Halo 4 Preview Blowout: The Franchise, The Story, and The Multiplayer
Developer: 343 industries / Publisher: Microsoft / Release Date: November 6, 2012 / Platforms: Xbox 360 / ESRB: Mature [Blood and Gore, Violence]
Halo 4 is slated for launch on November 6, 2012. It’s shaping up to be one of, if not the biggest launch for Halo in the franchise’s expansive ten-year history. And now, with just under two months left before the game launches worldwide, we sent everyone’s favorite Halo-man, Adam Kovic (still known as The Dead Pixel in our hearts), up to 343 Industries’ home turf to check out everything from the game’s campaign, to its multiplayer, to Spartan Ops, and even the first episode of Machinima and Microsoft’s live-action series, Halo: Forward Unto Dawn.
From the outset, Halo 4 takes off where the curtain fell in Halo 3 – with Master Chief cruising in deep cryo-sleep towards a mysterious Forerunner object. We’re going to avoid spoilers and simply tell you what you already know – the Chief has quite a lot on his plate this time around: from the Covenant to the Prometheans, to the rampant degradation of his A.I. companion Cortana.
“You know with Chief, there was the comment about, ‘How do you take the hero’s journey when you are the hero?’ I think when we broke it down, we’ve seen him be heroic, and that feels great as a player – and we want to continue that. But I don’t think we’ve seen him sort of evolve into a sort of leader of men.
What does it take to do that? What kinds of decisions do you need to be able to make, and what kinds of sacrifices do you need to make to do that?
You’ve always seen him be a really good soldier, but what does it mean for him to become a leader?” — Kiki Wolfkill, 343 Industries
Along with this story comes much more than just a storyline in a game, in fact numerous novels, anime series’, and even toys have been formed out of this much-cared for narrative. So much has the universe grown that it’s developed into a franchise – one that’s certainly well-worthy of such a designation, given its wild success.
“If you build enough foundation and you build enough pieces, and you make them all interconnect meaningfully, it starts to feel like history. So when we’re coming up with ideas for future stories, we’re able to take them from a place that feels almost real to us, and I think that ends up being more satisfying for the fans.
And it’s definitely more satisfying for the story-telling experience because everything has a weight and a gravity, and a centered-ness to it that’s appropriate and feels compelling.” — Frank O’ Connor, 343 Industries
Though the Chief’s story explored in Halo 4’s campaign sets itself nothing short of epic, it’s not the only deployment of narrative in the game. Even through multiplayer, with the introduction of the UNSC Cruiser Infinity, new arcs are being told. While it’s the multiplayer you know and love, it’s the fresh mechanical take on it all that surprises and entertains – especially when it’s all guised as a training simulation for Spartan soldiers.
This being 343’s official primordial leap into the crafting of a from-scratch Halo game, many expect everything but the kitchen sink with Halo 4; others expect it to be just another entry in a world where franchises see annual releases– but it’s coming out for better or worse on November 6.
Mark your calendars.