Appropriately enough, one of gaming's greatest blockbuster series apparently came quite close to having a game about busting blocks. In a new video for his YouTube channel, game historian Andrew Borman shows off footage from an abandoned Halo game codenamed Haggar that took elements of the popular LEGO games and snapped them neatly into Microsoft's universe of Spartans and warthogs. LEGO itself isn't too big on the whole realistic military guns bit, so instead n-Space worked with LEGO competitor (or "knock-off," to use Borman's term) Mega Bloks to design a lighthearted Halo game for the Xbox 360 that nevertheless maintains much of the series' feel.
Sadly, it never came to pass. n-Space itself closed its doors last year, and Borman suggests they stopped working on the game as long ago as November 2013, likely owing to the need to shift development to games for the new Xbox One.
That's a shame, as the "vertical slice" of gameplay an anonymous party sent Borman shows a game that looks so fun it might have even attracted players who had little interest in Halo's more realistic entries. Thanks to a collaboration with then-Halo developer Bungie, it has many of the same sounds used for the core series. It's got driveable Warthogs and Spartans with energy swords scaling the torsos of hulking aliens, but it also smartly weaves in LEGO-inspired bits where the playable Spartan needs to build barriers and other structures using the pieces he or she's picked up along the way. At times the camera even shifts to a side-view perspective, allowing for a form of 2D platforming.
Borman says the campaign chapter he played through amounted to around 45 minutes of gameplay, though it appears to have been a part of a larger chapter. Haggar even came with a cooperative mode and an escalating "Besieged" mode, allowing for some seeming replayability beyond the main campaign. If released, it could have been one of the most unique titles in the Halo series.
But we'll never know how that would have turned out. Borman's video is getting an enthusiastic reception, though, and thus maybe Microsoft will put the pieces together and decide this is something players really want, after all.
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