'Halo 4' Release Date: 'Darker' Than Previous Games, Will Series End Better Than 'Mass Effect?' [TRAILER]

on April 16 2012 7:30 PM

Halo 4 is expected to launch during the 2012 holiday season, and information on the coming first person shooter has begun to slip out. In the beginning of April new concept art leaked, and at the end of March fans caught a glimpse of what's to come when a high-resolution video surfaced.

For those anticipating the space-themed shooter's fourth installment, details on the campaign, story elements, weapons, enemies and more have been revealed. On April 13 the Halo Waypoint forum published a lengthy list of gameplay details, all of which have been confirmed.

Updates with official confirmations only, the forum reads at the top. This thread won't include leaks due to being pinned.

No official release date has been announced other than a holiday timestamp, but the blog says a new audio podcast about the game should be available this week. The campaign will pick up right where Halo 3 left off, and gameplay is said to be faster than in previous titles. The fourth addition to the Halo franchise will be a darker and more mature game than its predecessor.

The gaming experience will take a new turn with the integration of a group mechanic, according to the Waypoint post. The new enemy will work together and combine with others to become stronger and more powerful, adding a new aspect to gameplay.

Master Chief will be making his return in this installment, but with a new more agile presence. His armor will reflect this new persona, as the leaked concept art shows.

But gameplay tidbits aren't the only bits of information to be leaked for fans. Halo creators will be collaborating with Neil Davidge of Massive Attack for the action-shooter's soundtrack, Microsoft announced on April 12.

Launching worldwide exclusively on Xbox 360 this Christmas, 'Halo 4' is the next blockbuster installment of the iconic franchise that has shaped entertainment history and defined a generation of gamers, Microsoft said in its press release.

Although anticipation may be building for Halo, the game's predecessors are still as popular as ever. USA Today reported on April 2 that more than 20 billion Halo games have been played since 2004.

The Halo franchise is one that has been built and developed over the course of 10 years, with fans growing attached to the story lines and characters that have been shaped for a decade. The game is said to continue for two more releases, but some fans are already speculating about the series conclusion. Although Halo 4 isn't typically categorized as an RPG, some players have likened it to the popular Mass Effect franchise, and are wondering if the series' conclusion will prove to be fulfilling.

One fan posted in a Halo forum on the Waypoint website, asking if the last Halo game's ending will be better than that of Mass Effect 3. While one player argued that since Halo isn't an RPG it will be easier to create an ending, another gamer offered an alternate perspective.

The RPG genre has nothing to do with that, the post read. The whole point was to do the impossible and complete the hero's journey. But it was impossible to end 'Mass Effect 3' with a good ending, as 'Halo' can do too. A lot more dialogue for RPGs, but it's still possible.

To get a closer look at what the upcoming Halo experience will include, check out the trailer below.

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