Weapon Customization in Halo 4 Confirmed

When 343 Industries unveiled the Limited Edition of Halo 4 yesterday, there was one particular line that struck me the most: “unique in-game weapon skin for the Assault Rifle”. This line was meant to describe another bonus gamers would get for purchasing the Halo 4 Limited Edition, but it did much more. It confirmed the presence of gun customization in Halo 4.

So far all we know is that players will have the ability to choose particular “skins” for their weapons. Maybe it will be similar to choosing camouflage for your weapons in Call of Duty? I personally think it will be similar in that players will be able to choose how their gun looks, but I don’t think that they’ll be able to make their whole gun gold. 343 Industries will make their “skins” a bit more sophisticated than that, and make sure that no matter how players change their guns, they’ll still look like something out of Halo. We should be getting some more information on this topic during E3 this year, so be on the look out.

Now really quickly, I wanted to refute a thought that will almost certainly be made in response to this news: Why the hell is Halo copying Call of Duty’s idea?

First of all, we don’t even know for sure if these weapon skins will be like Call of Duty’s camouflage. That’s just what it sounds like to me, personally. But if they are, here’s my spiel:

Should Master Chief drop his gun just because Call of Duty lets users use guns? Should Master Chief, a friggin’ Super Soldier, lose his ability to sprint just because Call of Duty lets users sprint? And most importantly, should every aspect of a Call of Duty game be shunned from use by other game developers just because Activison decided to use an idea first? The answer to all of these questions is no, by the way. Even though Halo and Call of Duty are very different, they have the same background: Shooting. And there is no way for both of these games to be polar opposites and still be known as “shooters”. They both have to have some similar ideas just to spark interest in its audience.

343 Industries is not adding the customization of guns through “skins” because Call of Duty has that option. They are adding the customization because they feel that it will make us gamers excited for Halo 4. Weapon customization certainly has my vote, and I can’t wait to start changing up my Battle Rifle to add a little more “me” to it.

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343 Industries: Halo Reclaimer Trilogy will Last 10 Years

In a recent interview, Frank O’Connor explained that 343 Industries has the current Halo trilogy vaguely mapped out for the next 10 years.

“We have things mapped out pretty far, probably about ten years, but they’re pretty vague, they’re big plot points. We think that X will happen, we think Y will happen, we think they should go visit Z,” he said. “There’s a danger that you’ll get granular in your planning because if this was a novel, you could just write an end. But it’s not a novel.”

10 years is a very long time. In fact, if you go back 10 years from today, you’ll notice that Halo: Combat Evolved would have just released less than a year ago for the Xbox. It’s simply amazing to see how far Halo has evolved in 10 years. And if Franky is truly penciling in another 10 years of Master Chief, I can’t wait for the year 2022.

Another thing that excites me is the fact that 343 Industries will actually spend 10 years on the Reclaimer Trilogy. A lot people would probably want a Halo title pumped out every year just because they love the game so much, but isn’t that what happened to Call of Duty? The last thing we want is for the Halo franchise to be milked to death.

The Golden Rule has always been quality over quantity for these types of projects, and I think 343 Industries has realized that. The longer 343 Industries works on a game, the better it will be. And we as Halo fans deserve the best, don’t you agree?

The next decade will be full of excitement in the Halo department. So hold on tight and get ready for the journey 343 Industries has planned for us; because I know that it’s going to be a good one.

Halo 4 Limited Edition Revealed; No Legendary Edition Planned

343 Industries has finally revealed the Limited Edition of Halo 4 to the public. This reveal was much sooner than I anticipated, as I expected to hear news about the Limited Edition around August. But 343 Industries has surprised us thus far, why should they stop now? Before I get into the details, I just wanted to mention that 343 Industries has decided not to have a Legendary Edition for Halo 4. Their reasoning was as followed:

We decided to focus our efforts on a single special edition instead of numerous ones so you wouldn’t have to pick and choose between what ancillary items you want.

I personally believe that 343 Industries is very wise for doing this. They make it a bit easier on us: Either we get all the junk, or we just get the game. There is no in between option where some of us only get half of the junk available. It’s essentially all or nothing and that gets a thumbs up from me.

As for the stuff that you get in the Limited Edition of Halo 4, some of it actually makes the edition worth the $99:

  • 9 extra maps that will be available in DLC form in the future. The future DLC will feature 3 maps in each of them, so you are essentially getting 3 DLC in one shot.
  • The ability to unlock 6 Specializations early. Specializations apparently unlock new customization options, but because we don’t know too much about them yet, 343 Industries will be talking all about them during E3 this year. So don’t be alarmed if this makes no sense to you whatsoever.
  • A UNSC Infinity briefing packet that includes Spartan armor customization schematic, information about UNSC weapons, and an introduction to the UNSC Infinity ship. I guess collectors would like this, but it isn’t anything that would particularly excite me.
  • Access to Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn Special Edition. This is basically an extended edition of the 90 minute Live-Action Halo series. This could be pretty cool because the series is actually shaping out to look really nice.
  • Bonus Content through Xbox LIVE: unique in-game Spartan-IV armor skin, unique in-game weapon skin for the Assault Rifle, an exclusive in-game emblem, Xbox LIVE Avatar prop, and Xbox LIVE Avatar Spartan IV armor set.

You basically get all of this stuff for around $39 extra dollars. If you ask me, it seems to be worth it. You certainly won’t be getting ripped off by purchasing it, so don’t be afraid to spend the extra cash.

343 Industries: Expect Many Changes in Halo 4

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343 Industries has made it clear: Halo 4 will be very different from past Halo games. And fans should embrace these changes because the Halo Universe is rightfully evolving. In an interview, 343 Industries addressed the reasons behind the many changes revealed so far. And based on what the company is saying, we should expect many more changes; particularly to enemies, weapons and story line:

“So the next time you see an enemy that looks a little different or a weapon/vehicle that doesn’t match its predecessors verbatim, or even a backstory that doesn’t appear to be the “whole story”, understand that the Halo Universe is big enough to hold all of them safely and securely together, and will do so with a smile on its face,” they explained. “And whenever you doubt that, just take the incredible variability you find in our contemporary world and multiply it by a thousand. Then you’ll get a hint of just how big a 26th century, galaxy-spanning Halo story is to us.”

Clearly, 343 Industries has a vision, and they plan to carry out that vision. Let it be clear that 343 Industries is not simply succeeding Bungie, they they are replacing them. 343 Industries did not take over Halo to carry out Bungie’s vision, they took over Halo to carry out their vision. And this seems too be a very good thing because it shows just how much passion and drive 343 Industries has.

In the end, you as a player needs to go into Halo 4 understanding that there will be differences. After all, this is not Bungie’s game, this is 343 Industries’s game. And I have a hunch that these differences within the game will likely be for the better.

Halo 4 Allows Users to Utilize the “Spartan IV”

343 Industries is changing the multiplayer a bit by allowing users to play multiplayer mode with a “new breed” of Spartans called the Spartan IV. If you ask me, it’s a little random and the Spartan IV’s don’t look nearly as nice as Master Chief does. But I think they are using this breed of Spartans to tell the infamous story of Red vs. Blue.

343 Industries basically said that they have a pretty convincing reason as to why Red Spartans fight Blue Spartans. Maybe Spartan IV’s have something to do with that reasoning? I don’t know. But 343 Industries did say something rather interesting about the subject, “There are other parts to our multiplayer experience that will be coming in the future”.

Very mysterious.

Two Halo 4 Multiplayer Maps Revealed: Warhouse and Wraparound

343 Industries revealed two of their maps for Halo 4 that will reportedly be made from scratch. They will be known as Warhouse and Wraparound.

Warhouse is essentially a giant military base. In the center of the military base is some sort of Giant Mech-like structure that is being constructed. I’m not sure if the Mech can be utilized, but I’m pretty sure that the balance of the map would be thrown off if one team had an opportunity to control a friggin’ Mech.

The second map we had a look at is known as Wraparound. Wraparound has been described as a type of “looping” structure with a lot of up and down combat. What this pretty much means is that the map will be relatively tall. So maybe a lot of man cannons and stairwells will be available? You can speculate some more on your own with this picture of the map.

So that’s all the maps we know of for now. So far the maps seem nice. They’re big, but not ridiculously big like Boneyard was. My only hope is that 343 Industries throws some scaled down maps into the mix because I feel that the smaller maps are best for generating higher paced action. And what Halo player doesn’t like a little action? Noobs?

Halo 4 Multiplayer Maps will not come from the Campaign

Have you ever noticed that some shooter based games have multiplayer maps taken right out of the campaign? Those are maps that I like to call recycled maps. In all honesty, I see them as the types of maps that are implemented when developers get too lazy to build new ones from scratch. This is what 343 Industries is not doing.

Halo 4’s multiplayer will include maps built completely from scratch. No exceptions, no short-cuts. All campaign maps will be left solely for the campaign and all multiplayer maps will be left for multiplayer. What this does is it avoids the possibility of map balancing mess ups. If maps built for the campaign are used in multiplayer, they need to be balanced so that each team has an equal advantage at winning. This could mean deleting certain buildings or even blocking off areas. But by building maps from scratch, 343 Industries avoids any potential issue of creating a bad multiplayer map. They won’t need to worry about misbalancing campaign maps and ultimately making unfair multiplayer maps.

So applaud 343 Industries for this decision, folks. They obviously know their current limitations as a relatively new company. But it’ll be interesting to see just how good 343 Industries is at making kick-ass multiplayer maps from “scratch”.