Microsoft flipped the switch on the Halo 5: Guardians hype machine Monday, two months before the game’s launch on the Xbox One. A large portion of the opening cinematic was released, and it focuses on Spartan Locke’s Fireteam Osiris as they go through a James Bond-like opening sequence that blows away any action sequence presented as a cutscene in the series.
The Halo 5 opening cinematic (via Buzzfeed) begins with UNSC Infinity Commander Lasky and Spartan Palmer briefing Fireteam Osiris on a mission to retrieve Dr. Catherine Halsey from Covenant leader Jul M’dama. This sounds like it should wrap up the storyline started in Halo 4: Spartan Ops and continued in the Halo: Escalation comics that are part of recommended reading article I put together for Halo 5.
You get a bit of conversation between Locke, Buck, Vale, and Tanaka before the quartet jumps out of the back of a perfectly good Pelican and dive into a battle involving Covenant and Forerunner forces. The action in the cinematic is the kind that followers of the extended universe have long hoped to see, in which Spartans are, essentially, high-speed tanks destroying everything that stands between them and their objective. It’s fast, it’s loud, it’s explosive, and the score matches better when compared to Halo 4.
As mentioned above, this is only part of the sequence. Creative Director Frank O’Connor talks about the Halo 5 cinematic opening on NeoGAF, where he reveals there is a smaller intro that comes before the scene with Fireteam Osiris. In the actual game, after the ending of the cinematic scenes that have been released, players are dropped straight into the gameplay.
“Gameplay starts right where the Xbox mnemonic comes up at the end,” O’Connor said. “There’s a scene that precedes this one too. Something more sedate. Then bam, first level starts.”
O’Connor also confirmed that the cinematic was not rendered in-engine, though it is obvious. That won’t be the case for the majority of them, though.
“Rendered with in game assets as basis,” Franchise Director Frank O’Connor explained in a thread on NeoGAF. “Basically CG as far as this conversation is concerned but the majority of cinematics will be in engine.”
Halo 5: Guardians is set for an October 27 launch for the Xbox One. Players will switch between Locke’s Fireteam Osiris and Master Chief’s Blue Team. The former is the hunter, and the later is the hunted, as Forerunner machines are destroying planets throughout the galaxy.
— Graeme Boyd (@AceyBongos) August 31, 2015
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[Images courtesy of Halo Waypoint]