Yes you read that headline right. Seventeen years after the first-person shooter Halo rocked the gaming world on the original Xbox, the popular IP is finally headed to arcades, courtesy of Play Mechanix and Raw Thrills. The surprise announcement was made during the 3rd episode of Inside Xbox, an online TV show that shows off new games for Xbox gamers to enjoy.
Raw Thrills CEO Eugene Jarvis is quoted as saying the following about it: “Halo: Fireteam Raven is without a doubt, the most spectacular arcade experience we’ve ever made. After years of development it is now ready. Experience the intensity and live the world of Fireteam Raven. You will never be the same!”
Here’s the official trailer that is available in 4k 60FPS:
One thing that stood out to me is that this looks to re-ignite the feel of playing Halo with three of your friends on the same setup, like we used to do back when split-screen was the king of console multiplayer.
I captured the interview portion of the Inside Xbox video in case you want to see that. While dave & Busters is receiving most of the focus here, Raw Thrills wanted it to be clear that this game will receive a worldwide release, not just to the US & Canada. Round1USA also mentioned that they will have it “Late Summer 2018”. Between them and Dave & Busters, it shouldn’t be impossible to find one, unless you live a long ways away from a major city; it’s certainly not a game for “street” venues however. This also is reminding people of the old Galaxian 3 theater – which still exists as Air Raid in some locations I’ve seen.
I know that this has been in development at least since early 2017 as I heard the heads of Play Mechanix and Dave & Busters discuss “an amazing project” that was in the works for 2018 but I did not know it was Halo until very recently. One interesting tidbit is that this is using something that Play Mechanix is calling their “NexaGen” engine…something that will likely be used in other Play Mechanix games of the near future.
As you can see from the trailer, they went all out on making this a big experience – 4 mounted turrets, two 4K displays (for 130″ of display space) and an 11’x11’x11′ cabinet. This is being powered by a “high end workstation”, details on which were not offered but in that regard, I imagine it is as powerful as you would need to run two 4k displays at 60FPS. It also uses a surround 5.1 channel sound system. Expect the worldwide launch to happen around September. I asked about the possibility of a smaller, standard version but for now there are “no other cabinets” planned.
Overall this provides a new shoot’em up experience based on the first Halo game and partially reminds me of Terminator Salvation Super Deluxe, as far as looking to make an impression on people goes. This also uses Raw Thrills QR Code system to share their high scores on the Halo Waypoint service. Users can also directly link to their XBox Live accounts via Halo Waypoint and Halo: Fireteam Raven’s scanner interface to access exclusive STATS and rewards. Hello modern twist on the old “take your console memory card to the arcade” idea.
The game is hitting test as soon as next week for Memorial Day weekend but I am waiting on confirmation about that until posting details. If more information about the game is unveiled, I’ll be sure to post it here.
What do you think about this from what we’ve seen and heard so far?
I think I’ll like the game itself a lot, and I think the deluxe arcade experience will be mind-blowing. As long as the difficulty isn’t too cheap to make up for the cabinet expense (a la Dark Escape 4D, which is still an awesome game otherwise), I’m happy.
The only thing that disappoints me about this is that, by now, it’s pretty clear developers don’t give two hoots about street venues anymore. Dave and Buster’s dominates the industry. We keep being told over and over again that we won’t get to play video arcade games at the grocery store or in movie theater lobbies anymore. No, that’s not what the industry wants. They’d rather us play Stacker or Key Master while we’re out of the house. And it’s certainly not good for players, either. I don’t like shoveling out a dollar per credit. It’s not fun, no matter how visceral the experience may be.
Despite my negativity, I still think this game will be absolutely WICKED. If Raw Thrills is going the deluxe-only route, at least they did it right. This is flipping COOL, dude. I cannot wait to play this game. After all, I loved Jurassic Park Arcade–why wouldn’t I love Jurassic Park times two? It looks amazing.
And heck, it’s totally possible to make a standard version of this game. Set two 32-inch units next to each other and you’ve got a slightly smaller option, more cost-effective. Something like the standard version of Time Crisis 4 would work beautifully.
I think what is fair to say is that major developers are focused on FECs (particularly Dave & Busters) while smaller devs are aiming for the street market. As you know we’ve got Exa-Arcadia coming soon to prop up the street; other devs like Team Play, Arcadeaholics and Glitch Bit are also going to be providing content. I’m equally excited to see where those titles can take us but they do have their work cut-out for them since they aren’t getting any of the mainstream coverage like Halo or a Mario Kart will.
I agree with your frustration too, it seems like there are some wasted opportunities here. It’s also tough as you certainly won’t see big names like this made for the street and I personally think that it would be awesome to have a single ultra-wide screen 2p version of this or like you say, just something downsized a bit. But yeah, D&Bs is really calling a lot of the shots among developments which touches not just the games that we’re seeing but also how the games play. I think that’s what hurt something like the Star Wars Battle Pod in that it feels more like a “get them in and out while paying as high a premium as possible” as opposed to a focus on a good, replayable game. That said, I’ll wait and see how Halo plays…it should be interesting to see if it is anything like TWD, Terminator and so on or if it will end up being it’s own thing.
…but it’s just another ‘light gun’ game. Is it not possible to build on the formula?