The story so far: Halo 3: Recon will be a full retail title available in Fall of 2009 for the Xbox 360. It's being built on an optimized version of the Halo 3 engine, and is an entirely new "side-story" that takes place during the events leading up to Master Chief's return to New Mombasa in Halo 3. (For those not familiar with the Halo universe, read that as "Takes place between Halo 2 and Halo 3.")
Because you will be playing the role of a special forces Orbital Drop Shock Trooper (ODST), there will be slight changes in gameplay; Bungie is hinting at more elements of "stealth," but didn't go into any real detail. They did mentioned that they weren't referring to a Splinter Cell-like experience, but just hinting at how you'd have to maneuver around the battlefield differently than you would in previous Halo titles.
Since you won't be playing as a Spartan, one can assume a few key differences in gameplay, so I asked asked Bungie: does this mean no regenrative health system, for instance? They laughed, saying that with the game a year away from release, they weren't ready to talk specifics.
In terms of the scope and size of Recon -- surprise! -- Bungie isn't ready to talk. Bungie's Luke Smith did mention, in reference to the locales the game will take place, that Recon would be "Less of a galactic romp."
As a standalone game, Halo 3: Recon will feature a full 1000 achievement points. In fact, in all ways, Recon looks to be a full-featured title, standing tall alongside Halo 3; this includes saved films, as well as Forge features. (To stomp any rumors, Bungie was clear that there are no plans for updated "Forge 2.0" features in the pipeline.) In addition to the new campaign, Recon will ship with new multiplayer content, including the "Mythic" map pack content that will be available early next year on Xbox LIVE Marketplace for Halo 3.
After having a behind-closed-doors press meeting with the folks at Bungie, we wish we could deliver more information on the highly-anticipated Halo 3: Recon, but we simply can't. At this point, Bungie is keeping its cards close to its chest, and it's likely quite a bit will be revealed and announced over the next year leading up to the game's release.
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