Halo 4‘s Spartan Ops mode — a weekly dose of 5 or so missions for players to experience solo or with up to 3 other friends — is taking a brief hiatus over the Holidays, but it will be back. As developer 343 Industries has likely been neglecting their significant others and families during the yearlong push to get Halo 4 out on time, they deserve some time off from generating weekly content.

That said, when Spartan Ops ramps back up on January 21st players will be treated to the final 5 episodes from Season 1. And, more importantly, we have a trailer for those next couple episodes that showcases what’s in store for gamers so make sure to check it out above.

The trailer boasts some new “enemies,” a few new environments, and more importantly a continuation of the ongoing Spartan Ops storyline. Though the narrative might not be as rich as the Forward Unto Dawn prequel series, or have the presence of Master Chief to bolster the proceedings, Spartan Ops’ story does provide enough of an incentive to want to see more.

It’s just unfortunate that we’ll be waiting more than a month to see what will become of Spartan Thorne, Dr. Halsey, and Jul M’Dama.

And for those gamers who can’t bare to wait until January 21st to get their Halo fill, Microsoft has announced the Halo 4: Infinity Challenge, which begins on December 17th. As the name suggests, the Infinity Challenge will require gamers complete objectives and achieve high rankings on player leaderboards in the Infinity multiplayer (War Games and Spartan Ops).

Halo 4 Spartan Ops 6-10 Release Date

Additionally, players will be presented with weekly challenges to complete, although the nature of said challenges is unclear, and whoever completes each in the shortest period of time will be rewarded.

Prizing ranges in scope from things like an UNSC-themed Ford truck (for ranking in the top of the Tier 1 section in War Games) or a cameo in a future Halo title (for ranking in the top of Tier 1 in Spartan Ops) to smaller prizes like DVD box sets and Halo-themed gaming headphones.

It’s a lot of prizes, with several different ways to win so make sure to check out the Infinity Challenge site for full details and to register.

Are you ready for the second half of Spartan Ops? Do you plan on participating in the Infinity Challenge?

Spartan Ops returns to Halo 4 on January 21, 2012.