Why We Do Not Need Halo 2 Anniversary...Yet
Here we are, Bungie has officially ended its run with the Halo franchise, and has handed the reigns over to 343 Industries. Bungie built a utopian series, saved the original Xbox, and evolved Xbox Live into what it is today. Seeing the franchise handed over to 343 was undoubtedly a tough task for fans, but trusting this new developer is ever harder. 343's first task, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, though, proved to be a successful remake, giving fans a sigh of relief for the future of Halo. With Anniversary on store shelves, many publications have already been rumoring the idea of Halo 2 Anniversary. While I love me some Halo, the thought of another remake this soon seems, well, silly.
From an outsiders perspective, non-Halo fanboys and PS3 owners, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary seemed like nothing to get excited for. So you get to play a game you most likely played ten years ago with some updated graphics. No big deal, right? Ironically enough, that arguement proved why everyone was excited for the game. The thought of crash-landing on Halo for the first time, seeing the gorgeous world remastered, made us all ectatic. See, the game was all about reliving the experiences you felt ten years ago. From meeting Master Chief and Cortana for the first time to playing LAN parties with your college buds, folks who played the original game know just what a thrilling time it was. Thus, people wanted to relive it all.
Reliving can only go so far, though. So, what else made everyone excited for Anniversary? 343 are no idiots, they utilized perfect timing to unleash the game. A new chapter is beginning for the series, Bungie is done with Halo, and this year marks the tenth anniversary of the first game. People were gnawing at the teeth for this. While the thought of a Halo 2 Anniversary still excites me, and most likely you all as well, I can't help but think releasing it with no purposeful timing would prove to be a wrong decision. While, I wholeheartedly believe we wouldn't see this rumored title until after Halo 4, I still think that would be too soon. Remakes can be outstanding, or they can ruin what was once a beloved title. Unleashing a remake to the degree of Combat Evolved Anniversary with perfect timing would unarguably make fans foam at the mouth.
So, should 343 Industries waitt for the tenth anniversary of Halo 2 to release a remake? Surprisingly enough, I have another, well, interesting thought. For many, Halo 2 was the pinnacle for the series. Master Chief back, kicking butt, an ending that made you scream "WHAT," the game had it all. If the crew over at 343 concurs with this, I think waiting until 2017 to do a Halo 3 remake, THEN going back to a Halo 2 remake would be smart. For some, that sounds crazy. Waiting till 2017 for another remake. Think, though, by that time we will have Halo 4 on store shelves, and possibly Halo 5. There will be no shortage of Halo. By releasing a Halo 3 Anniversary before Halo 2, fans would be even more anxious to go back to Halo 2, and arguably rush out in massive numbers to pick up the game. It's a tough call, but excitement and timing creates a perfect remake atmosphere.
The idea of messing up a remake seems pretty foolish for many, but trust me, it's possible. 343 Industries has insight from Bungie, so from a gameplay perspective, they wouldn't screw up a Halo 2 remake. But, timing can ultimately ruin the experience for fans. Remakes are successful when a franchise's fans are screaming for it, or when there is a landmark time for it. We all want to relive the rest of the Halo series, heck, it's been the series until Call of Duty rolled into town with Modern Warfare. So, 343, give us what we want, but please, give it to us when it will excite us most.
You can follow Tate Steinlage on Twitter - @SteinlageT