With several years since the last major Halo game, it’s time to start looking forward to the franchise’s future. Microsoft’s beloved first-person shooter series is due for a new entry, with development seemingly underway behind closed doors. While an official reveal is yet to take place, here’s what we already know about the next Halo title.
Disclaimer: This article contains spoilers for previous Halo titles.
Halo 6: Development and reveal
Halo 6 is the next expected entry to the main line of Halo games, following on from 2015’s Halo 5: Guardians. While yet to be formally revealed by Microsoft, given the franchise’s prior success on the Xbox platform, its existence is hard to refute. Frank O’Connor, Franchise Development Director, has confirmed that “serious real planning” is already underway for “the next game,” building on nearly two decades of lore. This was reiterated by Brian Jarrard, community director at 343 Industries, who recently confirmed the studio is focused on the project in the wake of the Fireteam Raven arcade cabinet.
With the Halo franchise assigned to 343 Industries after Bungie’s shift to Destiny, it’s safe to assume Halo 6 will also be developed solely under the same roof. Based in Seattle, Washington, 343 Industries remains one of Microsoft’s flagship game development studios, having worked on Halo 4, Halo 5: Guardians and Halo Wars 2, among other titles. Comprised of hundreds of employees, including veterans of Halo franchise, the team houses a powerhouse of talent in the first-person shooter space.
While work is already underway on Halo 6, details are scarce. After its E3 2017 absence, 343 Industries’ Jeff Easterling clarified its reveal “won’t be soon.” In a later post outlining the studio’s 2018 plans, Easterling referenced “adventures to be embarked upon,” but “not those adventures” – indicating launch is still some time away. An E3 2018 teaser could take place, though a later reveal is plausible.
Halo 6: Story
Halo 6 is expected to fall under the “Reclaimer Saga” – a series of Halo games outlined by 343 Industries, following the events of Halo 3. Diving deeper into the Master Chief and his relationship with Cortana, games in this saga have carried heavier emotions and higher stakes than the original trilogy. After the events of Halo 5: Guardians, we can expect a new-found partnership between the Master Chief and Spartan Locke. With Cortana fighting for control of the Halo rings, a new dynamic is set to be established as humanity fights back against Cortana’s uprising.
Speaking with GamesTM magazine, Frank O’Connor admitted the studio received “some digs for storytelling in Halo 5,” indicating a new approach for its successor. Expanding, O’Connor acknowledged fans generally “wanted more Chief,” after Halo 5’s focus on Blue Team and Fireteam Osiris. So, will the Master Chief play a large role in the next Halo title? It seems likely, but we’ll need to wait for the full reveal.
Halo 6: Gameplay
As seen in previous games, Halo 6 is expected to stick to the FPS gameplay formula that makes the series unique. From tight, responsive gameplay to slow times to kill, the core values of the Halo will likely be adopted, while evolving with new ideas.
While Halo 5: Guardians brought cutting-edge visuals to the Halo franchise, sacrifices were also made to achieve this. Local split-screen multiplayer was controversially axed, removing the social living room experience cherished by long-term fans. Speaking at DICE Summit in 2017, studio head Bonnie Ross discussed painful learning experiences, stating that future entries will “always have split-screen going forward.” Assuming 343 Industries still adheres to this approach, Halo 6 will likely mark the feature’s return.
Halo 6: Release date and pricing
With little indication of when Halo 6 will be revealed, it’s hard to pinpoint the game’s release. A surprise launch later this year would be welcomed but a release in 2019 is looking more feasible. Microsoft has previously committed to beta tests for future Halo games too, meaning a chance to play will likely arise before launch.
Halo 6 is expected to launch for Xbox One, with compatibility across Microsoft’s complete family of current generation consoles. Support for its latest flagship console, Xbox One X, is also likely, delivering a 4K resolution among other visual upgrades. With many of Microsoft’s biggest franchises also launching on PC, a Windows 10 release through the Microsoft Store appears inevitable.
Like most big-budget games of this generation, Halo 6 is expected to cost $59.99 at launch across all platforms. The game will also be available with an Xbox Game Pass subscription like other first-party titles from Microsoft. In line with many of Microsoft’s “games-as-a-service” titles, also expect regular updates and content drops in the months, or years, following release.
The road to Halo 6
Details on Halo 6 may currently be limited but keep an eye out for further information in the months ahead. What are you looking for from the next Halo game? Drop into the comments section with your thoughts.
Updated May 27, 2018: Refreshed this article with the latest details on Halo 6, including further confirmation of its development.