No, that shot up top isn't from Halo 4 for the Xbox 720 or 1440, it's just Microsoft having some old-school live-action fun with the Halo mythos in the buildup to this September's Halo: Reach. Check out the new trailer for yourself.
That said, it is a little weird seeing live humans poking around developer Bungie's creative playground, even more so because the trailer trades eye-flipping CGI for edgy, contemplative semi-introspection. It's like the title sequence to Bill Bixby's The Incredible Hulk. Even the thumping piano during the trailer's first 20 seconds mimics the latter's staccato intro. When the main guy's eyes turn indigo, I'm half expecting someone to voiceover "You wouldn't like me when I'm cheap and expandable."
Cheap and expandable? You know, the SPARTAN III Class (according to the Halo wikia entry, anyway). The trailer's dubbed "Birth of a SPARTAN," and in it we're seeing the next-generation of super-soldiers, as in the ones the military made after Master Chief (who after all was only a measly SPARTAN II). This, despite the fact that Halo: Reach takes places before the events of 2001's Halo: Combat Evolved.
Confused? I was. Turns out the SPARTAN III program was designed to produce cheaper super-soldiers who work better in squads. And where Halo: Reach occurs in 2552...well, so does Halo: Combat Evolved, at which point Master Chief (aka "John-117") is something like 41 years old and 27 years invested in his physically augmented SPARTAN II persona.
I know, it's a tortured fictive web for diehards only. The rest of us just want to shoot stuff.
And you can, in just a few more days, when the Halo: Reach multiplayer beta goes live next Monday.
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