Anyone looking for official, straight-from-the-developers-mouth Halo 5 release date news would be wise to avoid the Internet for the rest of 2013. Odds are we won't be hearing any official Halo 5 release date news until after the XBO is released, maybe not until next year. However, that doesn't mean there isn't SOME Halo 5 release date news in the form of leaks and rumors floating around in the nebula of fan sites and gaming blogs and, right now, there are a few snippets of Halo 5 release date news getting some attention.
Over the weekend, reports began to surface that Halo 5 will, in fact, be called Halo 5. These reports are tied to a screenshot from All Games Beta that posted a new version of the E3 teaser trailer that confirmed another Halo game is in the works. This version, from creator Axis Animation, confirms the "Halo 5" in the Halo 5 release date rumors with an official logo displaying onscreen at the end. Take a look:
Halo 5 Trailer
So now that we've confirmed that Halo 5 is, in fact, called Halo 5 what do we know about the release date? Well, another piece of Halo 5 release date news surfaced this weekend, and this tidbit has to do with the game's story by way of a pre-order page (which has been shut down.) But since people are quick with a Ctrl-C when little mitakes like this happen the product description leaked online and with it came some details about the Halo 5 plot. Here's the Halo 5 plot summary that was pulled from the site:
Halo for Xbox One takes the now-legendary saga to new heights and is one of the most anticipated games for the new console.
In possession of a mysterious data chip, Petty Officer John-117, aka Master Chief, confronts a new battery of challenges and tests in a Herculean effort to stay alive in a galaxy where sentient life is mercilessly hunted.
Pre-order the next chapter in the wildly popular Halo series designed exclusively for Xbox One.
In addition to the Halo 5 plot teaser, the site also listed a Halo 5 release date of December 31, 2014. Obviously, this date is a placeholder for the game but it indicates that Halo 5 release date is on track for sometime next year.
What else have we heard about Halo 5? In July, 343 Industries Dan Ayoub spoke with OXM about the Halo 5 multiplayer experience and said that the company is actively listening to Halo 4 players to gain ideas about which direction the Halo 5 multiplayer should go in.
"We're going to be constantly evolving multiplayer. We had things we wanted to do with this when we started the game, and you've seen the beginning of an evolution -- I don't think that evolution is over. You're going to continue to see innovations from us in multiplayer, so what I would say to that is: keep watching," Ayoub said. "We have a great dialogue with the community through Halo Waypoint, where we're constantly hearing about what it is they like, what they want more of, all of that good stuff. And we monitor very closely who's in the hoppers, who's playing what, and you look at what's on the message boards, and all of that data informs our decisions as to the tweaks we're going to make."
While I don't know what kinds of feedback 343 is getting from fans I hope it's harsh. As an avid Halo fan I'm disappointed by the multiplayer in Halo 4 and the recent weapons tweak doesn't help. Hopefully 343 is interested in the opinions of fans who have largely walked away from the game (the active players numbers are pathetic and tend to hover around 20k total) and not just the die-hards who will play anything branded Halo.
Of course, what would the Halo 5 release date news rumor mill be without some crazy abnonmyous speculators dropping massive pastebin files of gibberish. A few weeks ago, an "insider" released the following information to the public. Take it with a MASSIVE grain of salt. It's probably as legit as a $3 bill, but I'm reposting it here because the source (while likely just speculating) does bring up some interesting points about the direction the franchise could be headed in. Anywho, here's the post everyone's talking about (typos included):
At the moment 343i is in the prototype phase, but i will post the current state of Halo for Xbox One.
Just a reminder that the game you will see probably wont feature everything you are reading here.
60 FPS has been confirmed at E3, now the team around Corinne is basically taking the Halo 4 Engine, "dumps" it on Xbox One Devkits and measures the perfomance and goes from there.
The Xbox One hardware is really powerful, though as many have stated not as powerful as Sony's machine. Nevertheless the team does have the goal to create one of the best looking titles next year. People are seriously overstating the power difference and underestimate the potential of the eSRAM (yes, it was included for bandwidth reasons, but the low latency does increase efficiencs in real world perfomance, if the eSRAM is used in smart way. I basically got the same code, with some optimization with the eSRAM running only 20% worse on Xbox Oen than on a PS4-Devkit from January.
Now what tech and graphical features will be implemented?
Deferred Shading will finally be implemented, Halo 4 was really sparse on terms of dynamic lights, a drawback of havin to use a traditional forward renderer. G-Buffer will consist of 4 MRTs. The entire pipeline is HDR and linear space. Those Render Targets will probably be stored in the eSRAM or split between the two pools, depending on perfomance.
Some form of SSAO will also be implemented, Halo 4 only had static and baked AO which looked great in pictures.
PRTs will be used, current tests with eSRAM and the results are amazing. Thanks to 5GB of ram (soon 6GB ;) ) the textures will look amazing and the models will have plenty detail.
There are a few drawbacks with aiming for 60 FPS. First the game will not render in native 1080p. Current resoultion on display plane 2 is 1920x720 (1,3 Megapixel compared to 2 for 1080p), display plane 1 (HUD an weapon) will be native 1080p. You literally cant tell the difference.
First titel to showcase true power of cloud processing. Massive battles with 100s of AI (calculated by the cloud); massive worlds with dynamic weathher and global lighting (all done in cloud).
And yes, this will need an alway online connection(you dont need a powerful connection, those data pakets are really small)
Campaign is planned to be 3-5 times longer than Halo 4. No more linear , going open world.
Master Chief has gone rogue, has own ship and can visit different planets (6-8 planned). Each planet has several regions with main objectives and several side missions. ( Think of Wings of Liberty or Dawn of War 2 cmapaign)
Core gameplay is still Halo (2 weapons, grenades, melee; "30 seconds of fun"; sevaral different enemies) but there are RPG elements added to it: character progression (mostly items like forerunner relicts you will find that make Master Chief stronger or will give him more ablities), not really loot, but you will have to acquire weapons first, before you can use them in more missions. Weapons are stored in the armory on the ship and chief can choose his loadout, which he will use on the mission start. He can still pickup and use the weapons he finds in the different missions.Loadout weapons are basically the same you have in Halo 4 Multiplayer (you cant start with a rocket launcher, but you can call in those "super weapons" on a mission like in Infinity Multiplayer; difference is this is a limited ability, at "low level" you can call one time, this can be upgraded over time)
There will be more weapons in campaign than in Halo 4(and yes more "alien" weapons; not just human weapons with a different coat)
Elites (the same faction you fought in Halo 4), Grunts, Jackals, Hunter, Brutes, Drones
Promethean (heavily redesigned, more types like Promethean Warlords)
Humans (yep you will gith humans, but not UNSC, those are Insurrectionists)
Biggest number of vehicles ever.
Warthog (classic, rocket, gauss), Scorpion and yes the Grizzly will be in, Mammoth, upgraded Mantis, more Halo Wars vehicles like rhino, wolverine, cobra, hornets, falcons, vultures
Chiefs ship can store a limited amount of vehicles (call in similar to weapons)
Forerunner War Sphinx are in, very powerful enemy "vehicles" (and yep you will fight them)
To put the gameplay in campaign into perspective:
The team was running an encounter test in the Halo 4 engine with prototype models.
This encounter featured several hundreds of Brutes with 2 Scarabs, 10 wraiths and several ghosts and banshees fightin against one Forerunner War Sphinx and some Prometheans. Now the player could engage in that battle or just simply watch them fight (Power of the Cloud: AI in short distance to chief is process on the box; rest in the cloud) and pick off the remaing forces.
Well the current player chose to engange, took his Hornet and landed it on one of the Scarabs ( the AI is amazing, the Brutes had now to choose who to fight, most forces fought against the Prometheans, a few took on the fight with chief; it really looks and feels like every single AI makes smart and menaingfull decisions))
The Player killed of the crew on the Scarab and well, thise time he doenst destroy the Core, he gets behind the wheel of the Scarav ;) All hell breaks loose, brute forces more and more engage the rogue Scarab, while the Prometheans dont really difference their enemies.
And yep the Scarabs is destroyed withing seconds , thought the Player surived thanks to god-mode.
Those are the kinds of encounter you will find in the final game.
Split between two categories.
Halo Wararena ist basically Halo 2 reloaded. No loadouts, no armor abilites and perks.
Player Count 8-16, game types are Slayer, CTF(yes classic Halo CTF ;) ), King of the Hill, Assault, Oddball....
Static weapon spawns, more weapons on map which means more ammo, weapons wont respawn as quick as in Halo 4
The seconds multiplayer categorie is titles Halo Battlefield (not final name obviously).
Those are basically really big teams battles like 32-64. Gameplay is more inline with Invasion from Halo Reach.
Custom Loadouts, "armor abilites" (more like class abilites), Vehicles, Infinity like call ins
Thats it for the moment. Just a small glimpse into what you will eventually play in November 2014.