It's only just hit 2017 and we already have a new addition for video gaming's unwritten history books cataloguing 'what could have been'. Andrew Borman of PtoPOnline got hold of a prototype for a #Halo game cancelled in 2013, which was going to be in the style of construction toy property Mega Bloks.
After Electronic Gaming Monthly wrote an April Fool's article about a Lego Halo game, they later mentioned that it wasn't entirely a joke. Whether they had knowledge of this Mega Bloks collaboration or not is unknown, but it's strange to think their fake article had some truth behind it.
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Developer n-Space, known for bringing titles like Call of Duty and Star Wars onto the Nintendo DS, were at one stage creating a Halo game with the working title of 'Haggar'.
The prototype contains only one of the campaign missions with this description:
Due to reports of increased Covenant forces in the area, you have been deployed to secure a remote base used to monitor a key forerunner installation. Mid-flight a swarm of Banshees attacks your Pelican sending it crashing into the trees below. Navigate the jungle on foot and reach the base.
The video demonstration allows you to see the chosen art style and the mechanics of battle, as well as what the graphics looked like during this production phase.
Similar to the series of Lego games, the characters, enemies and parts of the environment are made up of blocks, allowing for various construction and destruction elements.
Although the game looks different to how we normally imagine Halo, there are a fair few elements drawn from the main series. For example, all the sound effects seem to be the same as in the Halo games we know and love.
Classic weapons like the Needler, Battle Rifle and Energy Sword were set to feature in the game alongside customizable versions of the vehicles found in the series. These changes include color, attachments and weapon choices.
Alright, Who Can We Blame?
Unlike n-Space's usual work the game was set to be released on Xbox 360. With the Xbox One being released while production for 'Haggar' was still ongoing, it may be a part of the reason why this supposed AAA game was dropped with little trace left.
Or maybe Microsoft decided to invest their time and/or money into other projects instead. You could argue that if they'd gotten as far as they did already they'd surely just finish up the project, but with all the work that must've gone into the Xbox One around the launch it must've been hard to see the worth in a last-gen Halo game.
Bonnie Ross (the head of 343 Industries) has stated that fans of the Halo franchise have recently been requesting a game which is a little more kid-friendly, such as a Lego game. This goes against the series' developers and publishers not wanting to alienate and anger their audience by creating a game that may be seen as 'unfaithful'.
All things considered, it's hard to say really why the game was cancelled and we can only speculate. As the game is still relatively recent, employees are a lot less keen to share details on the development. Perhaps now that almost a year has passed since n-Space's folding in March 2016, we'll start seeing some answers.
Want to go back to thinking about the Halo games you can actually play? Here's the trailer for The Master Chief Collection:
Any thoughts on the Halo game that could have been? Leave a comment below!
[Credit: Microsoft, PtoPOnline]