The wait is killing us. But where most Halo fans are collecting themselves for a brand new chapter in Master Chief’s life, it’s becoming more and more obvious that the Halo 4 experience will extend far beyond the first week(s) of release. Not just considering the episodic Spartan Ops or multiplayer progression, but for the bigger and better potential of Halo 4‘s new Forge.
343 Industries and Certain Affinity have previously revealed the Ravine setting as one of three starting locations, and provided a comprehensive walkthrough of Impact. Now the third location, Erosion, is revealed as the style and features of each is detailed, trading stars and space for cavernous wastes and meadows. Fair warning to the claustrophobic.
The last walkthrough trailer proved just how clean and streamlined the Forge experience had become, giving a far less intimidating impression to newcomers. The trend continues with the newest trailer (courtesy of Gamespot) as Lead Level Designer Kynan Pearson and CA’s Lori Zawada show that not everything about Halo is going to be spit-polished or space faring. Thought has even been devoted to making Erosion more effective as a starting point, possessing the standalone, metallic room previously seen in the Grifball demo for those not ready to take on complex volumes.
Outside the room things get far more promising, featuring undulating terrain and a watery expanse just begging to be crossed. The watery cavern is sure to be one of the most unique and treacherous aspects exploited by Forge artists, but the darker setting offers a nice change of style as well.
The new Flood Mode is shown at work in the trailer, and for good reason: there’s just something about shadowy caves and antiseptic metal rooms that goes hand in hand with zombie infection.
from there we get another look at Impact, with more emphasis on style and structure. Forge creation experts are bound to bring some interesting zero-gravity tweaks to the loosely-connected asteroids and boulders connecting the two main play spaces. We don’t want to demand Mantis mechs flying through zero-gee space, but without them, that gorgeous skybox would be going to waste.
The bottom section of Impact’s central base is also alluded to as a prime location for 1V1, which to be honest, we hadn’t even considered. It seems the creator’s imagination is the only restriction, as a Flood infection set on an asteroid wouldn’t be unwelcome either.
For those who prefer their combat carnage acted out in the light of day, there’s Ravine. Built as a straightforward combination of Forerunner structures against a seaside cliff, there is still potential packed into the titular crevasse separating the cliff face from the offshore section.
The chance to mix suspended walkways with rocky terrain means nostalgic portions of Ascension or Halo: Reach‘s Forge are a possibility. But throw some vehicles into the mix, and the sky is the limit (not actually, Impact is up there). With all three locations, it’s clear just how much effort has been put into not giving players great backdrops, but backdrops that are open-ended, above all.
Which of the three locations do you Forge enthusiasts think carries the most potential? We’d have to pick Erosion for the smaller scale, but we’d be open to even better ideas. Include some Mantis mechs and we’ll probably be interested.
In case you’re still a bit intimidated, and less than convinced of 343’s claims that players can”create beautiful maps by accident,” watch as Kynan Pearson builds a brand new map from scratch. You might want to make a few notes along the way:
In case you missed them, be sure to check out the series of video walkthroughs previously released:
- Ragnarok Multiplayer Map Walkthrough
- Abandon Multiplayer Map Walkthrough
- Meltdown Multiplayer Map Walkthrough
- Adrift Multiplayer Map Walkthrough
- Flood Mode Multiplayer Walkthrough
- Forge Mode Walkthrough
Halo 4 will be released on November 6, 2012, exclusively for the Xbox 360.
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