The last time we saw Master Chief, he was safely tucked away into a cryogenic chamber hurtling toward the unknown in the wreckage of the Forward Unto Dawn. On November 6, 2012, Chief wakes up and embarks upon a new trilogy of epic proportion.
For over a year, 343 Industries has been dropping tantalizing tidbits, teasing its fanbase with glimpses of what lies ahead for the Chief. There are simply too many drool-inducing details to recap in one article, so I will highlight what I think are the most exciting aspects of Halo 4. If you want every juicy detail, Halo Waypoint's weekly bulletins will satiate your desire.
I fell in love with Halo for the story, so unsurprisingly the campaign is one of the most important pieces for me. I cannot express how happy I am to be getting back into the Chief and Cortana storyline after Reach – to me, they are Halo. There is a great deal of mystery and speculation about the main setting for Halo 4, but we know there is a whole new race of baddies to battle. If you've read some of the Halo literature, especially Cryptum and Primordium, you're already familiar with the Prometheans. They are warrior-servants of the Forerunners, who are the ancient civilization mentioned in previous Halo games. Like the Covenant, the Prometheans have a class system ranging from the small, adorably lethal Crawlers to the impressive, intimidating Promethean Knights. There is still mystery surrounding these Promethean enemies, but the best description I've heard of them is, “Prometheans = Forerunner badasses. Halo 4 Prometheans = Constructed by Forerunner badasses.” (courtesy of Blue Ninja)
Being a campaign junkie, I'm very excited for Spartan Ops, Halo 4's love child of campaign and firefight. Spartan Ops will be doled out in sets of five “chapters” per week for ten weeks, post-release. Each chapter contains a progression through a canonical storyline while driving back waves of enemy opponents. I, personally, was not a fan of firefight in previous Halos because it seemed to lack a purpose or end goal. With Spartan Ops, there are actual tasks to complete and goals to obtain. I had the opportunity to play a chapter of Spartan Ops at PAX earlier this month and was amazed at how beautiful it looked, how amazing it sounded, and how much fun it was deriving new battle tactics to handle the new enemies. Ultimately, I am most looking forward to logging on every week with my Spartan Ops squad and tackling newly released chapters. More story is always a good thing.
As chance would have it, I am a bit of a fan of Grifball. At PAX 2012, it was announced that Grifball will be included in Halo 4 and I even had the opportunity to demonstrate some of the new physics, tricks, and strategies that Halo 4 Grifball will offer. The biggest change is the ability to actually throw the ball instead of requiring a player to get some momentum and drop the ball towards a waiting teammate. This passing ability is almost exactly like chucking a grenade. While this is a huge change, rest assured that core Grifball is still there – hammer, sword, and, of course, ball. In Halo 3 and Reach Grifball, the ball was actually an assault mine but in Halo 4, it is actually a metal sphere with a phantasmagoric skull inside, much like the ghost helmet in Reach. As a Grifballer, I am very excited to sink my teeth into this variation and cannot wait to see the amazing plays and devious strategies we will create.
Forward Unto Dawn
Forward Unto Dawn (FUD) is a live-action web-series beginning October 5th that will set the stage for Halo 4. FUD tells the story of United Nations Space Command (UNSC) cadets at the beginning of the Human–Covenant war. Not only will FUD get fans revved up for the game's release, it will also give special insight into Halo 4 and the Halo Infinity Multiplayer experience. Again, as a glutton for the story that Halo has cultivated for 10 years, I am highly anticipating the release of FUD and can't wait to become acquainted with the characters.
Halo 4 looks amazing, but it’s not all about the visuals. The auditory component of the Halo franchise has been a huge part of its storytelling and 343 is working hard to make sure that your eardrums are just as satisfied as your eyeballs. At Halo Fest last year, 343 showcased a live-fire field recording of weapons you may hear in Halo 4. If that’s not enough, you can also check out the Halo 4 Sound Cloud which currently features 13 tracks from the Original Sound Track as well as remixes by Halo 4’s composer Neil Davidge. For me personally, OST track #4 To Galaxy gives me goosebumbs every time!
Halo 4 launches November 6th, 2012 and comes in both standard and limited editions.
Suit up, Spartans!
Written by PMS Goosechecka. Goosechecka is a member of the PMS|H2O Editorial Team and the Content and Community Manager at GrifballHub.com. You can follow her on Twitter!