The passing of the baton from Bungie to 343 Studios has seen a lot of news in the past year, with a lot of concern from industry authorities to fanboys and everything between, but if the live gameplay demo shown earlier today is any indication, all that concern is wholly without foundation.
Halo 4 looks, in short, incredible. The look of the title is still notably Halo, but with a glossy sheen we’ve never seen in the franchise; Halo has been clean, its been reliable, but its never been gorgeous. It is now.
The gameplay demo showed activity on what is presumably a Forerunner structure that was heavily overgrown. Familiar Covenant enemies returned with all of the malice of Halo:Reach, and none of the comedic undertones of its predecessors. Their appearance as a foe certainly leaves us with some questions as to why the alliance forged at the end of Halo 3 has been broken, or as to whether or not this could be a splinter group of covenant races at odds with Master Chief.
But the real star of the trailer was an as-yet-undetailed enemy type, presumably unaffiliated with either the UNSC and Covenant forces. The foe in question appeared to be cybernetic or wholly mechanical in nature, and featured a very techno-tribal art-style in keeping with the feeling of the world and tech around it. Could this perhaps be an ancient Forerunner defensive mechanism?
The weaponry of the mysterious villains was also of interest. It was of a similar design aesthetic to the characters that bore it, dark metals radiating warmly colored-energy, but the team at 343 did some very effective work at making its intent obvious; it may be alien in nature, but it’s a shotgun.
If the footage seen today is any indication, Halo 4 is definitely a reason to be excited about this holiday season. Look for it on shelves November 6th of this year.