If you own an Xbox 360 and aren’t at least passingly familiar with the Halo franchise, please consider selling your console to someone that will give it a good home and treat it properly. Maybe you can give it a less fortunate, but deserving kid. That act of kindness could then propel that child towards greatness. They may even go on to cure cancer, and it would all be because you gave them a piece of hardware that you are obviously not familiar with.
So assuming you are already familiar with the character, then good news! Microsoft and developer 343 Industries have unleashed a plethora of details regarding the upcoming multiplayer for Halo 4, including a first look at the “Halo Infinity Multiplayer.” The news follows shortly after the recent reveal of the cover art, making it a very Halo-ish week.
The Infinity is actually the UNSC infinity, an online hub that will recreate “the largest starship in the UNSC fleet.” The Infinity will be where you handle all your multiplayer business, from customizing your character to tracking your progress.
From the Infinity you will be able to join multiplayer games, including “Spartan Ops,” a new type of gameplay for the series:
- The story of the UNSC Infinity intersects with the Halo 4 campaign, then continues on in a brand-new, story-driven experience known as Spartan Ops. A first of its kind and exciting new addition to the Halo franchise, Spartan Ops is an episodic adventure that blends immersive storytelling, high-quality cinematics, and action-packed gameplay to deliver an unprecedented serialized experience.
- Through a weekly series of cinematic episodes on Xbox LIVE, Spartan Ops will tell the continuing story of the UNSC Infinity, following the events of Halo 4. These episodes will center on the UNSC Infinity leaders and crew, and a new team of Spartans – Majestic Squad. These cinematic episodes will provide the backdrop for the weekly Spartan Ops gameplay missions. Playable in single-player or cooperatively (with up to three friends), explore the corners of Requiem in these objective-based missions, and help uncover the secrets of the mysterious Forerunner world.
- A massive-scale adventure that builds off the Halo 4 story, access to Spartan Ops is included with Halo 4 at no additional charge – effectively delivering two campaign experiences in one game.
Along with the announcement of Spartan Ops, 343 has also unveiled a new multiplayer mode called “War Games.”
- The competitive multiplayer modes of Halo 4, known as War Games, take place on the combat deck of the UNSC Infinity and revive the visceral and immersive experiences that “Halo” multiplayer is famous for. Halo 4 introduces fresh, immersive new game modes and strategies to help you progress your Spartan-IV career, while also delivering an experience that’s still distinctly and uniquely Halo. More details on all the modes of War Games will be released at a later time.
And finally, 343 also highlighted some of the new personalization options.
- Halo 4 features a vastly expanded suite of new multiplayer modes, weapons, vehicles, armor abilities, a new loadout and player progression system, and a new armor modification system that introduces gameplay-enhancing customizations for the first time in a Halo game. These advancements can be used in both Spartan Ops and certain War Games matchmaking playlists, empowering player choice, vastly expanding their creative options, and make the experience deeper for core fans and more approachable for newcomers.
Halo 4 will also offer something new for the series with “Specializations,” gameplay enhancements that sound an awful lot like perks.
- The Halo 4 player progression system goes beyond simple aesthetic upgrades, encouraging players to invest time and effort to create a Spartan that looks and plays the way they want. Players can earn and activate combat enhancements called “Specializations” based on the style of play they engage in, from stealth to all-out assault, and everything in between.
Microsoft and 343 are going all out in the support of Halo 4. Live-action webseries titled Halo: Forward Unto Dawn has already been confirmed, and the five episodes will total 90 minutes worth of back story that leads into Halo 4.
A Halo 4 Limited Edition for $99.99 has also been announced, which will contain access to nine maps for the upcoming War Games mode, six Specializations, that will help you achieve higher ranks and offer new customization options, the UNSC Infinity Brief Packet containing unique artwork, avatar props and outfits, and the complete version of Halo: Forward Unto Dawn.
Expect to hear a lot more about this game at E3, including further details about the story, and then look for it to be released as an Xbox 360 exclusive on November 6.