Gameinformer recently had a huge spread on the upcoming new installment in the Halo franchise by 343 Industries, Halo 4. They covered both single player and multiplayer, touching on some very interesting points while still keeping the most essential details, such as who the new type of enemy is, to themselves.
So at the end of Halo 3 we saw Master Chief drifting toward a glimmering planet of some kind. Halo 4 starts after four years have passed with Master Chief in cryo sleep. Halo 4 is the first in the “Reclaimer Saga” of Halo games. Halo 4 will be focusing on a completely new and unique enemy. The Covenant will be making a return, but they will not be the main enemy.
Master Chief is initially woken up by Cortana because a Covenant force is boarding the ship. The armor type of these Covenant soldiers is not what the Chief is used to, so it could be that these are rogue aliens and not members of the Covenant that humanity had made truce with those four years before at the height of the Flood crisis. Master Chief and Cortana end up deciding that they have to make it to the planet below. The planet below them is actually surrounded by a Forerunner sphere, a layer of Forerunner technology that serves to protect the planet from anything, including the Halos.
Halo 4 will have much better graphics than Halo: Reach due to a better upgraded engine, new lighting and shader techniques, and full 720p HD picture.
Some things that 343 has said they are focusing on this time around: Halo 4 and the whole Forerunner Saga is about exploring the ancient Forerunners. While the player is fighting against this brand new enemy they will also be uncovering secrets about the ancient race that caged up the Flood and created the Halos. The developers also said that the new enemy features a playstyle that is between the Flood and the Covenant, but unique from either. 343 Industries is focusing on Master Chief’s humanity this time around, delving into him more as a person and less as a soldier. Cortana’s impending rampancy is also important to them, though it is unclear whether the information gained from her exposure to the Halos has helped her or made it worse.
Additional details: Most of the game will take place on the Forerunner planet located inside the sphere, which is named Requiem. The UI has been changed, and many familiar old weapons will be returning such as the sniper rifle, shotgun, assault rifle, battle rifle, dmr, plasma pistol, and rocket launcher, among others.
Multiplayer now has its own name, and it is “Infinity”. Infinity is the name of a massive training ship the UNSC developed for the training of its Spartan IVs, the next generation in the spartan program that does not require genetic traits to succeed. The Infinity is a huge ship that can simulate any known environments for the purposes of training the Spartan IVs that are its responsibility. That is the premise for the entire multiplayer, and 343 also said that it was going to tie into the single player campaign as well.
Halo 4 is introducing a new Spartan points system where you gain points for various activities in the game, and then use those to change your character’s appearance and loadout. That is another big thing that is changing; there are now game-changing customizations that can be made to a player’s character before a game, allowing some an advantage over others. These loadouts include starting weapon customization. This is a first for the series, and it will be interesting to see how this progresses in the future. Also, sprint is back as a default armor ability that everyone gets, armor lock is gone, jetpack is still in, and there is an ability that gives X-ray vision.
There is a new feature called Spartan Ops in Halo 4 that seems to be taking the place of Firefight, which will not be returning in this installment into the series. Spartan Ops is a series of co-operative missions with cinematic support that is updated on a regular basis. These missions will tie into the single player campaign, providing additional enjoyment and story content well past release. Oh, and this is all free. So, you will be getting additional content not available at launch throughout the months after it comes out, for free. Sounds pretty good to me. Gameinformer is promising more information in the coming months, so stay tuned to their site for additional details.
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