New developer new Halo, but what about the multi player? will they keep the tried and tested Bungie formula or will 343 look to stamp their own vision into the series? In this review we will be concentrating on answering that very question.
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First thing that hits you immediately is that the option for multi player is now called Infinity (play the campaign to learn what Infinity is). The changes don’t stop there, gone is the menu structure we all know. Firefight has been revamped and reworked, now called Spartan Ops which sees you do bite size missions with up to 3 friends and take on the AI. War games is the option for all things multi player though and where we will be putting all our effort. Here is a list of the game modes available to you as of the today:
- Infinity Slayer – Your standard 4 on 4 game type.
- Big Team Infinity Slayer – 8 v 8 game type.
- Dominion – 6 v 6 game type that is new to Halo 4. Take 3 bases, earn points and build base defenses like turrets, having all bases stop the enemy from spawning and killing them all wins the game.
- Regicide – 6 FFA where the person with most kills becomes the King and has a marker on his head telling people where they are.
- Flood – A new take on the popular infected mode, one player starts as the flood and must infect the other players whilst they fight for survival.
- Capture The Flag – Self explanatory mode makes it return.
- Oddball – classic game of hold the oddball and rack the points up as everyone else tries to kill you.
- King Of The Hill – zones randomly appear over the map, get in the zone to score points, highest wins.
- Team Slayer Pro – default loadouts, no ordance drops and no HUD to help you, normal weapon spawns.
- SWAT – no shields, HUD and you get preset weapons and its all aimed around one shot kills.
Following the template used in Reach, players can level up and earn points in game using the medal system. Medals for killing, assisting or taking objectives are obtainable. This system is a welcome addition as it allows the new players to easily get into the game. You don’t have to have L337 skills for kills to level up. Its all a lot simpler and more accessible. I consider myself a average player and I’m able to go up through the ranks without too much stress. I’m lying of course my desire to be awesome causes so many headaches stress soon follows, but then that me and I’m weird like that. New players can rest in the knowledge that you get out of it what you put in.
New additions in the multi player add an overall new element to proceedings. For now we have instant re spawns at your disposal, upon death pressing X puts you straight back into the action. Its a great feature on the surface but for me it can make progression in the match hard. A guy you kill could easily re spawn up behind you and kill you instantly. I suppose in a way it adds more frantic stay alert atmosphere but that’s never really what Halo has been about. At least not the Halo games I played in the past. Matchmaking is a lot quicker, teaming up with mates is easy and gone are all the needless loading and waiting ages for votes on maps.
I have had a bash at all the game modes and they are a good selection, I didnt come across game modes I liked from Halo 3 though? things like snipers only, DMR only etc. It all just seems to be a straight up deathmatch affair. I have had loads of connection issues as people drop out or the host leaves. Yes it now has the ability for people to join a game in progress but when your sat there staring at a screen displaying “starting game…….” it all begins to wear thin. Balancing is still an issue but I put this down to no true skill method being mentioned so in my eyes not used. My other huge problems with it are all skill related and by that I mean my lack of skills. oh and not being able to kick people who betray you with vehicles really grinds my gears.
Overall they have done a good job and when its working its a lot fun and you will love the changes. I still cant shake the feeling that multi player as we know it now is still very much a work in progress? I don’t know why but it just feels like they will continue to add modes, tinker play lists. Don’t take that as a bad thing, its for the good but its just one of those feeling we all get from time to time.
In summary they have made the whole online part more accessible for newer player and crap players alike. With team killing nearly non existent now, players wont have to worry about accidental team kills and can just focus on learning the game and exploring the huge maps. So if your new to Halo or the Leet skills of players in Halo 3 put you off in the past, let it go and hit this up with fresh eyes and you may well land up falling in love with it.