On Wednesday 26th I was lucky enough to be invited to a special Halo 4 community night in London. We were treated to play Halo 4’s War Games and Spartan Ops modes. The night started off with Frank O’Connor introducing a new multiplayer map. That’s right he introduced the map remake.
So lets talk about that first, shall we?
The map is called Ragnarok and it’s a remake of the very popular map from Halo 3, Valhalla. In essence the map is very much the same, it is a remake not a re-envision. The first thing you’ll notice when you spawn is the colour pallet, the lighting and the immediate upgrade to the bases at either end. The bases have much more of a Forerunner feel to them and one of the first changes I noticed was the lack of ramps up the front of the structures. An upgrade to some of the Armour Abilities as you could utilize the Jet-Pack Ability to catapult yourself in. Something I like as 343 have really considered how much the Armour Abilities can change the flow and feel of a map. One thing I noticed with the map is that it feels slightly bigger, ranged weapons like the DMR and the Lightrifle feel much more useful. However, they weren’t the only ordnance at my disposal, Oh-no! Frankie also introduced us to one of the new vehicles, the “Mantis”.
The Mantis is a machine gun, rocket mounted walking death machine. Sounds cool? It is! Sounds overpowered? It isn’t. The Mantis is perfectly balanced, the speed is that of an unboosting ghost with a slow turn time. The power of the machine gun is good, it felt like was doing some real damage but the heat built up quite quickly and the cool down wasn’t anything to write home about. The thing that did give you a fighting chance though was the rockets, single fire with a moderate reload time, enough to finish off a Banshee and plenty to kill any Spartan trying to pull a fast one one you. While piloting the Mantis I was (annoyingly) hijacked. The other player came from behind so I couldn’t turn quick enough to destroy him, but from what I could tell the Mantis has an insane amount of HP. There is more chance of you dying as a player than the Mantis blowing up in your face.
While I was at the event I also got to try the newly revitalized infection mode, Flood. In previous Halo Infection games I found that I got quite bored after a while as the humans seem to have the upper hand but Flood mode will be anything but that. The players playing as the Flood are a lot easier to spot as previously they were just Spartans recoloured but now they look like Flood combat forms. The humans are equipped with shotguns and pistols and the Flood are equipped with re-skinned energy swords. Now the most impressive thing I found while playing was the view when you became infected. The screen becomes darker round the edges with black veins flowing into the middle of the screen and the sounds that your player model makes is astounding.
Before going to Halo 4 I knew what my load out wanted to be, partly anyway. So if you’re playing Halo 4 at an event in the near future then here is a good load out that you can tweak depending on how you want to play.
Primary Weapon: DMR
Secondary Weapon: Boltshot
Armour Ability: Thruster
Tactical Package: Mobility
Support package: Dexterity
It was insanely fun playing Halo 4, you come across some really amazing moments, a thing that I think Halo Reach missed out on. 343 have put in a lot of hard work into this game, and it really does show.