Trailing only Call of Duty: Black Ops II and, most recently, Minecraft on the Xbox Live activity charts, Halo 4 has found resounding success in its new multiplayer formula: the classically competitive War Games; the episodic, story-based co-op campaign of Spartan Ops; and the deeper-than-ever map editing tools of Forge.
All of it (and that’s without counting campaign co-op) is integrated seamlessly under Halo 4′s Infinity multiplayer, a concept for Spartan training that drives online play’s robust system of progression, unlocking, customization and stat tracking. Infinity doesn’t appear to be stopping any time soon — Spartan Ops will extend through multiple seasons and War Games is slated, at least, for two more map packs — and developer 343 Industries has penned out its schedule for the next few weeks.
These are some of the new additions players can expect around Halo 4 multiplayer, courtesy of the Halo Waypoint blog’s official Halo Bulletin. While the schedule for Spartan Ops — the remaining five episodes of Season 1 — was confirmed last December, 343 does caution that the other dates and details are still tentative:
Week of 1/21
Spartan Ops Episode 6: Five new missions and an accompanying new CG cinematic.
“Forge Test” playlist (name not final): A rotational hopper featuring small Forge maps such as Relay. Help us test these maps by providing feedback and reporting bugs that will assist us in getting them ready for Matchmaking!
Specializations: Pioneer and Pathfinder Specializations unlocked for all players.
Week of 1/28
Spartan Ops Episode 7: Five new missions and an accompanying new CG cinematic.
Grifball playlist: A rotational hopper featuring everybody’s favorite virtual sport. Catch the disease!
Specializations: Engineer and Stalker Specializations unlocked for all players.
Week of 2/4
Spartan Ops Episode 8: Five new missions and an accompanying new CG cinematic.
Team Doubles playlist: A rotational hopper for those of you that like action of the 2 vs 2 variety.
Specializations: Rogue and Tracker Specializations unlocked for all players.
Additionally, 343 promises that late February will see the arrival of a new Halo 4 title update and the Majestic Map Pack for War Games. Containing the maps “Landfall,” “Monolith” and “Skyline” (343 says two are “small” and one is “medium-sized”) Majestic is the second Halo 4 map pack among the three announced last October (“Crimson” released last December while “Castle” is scheduled for April), and while it will retail on the Xbox Marketplace for 800 Microsoft Points ($10), it’s also the penultimate pack covered under the $25 War Games Pass.
This is just the “early 2013″ agenda for 343 as they transition from developing to supporting Halo 4. And it’s a role they seem eager to embrace. Halo 5 is already in the birthing stages of development, sure, but we’re not anticipating its release — or even many details — within the year, and the tone projected in the Halo Bulletin has us confident that Halo 4 has a busy, content- and update-filled life ahead of it.
Follow Brian on Twitter @Brian_Sipple.
Source: Halo Waypoint — Halo Bulletin