Halo is the franchise that introduced many people to the power of multiplayer gaming, and Microsoft will attempt to make new strides with a new experience called “Halo Infinity Multiplayer,” launching with Halo 4 on the Xbox 360 later this year.
Microsoft unveiled the plan a short time ago, saying that the approach aims “to continue to innovate and redefine the way people think about storytelling and multiplayer experiences.”
Here’s the quick rundown from the company’s news release …
The hub of the “Halo 4” multiplayer experience is the UNSC Infinity – the largest starship in the UNSC fleet that serves as the center of your Spartan career. Here you’ll build your custom Spartan-IV supersoldier, and progress your multiplayer career across all “Halo 4” competitive and cooperative game modes. Surrounded by the sights, sounds and crew of the biggest vessel in the UNSC fleet, your multiplayer experience will be embedded in the fiction of “Halo” like never before, where your progress and game choices affect your appearance, arsenal, and role on the battlefield.
Spartan Ops. The story of the UNSC Infinity intersects with the “Halo 4” campaign, then continues on in a brand-new, story-driven experience known as Spartan Ops. A first of its kind and exciting new addition to the “Halo” franchise, Spartan Ops is an episodic adventure that blends immersive storytelling, high-quality cinematics, and action-packed gameplay to deliver an unprecedented serialized experience.
Through a weekly series of cinematic episodes on Xbox LIVE, Spartan Ops will tell the continuing story of the UNSC Infinity, following the events of “Halo 4.” These episodes will center on the UNSC Infinity leaders and crew, and a new team of Spartans – Majestic Squad. These cinematic episodes will provide the backdrop for the weekly Spartan Ops gameplay missions. Playable in single-player or cooperatively (with up to three friends), explore the corners of Requiem in these objective-based missions, and help uncover the secrets of the mysterious Forerunner world.
A massive-scale adventure that builds off the “Halo 4” story, access to Spartan Ops is included with “Halo 4” at no additional charge – effectively delivering two campaign experiences in one game.
War Games. The competitive multiplayer modes of “Halo 4,” known as War Games, take place on the combat deck of the UNSC Infinity and revive the visceral and immersive experiences that “Halo” multiplayer is famous for. “Halo 4” introduces fresh, immersive new game modes and strategies to help you progress your Spartan-IV career, while also delivering an experience that’s still distinctly and uniquely “Halo.” More details on all the modes of War Games will be released at a later time.
Total Combat Freedom and Player Progression. “Halo 4” features a vastly expanded suite of new multiplayer modes, weapons, vehicles, armor abilities, a new loadout and player progression system, and a new armor modification system that introduces gameplay-enhancing customizations for the first time in a “Halo” game. These advancements can be used in both Spartan Ops and certain War Games matchmaking playlists, empowering player choice, vastly expanding their creative options, and make the experience deeper for core fans and more approachable for newcomers.
The “Halo 4” player progression system goes beyond simple aesthetic upgrades, encouraging players to invest time and effort to create a Spartan that looks and plays the way they want. Players can earn and activate combat enhancements called “Specializations” based on the style of play they engage in, from stealth to all-out assault, and everything in between.
Halo 4 is scheduled to be released on Nov. 9. Microsoft is also offering additional online features as part of a Halo 4 Limited Edition bundle that will be available for preorder at $100 starting today.