marks a new beginning of sorts for the franchise. It is the first of the newly-dubbed Reclaimer trilogy and is the first that 343 Industries is leading development on. Queues for the chance to get a hands-on experience of the title would indicate that it is one of the remaining eagerly anticipated titles of the year. The multiplayer component was the focal point of Eurogamer, but if you’re a Halo veteran you have no reason to fear; it looks as though the game has been left in safe hands.
The multiplayer component features a number of different elements including the traditional War Games and the Spartan Ops mode. At Eurogamer, we got to try our hands at some of the competitive multiplayer modes. Halo veterans don’t need to worry though; 343 Industries isn’t attempting to reinvent the wheel now that it is in control of development, but isn’t afraid to change some elements at the same time. If you’re a returning Halo fan, you should quickly feel at home with returning game modes, weapons and maps.
Infinity Slayer pits two teams against one another in a traditional deathmatch with a twist. Players can now turn the tide of a battle with their individual accomplishments as medals, kills, assists and so on going towards filling up their Ordnance Meter. Once full, players can select between three randomly generated rewards. It is as fast and frantic as you would expect Halo’s multiplayer to be as players duck and dive, fight for control of areas and look for their chance to get that last ditch melee kill. Team Slayer has been a staple favourite among Halo fans so it will be interesting to see how this twist changes the face of the battlefield. It’s not a reinvention of the classic formula by any means, but there are enough subtle differences that it should spice things up a little.
Flood is a mode that looks intriguing to say the least. Two players assume the role of the Flood and must hunt down the remaining players who play as Spartans. As players are killed, they become new members of the Flood and must hunt down their former comrades. As a Spartan, there is plenty of tension and teamwork is essential. As the odds become stacked against you, this feeling of tension becomes more intense as players scrape and scrap to survive. The Flood on the other hand can play sneakily and attempt to creep up on the Spartans or can attempt to overpower them numerically as the battle turns in their favour. It is an interesting dynamic and should be a welcome mode to Halo 4’s multiplayer.
343 Industries is taking the “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” approach. You’ll be pleased to hear this if you’re a returning Halo fan of course and you will quickly settle back into your element. The fundamentals remain intact and the core skills quickly transfer. There are some adjustments to be made considering the personal Ordnance Meter, the randomised drops and the various loadouts, but on the whole it is a very familiar experience.
The Flood mode is an interesting diversion from the traditional multiplayer experience and could be very popular. With modes like this, there is always the worry that teams will misfire and lack communication, or players will set out to be killed so that they can feel the rush that goes along with being the hunter. If everyone decides to switch sides quickly, rounds are going to be over very quickly.
Halo 4 will also set out to continue the story of Master Chief with the first part of the new trilogy. This new series of games is being designed as a complete story arc from the beginning, so 343 Industries is promising greater connection between the titles than ever before. We will get to see how this initial outing pans out and how the multiplayer evolves when Halo 4 is released on November 6th.