Rumor has it that developer Bungie Studios is going to announce a new Halo-related project next week at the big Microsoft E3 press conference. We've known about Halo Wars and Halo: Chronicles for a while now, so while they may have something to do with the announcement, some fans are hoping and wishing for something closer to Halo 4. There are plenty of other options, of course. Now that Halo has cemented its proper trilogy and place in the world of video games, the time has come for Master Chief and friends to branch out into all kinds of traditional gaming spin-offs in the grand practice of "growing the brand".
If Mario and Sonic can venture into the world of sports, then why not Master Chief? Fans could come running for Halo Basketball in which the court is packed with heavy ordinance. How about a large scale football challenge in which players ride around in Warthogs and blast opponents out of the way instead of tackling them? Imagine Halo Track and Battlefield where the relay races feature bombs instead of batons. Spartan Target Training could be interesting with the proper gun peripheral. For a change of pace there's always Cortana's Beach Volleyball featuring the ladies of United Nations Space Command. Music games are selling very well these days, so how about arming Master Chief with an instrument for Guitar Halo? Popular mascot characters always end up behind the wheel of a go-kart at some point in their careers, so let's go ahead and get Halo Rally out of the way, too. How about reviving Halo DS as a side-scrolling platformer/shooter in the vein of Contra or the original Duke Nukem?
The Halo extension plan isn't limited to spin-offs, of course. Microsoft and Bungie could always license Master Chief out for appearances in other games. The Spartan could end up in a whole string of non-canonical roles. Send him out to slay zombies in the next Resident Evil. See him face off against M. Bison in Street Fighter IV as a special guest character. Do Banjo and Kazooie need a new military ally? It's not too late for Sega to crank out Master Chief and Sonic at the Olympic Games. He could even be Dr. Wily's ultimate secret weapon.
Maybe that's all just too silly. It's much more reasonable to skip creating completely new material and instead just re-release the previous Halo games in a special compilation bundle. A Halo All-Stars, basically. Give the original Halo and its sequel a Xbox 360 makeover, throw in some of the enhancements to the experience introduced in Halo 3, and sell the trilogy all over again to eager fans. Bonus points to Bungie if they finally make Knuckles playable in Halo 2 next time.
(Guitar Halo image via Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Soda)