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, who is dying throughout the story.Halo 4 was officially announced on June 6, 2011, at the 2011 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). On September 26, 2012, it was announced that the game's development was complete.Halo 4 grossed US$220 million on its launch day and $300 million in its opening week, marking a new record for the franchise. More than one million people played Halo 4 on Xbox Live within the first 24 hours of release. As of December 6, 2012, the game has sold approximately four million copies. The game received generally positive reviews from professional critics on release.
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's story or campaign mode can be played alone or cooperatively with one other player in split screen, and up to three other players through Xbox Live. Unlike in Halo 3 cooperative campaign where each player takes the role of a different character, in Halo 4 all players assume the role of Master Chief. Players can enable skulls in the campaign menu which act as gameplay modifiers such as increasing enemy health, changing NPC behavior or removing elements of the player's HUD. The campaign also features terminals which provide the player with additional backstory via videos viewed in the Halo Waypoint application on the Xbox 360.In Halo 4's multiplayer component, titled Infinity multiplayer, players assume the role of a customised Spartan-IV super-soldier. Players can progress through ranks by earning experience points from completing matches and challenges. Gameplay items such as visual customizations, weapons, armor abilities, and various upgrades are unlocked and can be acquired by players when they gain ranks. Once players attain rank SR-50, they can enlist into a "Specialization", enabling them to unlock further cosmetic and gameplay enhancing customizations for their Spartan.War Games is a competitive multiplayer matchmaking mode. There are various playlists with different game types ranging from standard deathmatch to objective oriented modes such as capture the flag. War Games can be played with up to sixteen players on Xbox Live and has four-player split screen support, although some War Games playlists may restrict the number of players from a single console. In Halo 4, players have the ability to join certain multiplayer matchmaking sessions while they are in progress.Spartan Ops is a story-driven episodic game mode, that can be played solo or cooperatively on two player split screen and on Xbox Live with up to three other players. It serves as a replacement for the Firefight game mode that featured in Halo: Reach and Halo 3: ODST. Season one of Spartan Ops delivers a cinematic and five new objective-based missions each week over a period of ten weeks.Forge is a map-editing tool that was first featured in Halo 3; like War Games it has both split screen and Xbox Live support. Using the tool, players can edit default multiplayer maps by adding or modifying spawn points, weapons and items. Forge in Halo 4 contains a new "magnet" feature for connecting forge pieces together. Theater mode allows players to view films, create video clips, and capture screen shots from recent matches in War Games or custom games. Halo 4 also offers a file sharing system that allows players to upload and share video clips, screenshots, custom maps and game variants.
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