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Halo Anniversary gets 3D support

"More than a simple remake."

Microsoft has confirmed stereoscopic 3D support for Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, to "help that sense of immersion and really help this game feel more than a simple remake".

Showing off the feature to Eurogamer under embargo last week, 343 Industries executive producer Dan Ayoub said: "Let's say it's the season of remakes - people are taking their games and putting them in HD and saying, 'Yo, remake, go!'

"Halo fans deserve better than that. We really wanted this to be a celebration of 10 years of Halo."

Asked how much time the development team had spent refining the 3D effect, the game's producer, Dennis Reese, said: "They have made some very specific modifications. In a lot of cases it's making sure the weapons look great, the environments fit right in 3D - so you kind of adjust how deep the 3D you want, that's a setting within the controls."

But with Halo 4 on the horizon, Ayoub cautioned against expecting 3D as standard in future titles.

"I don't think 3D is representative of a goal for the franchise," he said. "This is something we wanted to do for Anniversary, because we wanted to make it special with as many cool features as we could."

Further talking up the remake, Ayoub claimed: "Current-gen shooters took so much from the first Halo. It really defined the genre and you look at any shooter today and you're going to see stuff that was pioneered in Halo 1."

In addition to the revamped HD visuals, Halo Anniversary also features a Classic mode, accessible at any point with the Back button, that presents the game in its original form.

The Gamescom demo focused on the 343 Guilty Spark mission. Ayoub said the enhanced graphics of the updated version would actually "guide the player a little better" through better use of lighting and the removal of fog.

Either way, Microsoft insists, the gameplay should feel exactly the same - for better or worse.

"Any time you touch a classic you have to expect criticism," Ayoub acknowledged. "We wanted the game to play exactly the same as 10 years ago and that philosophy meant warts and all."

Ayoub confirmed that more Halo announcements would be made at PAX this weekend - "We'll talk about few more features, a few more multiplayer maps" - the final major missing piece being how the game will incorporate Kinect.

The decision to add stereoscopic 3D to Halo follows last month's confirmation that fellow Xbox 360 exclusive Gears of War 3 also supports the feature.

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Johnny Minkley


Johnny Minkley is a veteran games writer and broadcaster, former editor of Eurogamer TV, VP of gaming charity SpecialEffect, and hopeless social media addict.