Last week at Microsoft's Spring Showcase, I and a whole bunch of other reporters got our first look at this fall's Halo 4. The fourth proper entry in the franchise (not counting ODST and Reach) will be released this fall, and will feature longtime series star Master Chief in an all-new adventure.
Halo 4 will be the first Halo game not made by Bungie, who created the series 10 years ago. Instead, the game is being created by 343 Industries. At the event, 343's Frank O'Connor and Kiki Wolfkill showed us the above video, and shared some information about the coming game. Vague information, but information nonetheless.
The first thing they showed us was Master Chief himself, whose armour has been slightly redesigned for the new game. (If you recall, the armour he was wearing in the game's E3 debut last year wasn't his final, official look.) We'd already seen an action figure depicting Chief's new look, and this screenshot confirms his lighter, more flexible new armour.
The video above is mostly a bunch of the Halo 4 team talking about (surprise!) how totally awesome they think Halo is, but you can get a sense of the multiplayer from watching it. It sounds as though multiplayer will be tied more to the fiction this time around, with a story-based reason explaining why so many spartans are duking it out all over the galaxy.
The maps won't be lifted from the campaign but rather have been created specifically to allow for balanced gameplay. When asked about balancing the multiplayer for MLG pro-gaming, O'Connor said that they are taking MLG seriously, but didn't go into detail as to what exactly that meant.
In multiplayer, characters will control Spartan 4s, which are a new type of Spartan super-soldier; there will be a wealth of customisation options for your Spartan. Some of those options will be cosmetic, but some will be functional.
As for the solo campaign, O'Connor and Wolfkill remained tight-lipped. O'connor did say that this is going to be "a more personal sory," but that he "wouldn't expect Master Chief to start chatting people up or anything." They repeated several times that they have ripped everything apart and all of the game's features had been either rebuilt from the ground up or massively overhauled.
There will be new sound effects, some of which we got to hear as Wolfkill walked around an empty multiplayer level — the guns sounded punchy and clear, and her Spartan's footsteps were loud and metallic. Longtime Halo composer Marty O'Donnell isn't on the game, and they said that there will be more information about the composer soon.
They also hinted at some sort of coming announcement that will be a "crossing of the rubicon" for the Halo series. While hype is hype and blind items are blind, it did sound as though they are convinced that some aspect of Halo 4 will be seen as a large change to the core of the series.
This game, O'Connor said, would "define the next 10 years of Halo." Sounds ambitious. We'll have more information on Halo 4 as it slowly…trickles…out… leading up to release of the game this fall.
Good to see ya chief still finishing that good fight; dig the kicky duds