Halo 4 cleaned up at E3 2012. Though they certainly weren’t the only ones, 343 Industries ran a clinic on previewing a game that releases later in the year (November 6) at gaming’s biggest show – providing us with hands-on looks at multiplayer and the episodic Spartan Ops Co-op mode, and teasing the campaign’s Forerunner-steeped stroyline. In turn, Halo 4 took home our awards for E3′s Best Shooter and Best Multiplayer.
But just how voluminous is the first installment in the Reclaimer Trilogy? A new Microsoft retailer survey that released online breaks down the numbers that you need to know – and it hints at what’s likely the biggest Halo game yet.
The Microsoft Expertzone portal caters to the company’s very own retail sales associates (employees of stores like GameStop, Best Buy, Walmart, etc.). This week the service decided it was time to start prepping the troops with the kind of acute marketing savvy needed for making that perfect customer pitch (“Halo 4 will be a blockbuster game this holiday that every gamer should play!” is repeated twice). The Little English Halo Blog snagged screens of the survey, and it turns out they run the gambit on the number of vehicles, weapons, maps, and Spartan Ops missions we can expect to see at launch.
When we previewed Spartan Ops back at E3 – the objective-based co-op missions release in weekly segments of five, ferrying players to parts of the planet Requim beyond the campaign – Frank O’Connor told us to expect months of free content, with a “season two” releasing later as DLC. The survey affirms that notion, advertising a 10-week season comprised of 50 missions that amount to 12 hours of content. No length is listed for Halo 4′s campaign, but it’s joyfully advertised that Spartan Ops is “like getting two campaigns in one game!”, so a similar 12-hour range is a safe bet.
Central to the Halo experience, vehicles are returning with two new additions to join many of our past favorites. 10 maps will be present at launch, and we’ll also be getting our hands on 10 brand new weapons. Many of the specifics remain unspecified, of course, save for the few maps we’ve already covered (Longbow, Wraparound, and Warhouse), but doubtless the new arsenal stems from the Forerunner-infused technology we saw wielded by Chief’s adversaries – the “Promethean” Crawlers, Knights, and Watchers, to name a few.
343 has publicly asserted themselves as the magnanimous stewards of Bungie’s original Halo trilogy – and we believe them. But we also know one of their main objectives: blowing the scale of those first three games out of the water. With a massive post-release support plan supplementing expansive offerings on all fronts, from campaign to Spartan Ops to War Games, there’s every reason to believe Halo 4 lives up to that billing, firming the franchise’s grip on Microsoft’s preeminent-shooter crown.
Ranters, what do think of the content Halo 4 is bringing to the table this Fall? In what sections of the game do you plan on investing the most time?
Halo 4 releases on November 6, 2012, exclusively for the Xbox 360.
Follow me on Twitter @Brian_Sipple.