If you haven’t treated yourself to the recently leaked Halo 4 beta gameplay video that popped up on NeoGaf over the weekend, do yourself a favor and check it out this instant. Now that we’re all up to speed, let’s take a (blurry, bizarre, and by no means official) look at some of the features on display in the supremely odd video and subsequent screenshot leaks that have the Halo community buzzing (and doubling over with laughter given the phenomenally odd delivery system of said leak).
The first thing I noticed while watching the horrendously blurry gameplay video was that the speed of Halo 4’s combat seems much faster than previous Halo games. This could be because this is actually a custom match and the speed settings have been tweaked, or it could be the result of sprint no longer being exclusively an armor ability. If it's not a custom match, then it's definitely worthy of at least some concern.
I mean, the addition of unlimited sprint isn't surprising, given that it's a staple of every other modern shooter, and at least 343 is trying to bake it into the multiplayer fiction, but it will no doubt change the pacing and flow of multiplayer in a significant way, and could potentially take away from that "Halo-y" feel that people have come to expect from the series. The same goes for the weapon reload and switching speeds, which look to be quite a bit snappier than in previous Halo games. Again, could be a custom tweak. Too little info to say for sure.
Now, 343 Industries has talked about Halo 4’s customizable loadout feature, but the following screens give us our first real look at some of the options players will be able to pick and choose from when crafting their five loadouts.
Judging from the above picture, it looks like you’ll have six item slots to fill with two weapons, a grenade of some kind, an armor ability, a “tactical package” option, and a “support upgrade” option, the last of which remains a total mystery, as there isn't any info to suggest what this slot might be include. Although, it looks like you might be able to name each of your loadouts, which will make swapping between them during matches much easier, since you won't have to remember which combination was in slot three vs. slot five. So there's that.
There aren’t any screens for weapons or grenades, so no real updates on that front. However, we do get a look at the following seven armor abilities in the above image:
- Autosentry - Thanks to the description, we know that this ability “is an automated turret which can be deployed to defend the wearer or command a busy battlefield checkpoint.”
- Promethean Vision - Ability to see enemies through walls
- Regeneration Field - Sounds like it could be a combination of the Bubble Shield and Regenerator
- Hologram - Returns from Halo: Reach, but unclear if it works exactly the same way
- Hardlight Shield - A possible upgrade to the Bubble Shield?
- Active Camouflage - A Halo staple at this point that will most likely function similarly to previous games
- Thruster Pack - Sounds like the new jetpack, but it could also double as a sprint booster
The next screen shows the following six tactical packages, which look to be akin to support perks:
- Firepower - According to the description, this allows the player to carry two primary weapons.
- Resupply - Sounds like your standard drop ammo ability
- Grenadier - Perhaps this gives you an extra slot to hold a third grenade type or access to a unique grenade type
- Awareness - Guessing this affects your radar and shows you enemy positions
- Shielding - Could this be the return of the overshield?
- AA Efficiency - Might stand for “Armor Abilities Efficiency” in which case it could mean your armor abilities use up less energy or they recharge faster
The humorously blurry gameplay video apparently also shows the new railgun in action, but it’s pretty much impossible to tell how much damage it deals or what it really looks like in action, so squinting is your best bet at this point.
So a solid bit of speculative material to hold over Halo fans until E3 next week when hopefully we’ll be given a much, much, much clearer look at what 343 Industries has planned for Halo 4.
Anyone spot any other little tidbits from either the video or the screenshots?