With fans beginning to crave a Halo title during the drought of a lifetime on the Xbox ONE S and X platforms, something unexpected was revealed by Microsoft and Play Mechanix who will publish Halo: Fireteam Raven exclusively in the Arcade this summer. Exactly when the game will launch is currently not specified, but a good amount of detail surrounding the gameplay itself has been shown.
With the promise that 343 Industries helped guide the concepts of Halo: Fireteam Raven, we are told that the game is being developed by a studio called Raw Thrills. Raw Thrills is an established developer of modern arcade games including Injustice Arcade. They’ve been around since 2006 and have brought in over 30 industry awards including revenue milestones, player choice awards, and even individual rewards such as the IGDA’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Eugene Jarvis who is the face of the company and has been making games since the days of Pinball, Atari, and Williams Electronics. Doesn’t thinking of that logo bring back good memories? He’s also the mind behind a lot of the Midway Games titles that flourished such as Cruis’n USA. Most recently Raw Thrills was awarded Play Meter’s Players Choice Award for Big Buck HD in 2015, so it would seem that Halo: Fireteam Raven is indeed in good hands.
So what’s it like?
Well, even though the title was just announced ten days ago, it does appear to be basically ready to ship. So thankfully, Microsoft has been rolling out plenty of proof-of-concept still images and even some slices of the gameplay experience itself.
Housed in quad seat arcade cabinet outfitted with four mounted turret machine guns, Halo: Fireteam Raven seats two players per screen in a four man squad with two screens totaling 130 inches at 4K resolution. It’s unclear how many frames per second the game will run at, but since most arcade units make plenty of income and have to be of a certain quality to justify their installation cost, it’s likely within the 60 – 120 range.
The timeline for Halo: Fireteam Raven is set during the events of the first game, Halo: Combat Evolved. Players will be fighting the Covenant and the Flood, who are teamed up against mankind once again. The setting for this theater of alien warfare is the surface of the Alpha Halo planet. Players take control of a squad of ODST units making their first appearance in the series, assisting Master Chief in an effort to avoid alien control of a powerful artifact from ancient times.
Gameplay is intense on-rail shooting with co-operative elements front and center. The turrets mounted on the arcade unit will be used to control multiple weapons, all of which are not yet known since the game hasn’t been released.
For now, we know the MA5 Individual Combat Weapon System (standard Halo assault rifle), M910 Point-Defense Gun (50mm ship-mounted weapon), and M9 High-Explosive Frag Grenades will be included. Vehicles include the Pelican, Falcon, Light Reconnaissance Vehicle, M808 Battle Tank, and Halcyon-class light cruiser, although players most likely won’t be in full control of these since the game is on rails. Covenant ships to make their appearance include the Type-26 Assault Gun Carriage, Type-47 Ultra-Heavy Assault Platform, and CCS-class battle cruiser. More details will be available as the game releases to Dave and Busters locations across USA and Canada this summer, with availability expanding to other locations later this winter.
Kiki Wolfkill of 343 Industries states that Eugene Jarvis at Raw Thrills is one of 343’s heroes in the industry and that work between the two companies was a tremendously fruitful collaboration. Raw Thrills states that Halo: Fireteam Raven is “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!” said Eugene Jarvis, CEO of Raw Thrills.