After the massive amount of information that was made available to the public earlier this week 343 Industries saw it fitting to clarify a few questions that the community had about Halo 4. The full bulletin can be read here but I’ve picked out the juicy bits for you to cast your eyes over.
Ever since the word “perk” was associated with Halo 4 there have been major concerns that Halo would be following in the footsteps of Call of Duty with wildly unbalanced perks available to players. However this hopefully shouldn’t be the case as Frankie points out:
“The systems in Halo 4, and I say that in the plural because there is no single element that defines that aspect of our game, are interconnected and related directly to your in-game experience as a Spartan IV, but they’re not exactly like any specific existing template or scheme”
While I am sure the “perk system” will have similarities to other systems in other titles it seems as though they have their own spin on things which should hopefully not only improve the gameplay but also remain balanced. I’m a core/competitiveplayer and after the likes of Call of Duty I am sceptical about the system but only time will tell, for now I will give them the benefit of the doubt.
Armour Abilities & Equipment
Ever since Halo:CE the equipment/armour ability system has changed from game to game. In Halo 3 it was all about equipment such as power drains and bubble shields while in Reach persistent armour abilities took over.
“Halo 4’s system will be a logical evolution, but based on lessons and inspiration from the (matchmaking) successes and less-than-successes in prior titles”
I can’t say for sure but I draw from the above statement that armour abilities as they were in Reach will not be making a return. While sprint was evident in the footage shown earlier in the week this could be a global ability or a perk. Hopefully not a perk though as that just sounds like armour abilities all over again!
Possibly one of the most crucial parts of the game are weapons. While the bread and butter weapons often get the limelight, such as the Assault Rifle; Battle Rifle and DMR, the power weapons are also a key part of the game and I can’t see Halo 4 being any different.
Fans should expect to see very new stuff. And not just weapons. As usual a couple of things will get deleted (or changed), but on balance, it will be more new stuff.
As we’re on a new planet in Halo 4 I expect a wide range of new guns to be available to compliment the guns that will likely carry over from Halo 3. A few may be dropped, such as the Mauler or Carbine, but I expect many to make it including old favourites such as rockets and the sniper rifle. The Battle Rifle was also discussed briefly and 343 confirmed it would be hitscan, similar to how it was in Halo 2, but it will also have recoil. Looking at the video it looks extremely similar to the Halo 3 Battle Rifle with a slightly modified reticle and, of course, being hitscan.
A few of you might be wondering what exactly hitscan means? If you played Halo 2 the Battle Rifle in that game was hitscan; if the reticle is red when you fire it will hit its target. Contrast this to Halo 3 where it was not hitscan and, at longer distances, you needed to lead your shots to account for bullet spread. Personally I prefer hitscan as it removes the random element of spread which could lose you a one vs one because spread was kinder to your opponent.
In Reach players had health as well as shield. While shield recharged over time in order to regain health you had to pick up a health kit. This system is no longer in Halo 4 and I imagine it will return to the Halo 3 system. Both health and shield were used in Halo 3 however health slowly regained once your shields has recharged. This didn’t affect the gameplay too much but if you had low health you could, in certain situations, be killed by only three shots from the Battle Rifle as opposed to the normal four.
Arguably one of the most important aspects of any Halo game are the maps. 343 are remaining fairly tight-lipped about maps and are refusing to give any details other than the following:
We aren’t discussing MP maps beyond Wraparound and War House, and while the vast majority of our maps will be brand new, we also know what the ladies (and gents) like.
This is good news for fans of the series as it sounds like certain community favourites will be making a return. Midship from Halo 2 has always been extremely popular so I expect that to potentially make a return along with The Pit from Halo 3. I’m sure there will be others, either in DLC format or that ship with the game, but those are my two picks!
Naturally we don’t know the full list of gametypes that will be shipped with Halo 4 however it’s safe to say that it will at least have Slayer, Capture the Flag, King of the Kill and Oddball. Those four are almost certainly going to be shipped with the game, but slayer might not be as you remember it.
However, our new implementation of Slayer will score differently than the traditional 0-50 method of yore, and is one of 100 things we’ll share with you more deeply in the coming months.
I wouldn’t be too worried, I can’t see it being too different and if you don’t like the new format there will almost definitely be the traditional method to fall back on.
That pretty much rounds up the main points covered in the bulletin but expect more information to become available over the coming months in the lead up to Halo 4′s release. The question that everyone wants to know is when exactly it will be released and, thankfully, according to Frankie “The actual ship date (and other details) will be rolled out in the not-too-crazy-distant future”.