This month’s issue of Game Informer magazine brings about a ton of new information for fans of the Halo franchise. Neogaf users have rounded up the pertinent information that was revealed in May’s issue of the magazine, and as you can tell the game is shaping up nicely with only a few short months until the release of one of the biggest games of 2012.
There’s been some debate in Halo community already about some of the multiplayer features that are said to be featured in Halo 4, but one thing is for sure, 343 is taking ownership of the Halo franchise and bringing about some notable changes to the gameplay.
Obviously for the complete run-down you’ll need to pick up this month’s Game Informer issue, but there are scans floating around the internet as well, and can be found here.
- Halo 4 is set in 2557 – four years, seven months and ten days since the FUD was split into two and the finale of the events of Halo 3.
- True native 720p with FXAA
- New HUD, features subtle paralla movement during athetic actions and additional visual cues indicating that you are actually wearing a helmet.
- Chief, Cortana and other characters animated with the assistance of motion capture.
- Cortana impending rampancy will be a critical theme as will be exploring Master Chief as a person.
- Cortana has chosen a new visual identity whilst the Chief has been sleeping.
- The Covenant, at least Elites and Grunts, return but are not the primary enemy.
- The FUD eventually crash lands on Requiem, a planet enclosed in a massive Dyson Shell.
- A new faction from Reqium is introduced. Like the Covenant they will have unique and different enemy types, weapons and equipment. “If anything, they’re kind of elevated in terms of their intelligence and complexity relative to the Covenant.”
- Huge, alive environments – a piece of concept art depicts a floating air squid in a jungle setting.
- The skybox is filled with massive pillars reaching down from above and the surrounding view is painted by the inside of the Dyson Shell.
- Game is split between Campaign and Infinity – the new term of the entire multiplayer experience seperate from the Camapign.
- Multiplier directly and in-directly ties into the Campaign.
- Multiplayer features Spartan IV’s – adult volenteers taken from the the best of special ops soliders, equippe with a new version of the Mjolnir armour (lightweight variation) and deployed onboard the UNSC Infinity.
- The UNSC Infinity is the largest ship the UNSC has ever created. Over three kilmetres long, it was designed with cutting edge technology and features some additional technological enhancements provided by the study of Forerunner technology – including faster and more accurate slipspace travel.
- The UNSC is deployed on a top scret mission into deep space but will cross paths with the Master Chief during the campaign.
- The Spartan IV’s onboard train in the Infinity’s “combat deck” (think holodeck or Danger room). The deck and simulate any known environment and plays host the the multiplayer games players are familar with.
- Firefight is absent and it is stated that there are no plans for it to return.
- New Co-Op mode called Spartan Ops for up to four players in online Campaign-esque missions.
- Spartan OPs introduces new movies sequences and missions on a weekly basis which tells the story of the UNSC Infinity’s mission and battles the new Spartan IV’s face.
- Spartan Op missions are objective based and feature new content, events and locations each week. Spartan Ops missions also reward Spartan Points and feature selectable difficulty levels like Campaign.
- Spartan Ops missions are not DLC, they are included in the overall Halo 4 package but it is unclear if the content is available on the disc or must be downloaded separately.
- Weapons in the overal sandbox include Assault Rifle, Battle Rifle, DMR, Assault Carbine, Covenant Carbine, Shotgun, Rocket Launcher, Sniper Rifle, Magnum and Plasma Pistol. There are numerous unrevealed, new weapons.
And Multiplayer details summary.
- Loadouts are composed of a primary and secondary weapon, a grenade type, armour ability and modifications. It is unclear how the modification system works or what things it modifies or how.
- Returning Armour Abilities include Hologram, Jet-Pack and Camo. A new ability to see through walls was shown and Sprint is now a baseline ability all players will have access to at all times.
- FFA Variant, Regicide. Lead slayer is “King” – each of the King;s kills raises his “bounty”. The bounty is claimed by whomever kills the King.
- In Team Slayer (not confirmed for other gametypes), players can respawn instantly after death if they choose. Additionally, power weapons are introduced into a game on a random timer and appear at random drop points on the map.
- Medals are turning including new medals for “revenge kills” and for causing a distraction.
Spartan Points is the new currency system in Halo 4. They will buy things such as armor, armor abilities, Spartan Ops missions (see below), and some
This was probably my most favorite addition I saw. From how it was described, think for Spartan Ops like Spec Ops from Modern Warfare but with a storyline. They will span out over several months, encouraging players to return to the game. Game Informer said that Spartan Ops will be comparable in scope and size to the in single-player storyline.
Why Reds Fight Blues
I think most of us probably guessed this, but reds fight blues and blues fight reds for training purposes. They fight in something called the UNSC Infinity. The UNSC Infinity is a 3km long ship sent into deep space on a mission. It contains a virtual reality sector that creates the multiplayer experience.
So not only is sprint in the game, but it is a standard armor ability. You do not need to pick it up, it will always be available. You do not need to buy it with your Spartan Points, you will always have it equipped no matter what. So essentially, you can have two armor abilities.
Ever wanted to be super man? Now you can! See through walls with your x-ray vision! I can’t say I hate this armor ability, I haven’t used it yet. I’m hoping it comes with its weaknesses and it discourages camping. Sorry guys, but camping in Halo 4 will not be a legitimate tactic.
Returning Armor Abilities
The hologram, jetpack, and active camo will make a return in Halo 4. It didn’t elaborate on the abilities, but you can probably assume they’ll be about the same.
Elites Not Returning to Multiplayer
Not much detail was given as to why elites will not see multiplayer combat, it was stated in a picture caption. The caption reads, “Competitive multiplayer focues on the Spartan IVs. Elites will not be playable.
Now the article itself did not talk about grenades, but I noticed in the picture the Spartan had 4 grenade options. I assume the plasma grenade will return as seen from an explosion in the picture and the frag grenade will most definitely return as seen by the Halo 4 first look video.
Once again, no explanation why aside from a picture caption. The caption read, “Halo 4’s campaign is still playable with four players online (in reference to Sparan Ops, ensuring players that Spartan Ops will not replace the campaign coop experience). 343 Industries has no plans to include a dedicated Firefight mode. I’m torn on this, I don’t normally play firefight, but I feel like it is a standard necessary feature in the game after Halo 3: ODST introduced it.
Regicide is a variation of free for all. I think it’s similar to VIP. Regicide, as stated by the article, “sets the leading scorer as the king. Every opponent that the king kills raises his bounty; other players have to kill the king to claim the reward.”
Distraction and Revenge Medals
Don’t feel bad anymore for not killing a single person in the game, you can get a medal for being a distraction! Oh, you just got killed and now you’re raging at that player? Calm down and get rewarded for hunting down the guy that just killed you!
Let me make it clear that I do not necessarily see these medals as bad. They just may reward people that don’t actually deserve one.
No More Weapon Camping
One the skills that separated veteran players from inexperienced players was the ability to time power weapons’ spawns. In Halo 4, this will be near impossible. Weapons drop down in drop pods at random locations around the map. Quoted from the article, “This gives the matches other focal points, and it also helps alleviate the advantage longtime players always used to have over newer recruits; the best weapons are not always going to be found at the same spawn locations.” Unless there is a distinguishable skill gap between players, I most definitely do not like this idea.
No More Respawn Delay
Immediately after you die, by tapping the X button you are sent back into the match. Now let’s contemplate why this might be bad. Let’s say Halo spawns are… not so great. A skilled player out BRs/DMRs/whatevers a unskilled player. Now that unskilled player can immediately respawn and find you before your shields even regenerate! I understand 343 is trying to speed up the game, but they must understand the consequences of instant spawns.
Joining In-Progress Games
So to solve the quitting problem, 343 implemented the ability to join games that are in-progress. My question is are we going to have the ability to search for games starting up instead? It infuriates me to join a game at the last possible second, not even offering me the chance to play.