Credit: XBOX
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Following last summer’s teaser footage of a hooded Master Chief braving the desert, Halo fans have been clamoring for any info regarding the Spartan’s next alien-thwarting adventure. Well, the wait for fresh intel ends now, as Microsoft and Chief’s handlers at 343 Industries have revealed the name and release window for the upcoming entry in the popular sci-fi first-person shooter franchise.

Dubbed Halo 5: Guardians and diving from a drop-ship sometime in fall 2015, the next installment could see the green-armored hero struggling with more than evil-doing extraterrestrials. At an exclusive media event in Santa Monica, California, this week, 343 studio head Bonnie Ross didn’t dare reveal any narrative details, but did offer some potential insight into the protagonist’s state of mind following the fourth game’s harrowing conclusion: “He’s in a very challenging place. He’s questioning everything. … He’s questioning his past, his purpose, what he’s fighting for, why he’s fighting.”

You’d have an easier time hijacking a Warthog than uncovering story specifics on the space marine’s continuing journey, but 343’s franchise development director Frank O’Connor was a bit more forthcoming in discussing the sequel’s potential on Microsoft’s new horsepower-pushing hardware. “It’s obviously a big deal for us because it’s the next chapter in Master Chief’s saga, but it’s also a big deal because of the transition to the Xbox One platform.” After praising the console’s “power and capacity” and confirming Guardians is being built on a brand-new engine, Connor concludes: “It’s going to be bigger in terms of scope and scale in the size of the already quite big Halo universe…we’re expecting to do things that are really incredible on the console.”

While no in-game footage was shown, I’ll take O’Connor’s statements to mean — at the very least — that crushing Covenant scum behind Chief’s high-tech arsenal will look prettier than ever on the Xbox One.

With Spielberg’s Halo TV series also landing in 2015, it looks likes Star Wars won’t be the only sci-fi saga blowing up big next year. For a teasing taste of what Halo 5: Guardians might have in store — the Twitterverse is already speculating on a female Spartan — spy what Microsoft’s calling an “early visual ID for the game” above.


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