E3 2012 is only a couple of weeks away, but evidently Microsoft and 343 Industries can’t wait even that long to get the word out about the suite of multiplayer modes packed into Halo 4.

Furthermore, details on the inevitable Halo 4 Limted Edition package have been made public — a bountiful crop of goodies awaits fans willing to throw down a hundred bones on Master Chief’s latest adventure. Finally, new Halo 4 screenshots have been released, featuring scenes from multiplayer matches and the game’s campaign.

Halo Infinity Multiplayer is the catchall name for Halo 4’s competitive and cooperative multiplayer modes. In fact, The UNSC Infinity, which factors into the Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn live-action mini-series, serves as the multiplayer hub.

War Games is Halo 4’s competitive multiplayer component, set on the Combat Deck of the Infinity. 343 Industries is promising “fresh, immersive new game modes ,” without (at this point) actually giving anything away about what those modes might be. Granted, we already know about Regicide and the “Warhouse” map, and about the custom loadouts that will be available across all Infinity Multiplayer modes, but the rest of the War Games details are on hold for now. Spartan Ops, though, is another story.

The first Spartan Ops details came to light at the beginning of April, almost immediately after the discovery that Microsoft had registered  “Spartan Ops” and “Halo Infinity” domains. Though co-op (for up to four players) is clearly the selling point, Spartan Ops supports solo play, as well. Essentially a full campaign that takes place in the aftermath of Halo 4 (better add it to the timeline), Spartan Ops continues the story of the UNSC Infinity, and focuses on Majestic Squad, a new Spartan team. An unidentified number of weekly installments will be made available through Xbox Live. The best part? These is no season pass required — players will need an Xbox Live Gold subscription, but otherwise, Spartan Ops is free, free, free to Halo 4 owners.

So, how will Microsoft monetize Halo 4 post-launch? Map packs, of course. A total of nine competitive multiplayer maps are set to be offered (three packs with three maps each), though the Halo 4 Limited Edition package includes access to all of them at no additional charge. That’s right, instead of a “Cat Helmet” or an imposingly large statue, Halo 4’s Limited Edition includes genuinely desirable in-game material. The Limited Edition set also includes day one access to six Specializations (customization options). In contrast, owners of the game’s standard version will have to wait for those Specializations to be parceled out over Xbox Live.

Halo 4 Limited Edition

As for the rest of the Halo 4 Limited Edition bonuses, players can look forward to a UNSC Infinity Briefing Packet containing a blueprint of the Infinity and an Armor Customization Schematic, in addition to what the press release describes as “insight into what it means to be one of humanity’s finest warriors: the Spartan-IVs,” whatever that means. Unique armor and weapons skins for your Halo 4 Spartan and your Xbox 360 avatar, plus a 90-minute cut of the Forward Unto Dawn web-series, round out the $99.99 set.

Had enough multiplayer? Time to pore over some new screenshots of Halo 4’s campaign.


Halo 4 Campaign Screenshot 3

Ranters, what do you think of the latest Halo 4 multiplayer details — are you pumped for Spartan Ops? Are you surprised that there isn’t a season pass? Will you pick up the Halo 4 Limited Edition? Let us know in the comments below.

Halo 4 releases November 6, 2012, exclusively for Xbox 360.

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