343 Industries announced today that there is a new Halo game, Halo Online, being beta tested in Russia. It is a project that they have been working on with Saber Interactive and Innova Systems. Halo Online is a free Halo multiplayer experience for PC users.
343 said that the game itself is powered by a “highly modified version of the Halo 3 engine” so that way it can be optimized to run on lower-end PCs without an issue. It is set on a UNSC space installation where Spartan-IV soldiers hone their skills by by training together in exercises using experimental technology. They also said that they will be reviewing feedback from the Russian beta testers to continually tweak the gameplay, features, and in-game economy.
I’d be interested in seeing if, because of it being the Halo 3 engine, they will be using projectiles as opposed to hitscan for the weapons. One of the things that made Halo 3 such a difficult game for everyone to be amazing at was the lack of hitscan; basically the bullets lack travel time. Having projectiles meant you had to lead your shots differently at various distances due to the bullet actually taking time to make it to the target.
There haven’t been any official photos from 343 but a couple have surfaced from Russia already. There isn’t much that is known about the game itself yet either but there is a quick Q&A from 343 about the new game.
Q: What type of game is Halo Online?
A: Halo Online is a free multiplayer-only PC experience that we’re launching as a closed beta test in Russia.
Q: Does Halo Online represent your future plans for the franchise on PC?
A: Halo Online is a learning opportunity for us as we explore ways to welcome new fans to the “Halo” universe. We’re excited to release a “Halo” multiplayer-only PC experience tailored for Russian gamers.
Q: When will Halo Online be available?
A: The closed beta period will begin in Russia later this spring. There is no definitive launch date at this time.
Q: Are you planning on bringing Halo Online to the Xbox One?
A: Halo Online was built from the ground up specifically for the PC. There are no plans to bring Halo Online to the Xbox One.
Q: Will gamers in other regions like North America and Europe be able to play Halo Online?
A: Right now our focus is on learning as much as we can from the closed beta period in Russia. Theoretically, any expansion outside of Russia would have to go through region-specific changes to address player expectations.
Q: Are you planning to officially launch this year?
A: There is no definitive launch date at this time as we proceed in our closed beta period in Russia.
What do you think about a new free-to-play Halo game for PC? Will it bring all the PC gamers to the Halo franchise or do you think that only those who play both Xbox and PC games will pick it up?Source: Halo Waypoint