At least that’s the verdict of the Vice President of Microsoft Game Studios Phil Spencer. Speaking to Official Xbox Magazine UK, Spencer points to the last two Halo titles, Reach and ODST, as only being accessible to people who were already fans of the sci-fi shooter series.
Which sort of makes sense. ODST was, essentially, an expansion pack for Halo 3 in disguise, and the narrative straddled the events of both Halo 2 and 3. Reach, meanwhile, was a prequel to the very first Halo: Combat Evolved, and the narrative relied heavily on the foreshadowing of Reach’s imminent destruction – an event only followers of the series would have any knowledge of.
So, the answer then? Bring back Master Chief for a brand new trilogy of Halo games, starting with Halo 4. With Master Chief cast adrift in unknown space at the end of Halo 3, there’s certainly plenty of scope for an entirely new storyline which doesn’t hinge on events in the original trilogy.
Given that Halo 4′s developer 343 Industries, comprised of some of Bungie‘s key Halo team, are also doing the honours on the upcoming Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition, heres hoping that by revisting the seminal original, 343 can rediscover and tap into the pure, undiluted beauty of that first game, strip back some of the excessive gameplay and design that cluttered the last few outings, and streamline the narrative to deliver a sleeker, purer experience for the big MC’s fourth outing. Or, you know, ram it full of more useless equipment.