Today is the day when the space marine-sized boots of Master Chief crunches through the dirt of the Halo 4 game launch, hoping to add a few zeroes to the 46 million games currently sold around the globe (not to mention many more zeroes to fans’ extra kill scores).
Here in the UK, we were invaded by an illuminated glyph hovering above the Thames, the same symbol of the wicked new alien threat you will find looming in Halo 4. The glyph, which measures fifty feet in diameter and weighs 3.2 tons, was illuminated by 113,096 LED lights and was the largest object ever to be flown by helicopter as a lighting art performance. Meanwhile, the admittedly rather tiny European country of Liechtenstein was reimagined into a real-life replica of the “Halo” universe, altering some of the country’s landmarks, including a 13th-century castle and a working mine, to create a Halo-themed alternate universe in the heart of Europe.
And of course, what launch could be complete without TV coverage of thousands of fans queuing outside game stores to lay their grubby mitts on a copy of the game?
Developed by Microsoft Studios’ 343 Industries, and only for their Xbox 360 platform, Halo 4 is set five years after the events of the last game and follows the Master Chief and his AI companion Cortana as they venture into a new world to discover an overpowering ancient evil threatening to exterminate mankind. 343 have developed a new multiplayer system called Spartan Ops for this iteration of the game. Its main innovation is a weekly series of cinematic episodes to introduce new characters, storylines and gameplay missions over a ten-week season… blending gaming and TV/movie media.
Following their Hollywood-ish theme, the game’s musical score was composed by Neil Davidge of Massive Attack fame, and Halo 4 was also worked on by director David Fincher (“Fight Club,” “The Social Network,” “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”) and visual effects expert Tim Miller (“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World”), who produced and directed the live-action launch trailer for the game, respectively.
Phil Spencer (Microsoft gaming executive – not the house-selling guru), told SFcrowsnest, “‘Halo 4’ marks a rebirth and a new beginning for one of the most beloved and iconic franchises in the modern history of entertainment. Over the past decade, the ‘Halo’ franchise has become a bona fide pop culture phenomenon, and ‘Halo 4’ promises to take the franchise to a new level and set the stage for the next decade of ‘Halo.'”