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Halo 4

Behind Closed Doors With Spartan Ops
by Bryan Vore on Jun 05, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Platform Xbox 360
Publisher Microsoft Game Studios
Developer 343 Industries
Rating Mature

Earlier today we posted screens and trailers of Halo 4's multiplayer modes. Now we've got new details straight from 343 Industries.

If you're not up to speed on the new Spartan Ops mode, it's a weekly co-op narrative series that is included with every copy of Halo 4. Today we learned that this mode begins six months after the conclusion of the game's campaign starring Master Chief. You and your buddies will control Majestic Squad aboard the 3.5-mile-long spaceship Infinity. The co-op squad is dispatched to various locations around the planet Requiem throughout the expected months-long series. Each week players will be able to watch a five-minute story video and play a collection of five different co-op missions that are around 15 minutes or more each.

We got to see an early mock-up of the first episode in which Majestic Squad suits up in Spartan armor onboard the Infinity, flies past a massive Star Wars-caliber space battle in a smaller vessel, and attempts to stop Covenant forces from reaching an artifact on Requiem. This faction of Covenant believes that one of their gods resides on the planet, which is occupied with some version of the Forerunners called the Promethians. While Spartan Ops takes place on the same planet as the campaign, 343 promises that unique level designs and geometry separates the two modes in the vast majority of cases.

This mission we saw was relatively brief as promised, but we got to see three of the new Promethian enemy types in action. Crawlers are the smaller dog-type enemies that come in close for melee attacks. They can climb walls and jump long distances so no areas are really safe to hide in from these roaming packs. Watchers are the hovering drones you may have seen in the recent gameplay footage that catch your grenades and toss them back at you. They can also spawn new enemies and bolster their defenses. Knights are the only humanoid Promethians shown so far and can loosely be compared to Covenant elites, though 343 says they're much stronger. The demo also featured a new Promethian weapon called the scattershot, which is basically a shotgun with a ricocheting spray if you happen to blast a hard surface.

That's about all 343 will show for now, but the team did stress the Spartan Ops will contain very significant narrative content, essentially like having two full campaigns in the game once all of the episodes have activated. We'll be checking out more Halo 4 this evening in a special hands-on event so be sure to check back.

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