The Average Gamer

Halo 4 Multiplayer Preview

It’s fair to say that when fans heard that 343 Industries was to re-make the marvellous Halo: Combat Evolved that there was more than a mild amount of trepidation and worry over the news. Luckily, for fans and 343 alike, Halo: Anniversary was a fantastic piece of work which was eventually given the thumbs up of approval from the very vocal Halo community. I actually appreciate Anniversary more now than I ever have before, because I think it helped to give 343 the opportunity to flex their developer muscles to prepare for the true test… Halo 4. Now that it is on the horizon, 343 have wheeled out a taster of the Multiplayer portion of the game for show – and it is good.

I like asplosions!

The modes available, you ask? Well, the ones which were shown to us were: Spartan Ops – co-operative objective based missions mostly involving confined areas, Flood – an infection style mode where Spartans are armed with only a shotgun and the flood players have to kill them, and Team Deathmatch – you figure it out.

In the unlikely event that I were to have a Battle Rifle thrust against my head and forced to pick a favourite I would personally lean towards Flood. Not because it is necessarily better, but because I happened to get the most enjoyment out of being pinned in a bottleneck with a fellow random Spartan and a shotgun fending off the never-ending horde of non-AI Flood.

It is, in essence, Infection Mode but being The Flood is a lot more fun than it really should be. You only have a single attack – a forward thrust with your arm sword – but you can jump higher so it brings some really intense battle moments. Especially near the end of the rounds if The Flood hasn’t infected enough or if the last Spartan standing is handy with grenades.

That’s not to count Spartan Ops out though, absolutely not. Frank O’Connor, the Franchise Development Director at 343 Industries, stated that Spartan Ops was akin to “a TV show that you play.” The plan behind it being that “every week a different episode of fiction would air, and it is accompanied by 5 missions of gameplay that are actually connected to that story.” I know I’m not alone in thinking that it sounds pretty freaking awesome. Weekly, co-operative, Halo content? You’re damn right I’m on board. Anything that gives me even more ways to grief my Halo BFF after we’ve completed the campaign on Legendary is definitely welcome in my house.

It’s not looking good…

Don’t panic, though! I assure you that Team Deathmatch is still back, the way we all know and love it, with a few small bonuses. The biggest news being that there is now mech. That’s right, a mech unit in a Halo game. Better known as ‘The Mantis’ the mech unit comes equipped with a Gatling gun, a multiple-missile launcher, an unbelievably satisfying stomp attack, and the ability to teabag enemy corpses. I can’t think of what else to possibly ask of it. However, as if that weren’t enough, Valhalla is back, baby! Granted it’s now called ‘Ragnarok’, but other than a few minor tweaks it is the map it seems Halo fans will never tire of – it even features the new Mantis. I will one day curb stomp a Scorpion, so help me.

Look at it. Look at the beautiful, destructive beast.

343 Industries has stepped up to the plate and really shown what they can do with Halo 4’s Multiplayer portion; it is addictive, fun, fast-paced, tense, challenging, and just flat-out superb. Bungie have passed the torch on to a great successor as Halo 4 looks to be living up to everything the previous games had, and possibly more. The graphics especially look stunning as 343 have added an extra layer of shine to the presentation. It is more vibrant, crisp, clear, and overall smooth Halo game than has ever graced the online realm. The customisation of the Spartan armour is still highly detailed and intricate so you can have the bright pink Spartan you’ve always wanted to be. The Halo Waypoint stat tracking is all right there, and the XP system for unlocking extras for your selected classes is a nice addition without being intrusive to the gameplay itself. Everything multiplayer looks to be bundled together into another Halo package that shall not disappoint

Halo 4 is, of course, coming exclusively to Xbox 360 on 6th November.