Looks like I’ll be getting a nice (slightly early) birthday present this year: Halo 5: Guardians, the next installment in Microsoft’s best-selling game series, arrives on Xbox One on October 27, according to two new commercials that first aired last night.
I happened to catch the ads because we watch The Walking Dead each Sunday as a sort of communal family event, where we’re all huddled on the couch together, clutching each other like babies. But this week’s show was the season finale, and was 90 minutes long, so even though we start watching it a bit late so we can cut through the commercials, I knew they would catch up on us. So I went slowly through the commercials and we actually watched a number of them—the ones they air during this show are not coincidentally often video game-related. And among them were two live-action commercials for Halo 5.
Microsoft is trying to build excitement for Halo 5 by using a viral marketing campaign called Hunt the Truth. These two new commercials, teasers, essentially, are part of that campaign, and they advance what we know about the plot of Halo 5—which involves the back story of the iconic Master Chief character—by presenting similar scenarios for “the hunter,” a new character called Spartan Locke who appears to have a beef with Master Chief, and “the hunted,” who is Master Chief himself.
Sign up for our new free newsletter to get three time-saving tips each Friday — and get free copies of Paul Thurrott's Windows 11 and Windows 10 Field Guides (normally $9.99) as a special welcome gift!
"*" indicates required fields
Here are the two ads that aired last night.
The hunter: Spartan Locke
The hunted: Master Chief
The commercials are kind of interesting to compare, given how little we know about the actual plot of the game. And they’re otherwise notable for the revelation about the game’s release date.
Halo fans will obsess over this stuff for the months to come, which I suppose is the point. I’m interested, of course. But Halo 4 was the first Halo title I never finished, and with more interesting shooters long ago taking over Halo’s place in the market, the series is definitely in need of some excitement. So we’ll see how well the Hunt the Truth campaign works, and whether it’s sustainable over a long period of time.