VIDEO GAME FACTS: HALO 4
Halo 4 is a first-person shooter video game developed by 343 Industries and published by Microsoft Studios for the Xbox 360 video game console. The game was released in most territories worldwide on November 6, 2012. Halo 4's story begins four years after the ending of Halo 3; the player assumes the role of the Master Chief, a cybernetically-enhanced supersoldier. The story is mainly set on a Forerunner planet, where Master Chief encounters the collection of alien races known as the Covenant and ancient warriors of the Forerunner empire known as the Prometheans. Master Chief is accompanied by the artificial intelligence construct Cortana.
Halo 4 is a shooter game in which players predominantly experience gameplay from a first-person perspective; the game perspective switches to third-person when using certain weapons, abilities and vehicles. The player's head-up display (HUD) shows real-time information on the player character's armor system, such as shield status, information on current weapons and abilities, and waypoints for goals and objectives. The HUD also has a motion tracker that detects allies, enemies, and vehicles within a certain radius of the player.
The game sees the return of the alien Covenant as foes, and introduces a new type of enemy called the Prometheans, which are Forerunner constructs. There are three types of Prometheans: Knights serve as leaders of the group and are considered as the deadliest of the Promethean forces; Crawlers are a weaker class that often attack in packs; and Watchers offer support and have the ability to shield or revive Promethean allies.
Halo 4 features updated versions of many human and Covenant weaponry from previous Halo games, as well as introducing new weapons for the humans, Covenant and Prometheans. The game also features reusable equipment, called armor abilities, introduced in Halo: Reach. New armor abilities are autosentry; hardlight shield, which activates a protective barrier similar to a riot shield; Promethean vision, which diminishes environment detail and shows hidden players as silhouettes; regeneration field, which heals all players in close proximity and can emit a short range kinetic blast; and thruster pack, which allows the player to launch themself several feet in a horizontal direction. Returning abilities include active camouflage; jetpack; and hologram, which creates a facsimile of the player running towards a target point. Sprinting returns in Halo 4, however players can now use it independently of their armor ability. New gameplay mechanics introduced to the series include throwing and catching, which has been implemented into the multiplayer game types: Oddball and Grifball.
Halo 4 takes place in a futuristic science fiction setting in the year 2557, four years after the events of Halo 3. The game's backstory and franchise novels detail that hundreds of thousands of years before the modern era, humans were one of several interstellar civilizations. Following a war with the parasitic Flood, the humans and their allies came into conflict with the Forerunners, a powerful race that upheld a policy of benevolent shepherding of other races they called the Mantle of Responsibility. After years of conflict the Forerunners beat the humans and stripped them of their technology and empire. The Forerunners soon fought the Flood themselves; after exhausting every other strategic option available to them the Forerunners activated weapons of mass destruction known as the Halo Array, killing all unprotected sentient life in the galaxy to deprive the Flood of their food. Life that the Forerunners catalogued was then reseeded throughout the galaxy.
In the 26th century, space-faring humanity (organized under the United Nations Space Command, or UNSC) comes under attack from the Covenant, an alien collective of species that worships the Forerunners as gods, and believe that activating the Halos will bring about salvation, not destruction. The human supersoldier Master Chief John-117, along with his artificial intelligence companion Cortana, are instrumental in stopping the Halos from being activated, and the Flood from once again menacing the galaxy. At the end of Halo 3, Chief and Cortana are left stranded in unknown space aboard the remains of the frigate Forward Unto Dawn. Much of Halo 4's campaign and Spartan Ops' missions take place on or near the Forerunner planet Requiem. Part of the game also takes place on Ivanoff Research Station-a human base in orbit around the Halo ringworld Installation 03-and in Earth's orbit.(wk)