If a rumor proves accurate, Microsoft and its new Halo team, 343 Industries, are at work on a high-definition remake of 2004's original Xbox game Halo 2. The rumors section of the latest issue of the Official Xbox Magazine UK (via Kotaku) dropped the details.
"Following the success of remake Halo Anniversary, 343 Industries has now started development of Halo 2 Anniversary," the magazine writes, without specifying its source.
If an HD remake of Halo 2 is in fact in the works, it will follow last November's Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, a redux of the original Xbox launch title. Combat Evolved Anniversary was the first project from the newly established 343 Industries and won a warm critical reception upon release.
A Microsoft spokesperson told GameSpot, "Our focus right now is on developing ‘Halo 4.’ Beyond that, we do not comment on rumors or speculation.”
Halo 2 was developed by Bungie Studios and was released in November 2004. The game sported a number of updates over the 2001 original, including multiplayer over Xbox Live, the ability to dual-wield weapons, and a new game engine. The title won strong marks from critics and tallied $100 million in first-day sales. Halo 2 was released for Windows PCs in 2007.
Despite the critical and commercial success of Halo 2, several high-ranking Bungie developers did not speak very highly of the project. In a 2007 interview, Bungie engineer Chris Butcher lamented the game's short polish window, saying the game could have been much stronger.
"Even the multiplayer experience for Halo 2 is a pale shadow of what it could and should have been if we had gotten the timing of our schedule right," he said. "I ****ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it."
Separately, during the Rooster Teeth Expo this weekend (attended by The Verge), it was revealed that Halo 4's Forge tools are being built by Crimson Alliance developer Certain Affinity. The developer showed off the new toolset during its presentation, revealing a range of new features. These include a new user interface, lighting system, and Player Trait Zones, which allow users to alter a host of player attributes like run speed, jump height, damage reduction, and others.
Certain Affinity is no stranger to the Halo franchise, having contributed to map packs for Halo 2, Halo: Reach, and Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary.