within the last 72 hours, it was stated that a Halo game that is not Halo 6 would be revealed on Inside Xbox this Thursday. Unfortunately I cannot find the source for this, but I do recall seeing it. None the less, take everything I say with a grain of salt just to be on the safe side.
No specifics were given about what this mystery Halo game could be. While they teased an FPS, as it’s the only suitable thing to replace Halo 6 with, there have been no leaks or rumors regarding this title. There was a recent rumor about it being called Halo: Genesis and being a reboot of sorts, however, that was quickly debunked due to the rumors use of rejected Halo Wars 3 art and claiming it to be art for Halo: Genesis. Last year we received a similar type of rumor, this time about a Halo: Gravemind FPS horror game. That too was ultimately debunked by 343 themselves. And so, in the lead up to this weeks episode of Inside Xbox, we’re left to speculate on what exactly they have to announce.
1) Halo 3 Anniversary
While Halo 3's 10th anniversary has come and gone, it’s not too late. Finishing the trilogy of remasters wouldn’t be such a bad thing, and it’s something that many fans want. With the Master Chief Collection set to receive not only an extensive overhaul to make it what it should have been at launch, but also Xbox One X enhancements, it makes sense to include a Halo 3 Anniversary built with the Xbox One X in mind as part of the updates, paid or otherwise.
If they were feeling especially ambitious, they could re-remaster Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary to bring it up to Halo 2 Anniversary standards with a more faithful art style, proper geometry(Combat Evolved Anniversary added geometry that did not exist in the original game while removing some geometry from the original game, causing players to bump into invisible walls where there shouldn’t be any when switching graphics modes.), and Blur cutscenes, along with an early Halo 3: ODST Anniversary, but only because it was made on Halo 3's engine and shares assets, meaning a lot of the work is already done with Halo 3 Anniversary. This, of course, would be in addition to the standard Xbox One X enhancements which may include 4K textures for all games, a screen resolution bump to either native 4K or checkerboard 4K depending on the game, and possibly the implementation of HDR as well as more stable framerates.
2) Halo Prequel
The Human-Covenant War depicted in the original Halo trilogy, the Halo: Reach prequel, and spin-off ODST, lasted approximately 27 years, with the aforementioned games only showing the final 5 months of the war. The Master Chief and his personal team of Spartan’s, Blue Team, were active for the entirety of the war, meaning there’s no shortage of stories to tell about these Spartans in their prime. For fans of the books, it would be wonderful, and for those who played only Halo 5 and had no idea who Blue Team or what they meant to Chief, this game would certainly answer those questions.
3) A Non-Chief or Spartan-centric Spin-off
There are stories in the Halo universe that don’t involve Spartans, one of which was already told through Halo 3: ODST from the perspective of a group of Orbital Drop Shock Troopers and to this day remains one of my favorite Halo games. It’s an entirely different perspective and could work again. While I don’t expect a sequel to ODST, as that is a book called New Blood which explains what happened to the team after the game as well as how Buck ended up on Halo 5's Team Osiris, I do expect a similar game, whether it follows ODST’s or plain Marines. Of course, it could also be a horror game starring the Flood. There are quite a few possible directions for them to go.
The best part is, none of this has to be developed by 343 Industries themselves, meaning all their attention, minus maybe a few people that can be counted on one hand, can be focused on Halo 6 while another team handles development duties on any of these projects.