When Halo: Reach launched, the future of the Halo games became rather uncertain. Sure, we knew that Microsoft had formed 343 Industries to shepherd the series now that Bungie was moving on from the games that made them famous, but there were still doubts as to whether 343i had the chops to take over. Their first video game effort didn’t come until 2011 with the re-release of Halo: Combat Evolved. While it was a nice update to this classic game, it was still just standing on the shoulders of giants.
Leading up to Halo 4 you could kind of sense the uncertainty surrounding it. An unproven studio with Microsoft’s most valuable franchise making a game that promised to uphold everything Halo stood for? 343i was in a tricky position, because if they played it too close to Bungie’s territory they’d be looked down on and if their Halo was wildly different, the backlash would have been immense. They needed to strike a balance between making a Halo game while at the same time moving it in an entirely new direction. Now that the game is finally out, have they become the Reclaimers to Bungie’s Forerunners?
It’s no secret that Halo 4 has a lot to live up in in terms of multiplayer, but this new video from 343 Industries fills me with confidence that they can deliver. Working in collaboration with Certain Affinity, the development team that made the best maps for Halo: Reach, 343 Industries has retooled Halo 4′s multiplayer with their own spin on things. While Ordnance Drops and Load-outs do sound like they came right out of the Call of Duty playbook, combining them with everything else in Halo 4 just seems to work. Check out this behind the scenes look at Halo 4′s Infinity multiplayer mode and see for yourself.
I don’t know about you guys, but this video made me genuinely excited in a way I haven’t been in quite a while. 343 Industries might have a huge team of talented people and giant development budget, but they seem to genuinely care about giving players an authentic, but fresh, Halo experience. I’m particularly excited for Dominion, which may turn out to be what Invasion from Halo: Reach promised but ultimately couldn’t deliver. What do you guys think about Halo 4′s Infinity multiplayer? Are you on board? Did this video make you a convert, or are you perhaps more wary now?
Microsoft’s internal Halo studio, 343 Industries, just released the first developer documentary for this fall’s Halo 4. I know that just yesterday I posted about avoiding the gaming hype cycle, but this is our first full look at the new Master Chief and the visual direction of Halo 4 as well as a peek at multiplayer. While I expect that we’ll be seeing one of these a month until launch (at least), getting our eyes on the Chief’s new suit is worth it.
Halo 4 definitely has its own style going for it and the Chief seems to have undergone a major revision since we last saw him in Halo 3. One of 343′s talking points is that they wanted the Mjolnir armor to feel like part tank and part fighter jet, sleek yet imposing. I’m also really digging the design of the Spartan IVs that we’ll be controlling in multiplayer. The whole new look also comes off as very “Mass Effect” to me with the segmented armor plates and carbon fiber patterns. What do you guys think of our first look at Halo 4? Feeling the stirrings of desire? Can 343 actually pull this off?