The next entry in Microsoft’s flagship franchise is scheduled to hit Xbox 360’s this Fall, and Microsoft and 343 Industries have finally let out a few scant details regarding the highly anticipated sequel.
343 Industries is promising a brand new take on the decade long Halo franchise, promising that the new game will make you feel more like Master Chief than ever before, with an increased emphasis on the Chief’s augmented athletic abilities and physical strength. Brief clips from the released video seem to show Master Chief sprinting and vaulting over objects, as well as prying doors open with his bare hands.
Fans of Halo 2 will be glad to know that the classic burst-fire Battle Rifle will be making a welcome return, and while 343 didn’t give us any details about any of the other weapons in the game, I think it’s safe to assume that the BR won’t be the only traditional Halo weapon to return. Though they don’t go into detail, 343 hints that Master Chief will be facing a new enemy in Halo 4 instead of the usual Covenant menagerie of foes, so hopefully this new alien threat will also bring with it some new weapons for players to mess around with.
Multiplayer looks like it’s getting a revamp as well, as 343 Industries is promising to add a strong narrative element to the previously mindless deathmatches. I’m not sure if anyone really asked for a story line reason to justify their online teabagging, but hey, Mass Effect 3 is doing it, so why can’t Halo? Regardless of any narrative indifference you may have, the video released today by Microsoft also shows off the new Spartan IV characters you’ll be able to customize in multiplayer, as well as two of the new maps.
Previous Halo games on the 360 have never exactly looked cutting edge, but 343 Industries is already boasting that Halo 4 is the best looking game on the system, and while I’m not quite ready to give them that title yet, it’s undeniable that the game looks markedly better than any of Bungie’s efforts. I’m not saying that Halo 3 or Reach were bad looking games, but Halo 4 is certainly pushing the 360 hardware a lot further than any of its predecessor’s did.
I’m still not sure how I feel about Halo 4 — the new footage looks promising and suitably Halo-like, but none of the changes they’ve shown so far make Halo 4 look like the drastic “game changer” that Microsoft and 343 Industries have been promising it’ll be. I was a huge fan of the Bungie developed Halo games, and 343 Industries certainly has some big shoes to fill if they’re going to deliver an experience on par with Bungie’s previous work. Still, I’m sure today’s video and details are merely the beginning of a long PR campaign that will slowly let us know more about Halo 4, so it’s still too early to formulate a solid opinion on the game. I’m definitely intrigued, but still apprehensive.
Halo 4 is scheduled to be released on the Xbox 360 sometime this Fall.