Halo 4: Multiplayer, Plot & Gameplay Round Up

Dave Cook


Halo 4 has been exposed at Microsoft’s X12 event In San Francisco. 343 Industries showed us a glimpse of what to expect from Master Chief’s return, including the all-important multiplayer mode. We round up the facts right here.

Published on Mar 5, 2012

Halo 4 has fallen silent since its initial E3 2011 reveal. Bungie’s Master Chief trilogy seemed to end on a very final, ambiguous point, but 343 Industries has revived the character, taking him to a darker, more vicious and uncompromising place.

We checked out Halo 4’s multiplayer, as well as single player points to wrap our heads around 343’s glittering return to the franchise, and it’s looking good – very good. Read on to discover more. 

Halo 4 is the darkest chapter yet

Gamers who tend to dislike Halo always seem to pick on the fact that it’s too colourful, and includes moon boot jumping. Vibrancy should never be viewed as a negative in games, and while that trend isn’t going to stop in Halo 4, 343 Industries confirmed to us that it is the darkest, most foreboding entry to the series to date.

We were treated to a video presentation of Halo 4, in which 343’s brand manager Frank O’ Connor explained that the studio has strived to make the series more emotional and dramatic, backing up his claim with a slew of brooding, dark concept art that depicted a strange new alien planet.

Halo 4 is a reboot

While Halo 4 does continue the plot from Halos 1,2 and 3, it is most certainly a reboot in terms of artistic direction, game world and themes. O’ Connor also confirmed that while 343 Industries inherited all of Bungie’s Halo assets, the studio has rebuilt the engine and world from scratch.

But rest assured, as seen in first the Halo 4 trailer, Master Chief does awaken from the cryo-stasis he entered at the end of Halo 3, and it’s at this point that the next ten years of his story begins.

Halo 4 pits Master Chief against a new enemy

As hinted at by numerous terminals found in Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, and through the architecture of Halo 4 multiplayer map Warparound, it seems like the Forerunners will be the main threat of this new Halo trilogy.

343 Industries also teased that in Halo 4, Master Chief will face an ancient, dark threat that poses a host of new challenges that players won’t have faced before, and that will expand Master Chief’s lore. 

Halo 4 explores Master Chief’s back-story

Speaking of Master Chief’s lore, 343 Industries has confirmed that Halo 4 will incorporate elements and plot points of the expanded Halo universe, such as books and other media.

O’Connor explained that Master Chief remains the heart and soul of the Halo IP, and that Halo 4 will explore his character in new ways. Master Chief has also had a re-design, and will now feature bulkier armour than before, that lets him survive a new string of harsh challenges

Halo 4 sees the return of the Warthog and Battle Rifle

Removed in Halo 3, the Battle Rifle weapon will return in Halo 4. Master Chief can be seen holding it in the first in-game shots, and this will surely be a plus-point for fans of the gun. 

343 Industries has also brought back the Warthog, which was initially revealed through a line of new Halo 4 toys, including the iconic vehicle. 343 Industries confirmed that it has created new vehicles, as well as making adjustments to classic craft. 

Halo 4 multiplayer is completely new

Halo 4’s multiplayer component is said to be the most intense and visceral so far, according to 343 Industries. The studio also revealed that it wanted Halo 4’s multiplayer to feel intrinsic to the single player experience, although O’Connor didn’t elaborate on what this meant.

The creation of Call of Duty ‘Spec Ops’ mode would be one way 343 Industries could achieve this, or it could hint at a levelling up system that incorporates both single and multiplayer, although it will be a while before this is explained in greater detail.

Halo 4’s multiplayer has custom classes

343 Industries explained to us that Halo 4’s multiplayer modes will feature custom class and load-out creation, but O’Connor stressed that Halo 4’s multiplayer will not be a Call of Duty clone. 

O’Connor also explained that players will earn gameplay ‘enhancements’ through progression, hinting at rewards for levelling up to further bolster your multiplayer character. However, the studio was unable to elaborate on this further. 

Halo 4’s multiplayer maps are amazing

We were able to check out two of Halo 4’s multiplayer maps – Warhouse and Wraparound. Both maps were superb, and feel right at home with the series. Warhouse is a condensed arena map set on a floating structure, and set against a shimmering golden skyline.

There is a large outdoors area, as well as metallic corridors inside that snake around the construction of a giant Cyclops Mark II mecha, that looks like a Metal Gear-style, bipedal robot. The variety between the open outdoors areas and tight battles indoors offered plenty of excitement. 

The second map, Warparound is set on a huge solar facility that generates artificial sunlight for the planet below. This is a multi-tiered map, with lots of ‘drop-down’ ability, allowing quick transition between levels. Launch pads offer plenty of jumping and huge verticality. In short, it feels like classic Halo, but with more bite.

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