Let’s be honest: no one needs any more convincing that Halo 4‘s multiplayer will be living up to the standard set in the past. So for those who are already on board, there’s no better way to pass the weeks to release than to brush up on the finer points. Ragnarok may not be entirely new, as an updated re-imagining of Halo 3‘s Valhalla, but the video walkthrough is still incredibly promising.

C’mon. There’s Mechs. When we saw the first image of the Mantis Mech, we knew we wanted one. When we saw it unleashing destruction in gameplay footage, we knew we wanted one now. Suffice to say, this video isn’t changing anything.

It was a bit of a surprise to see an updated version of Valhalla revealed as one of Halo 4‘s multiplayer maps, since almost everything having to do with Halo multiplayer has been brand spankin’ new, with 343 eager to prove that they are more than capable of carrying the franchise from here on out.

The first Ragnarok screenshots showed that player recollections of the wide open arena would be exceeded, given the stunning visual refinements to everything from the rocks to the…grass-covered rocks. Also, waterfalls. The video walkthrough from IGN doesn’t disappoint, with the amount of texture and attention to detail making the setting almost unrecognizable, yet eerily familiar.

Halo 4 Ragnarok Walkthrough Video

As Lead Multiplayer Level Designer Kynan Pearson points out, the turrets, downed Pelican Dropship, and topography are all lifted straight from its predecessor, so newcomers will have a bit more of a challenge than the more seasoned players. The majority of fresh air being breathed into the multiplayer location will need to be coming from the vehicles. From what we’ve now seen, they look up to the task.

If one thing is immediately clear, it’s just how integral vehicles will be for larger maps. Ragnarok’s long sight lines will no doubt continue to provide snipers with a few particularly humiliating kills, but the Mantis is just as deadly given its heightened perspective, and capable of stomping enemies who get too close.

It isn’t just the Mech that will be new either, as the Mongoose and Warthog have been granted a bit more weight and durability. In the case of the Mongoos, the ATV looks to be much more substantial and imposing, but both have been tweaked by 343 to decrease the number of times that the presumably heavy-duty equipment will be sent helplessly flipping end over end.

Halo 4 Ragnarok Mantis Walkthrough

The developers went into detail on the multiplayer vehicle and strategy changes previously, confirming that the Banshee’s health has been lowered, and the Scorpion tank has been accelerated to coincide with the faster gameplay now seen in Halo 4 multiplayer. The Mantis Mech will no doubt be the vehicle that many fans will first be sprinting toward, but given everything we’ve heard from the development team, no machine, Armor Ability or weapon will be unbalanced.

Our advice? Start planning strategies to embarrass Mantis operators immediately; there are going to be plenty of them.

In case you missed them, be sure to check out the video walkthroughs previously released:

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

Follow me on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Source: IGN