Multiplayer Details Blowout
343 Industries has revealed that Halo 4's multiplayer will be very different to previous games in the series. As well as traditional multiplayer woven into the franchise canon rather than a standalone gameplay portion, the anticipated FPS will feature an episodic Spartan Ops mode that challenges players to work together in cooperative missions that release on a weekly basis.
Game Informer ran the reveal as their latest cover story, and it's a doozy. As far as regular competitive multiplayer is concerned, players will run and gun their way through a selection of gametypes both new and old, with the red vs blue trappings explained as a holographic training programme for new Spartan IVs. We'll have access to upgrades and modifications and weapon loadouts, and can purchase cosmetic gear by rising through the rankings.
More exciting, however, is the new Spartan Ops mode - which was recently foreshadowed by Microsoft acquiring the domain as part of a camouflaged pincer assault. This new cooperative gametype replaces Firefight, and allows players to team up in a story mission complete with an opening cinematic - a little like Modern Warfare's Spec Ops mode. But with Spartans. Hence Spartan Ops. New missions and cutscenes will be released on a weekly basis, for free, and will gradually add up to a single sweeping story arc.
In-game Spartan Points will be used to 'purchase' these new missions, as well as armour and abilities. New usable abilities include Forerunner Vision, which allows players to briefly see through walls, which will join returning skills like the jetpack, active camouflage and hologram decoy.
All multiplayer modes will support drop-in play, and it's about time too. Having to wait around in servers - or slug away with unbalanced teams after your fickle teammates drop out - will be a thing of the past. Other changes include randomly spawning weapon pods, which promises to completely remove the traditional rush tactics where players immediately sprint for each map's most powerful weapons.
Halo 4 is set to release this holiday season, and we'll keep you updated by the wire.