Master Chief may be the implicit star of the upcoming Halo 4, but any Halo fan knows that the bulk of development time must be focused on the multiplayer component of the game. With online multiplayer competition only getting bigger since the series first appeared,  it’s the responsibility of 343 Industries to keep things fresh. If the most recent leaked images of Halo 4‘s multiplayer loadouts are any indication, they’re not shying away from the competition.

Plenty of details on the Spartan Ops and UNSC Infinity have been revealed, and are all elements of an expanded online experience. While larger experience systems and game modes are all well and good, it’s been safe to assume that the heart of Halo 4’s multiplayer wouldn’t be straying too far from the established formula. After all, 343 can’t be in a hurry to reinvent the wheel. Continuing the tradition of new abilities and perks instituted with Halo: Reach, a batch of leaked screenshots show a much more nuanced loadout system.

The images may not be the best quality, but they are certainly the real deal. Have a look:

The images, uncovered by CinemaBlend, show a loadout and perk system strongly resembling that of Call of Duty, providing players to craft up to five unique inventory and ability sets. While most of the default weapons listed are familiar to the series, the pistol pictured bears a strong resemblance to the Gauss-equipped pistol Master Chief first used in the Halo 4 announcement trailer. Aside from the appearance of a handful of firearms, official footage of Halo 4 multiplayer will be needed to get a better feel for the new weaponry and locations.

From the loadout screens in particular, a few new details can be confirmed. Players can choose from a primary weapon, secondary weapon, grenade type, armor ability, tactical package and support package. The featured armor abilities sound like faithful adaptations of those introduced in Reach (Regeneration Field, Hologram), but the Autosentry could become a particularly deadly perk. In addition to those abilities expected, the presence of a ‘Promethean Visor’ seems to confirm that crafting completely unique science fiction is harder than it seems.

As for the tactical packages, seeing that the ‘Firepower’ option grants the ability to wield two primary weapons is all we need to hear to think 343 is onto something. With E3 fast approaching, it hopefully won’t be too long before the developers release some official information. Once they’re done laying out the mulitplayer loadouts, maybe they’ll explain those new enemy types, too.

Are these brief details a sign that 343 is cribbing the best parts of the persistent multiplayer experience that CoD helped popularize? Or by ‘updating’ the multiplayer, do the developers run the risk of losing what made Halo unique in the first place? Leave us your own thoughts in the comments.

Halo 4 will be released on the Xbox 360 November 6, 2012.

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Source: (via CinemaBlend)