Microsoft held a press conference late last night at the Tokyo Game Show '08 and talked about a little game called Halo 3.
First off, no Master Chief. This story takes place right before the events leading up to Halo 3 and the Chief's landing on Earth. You play as an elite unit of Marines known as the ODST (Orbital Drop Shock Trooper) which is about as close as you can get to being a Spartan without, you know, being half robot.
This is a full-on expansion set so we're looking at new campaign levels, new multiplayer maps, and everything you've come to expect from Halo 3: Saved films, Forge, Co-op, etc... It looks like the game will be distributed via disk if the image below is any indication.
This still doesn't explain the mysterious new achievements that have shown up in Halo 3 after the newest update, so it looks like the "normal" version of Halo 3 is still in story for at least one more map pack "Mythic". Specifically six new levels are mentioned in the achievements: Assembly, Citadel, heretic, Longshore, Orbital, and Sandbox. I've already talked about Assembly here, but Bungie has been mum on the other five maps so far.
A few things I've noticed in the trailer (below) that I find interesting are: the Brutes (pictured above) seem a little different, smaller, less shielded, somehow. Also it looks like the weapon that your ODST Marine is holding looks like a SMG but with a silencer on it? Thought?
Update: Official box art below.
Below is the description that Xbox.com has listed about Recon:
* All-new campaign content: The Halo 3: Recon campaign is an intriguing side story that takes place during the terrifying events leading up to the Master Chief’s return to New Mombasa in Halo 3. Experience the fate of Earth from the brand-new perspective of a special forces ODST (Orbital Drop Shock Trooper), adding a unique outlook and new gameplay elements to the events that unfold in the trilogy’s finale. While the feel of this new chapter greatly resembles that of previous Halo experiences, Halo 3: Recon will require you to employ more elements of stealth and cunning than ever before.
* Prepare to drop: Known for their courage, valor and, at times, insanity, ODSTs are among the fiercest UNSC soldiers, priding themselves on being the first unit deployed into hostile situations. While not as large or supernaturally gifted as their Spartan comrades, these "Hell Jumpers" more than compensate with their ferocious attitudes and unwavering nerve.
* Expanded multiplayer collection:No Halo experience would be complete without groundbreaking multiplayer content, and Halo 3: Recon gives fans more of what they love. With exclusive new maps and expanded Forge options, Xbox LIVE® Gold members will find more multiplayer content than ever before with Halo 3: Recon.
* Ever-growing community options: Enjoy all the great Halo 3 technological innovations, including Saved Films, screenshots, Campaign Scoring, and four-player co-op. All of the new multiplayer maps fully support the Forge editor, offering endless gameplay customization possibilities.