‘Halo 4′ Details: No Beta, Armor Customization, The Covenant & More

Mar 8, 2012 by  

Halo 4 Details

After a prolonged period of silence, 343 Industries is finally ready to start talking about Halo 4. The first official Halo 4 gamplay video premiered at the beginning of the week, along with screenshots of Master Chief in his new armor. The video offers a great overview of the forthcoming game, but there are plenty of questions left to be answered.

For now, the team at 343 Industries is remaining tight-lipped on a number of specifics, though Halo Franchise Development Director Frank O’Connor took the time to answer a number of fan-submitted questions on the Halo Waypoint website. Read on for the highlights, including the reasons why there won’t be a Halo 4 multiplayer beta, the state of the game’s development, its release date, and more.

Both Halo 3 and Halo: Reach benefited from wildly popular public betas (as did the games those betas were attached to — Crackdown and Halo 3: ODST, respectively), but Halo 4 won’t be upholding that particular tradition.

“While we are testing Halo 4 code, gameplay, and systems at significant scale to get excellent data, input, and feedback, we are focused on polishing and shipping our experience for the duration of the year, and splitting resources to manage and build a beta is not on our schedule.”

The Halo 4 footage in the ViDoc shows a clear upgrade from Halo: Reach’s visuals, though some scenes are obviously more polished than others. O’Connor discusses the state of the game’s development.

“The Campaign is playable from beginning to end. Cinematics are being fully realized. Music is composed, final orchestra sessions are booked. Some levels are graphically polished and beautiful, others waiting their turn in the schedule.”

Halo 4 Master Chief

Armor customization proved to be a popular feature in Halo: Reach — so much so that Bungie raised the game’s rank cap and added new armor options less than two months after release. Armor customization will also have a place in Halo 4, but 343 Industries will be taking a different approach.

“You will have a wide degree of control over your appearance, of course, but as we have hinted, there will also be elements of your ability and performance as a Spartan IV that you will have some control over, that will actually impact your gameplay experience, although it should be noted this will not allow players to arrive in a game session with what are traditionally called ‘power weapons’ or a massively asymmetrical advantage over opponents.”

For many fans, it just wouldn’t be Halo without The Covenant. Rest assured, The Covenant will make an appearance in Halo 4 — though as with Master Chief’s armor, it won’t be quite what fans remember.

“The Covenant will definitely return, albeit in a completely (graphically, politically and sonically) overhauled form, but they may be the least of your problems.”

From the very first announcement trailer revealed at E3 2011, Halo 4 has been slated for a holiday 2012 release. While he won’t pin down a specific date (yet), O’Connor confirms that a 2012 release is still the plan.

“In precisely 2012. The actual ship date (and other details) will be rolled out in the not-too-crazy-distant future.”

For the complete Q&A, head over to Halo Waypoint.

What do you think, Ranters — are you disappointed that there won’t be any kind of beta? Are you looking forward to customizing Master Chief’s appearance? What role do you think The Covenant will play in Halo 4? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Halo 4 is scheduled to release in 2012, exclusively for the Xbox 360

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Follow me on Twitter @HakenGaken

Source: Halo Waypoint

27 Comments

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  1. Not a huge Halo fan since I have a PS3, but I may have to look into this one.

    • due, you’ve been missing out. On a lot. And when I say a lot, I mean best sci-fi fps ever created for consoles. Go out a buy a 360, and play all the Halo’s in this order : Halo CE, Halo 3, Halo Reach, Halo 2, Halo 3: ODST, and Halo Wars if you have the time.

      • Why would he play them best to worst (Not including halo wars)?

    • Halo is good. Only reason i own an xbox after all. lol

  2. I trust 343 to pull this off, looks fantastic so far!

  3. I was really looking forward to the beta of this game, but the reasons for not having one make sense. It’s better for them to not have an open beta to do more work on the game than to put resources into the beta so that the game will feel “less complete” when the game is released.

  4. I have to say I’m glad that there won’t be a Beta. The Halo fanboys or 343 haters would have immediately jumped all over it and tried to ruin everyone’s excitement, so taking that opportunity away from them is something I don’t mind one bit. Just make it, release it, and let the finished product speak for itself.

    As far as the multiplayer goes, I trust that the devs know why people prefer it over CoD, so not very worried there. To be honest, I have no idea what kind of story they’ve got in store so I can’t even begin to think of what role the Covenant will play.

    • same deal with bf3 beta, haters completely trashed the game and possibly costed DICE and EA millions in sales due to their ignorance and lack of understanding of the term beta :(

      mp will be like halo reachs – skill load outs, but i think they might get rid of weapon load outs (as hinted in the quote), which is good b/c like they said, its not fair for a level one to go up against a cap level player who has all the best gear.

      • Maybe the armor gives perks like extra ammo. That would be cool.

        • Well in that case it better only affect the starting weapons ( BR,Pistol,AR) Or we could see a very big problem occur to the power weapons and how the dictate the game. Anyone who has played halo’s multiplayer can vouch for how even just 2 rockets in the rocket launcher or just one clip in the sniper has a huge change in the course of the game. So im cool with it affecting the basic weapons, but leave it at that.

          • Totally agree with you

  5. Honestly, I would like to see the Covenant races playing nice. Maybe we could even see their cultures. They have such potential, and now there is a chance to use that potential… and yes, i have been playing too much Mass Effect.

    • Just sayin… there is never “too much” Mass Effect.. that is all

      • Agreed!

  6. The 343 Remastered Version Of Halo The 10th Anniversary Edition Was Amazing, And I Personally Believe That No Beta Is The Way To Go. That Way We Can All Expect A Lot More Features And Effort That Will Be Put Into The Game. Leave It To 343 To Make The Game Beautiful. Hardcore Halo Fan Forever!

    • That, my friend, is the longest book title I’ve ever seen.

      • I love you so much right now. It’s so obnoxious to read comments like that.

    • Why all the Caps?

  7. The Covenant’s back?! WOOT!

  8. I’m still on the fence, anytime a new studio takes over a franchise I get worried (e.g. Crash Bandicoot and Donkey Kong). They tend to try to make the game their own which sometimes causes the loss of what the game originally was. As far as story goes, I think it’s going to be good. The new books 343 are pumping out have a pretty solid story. I just hope it still feels like halo.

  9. I’m looking forward to Master Chief’s custom appearance.

    • You’re not Master Chief in the multiplayer, you’re a Spartan IV. Pretty much like in Reach, except in the campaign you’re MC. Pardon if I interpreted your comment wrong, that’s just how I saw it.

  10. Hmm.

    We could think of Halo CEA as a beta for what 343 can do I guess?

  11. I think the covenant should start off crashing on earth and being attacked by some sort of creature.Then the unsc decide to help them out fight the creature back.Meanwhile masterchief is being held prisoner by an unknown “thing”. He then escapes and uses a drop pod to get back at earth.The marines later figure out he’s back just like at the beggining of halo 3. So anyways that’s all I could think of right now.Hope u like my ideas.And this is at the beggining of the game where I think all this should be alright PEACE!

  12. No beta?. So they want us to be buy it and hope we like it?

    • its called “Buyer Beware”. If you don’t wanna take the risk, don’t buy the game. simple.

  13. cant wait. hopfully its not like reach well reach was fun at first then i lost interest in the game

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