Update: There is also a great interview over at 1up that got some really good details as well.
Adrift in Tokyo
Since Brian is still wearing his Sailor Moon costume and having his picture taken at the show and Shishka is overcome with jealousy at the costume’s authenticity, here’s a bit of information in yet another slow newsweek for Bungie.
Bungie happily announced Halo 3: Recon, earlier this week at TGS during the Microsoft Keynote speech to attendees of the Tokyo-based show. In the keynote’s wake there’s been a whole mess of questions about Halo 3: Recon that we’re going to clear up below.
What is Halo 3: Recon?
Halo 3: Recon is a standalone, disc-based campaign expansion to Halo 3. It will be available at fine retailers around the globe in Fall of 2009.
I read on some Liveblog that Master Chief got out of the drop pod?
Negative, ghost rider. Instead of playing as the Master Chief (like players did in Halo, Halo 2 and Halo 3) in H3: Recon, players take control of an ODST (an Orbital Drop Shock Trooper) who entered orbit just after the slipspace rupture on New Mombasa (that event, you recall, took place as Regret left the planet – and in Halo 2, you followed him as the Chief). Now, players will learn more about what happened on New Mombasa during some of the events of Halo 2.
Is Halo 3 : Recon a 3rd person / squad based shooter?
Nope. "Recon" is definitely first person and it's definitely still a Halo game as you've come to know it. That said, playing as an ODST in this new setting will bring some new twists to the gameplay.
How much will Halo 3 : Recon cost?
The price point has not yet been determined. While there will be a lot of content to enjoy and a great deal of replayability, this is still viewed as an expansion to Halo 3 more so than its equal.
We saw Assembly at PAX 2008, when will we get more downloadable content for Halo 3?
The Mythic Map Pack will be made available via Xbox Live Marketplace in early 2009. “Winter,” as they say. As soon as we have more details we will certainly share them.
Will the Recon campaign content or the other multiplayer maps be available through Xbox LIVE Marketplace?
Beyond the Mythic Map Pack early next year, there are no plans to release other portions of the Recon package outside of the retail box.
Is there a multiplayer component to Halo 3: Recon?
There are multiplayer maps that will appear as a part of the Halo 3: Recon package. This includes the aforementioned Mythic Map Pack in addition to a few others. You can also experience the entire Recon campaign cooperatively with up to 4 players.
Will we get to play as ODSTs in multiplayer now?
No. The multiplayer maps included with the retail package are straight up Halo 3 multiplayer maps. The ODST and other components that make up the Recon campaign are in a separate bucket and not crossing over into the competitive multiplayer realm. Think of it as two games in one.
Will the Halo 3 : Recon multiplayer maps work with "regular" copies of Halo 3?
If you purchase the Mythic Map Pack early next year via Marketplace and your friend waits and gets them with the Halo 3 : Recon retail package next Fall, you can still play together. The multiplayer maps are all part of the Halo 3 "title ID" family, regardless of where or how you get them.
What about other features from Halo 3?
Halo 3: Recon will still make use of Screenshots, Forge and Saved Films just like Halo 3 does.
Will Halo 3 : Recon have new achievements? Are these the same as the ones already "leaked" online?
There are actually two separate buckets for new achievements. The multiplayer achievements will be considered additive to your existing Halo 3 gamerscore. Some of these will be available when the Mythic Map Pack is released on Marketplace early next year. The Recon campaign will include a complete set of unique achievements and a full bounty of 1000 gamerscore to obtain.
This dude at 7-11 told me that there’s a new Campaign version of Forge coming?
Get your Slurpee somewhere else. The maps included with Halo 3: Recon certainly support Forge and the functionality it affords players. But, there isn’t a new Campaign Forge being added to the Halo 3 experience.
I read somewhere that this is the last Halo game Bungie is making. Say it isn't so!
We're not ready to discuss the other projects underway within the studio right now but Halo 3 : Recon does represent the final basket of goodness that we will be delivering for the Halo trilogy. There are no more offshoots or side stories in the works.
Is this the game that Bungie was intending to announce at E3?
Yes, we are happy to finally be able to pull back the curtain and share our latest project with our fans.
Will Halo 3 : Recon still use the Halo 3 engine?
Yes, this is very much an extension of the Halo 3 you have come to know and love complete with all the features included with the original game.
Is this all Bungie has been working on since becoming independent last October?
"Recon" represents one of several projects that we have underway within the Studio but it's the nearest to release and the only one we're able to talk about for now.
If this is an expansion built on top of the existing Halo 3 engine, why will it take two years to create?
Development of "Recon" actually just began in earnest this past Spring. This project is in the hands of a small team and represents our most ambitious release cycle yet as a Studio.