E3 2011 had a lot to offer gamers this year. Brand new franchises, a slew of triple A sequels, and a few systems to drop our hard earned cash on in the future. But there was one thing this year that genuinely surprised me, something that gave me chills, which I cannot say happens very often with most games or trailers. I am talking about Cortana, Master Chief, and my most anticipated game of 2012, Halo 4.
After the seeing the trailer (and losing my mind for a good while) I began to think about the Halo series. The trailer that debuted at E3 2011 didn’t show more than a souped-up version of the ending of Halo 3, which left me with two questions: What is this “world” that they’re being pulled towards and who will Chief and Cortana meet there? This is why I am excited about Halo 4.
Since 2001, Microsoft, Bungie, and 343i have expanded the Halo Universe with various novels and comics, giving back story to the Spartan program, Master Chief, and many other characters. But there was one thing we didnt know much about: The Forerunners. The Forerunners are an ancient, enlightened race who were the creators of the Halo constructs. A new series of novels called “The Forerunner Saga” has begun aiming to fill in the gaps. The trilogy, written by Greg Bear in collaboration with Bungie and 343i, focuses on the Forerunners, the Forerunner – Human War, and the elimination of most of the known galaxy due to the Flood and the first firing of all of the Halo constructs.
The close collaboration between the writer and the studio making Halo 4 has my hopes high, namely because of the successful storytelling done with Halo: Reach.
This brings me back to Chief, Cortana, and this gigantic, artificial world, which leads me to three conclusions, all of which involve the Forerunners.
My first conclusion regards the events that happened in Ghosts of Onyx. The story follows the Spartan program after the Spartan-II’s, and focuses on the Spartan-III program: the mass production of disposable Master Chiefs. This story concludes with a few remaining Spartan-II’s, a small squad of Spartan-III’s, Dr. Halsey (the creator of the Spartan Program), and the man who trained the Spartans, Chief Mendez, all of whom are trapped in what is known as a “Shield World”, a world which was meant to shield its inhabitants from the Halo devices, created by the Forerunners.
My second and third conclusions have to do with the new Forerunner Saga. Halo: Cryptum follows the story of “Bornstellar Makes Eternal Lasting”, a young Forerunner of the Builder class, who discovers a Cryptum, which holds a Forerunner that surpasses Born by thousands of years of experience. This Forerunner is known as the Didact, a war hero of the Forerunner/Human War which took place over one hundred thousand years before Halo. Without going to much further into the book’s story, I feel that Master Chief might meet a Forerunner, possibly the Librarian, or we will meet the race which created the Forerunners, the race which they nearly wiped out themselves: the Precursors.
The stories in Halo shine in these books, and have caused me to love this series far beyond the insane multiplayer and its iconic duo. It’s a shame Bungie has moved on, but I’m sure the former members of Bungie that went onto 343i can keep that quality going with Halo 4.
My hope? We see all three things I mentioned…
If you want to know more, click here to read more on the background on the Forerunners as well as anything else in the Halo Universe.