While RTX is officially for all things internet related, the topic on everyone’s tongue has been Halo 4. This afternoon 343 Industries hosted an open panel where they gave us the world’s first look at the new Forge as well as a bit of information on what’s waiting for us come November 6th.
Certain Affinity, who officially announced their involvement with the development of Halo 4 at the conference, was more than happy to take hold of the controllers and give us a taste of what’s on the way. Before I dive into the details, I want to make note that although we were only privy to one of the four Forge maps that will be available at release, the details were stunning. I can’t recall ever being this wowed by a Halo title in the past, but the minute details on display were a sight to behold. A realistic waterfall fell into a small river gently shimmering down the rocks with a small noticeable current. I’ve been told that I can expect this attention to detail throughout the product, and I can’t wait to see exactly what’s in store.
The first aspect that will get some players excited is the ability to jump into any map without having to worry about loading. Dynamic lighting is in place this time around, but only renders when a player reverts to using a character model, saving valuable time and resources when you’re building. Gone are the days of accidentally grabbing the wrong object when a few are piled on top of each other. When the crosshair is placed over an object, you’re informed exactly what you’re aiming at so you don’t undo all of your hard work.
As an additional preventative measure, players are now able to lock items into the environment, removing any chance of accidentally screwing something up once you’ve found the perfect angle. Players will also be able to duplicate objects (while we were informed that the UI is a placeholder at this time, it was handled by simply pressing down on the dpad during the demonstration) as well as activate magnets which will cut down on the building time immensely for larger projects.
The most impressive aspect demonstrated was the inclusion of player trait zones. Players will be able to set areas to specific traits such as increased player size and less gravity to help with those tricky jumps. While not specifically mentioned, damage absorption as well as increased damage were among the options. It appears that you’ll be limited to four of these per map since the zones were labeled Alpha through Delta, but we should know more on that in the upcoming weeks.
For those of you more interested in killing than building (you monsters), we were given a bit of insight into how multiplayer will be handled.
The most radical change is the new Spartan Ops mode, which will play out as a weekly episode with five missions taking place 6 months after the campaign ends. You’ll be able to unlock different load outs and character abilities which can be shared through the more traditional multiplayer modes as well.
War Games will be the more traditional multiplayer mode, although there are some new match types waiting. Regicide is a new take on the classic free for all formula. The player in lead will find himself marked on everyone’s map as well as have a bounty above his head making him a more valuable target. This is going to lead to all sorts of new gameplay strategies where players will purposely avoid taking first place until the final moments in order to squeeze a quick victory out from underneath the opposition.
I touched upon the ability to tailor your character more to your liking, and while details are scant at this moment, you’ll be able to switch out armor mods, abilities and loadouts in order play up your strengths. 343 Industries was quick to dismiss comparisons to Call Of Duty, however it will be easy for most players to draw a parallel between the similar manner in which loadouts are handled.
We will have more information on Halo 4, including a hands-on preview, over the course of the weekend.
Here’s your opportunity to be involved. What do you want to know? Leave your questions in the comments and I’ll see if I can’t get some answers.