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Microsoft: "We lost our way" with Halo

"Master Chief the John Wayne character."

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Image credit: Eurogamer

Microsoft has admitted losing its way with Halo following the release of Halo 3 in September 2007.

Halo 3: ODST and Halo: Reach both lacked one vital ingredient: "Playing Master Chief," said Microsoft Game Studios boss Phil Spencer to OXM.

"We kind of lost our way a little bit, I'll say. And that's why I wanted to make sure that at the unveiling of Halo 4, you knew you were playing Master Chief, that John was back - because Master Chief is the John Wayne character of that universe, and that's who you want to play."

Spencer said Halo 3: ODST and Halo: Reach "made sense" to fans of Halo 1, 2 and 3. But Microsoft wants Halo 4 to appeal beyond those boundaries.

"Fundamentally there are a ton of players on our box right now that didn't start with Halo 1," Spencer commented.

"If you were new to Xbox 360 - 360 is where you started playing on Xbox - you understood what Halo 3 was. ODST and Reach, maybe you weren't as centred."

"The game has a history now," he added, "and it's about bringing new customers into the fiction."

Another way Microsoft hopes to broaden the Halo fan-base is by remastering the very first Halo game for Xbox 360. Nearly all of the old texture work will be slung away in favour of new, high-definition appearances. Microsoft will also add Kinect support to the game.

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Microsoft may be keen to get back to Halo's roots, but what effect will the departure of series creator Bungie have - can 343 Industries live up to the hype?

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