A leaked document has revealed at least some art and the basic story background for the next game from Bungie, the creators of the Halo universe.
The document sent to IGN, and also to Kotaku, says that the game is set on a future Earth where, after a brief colonisation of the stars, humanity has been attacked by aliens and forced back to a single city on our home planet, where we are protected by a large, mysterious spacecraft. Another alien. Only this time it's a good one.
Players will take the role of what's basically a space knight, travelling the stars, exploring the worlds and of course fighting the alien menace.
The game is being pitched as a highly social experience, sort of like an MMO, with the universe hoping to appeal to as wide a variety of people.
We received a document earlier this month containing many of the same images visible on IGN, but with a twist; a reader claimed they had found the document on a USB stick left behind in a coffee shop. We refrained from posting them at the time because we weren't sure how real these images were. Some images seemed like they could be for Bungie's mysterious game. Others, we'd find, were not. But as we were tracking things down, Bungie confirmed the authenticity of some of the images to IGN.
While most images and information appear to be the same as those shared by IGN, others differ. And in attempting to determine the source of the pictures, we found that rather than being made entirely of Bungie-supplied art, at least two pieces had been lifted from places like DeviantArt.
In the wake of the leak, Bungie has stopped short of confirming all the the information, but has posted a story and image (below, the brown tank in the snow) on its own site, saying "Go ahead. Take a peek. It's alright. We weren't quite ready, but we will be soon, and we can't wait to finally show you what we've really been up to.
Stick around, we haven't even started yet."
Bungie has confirmed to Kotaku that the document and some of the art is genuine, and is somewhat representative of the game. They declined to say if the art was out of date.
This of course isn't the first bit of information about the game to spill out. Loads of stuff came out from secret studio visits earlier this month.
Below you'll find a selection of the images we were sent. Note that the bottom one, with the brown tank in the snow, was posted by Bungie earlier today.