Halo 4 News: Discover all the latest rumours, news - including release date - and trailers for the upcoming Microsoft Xbox 360 shooter
Halo 4 is the latest instalment in the hugely popular and long running gaming franchise, and is the first of a brand new trilogy. We bring you all the latest news, rumours, trailers and cheats for what is sure to be another Xbox 360 smash.
Halo 4 News
First announced at E3 2011, official information is fairly thin on the ground for the highly anticipated Xbox shooter. The game will be the first in the ‘Reclaimer’ ending the previous ‘Forerunner’ series.
It follows chronologically from the events in Halo 3, which saw the player heading towards a mysterious new planet, and will pick up the stories of characters John and Cortana.
The official Halo site simply states:
“Halo 4 is the next blockbuster instalment in the iconic franchise that's shaped entertainment history and defined a decade of gaming. Set in the aftermath of Halo 3, Master Chief returns to confront his own destiny and face an ancient evil that threatens the fate of the entire universe. Halo 4 marks the start of a new trilogy that begins with its release in 2012.”
There have been reports Halo 4 will shown off at a Microsoft Xbox Spring showcase on February 29th 2012, according to a Finnish magazine – which if true will give players a more detailed glimpse of the gameplay, characters and weapons on offer.
In January Microsoft reportedly got into a dispute over the domain Halo4beta.net, which has appears to have subsequently been taken down. Though apparently the firm will try to force the National Arbitration Panel to redirect it.
Halo 4 will be for the Xbox 360 only, but subsequent games in the Reclaimer trilogy will be on next generation consoles, presumably the Xbox 720 (or whatever the final name will be) and possibly other consoles too.
Halo 4 Release date
Officially the release is slated as ‘Holiday 2012’ – which translates as somewhere around Christmas. The game is already available on Amazon, which lists the release date as December 31st 2012. If accurate, this date would curiously miss the lucrative Christmas buying period.
Character, vehicle and weapon news
The initial trailer revealed there have been subtle changes to Master Chief’s look, including a different set of armour. Meanwhile the Toy Fair expo played host to McFarlane Toys' next series of Halo figures, including the upcoming iteration of Master Chief.
They are expected to be released from August ahead of the game’s release, and the range will include new Micro Ops models (1:100 scale vehicles and bases from the series).
Regarding the new design of Master Chief, developer 343’s Community Manager Jessica Shea is quoted as saying “"One of the Master Chief’s most notable physical characteristics is that he’s wearing 800 pounds of tank and jet fighter.
So we pulled that design into the armour and HUD. When you play Halo 4, it’s important you understand that you’re more than just a gun on the screen. To give you that feeling, we have represented that weight with player physics, without interrupting crosshair and shooting accuracy."
A sneak peak of at least one of the vehicles has been made available to through an unlockable feature in Forza 4. Players could gain access to a 3D image of the gun-mounted Warthog 4X4 car, which has long been a staple of the series.
Halo 4's weapons have been confirmed as including some fan favourites such as the Battle Rifle, not to be confused with the pepper-spraying rifle that originally featured in Halo: Combat Evolved.
If the trailer is anything to go by then it looks like you'll be able to weild a varient of the all-time fan favourite pistol. Of course the big question will be, having they gone for realism or left it as insanely overpowered as it so often has been.
It largely looks identical to previous models in our eyes. 343 industries – the title’s developer – has since confirmed this as official. There are also rumours circulating that Halo 4 will see a return to some of the older style of vehicles.
Halo 4 Multiplayer
According to 343 Industries Franchise Development Director Frank O’Connor, the developer will be collaborating with Certain Affinity, the studio founded by former Halo 2 lead multiplayer designer Max Hoberman. He said in an interview that though the main multiplayer stuff will be in house, the firm would work with them on creating maps.
In terms of multiplayer difficulty creative director Josh Holmes is quoted as saying at the official E3 unveiling: "There are so many different perspectives people bring to the experience. It was really important to us as a team to try to represent all of those perspectives and play styles and make sure we're striking the right balance between them and giving different players a different experience depending on what they're looking for."
Halo 4 Story
It is confirmed that the story will continue from the events in Halo 3, though with something of a vacuum in terms of any other solid plot details, many have looked to other means for clues.
In Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition, a number of ‘Easter eggs’ (hidden tid-bits, such as info, images or videos, or events) have been found, some of which are rumoured to provide hints to the story of Halo 4.
One video focuses on a character called Guilty Spark who has had a hundred thousand years of isolation, and gives some slender information as to what we can expect.
More recently, in the official Halo 4 trailer, there has been speculation on the presence of a Halo ring seen on a view screen.
Largely relying on interpretation, there is probably only so far you can go with this information, however.
Halo series history
05/11/2001: Halo Combat Evolved is launched as a flagship title for the original Xbox console.
09/11/2004: Halo 2 saw Master Chief return to save the human race again, with added Xbox Live.
25/09/2007: Halo 3 hits the Xbox 360. The Halo story was neatly concluded but the hype continued.
03/03/2009: Halo Wars takes the franchise off on not widely loves, strategy based tangent.
22/09/2009: Halo 3: ODST goes on sale and offers the first playable demo of Halo: Reach.
14/09/2010: Bungie bid farewell to the Halo franchise with the release of Halo: Reach, the prequel.