Monday, August 13, 2012

Halo 4: The Next Journey

4 years after the events of Halo 3, we find ourselves back in the role of Master Chief, Spartan 117. He is awakened by Cortana from his long cryo sleep as the ship drifts near a planet. The planet Requiem was first seen during the Legendary Ending of Halo 3. A world inside a Dyson Sphere (a solid shell mega-structure encompassing a planet or a star), this planet seems relatively untouched by human or Covenant hands.

Cortana also reports intruders on the ship. Covenant from the fleet outside his ship have invaded the vessel. There is no word on why the truce was broken in the 4 years Chief has been gone. Why the Covenant have come to Requiem, or how they even found it, remains a mystery to be discovered in November.

New enemies abound on the surface. Prometheans are synthetic killers, all of them decked out in Forerunner weaponry. Some are bug-like, while others appear humanoid. All of them have goal though. To eliminate intruders. These enemies appear more like sentries or a security system than an actual race. Nevertheless, they are not to be treated lightly. They each have their own specific function that, when combined, make them formidable opponents.

Cortana will have much more of an active role in this story. She has grown in her personality, choosing anew look for herself in the years Chief has been asleep. Things are not as they seem, however. Nearing the end of her seven year life-span, she is slowly drifting into madness. "Rampancy" affects all Smart AI's as they get closer to being seven years of age. This is accelerated by taking on more and more information. Since Cortana has absorbed information from both Halo and the Gravemind, she has already received more information than any AI has before. This has only accelerated her rampancy, and will make her a very unpredictable force in the game.

Will the Prometheans be the one to stop the Chief? Or will his closest companion be his undoing? Time will tell, but time is something Cortana may not have.

While we don't know exactly why the Covenant have broken the truce with Earth, we do know they are extremely interested in Requiem. They won't let humanity discover what the planet hides until they get their hands on it first. Covenant landing parties land in multiple places on the planet, and while you may have to avoid or kill them, they are not the predators in this jungle. Prometheans eliminate Covenant as much as they will humans.
Later on, we see the new UNSC frigate, Infinity, crash land on the planet. Chief sets off to find them, encountering many different Promethean enemies along the way. He is introduced to some fairly unique weapons. Forerunner in design, they pack an extremely powerful punch. The scattershot shotgun, the light rifle, Promethean Repeater and Promethean Sniper make up some of the devastating arsenal. Each weapon disintegrates the enemy when they are killed with it.

All this slammed into one game? Yes please. But don't fret if it appears they are doing too much too soon.. Halo 4 is not the end, but merely the beginning of the Reclaimer Trilogy. Halo 5 and 6 will appear in the years to come, and we will get to see even more of the Universe we have come to love. Halo 4 releases Tuesday November 6th, 2012. Exclusively on Xbox 360

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