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343: Halo 4 won't look shabby alongside next gen titles

We're "trying to harness everything we can get out of that box"

Assuming Xbox 720 makes that widely predicted launch window of late 2013, Halo 4 will be one of the last major titles on Xbox 360. That presents obvious advantages - more boxes in living rooms than ever before - and obvious disadvantages - you've got fancier, shinier next gen software to worry about, making a mockery of your game's otherwise princely looks.

Speaking to the Independent, 343's lead game designer Scott Warner has discussed the challenges of developing games in the twilight of a generation. "You know, obviously, we're always attuned to new developments with what's happening internally and externally," he began.

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"Our current development is all centred around the Xbox 360 and trying to harness everything we can get out of that box, so everything you're seeing is sort of custom built for the 360 experience. Obviously depending on what happens and develops with our company, we'll try to develop our technology and take advantage of it."

Warner and his colleagues were confident the game would trump its predecessors when development began, Microsoft's money ensuring a steady supply of talent. He feels Halo 4's art direction is particularly strong. "It was kind of a non-starter from us when we started because we had hired all kinds of world class artists including the art director Kenneth Scott, who has spent a decade in really pushing the boundaries of technical fidelity and art.

"So we really started off from the very get-go to try and, you know, have as much fidelity as we could in our artistic direction and technical capability as we could. We've never kind of tried to settle for that, we've always wanted to make sure that when we came out the gate, that people looked at it as a very big step forward from what they had seen before. It seems like so far people are feeling that way so we are pretty happy about that."

And when it comes to Halo 5, a guaranteed next Xbox project, the team should have a healthy lead over rivals. "I mean certainly as things develop, we have the advantage of working for a publisher and first party development, and if things happen we would certainly want to take advantage of those things.

"There's always kind of a careful balancing act between what you decide to improve upon, what you have that you think is really good, what's the great mixture of that to put you in the best position to be successful as a team. But certainly as things go on in development we have an advantage in the sense that we can cross those streams a bit."

Consider the sharp-shooting extravaganza that is this Halo 4 multiplayer video round-up, and check out our piece on Halo 4's storyline, multiplayer, new enemies and guns.

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