NYCC12: Hands-On With ‘Halo 4’

Knowing full well that no matter what, when review season was going to come around Halo 4 would be on my list, I couldn’t bring myself to wait in the horde of players hoping to get a brief hands on in San Diego at Comic Con. With so much going on, it wasn’t worth missing an entire day’s worth of events just for ten minutes of multiplayer. But with preview night of NYCC being less crowded, the proposition of waiting less than an hour to get hands on with Halo 4’s multiplayer seemed much more reasonable.

In our game, we had the opportunity to play Team Slayer on Ragnarok. As the name would suggest, this map is the successor to Valhalla from Halo 3. Not much has changed about the physical layout of the map though. The same basic structures still exist as they did before but with higher res textures. The only major change to the level was the position of weapons, taking into effect weapons new to the game. We also had the mech walker in our level which when used properly was a beast on the battlefield. Unfortunately, everyone was rushing for it at most times so we didn’t get to spend too long with it.

As far as control, the game still feels like Halo as you’d expect but there are some definite improvements to it. The fact that characters can now all sprint by pushing down the left control stick helps bring Halo 4 up to speed with other current top shooters. The only default control scheme that still feels odd is how looking down the scope of the gun is still done by pushing in the right analog controller while literally almost every other shooter has players using the left trigger now. The design choice seems odd but at the same time understandable that 343 Industries wouldn’t completely depart from the classic Halo layout.

One of the coolest aspects that came with the new load out design for multiplayer came with the choice of new special abilities. Depending on the role a player would choose they could tailor the ability to the weapons they brought with them. Going to play the sniper and need extra cover, grab the shield ability. Going for a full on assault, bring a drone with you. And with each player having a ton of load outs they can customize, it allows experienced players to set themselves up for almost any scenario.

Sadly our time with the game was all too short but it has everyone in line, whether they were playing Halo 4 for the first time or getting ready to go wait in line to play it for the twentieth time all wanting more. But now that I have gotten hands on with multiplayer, it is the single player intrigue that has confirmed that Halo 4 will be in my upcoming review calendar.

Stay tuned to The Flickcast for more on Halo 4 coming out November 6th for the XBox 360 from Microsoft and the team at 343 Industries.

 

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