Halo 4 launches Nov. 6, 2012 (Photo : 343 Industries)
When 343 Industries was handed torch of the Halo franchise from Bungie Studios, they inherited the burden of fan expectations.
Gamers desire a fresh experience from Halo 4, but they also clamor for something familiar that feeds into a sense of endearing nostalgia. Halo 4's Infinity multiplayer suite looks to thread the single player, versus, and cooperative game experiences together in innovative ways that aspire to shift these expectations in exciting new directions.
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In a video preview of Halo 4's multiplayer mode, 343 Industries Lead Designer Chris Haluke says, "We're trying to make it innovative, we're trying to make it accessible, and by introducing story and a narrative thread through the whole infinity multiplayer experience is something that we wanted to put a lot of attention and detail into."
343's Brad Welch adds that the studio "wanted to unify the competitive experiences under this one big narrative banner that we call Infinity."
Infinity is the name of the largest UNSC ship in Halo fiction, and is home to the Spartan IV program. Chronologically, the narrative placement of the multiplayer occurs six months after the events of Halo 4, as the crew investigates the planet that serves as the primary setting for the single player, Requiem. 343 will launch a new cooperative mode known as Spartan Ops, which will see new episodes available online each week. Each episode is comprised of five missions and pushes the Halo narrative forward. The developer currently plans 50 missions spread across 10 weeks. Interestingly, the actions of players in each episode may have a direct impact on the next week's episode.
The versus multiplayer has undergone some fairly significant facelifts, specifically in its progression system. 343 has crafted a new scoring system that encourages gamers to complete objectives and assist their team in ways tailored to their own play style.
343 states, "You're getting rewarded for teamwork, your style, your kills, your assists, the objectives you complete, and as you do that you're going to get medals that fill up your ordinance meter. Once your om fills up, UNSC infinity gives you 3 rewards you can choose from. Those can be power weapons, powerups, or grenades and you can call them right down to you."
Changes have been made to familiar game types around this design decision. For example, Oddball now rewards team members for passing, catching, and intercepting the ball. In Capture the Flag, whichever player picks up the flag is committed to returning it to their base, giving them a specific role. Team members who protect and transport the flag holder will be rewarded accordingly. 343 has also introduced Flood mode, which is a "spiritual successor" to Infection. A new mode known as Dominion combines Big Team Battle and Objective variants, calling on players to capture and reinforce bases. Grifball and Forge will also make a return. Halo 4 is taking cues from Call of Duty's "Kill Cam", with its "Personal Record" feature that shows players how they were killed. Armor abilities and mods will also be available to players
In terms of resurrected maps, Valhalla will be playable in Halo 4, renamed as Ragnorak. Players will be able to pilot the new Mantis mech vehicle in this map.
On a practical level, players can now join games in progress.
Halo 4 releases on November 6, 2012.
Keep an eye out for Halo 4 updates here at Latinos Post.