Talking Past, Present and ‘Halo 4′ with 343 Industries’ Frank O’Connor

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Some people just like pistols on Hang ‘Em High. Some people like multiplayer competitive all up. Some people only play Campaign. Some people only make things in Forge Mode. Some people only like the fiction, and some people like the whole thing. It’s really hard to pin them down. I’m one of the people who likes the whole thing.

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You would have to be, doing what you do.

Yes. [laughs]

You talk about respecting what’s come before. I understand and acknowledge that, but you also have to move it forward.

Sure. The elephant in the room is Bungie. Bungie moved things forward every single game. We intend to do the same thing. But Bungie also had very strong respect for their own success and their own invention. We’re going to continue that.

We’re not going to change anything fundamental about the game, but we are going to add, we are going to improve, we are going to layer, and we are going to evolve. You have to do that to A) stay on top of your game but B) to give people something that’s more interesting, and something that’s more and more and more. That doesn’t mean we’re going to get more complicated. I think that’s a dangerous situation.

But we’re definitely going to make additions, changes, and improvements to the game where we see fit but without changing the basic premise.

So, you talk about changes. In the context of Anniversary, is there a temptation to foreshadow stuff that happened in Halo 2, 3, and 4, because you’re going back to the original chapter?

Yeah. I think Anniversary is a more complicated beast than just a remake of Halo 1 because it contains elements from other Halo games as well. In multiplayer, it’s certainly a celebration of 10 years. So, it’s a little bit convoluted. We are foreshadowing Halo 4. That’s been hinted at in the Terminals. Guilty Spark’s narration in those Terminals is going to give you a lot of insight into the future direction of the game. But so are the books.

Are there more and more comics projects in conjunction with Marvel?

Yeah. Absolutely. We are still working on finishing up a giant serialized adaptation of the Fall of Reach novel. We have a great relationship with those guys.

Is that still going on?

Yeah. It’s nearly done but it’s long, yeah. Actually it’s all going in perfect cracker jack order, it’s just a big project.

Let’s talk about the Chief. Is there going to be a different way of understanding him through playing Anniversary than before? Obviously you’ve got to stay close to the original text.

So, yes and no. We’re leaving the dialogue in the story exactly as it was. We’re definitely redoing some of the cinematics. We’re doing the utmost to stay true to the nature of the game but there will be significantly improved animation models and so on.

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