The last few days have surely been some really big ones for Microsoft, following one huge announcement after another and today, we have the launch of Halo 4, the new game in the franchise developed by 343 Industries.
The Halo 4 launch saw media and gamers converge under one roof and share their love for the Green Super Human we have all come to love in the last three Halo games. Microsoft had setup over a dozen consoles running copies of Halo 4 for all those invited to come and experience game before the rest of the country.
Halo 4 has been touted as the most anticipated game of the year, especially because the original developer Bungie parted ways with the Redmond outfit, many wondered what the fate of this popular game franchise would be. When it was announced that 343 Industries would be going ahead with making the next trilogy of Halo games, many were skeptical about their ability to do so, and many waited to see what the final product would look like.
We belong to the latter camp, and boy did the 343 Industries deliver! The game looks absolutely phenomenal. If you have played the previous Halo games, the evolution of the graphics and visuals in the new game will become immediately evident. The game is very polished, and the effort that’s been put into it is very obvious from the minute the game starts.
The game sees Master Chief square off with a new foe, befitting the tagline “a new evil awakens.” He fights the technologically very advanced race called Prometheans. The game definitely maintains is suite of missions and fire fights, but this time, the story takes a more personal focus, with Kortana’s degradation and we get a better look at Thomas Lasky, whose relationship to Master Chief is pivotal to the game.
Halo 4’s campaign mode was showed off at the launch, but what was also revealed was a new mode called Spartan Ops, which has been included in the game, so it is not a paid DLC. Season One of Spartan Ops would be made up of chapters containing five missions, which will be released one week at a time as a free DLC. Custom Loadouts are available for each Spartan Ops mission; in Spartan Ops you take control of squads (such as Majestic Squad), and perform objectives like killing enemies or activating consoles. When it is finished, a Pelican extracts you. You then gain your Rewards and move on to the next mission. Once you finish a Chapter, you have to wait until 343 put up a new one. While Season Two was confirmed, we are not sure when it will come out or whether it will also be free or not.
The launch event of the game included an impromptu Halo 4 competition, where the players played on Legendary difficulty and the first one to make it to the second stage of the game the fastest would win a Limited Edition copy of the game. After much fretting, screaming and taunting, one young man (who we are told was the least likely to win) ended up making it to the second stage before anyone else.
Halo 4 can be purchased at all major game retailers for Rs. 3,499 while its Limited Edition Pack can be had for Rs. 4,599. The Limited Edition includes the following:
- The game disc in a steel facade case with a stenciled UNSC device on it
- War Games Map Pack; nine maps that will be included in a future DLC
- Instant access to all 8 Specializations
- UNSCInfinity Briefing Packet including MJOLNIR armorschematics, weapon information and a layout of the indoctrination of the SPARTAN-IVs
- The 90-minute extended edition of the ViDoc, Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn
- Exclusive Assault Rifle Prime weapon skin
- Bonus in-fiction content providing backstory on characters and stories in Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn
- The Making of Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn
- Special Featurette: Bringing Gaming to Reality
- Spartan Prime Skin
- Spartan Prime Emblem
- Spartan Scanner Helmet - with War Games Map Pass
- Spartan Strider Helmet - with War Games Map Pass
- Spartan Falcon Emblem - with War Games Map Pass
- Cryo-Chamber Avatar prop
- Avatar Spartan Recruit Armor