343 Industries head discusses canceled Halo Mega Bloks game

The Halo franchise, with its blood, gore, and generally “mature” subject matter, isn’t exactly the most family-friendly choice for a game night. But it appears that Microsoft considered taking the Spartans and Covenant in that direction with a Halo Mega Bloks video game, and if the leaked footage is anything to go by, we wish they hadn’t canceled it.

PtoPOnline, a YouTube channel devoted to preserving digital prototypes of canceled video games, released a video over the weekend detailing the Halo Mega Bloks project. The game was reportedly in development at n-Space, a now-defunct developer that previously worked on Nintendo DS ports of AAA games, as well as the action-RPG Heroes of Ruin.

The game, which was code-named “Haggar,” was in development for the majority of 2013 and utilized Unreal Engine 3 — and though this timeline suggests that it could have come to the Xbox One, it was only in development for the Xbox 360.

The footage we see looks almost identical to the actual, plastic Halo Mega Bloks sets that are currently available on store shelves. The Spartan that we see has a peg-hole in his back for storing an extra weapon, and his legs flail with a certain playfulness as he runs that brings to mind Lego games much more than the main Halo series. Combat appears to have used a lock-on system for quick action, and there isn’t a drop of blood to be seen. Sound effects, particularly the Grunts’ screams, appear to be directly lifted from previous games so as to keep a shred of authenticity amid all the plastic blocks.

The narrative for the mission seen in the video concerns a Forerunner installation as well as an attacking Covenant force, which implies that it had to have taken place after the events of Halo 4. The game featured nearly every weapon from the aforementioned game, as well, including the assault rifle, “Needler,” fuel rod cannon, and even the famous energy sword.

Vehicles were also planned, and would have been fully customizable, with a range of paint jobs, weapon loadouts, and tools available to swap. A “Besieged” mode, which looked to have been similar to the Horde mode offered in Gears of War, saw players building up brick structures to defend against waves of enemy forces.

Everything on display in “Haggar” looks absolutely fantastic, and we’re certainly crossing our fingers that the game’s leaked existence will make Microsoft reconsider the project on Xbox One. However, a statement from 343 Industries Bonnie Ross, written on the official Halo forums, makes it sound unlikely that it will ever see release.

“‘Haggar’ was something we prototyped with our friends at Mega Bloks that focused on the elements of action, exploration, and user creativity found within the Halo universe,” Ross said. “Haggar had a lot of fun and ideas and innovation behind it, but ultimately didn’t progress beyond the early prototyping levels that are shown in the recent video. This is just one example of several similar projects we have evaluated through the years — a process that we continue exploring on an ongoing basis.”

Never say never, however — in an interview with Fast Company just a few months ago, Ross was quoted as saying that 343 and Microsoft are “getting requests” from fans to develop a Lego Halo game. Due to the company’s licensing agreement with Mega Bloks, it’s likely she was using “Lego” as a generic term, and that if this sort of project were to come to fruition, it could look like n-Space’s prototype.

Updated on 01-11-2017 by Gabe Gurwin: Added comments from Bonnie Ross.

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