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- "The journey is the important part, the growth is the important part, and so really where does he still need to go as a human? That became the key to, not just the story of Halo 4, but the entire trilogy."
- — Christopher Schlerf, Former Lead Writer
The Reclaimer Saga, originally the Reclaimer Trilogy, is the next generation of the Halo video game franchise, following Bungie's original trilogy of Halo games consisting of Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, and Halo 3. The Reclaimer Trilogy launched with Halo 4's release on November 6, 2012, and was continued with the release of Halo 5: Guardians on October 27th, 2015.
The first installment of the then-trilogy, Halo 4, was announced on June 6th, 2011 with a teaser trailer presented at Microsoft's E3 Media Briefing. The subseries was first identified as the Reclaimer Trilogy during Halo Fest at PAX Prime 2011.
The series marks the Halo games' first foray into the post-Human-Covenant War Halo universe. "Reclaimer" is a title given to humans by the Forerunners, which coincides with humanity's status in the time period the Reclaimer Saga is set. Two novel series, The Forerunner Saga and the Kilo-Five Trilogy, written by Greg Bear and Karen Traviss, respectively, were created as tie-in material to more thoroughly establish the story and themes present in the new game series, particularly the extensive Forerunner elements in the case of the former. Both novel series introduce and build on many characters, technologies and locales encountered in the games. This was not a one-way process, as multiple elements were incorporated into the games after their inclusion in the novels. This is part of 343 Industries' efforts to more seamlessly integrate the Halo games with the other media exploring the Halo universe, eliminating the divide between the games and the "expanded universe".
Starting in the fall of 2014, a multimedia project known as Halo: The Journey is intended to tie together the stories and characters of Halo 5: Guardians and those encountered in previous Halo media. The "Journey" refers to a personal journey undertaken by John-117, who has begun to question his past worldview and left the UNSC. Jameson Locke, who has been dispatched to find the Master Chief, will be a pivotal character in media released during this phase of the story. 343 Industries has stated that they wanted to create a wider cast of recurring characters to appear in future media; 343 Industries General Manager Bonnie Ross stated that "We ... had a tendency to kill all of our characters besides Master Chief. We are not Game of Thrones, and we actually want to make sure going forward we have a larger cast of characters with which to tell stories."
Released on November 11, 2014, Halo: The Master Chief Collection marked the beginning of The Journey. The collection contained ancillary cinematics that "tie you up and leave you on the doorstep of Halo 5," as well as the digital series Halo: Nightfall which introduces Jameson Locke. The comic series Halo: Escalation, particularly the final issues, also served to bridge the gap between Halo 4 and its sequel. Halo: The Television Series will likewise have ties to the ongoing story.
Spin-off titles are also envisioned.
- Main article: Halo 4
- "Set in the aftermath of Halo 3, Master Chief returns to confront his own destiny and face an ancient evil that threatens the fate of the entire universe. Halo 4 marks the start of a new trilogy that begins with its release in 2012."
- — Official summary
Halo 4 marks the return of John-117 as a playable protagonist after three Halo games focusing on different sets of characters. Having been lost in space in the finale of Halo 3, John-117 and Cortana are adrift aboard the wreckage of the frigate Forward Unto Dawn. They find themselves being drawn into Requiem, a Forerunner Shield World first seen in the Legendary ending of Halo 3.
They confront a remnant faction of the former Covenant Empire as they are pulled into the planet's abyss. Inside Requiem, John is determined to rescue Cortana as she struggles with her own capability and mortality, finally experiencing the effects of rampancy as she nears the end of an AI's seven-year life span. Together they face a new, seemingly unstoppable foe when they awaken the Ur-Didact, an ancient Forerunner and fallen warrior hero first explored in the Forerunner Saga. After aiding the crew of the UNSC Infinity upon their arrival, the pair depart from Infinity and set off to battle the Didact and his army of Prometheans to prevent him from obtaining the Composer, a powerful Forerunner device capable of wreaking vengeance and annihilation on the human race.
Halo 5: Guardians
- Main article: Halo 5: Guardians
Halo 5: Guardians is the second game in the Reclaimer Saga. It was released October 27, 2015, with a multiplayer beta playable from December 27, 2014 to January 22, 2015. Halo 5: Guardians continues the story of Master Chief, and introduces Spartan Jameson Locke. After several human colony worlds are attacked, and John-117 goes AWOL along with Blue Team, Spartan Locke and Fireteam Osiris are tasked with finding the Master Chief and solving a mystery that threatens the entire galaxy.
- Main article: Halo 6
A sequel to Halo 5 had entered the planning stages by September, 2015. By this point, the developers are aware of where the story will go, and have begun writing the game. The game has been referred to offhand as "Halo 6." Frank O'Connor has argued that the next installment would feature "a much more human story". The studio plans on keeping the cooperative mode introduced in Halo 5. "Halo 6" will have splitscreen, as will all other future Halo FPS games. As of June 2017, it has been confirmed that "Halo 6" will not be discussed "for quite some time", implying a longer development cycle. "Halo 6" will have a beta at some point prior to its release. "Halo 6" will also have more focus on the Master Chief by "doubling down" on him.
- ^ Making Halo 4: A Hero Awakens
- ^ a b IGN: Halo Reclaimer Trilogy Expanded to 'Saga'
- ^ Halo Waypoint: Games - Halo 4
- ^ a b c Halo Official Site: Halo 4 Panel Opening Video
- ^ Halo Waypoint: The Halo Bulletin 4.17.2012
- ^ YouTube: Halo Fest 2011 - Halo 4 Discussion! PART 3
- ^ a b Xbox Wire: The Halo Journey
- ^ E3 2011
- ^ YouTube: Halo Fest: Halo 4 Panel
- ^ YouTube: SDCC 2011: Halo Universe Panel Part 1
- ^ Halo Waypoint: 343 Sparkast 017
- ^ Game Informer: The Future Of Halo Wars And Halo's Expanded Universe
- ^ a b c d Eurogamer: 343's master plan for Halo 5: Guardians
- ^ Computer and Videogames.com - Halo Reclaimer Trilogy expanded to a 'saga', says MS exec
- ^ Wired.com: Dark Horse Will Turn World of Halo 4 Into Ongoing Comic Series
- ^ Time.com: Halo‘s Frank O’Connor Reacts to Criticism of Halo 5
- ^ Awakening
- ^ Halo Waypoint: Halo Xbox One
- ^ Amazon: Halo: The Master Chief Collection
- ^ Xbox Wire: Halo 5: Guardians Pre-Order Details Released, Multiplayer Beta Starts Today
- ^ GameSpot - Halo 6 Is Undergoing "Serious, Real Planning," Microsoft Says
- ^ Dice Summit 2017 - "And I will say, for every FPS going forward, we will have splitscreen, going forward", Bonnie Ross.
- ^ IGN - E3 2017: HALO 6 REVEAL 'WON'T BE SOON,' SAYS 343 INDUSTRIES
- ^ http://in.ign.com/halo-5/76851/news/all-future-halo-games-will-have-betas-says-343-industries "Going forward, you will never see a Halo game coming out without a beta." -Bonnie Ross
- ^ 343i Acknowledges Halo 5 Storytelling Mistake, Will Double Down on Master Chief Focus - "We took some digs for storytelling in Halo 5, but they were absolutely merited. We very much realized that people wanted Master Chief’s story of Halo 5. We definitely marketed in a way that we hoped was going to bring surprise, but for some fans and certainly fans of Master Chief, it was a huge disappointment because they wanted more Chief. They loved Blue Team, they liked Osiris, but they wanted Chief. And that has been a big learning. Chief we tend to think of as kind of a vessel for your adventure rather than necessarily this major character in the universe. He’s really just your entry into the universe. But people have become attached to him over the last fifteen years and they’ve started to sort of fill in the gaps that the character deliberately has for gameplay reasons with a genuine emotional attachment. We certainly underestimated that with Halo 5. The effect that the character has on his surroundings and ‘the fate of the galaxy’ has had a resonant effect on fans over the years. It wasn’t that surprising to me, but the volume of ‘give us more Chief’ at the end of Halo 5 was significant and so I think if anything he’s slightly more important now than he has ever been, certainly to our franchise. Instead of focusing on bringing new characters into the world and expanding the playable characters we’ve sort of shifted the focus a little bit to making the world a little bit more realistic and compelling and, I would say, more fun for players who get to inhabit the Chief in the future, pretty much as they demanded. There’s always a call and response element of shipping a game, you have to ship improvements, you have to ship tweaks and you have to ship changes and sometimes you have to walk some of those back. Doubling down on Master Chief story and the amount of focus on him was probably the easiest learning from Halo 5. That was a really simple thing to absorb and embrace.", Frank O’Connor .
- ^ Halo Waypoint: Canon Fodder: Bounty Hunters