Master Chief may be the greatest video game hero that no one really knows anything about. But that is all set to change when 343 Industries brings Halo 4, their first full-fledged title in the universe, to the Xbox 360 later this year. It’s a fairly monumental task, considering the legacy Bungie left behind, but after getting an early look recently at Microsoft’s Xbox 360 Spring Showacase the brief tease I was given has me quite excited for later this year.

Here is what we know so far.

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Campaign:

  • The story will be the most cinematic Halo experience to date, that will set the stage for the next decade of the franchise.
  • Master Chief is back, and a new ancient and dark threat is going to be thrown at him that will not only test his abilities, but will give players an understanding just who he really is, all while introducing some new gameplay mechanics.
  • Cortana will play a huge part in the story.
  • Master Chief’s armor design has been upgraded to provide the functionality needed to convey his power.
  • Story will be darker and more sophisticated than past games.

 

Multiplayer

  • Story wraps around the multiplayer experience for the first time in the franchise.
  • Players now control Spartan IV’s, which promise to be just as powerful as Master Chief.
  • There is a reason why red and blue soldiers are killing each other.
  • Beyond the typical cosmetic customization options, players will be able to augment their Spartan IV’s abilities and weapon loadouts, altering their gameplay styles for the first time.
  • A lot of focus has gone into giving players a better sense of weight.
  • Audio design has been much improved and really gives a player a sense of where shots are coming from.
  • Maps have been built from the ground up.
  • The Battle Rifle is back and has been redesigned.
  • Two maps have been announced so far: War House and Wrap Around.
  • War House takes place in a civilian manufacturing plant that is travelling in a near space orbit above a gas giant. It has a large decorative Cyclops Mark II mech in the center which serves as the focal point for this slayer style map.
  • Wrap Around is another small slayer style arena, set in a Forerunner facility, that contains catwalks, ramps, and plenty of man-cannons to keep the action fast and frantic.

 

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Game Name: Halo 4
System: Xbox 360
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Developer: 343 Industries
Online/Multi: Yes
Release Date: 2012

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