UPDATE: Official word has been released from 343 via Halo Waypoint. It confirms most of what we have heard so far. A closed beta will be launching soon in Russia. Any plans for an Xbox One release, or a release outside of Russia would come after that but are not currently being looked at.
A very strange announcement was just made regarding the Halo series. It appears that 343 Industries and Russian developer Saber Interactive have revealed the existence of Halo Online. This will be a free-to-play title built on a modified Halo 3 engine that will be exclusive to PC, and seems to only be launching in Russia at this time. Gameplay will consist of 4-16 player multiplayer FPS with a deep progression and customization system, including various classes. The first image, which seems to show the customization screen, can be seen below:
There are many things about this announcement that make it feel so strange, first of all is just how silently it was done. The only reason anyone is hearing about it is from press who attended the event in Russia. Halo Online coming to PC is also odd given its importance to the Xbox One and Xbox gaming in general. Finally, the game is said to be exclusive to Russia, which cuts out almost the entire gaming market that has supported Halo for over a decade.
From these facts it seems like Halo Online won’t be a major title for the series. The information regarding the engine and gameplay seems to indicate it is a reworking of Halo 3 to fit into the free-to-play market. Why it would only be available in Russia is still unknown, but hopefully 343 Industries says something soon. Keep checking here for updates as this story develops.
UPDATE: Some details have been shared via NeoGaf, keep in mind that they are being translated from Russian, so some errors might be present.
- The game will include special packages and abilities: fighting, safety and support.
- The system is similar to the perks Call of Duty.
- Characters have levels, but what is the maximum – not reported
- Maps are designed specifically for Halo Online, while designed for 16 people.
- During the entrance to the card players get a job: to kill the head, jump 10 times, and so.
- On the map you can find different weapons: Bazooka example, which replaces the pistol slot.
- During the spawn, you can change the class and weapons
- After the murder of cards with the player who killed you
- There are attacks from the back
- Saber Interactive engaged in the development
- The game is focused on Russia and the CIS, is not excluded release in Europe
- For classes have 5 slots. Two is available immediately, and the rest are opened as pumping
- On the maps, there are two so-called powerfull-arms on the map: grenade, for example
Weapons are purchased at a time, all armor
- The game has a lobby system, where you can gather with friends and fight with them
- The game runs on a reworked engine of Halo 3
- When the gun lying on the floor, it has an aura: green – accuracy, red – Done. This is done to ensure that the player is not standing and reading characteristics of the weapons – which is better or worse
- The game is currently melenkie card without technology, but in the future will be added to the large appliances.
- Each piece of armor has its own parameters: speed of movement on the shoes or gloves at the rate of recharge
- The plot and PVE mission has not been considered
- The game currently supports only one language – Russian. Will map where the battle will go on the territory of Russia