The Halo 4 launch trailer was predictably big budget, but what I found most interesting was how human they made Master Chief look. We usually just see him as a giant hulking killing machine, all armour and visor, but Tim Miller and David Fincher’s clip literally takes the mask off the hero.
We not only see his childhood and the origins of his introduction to the Spartan program, but a great sequence where we see his trademark armour applied by a team of scientists. In a few of these shots, there’s a lot of Master Chief on display, so much so that you can almost see his face, which is one of the greatest mysteries in all of video games.
If you squinted hard enough. And used your imagination.
The trailer opens with Master Chief being “scanned”. While a rapid zoom effect shows us a flash of skin and blue eyes, the only good look we get at his face is at the bones under it.
Oh. Look. There’s his face. Right there, out in the open (so doesn’t count).
Waking up after he’s been surgically transformed into a super soldier, Chief sees that his body is messed up. Maybe it’s time for some self-reflection, and a look in the mirror…
…nope. We get a look at his back and a bit of the side of his face, as he realises he’s one of the only subjects to have survived the process. So lonely.
Cut to a test chamber and his famous armous is being attached.There it is! If only we could zoom in. But we can’t, because the face has been ever-so-slightly smudged by the effects team. Oh, you teases.
Close, but no cigar.
Again, with the Darth Vader-inspired stuff, but no, no full-frontal shot of his face. Or anything else.
There’s a part of his face. A tiny bit. From the front.
And then it’s back to the scanning and some combat, all of which features the big guy with his helmet on.
So, no shot of his face. And you wouldn’t expect Microsoft to just give it away like that in a trailer, anyway. But between the jaw, the back of the head and his skin tone, if anyone wants to fire up Photoshop and give us their best/worst shot, I won’t stand in your way.