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Halo 4

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Halo 4


343 Industries


Microsoft Studios

US date released

November 6, 2012 [1][2][3]


First-person shooter; Science-fiction, Drama

Game modes

Campaign with Co-op,[2][3] Multiplayer,[4] Spartan Ops, Forge[5]

ESRB rating

Mature (M) for Blood and Violence


Xbox 360


Neil Davidge




Xbox Marketplace - Halo 4

“Wake up, John.”
— Official tagline

Halo 4 is the eighth installment of the best-selling Halo franchise. The game was developed by 343 Industries, a Microsoft owned internal development studio established for the purpose of creating new properties for the Halo series. Halo 4 is the first of three games in the Reclaimer trilogy, and is a direct sequel to Halo 3.

The game is set exactly four years, seven months and ten days after the events of Halo 3 in 2557, and follows John-117 as he explores the uncharted shield world called Requiem. Here, he discovers new enemies, a newly formed splinter Covenant  group, and more of the Forerunners tainted history.

On September 26, 2012, Halo 4 had "gone gold",[6] meaning all development of the game had been completed and mass manufacturing had begun.[7] Halo 4 was released on November 6th 2012[1][2][3] in all countries except Japan where it was released on November 8, 2012.[8]


E3 Expo 2011

Main article: Awakening

Halo 4 was first revealed on Microsoft's homepage hours before the start of their E3 press conference,[9] along side Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary due to a mistake by the editing department. The game was then officially announced at the end of Microsoft's E3 2011 press conference[10][11] with a short teaser trailer entitled "Awakening".

E3 Expo 2012

Details on Halo 4 were further expanded on in the 2012 E3 Expo where Microsoft's E3 press conference revealed more about Halo 4's game-play. It was here where the new enemies were revealed to be Promethean AIs, and the return of the Covenant was officially confirmed. Several minutes of game-play and multiple preview clips of the campaign were shown before the trailer ended with a cryptic message from an "unknown evil".



Information on Halo 4's campaign was purposefully kept to a minimum in order to maintaining high anticipation for the game. In the August 22nd Halo bulletin on Halo Waypoint, it was confirmed that the game would feature about eight campaign missions. All known missions, including their chronological order and names, have now been announced by 343 Industries.

All Missions in the Campaign


Four years after the events of Halo 3, a mysterious energy passes through the back section of the UNSC Forward Unto Dawn. Cortana activates the Master Chief's cryopod as an unknown assailant boards the ship. After progressing through part of the ship the assailant turns out to be the Covenant, to which Cortana expresses concern as she believed that humanity had a cease fire with the Sangheili. As the Master Chief fights his way through the Covenant boarders, it is revealed that it isn't one rogue covenant ship on a salvage operation, but an entire fleet orbiting a Forerunner world. Cortana notices the nearest cruiser has it's shields down and suggests firing a tactical nuke at it. Immediately after the cruiser is destroyed, a passage into the planet opens and activates a gravity well that begins to pull every ship in. The already weakened Forward Unto Dawn starts to disintegrate as it passes into the planet. While making their way to the escape pods, Cortana starts acting erratically. However upon reaching the pods, a Covenant cruiser collides with the Dawn, tearing through the escape pods. The hull breach sucks the Spartan outside just as the wreckage passes through.

The Master Chief awakens to find himself inside the planet. Cortana reveals her behavioral problem is due to her going into the first stages of Rampancy. The Master Chief suggests trying to find a ship back to Earth to see if Dr. Halsey, Cortana's creator, can fix her condition. Eventually they fight their way through Covenant forces to a localized Cartographer. Cortana says that the only intel she can get is that their location is a shield world called Requiem. She also receives a signal from an unknown source that is definitely "not Covenant" in origin, and suggests looking for the signal. They find that the mysterious signal is being bounced off of a tower near the planet's core, Cortana opens a portal as close as possible to the core just as a large number of a new type of foe appears.

After being teleported closer to the signal it is revealed the signal is from the UNSC Infinity asking for help. A satellite near the center of the planet is blocking the signal, where two jamming towers are boosting the signal blocking device's power. Cortana suggests taking these jamming towers down to receive the whole signal. After defeating several groups of the unknown enemy, the only intelligence Cortana is able to get on them is the word "Promethean", and that they appear to be more advanced combat AIs than Sentinels. After taking down the first tower it is revealed the Covenant is very interested in finding something inside the core. After the second tower is downed the full signal of the Infinity is received. After discovering the ship is going to enter the planet, Cortana attempts to warn them away but is still unable to get through. Fighting their way to the center of the Satellite the pair discover a spherical object - the source of the signal. After attempting to stop the signal the sphere comes close to the Chief's location where part of the sphere comes out of the bottom. A sole figure is seen on a pedestal. The unknown figure reveals himself to be The Didact, and handily defeats the Master Chief before declaring that his people, The Forerunners themselves, are returning to the Galaxy after thousands of years, and he remarks on how Humanity must still be weak, as the Covenant do not answer to Humanity and therefore are still unworthy of the Mantle.

John manages to escape the Didact and makes his way to the Infinity, which had entered the planet. The Didact also heads for the Infinity. After fighting off many Prometheans and Covenant, who have joined forces, he finds Commander Thomas Lasky, Spartan Commander Palmer and scattered groups of Marines. Chief clears an LZ for a Pelican to pick them up, and is transported to the Infinity, where he fights off waves of Covenant. Then, he is introduced to Captain Andrew Del Rio and Commander Palmer. Palmer, Lasky, and the Chief are sent on a mission to allow the Infinity to escape Requiem, and are given a Mammoth. After destroying many Covenant vehicles, including a Lich, the mission brings John inside what is assumed to be a trap. It turns out not to be when John and Cortana are separately taken by the Librarian, who explains that the Prometheans were once Humans, and how the Didact is looking to escape Requiem and find the Composer, which he plans to turn on humanity. She helps to accelerate Chief's 'evolution' so that he can survive the Composer. Once John and Cortana are reunited, they proceed outside of the Forerunner structures, where they attempt (and fail) to destroy the Didact. They are returned to the Infinity, where Del Rio gives the command to leave Requiem; stating that they should return to Earth and inform FLEETCOM about what had occurred. Cortana and John attempt to convince him otherwise, but the Captain orders that Cortana be decommissioned due to rampancy. Upon Chief's refusal to hand her over, he orders both Palmer and Lasky to arrest him, but neither of them move. With Lasky's assistance, John escapes the Infinity before it leaves and attempts to destroy the Didact once and for all. However, he is unsuccessful, and hides inside a Lich to follow the Didact into slipspace.

He, along with The Didact and a Covenant fleet, arrive at Halo Installation 03, where the Covenant under the Didact's control immediately attack the UNSC science facility orbiting the Halo, that housed the Composer. After fighting his way inside, John argues with some professors there and grabs a HAVOK bomb to attempt to destroy the Composer. Unfortunately, he is too late, and the Composer is fired and kills all on the base aside from him. He takes a Broadsword to follow the Didact to Earth, where he is assisted by the Infinity, which is now controlled by Commander Lasky, in getting inside. There, the Didact fires the Composer, and extermination of Humanity begins in New Phoenix. In order to bring down the Didact's shields, Cortana clones her rampant personalities to overload the system. John places her chip in a holopedestal, but it is destroyed, and she is brought into the Composer's system. She manages to weakly communicate with the Chief before assisting him in killing the Didact and destroying the Composer. She uses the last of her energy to form herself into a visible form and touches John for the first and last time. She dies right before the Composer collapses around them. John is found amongst the space debris by a Pelican. Talking with the Chief, Commander Lasky echoes a statement Cortana once made to John regarding the humanity of soldiers. John is seen on Infinity's Spartan deck, being stripped of his armor.


Halo 4's multiplayer capabilities were explored extensively in the gradual build up to its release on November 6th. Unlike Halo: Reach, multiplayer maps featured in Halo 4 are not based upon campaign levels, but instead will be designed from the ground-up, like other previous games, with competitive gameplay in mind. Gameplay will now feature customizable load-out and the return of armor abilities[12]

War Games

Main article: War Games

To link online multiplayer matchmaking to in-game fiction, it has been coined War Games by 343 Industries; with the War Games being held on vast simulated training grounds for SPARTAN-IVs as part of their preparation for Spartan Ops missions, which take place 6 months after the conclusion of the campaign.[12] These simulations will be hosted inside the UNSC Infinity and will allow individuals to take control of virtual SPARTAN-IV characters and battle in a realistic, but safe online environment.


Players are also be able to edit their SPARTAN-IV characters with a variety of different armors, and are able to swap genders at any time. In addition to this players also have access to Specializations, a set of eight unique armor enhancements which bring combat benefits to players who use them, such as increased vehicle handling or resistance to EMP blasts.[13]

A major addition to the customization of characters in Halo 4 is the new custom loadouts, allowing players to edit their loadout before games to a much greater degree than that in Halo: Reach. As a player progresses through the game, ranking up online, they will be able to unlock loadout slots allowing them to choose the weapons and abilities they start with on game start.

Customizable loadouts:

Ordnance Drops

Main article: Ordnance (Multiplayer)

To encourage dynamic movement of games and prevent players camping at weapon re-spawn points, Halo 4 will now accommodate random ordnance drops in matches. This feature is available as either "Infinity Ordnance", where weapons, grenades, or power-ups are dropped on to the map for all to use randomly throughout the game, or "Personal Ordnance", where a choice of personal power-ups can be earned by a player via performance during a game, and dropped onto the map.

Game Types

Main article: Halo 4 Multiplayer Game Types

Along with the announcement of War Games and its included features, several returning and new game types were announced. Game types confirmed by 343 Industries that will be featured in Halo 4's multiplayer have been listed:

Multiplayer Maps

Main article: :Category:Halo 4 Multiplayer Maps

Similarly to the Halo 4 game types, all of the maps that will be featured in Halo 4 have now been announced, including future map pack releases! 343 Industries has confirmed that Halo 4 will have ten core Multiplayer Maps[17] available to all upon release, and throughout the six months following the release, three confirmed map packs will steadily be released one by one available for download to help improve the Halo 4 online experience.[18]



Crimson Map Pack

Main article: Crimson Map Pack

Majestic Map Pack

Main article: Majestic Map Pack

Castle Map Pack

Main article: Castle Map Pack

Spartan Ops

Main article: Spartan Ops

With the announcement that Firefight will not be included in Halo 4's gameplay, 343 Industries announced that to replace the loss of this feature, a new episodic co-op series will be introduced called "Spartan Ops". Spartan Ops will feature weekly releases of missions on Halo Waypoint that will be free to download, and will follow the story of SPARTAN-IVs as they complete vital missions on Requiem, six months after the conclusion of the campaign.[12] Three Episodes have been announced, along with the first Season containing 50 Missions.


Main article: Forge

Forge will be returning in Halo 4 with vast improvements to that of Halo: Reach's forge mode. Included in these improvements will be dynamic lighting, to create more realistic forged environments, more forge items, magnetic linking of objects, to ease attachment of objects, and three forge maps, each with a different terrain and forge pallets.[19]

These three forge world maps will be available upon release:









Retail Editions

Content Standard Limited Edition Console Edition Halo 4 Controller Halo 4 Headset
Halo 4 Editions Halo 4 Standard Edition Small Halo 4 Limited Edition Small Halo 4 Console Edition Small Halo 4 Controller Small Halo 4 Headset Small
Game Disk Yes Yes Yes No No
Bonus Digital Content No Yes Yes Yes No
Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn (Special Edition) No Yes No No No
UNSC Infinity Briefing Packet No Yes No No No
War Games Map Pass No Yes No No No
Specializations (Early Access) No Yes No No No

Limited Edition

343 Industries announced that Halo 4 would be available for purchase as a Limited Edition on May 16th 2012, alongside the announcement that there would be no plans to launch a Legendary Edition, as was tradition with previous Halo installments. The Limited Edition was released on November 6th 2012, at a cost of $99.99 USD/CAD or £64.99 GBP.

Halo 4 Limited Edition contains:

  • Bonus digital content through Xbox LIVE:
    • Unique in-game Spartan IV armor skin.
    • Unique in-game weapon skin for the Assault Rifle.
    • An exclusive in-game emblem.
    • Xbox LIVE Avatar prop.
    • Xbox LIVE Avatar Spartan IV armor set.
  • The Limited Edition also contains the UNSC Infinity Briefing Packet:
    • A Spartan armor customization schematic.
    • An introduction to the massive ship UNSC Infinity.
    • Insight into the Spartan IVs.
  • War Games Map Pack Pass:
    • Access to nine maps - three future competitive multiplayer map packs, each including three locations.
    • Scanner helmet.
    • Strider helmets.
    • Falcon in-game emblem.
  • Early access to unique Specializations.
  • The Special Edition of Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn
  • Bonus in-fiction bonus content expanding the characters and stories of Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn and their connections to Halo 4.
  • Special Featurette: Bringing Gaming into Reality.
  • Making of Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn.

Console Edition

At the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con, it was announced that there would be an exclusive Halo 4 themed console bundle for the Xbox 360 Slim edition.[39] In this announcement, the accessories and prices were also revealed. The bundle will be available for pre-order and selected stores, and will also be available to buy on November 6th 2012, at the cost of $399.99 USD or £269.99 GBP.[39]

The bundle will contain:

  • Halo 4 standard edition.[39]
  • Wired headset[39]
  • Two Halo 4 themed controllers.[39]
  • One Halo 4 themed Xbox 360 Slim with 320GB hard drive.[39]
  • Xbox LIVE tokens for exclusive bonus content:[39]
    • FOTUS in-game armour.
    • FOTUS avatar armour.

The console and controllers will feature an exclusive blue glow to the Xbox button ring, and the controller centre button; these are usually green.

Halo 4 Controller

Along with the Limited Edition Halo 4 Console Bundle, a limited edition Halo 4 controller was announced. This product will be available by the 21st October 2012 and is priced at $59.99 USD.[39]

The controller will feature a different design to those of the Limited Edition Halo 4 Console Bundle, with a United Nations Space Command emblem on a dark grey translucent body.[39] The controller will include an Avatar T-shirt as exclusive downloadable content.

Halo 4 Tritton Warhead Headset

This Headset has been announced at the 2012 Comic-Con, with the price being $300. It can be pre-ordered at most game stores.

Pre-Order Bonuses

It has been confirmed that there will be numerous pre-order bonuses, however these bonuses will vary from store to store. The following table lists the items received from all participating retailers:

Bonus Content Amazon Best Buy EB Games GAME HMV Microsoft Store Mighty Ape Play Walmart
Assassin Emblem No No No No No No Yes[40] No No
Bonebreaker Emblem No No No No No No Yes[40] No No
Spartan Emblem Yes[41] No No No No No No No No
Bulletproof Emblem Yes[41] No No No No No No No No
Battle Rifle Arctic Skin No No Yes[42] Yes[43] No No No No No
Dead Eye Helmet Skin No Yes[44] No No No No No Yes[45] No
Locus Helmet Skin No No No No Yes[46] No Yes[40] No No
Forest Armor Skin No No Yes[42] No No No No No No
Pulse Armor Skin No No No No No Yes[47] Yes[40] No No
Raptor Armor Skin No Yes[44] No No No No No No No
Web Armor Skin Yes[41] No No No No No No No No
Circuit Armor Skin No No No Yes[43] No No No No Yes[48]
Haven Premium Theme No No Yes[42] No No No No No No
Ghost Prop or Halo 4 Wallpaper Pack No No Yes[42] No No No No No No
Purple SPARTAN-IV Avatar Armour No No No No Yes[46] No No No No

Note: pre-orders include the emblems, whilst pre-orders include only the Web Armor Skin.

Forward Unto Dawn

Main article: Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn

Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn is a live-action webseries that debuted on Machinima Prime from October 5, 2012 until the release of Halo 4 on November 6th, 2012.

Aside from marketing Halo 4, the goal of the webseries is to introduce the franchise to people unfamiliar with the games. 343 Industries franchise business management director, Matt McCloskey, said to Variety: "make Halo accessible for people who haven't played the games."


Halo 4 received generally positive reviews upon its release. On aggregate review GameRankings and Metacritic, the game holds scores of 87.42% and 87 out of 100 respectively.

Ryan McCaffrey of IGN gave a score of 9.8, calling Halo 4 "a bar-raising triumph for the entire first-person shooter genre." The lighting, movements, and animations were well-praised, as well as Neil Davidge's work as the composer for Halo 4, noting it as a "bold shift," but stating that the music is "complementary rather than additive." McCaffrey lauded the campaign for its pacing, as well as "deftly mixing on-foot combat, vehicle sequences, quiet story moments, and key Chief-and-Cortana interactions."

Forbes writer Erik Kain gave high praise to the story, writing that Halo 4 had the "most stunning cutscenes I’ve seen in a video game" contributing to a "beautiful, tragic love story" between Cortana and Master Chief. Mike Mahardy of Game Informer complimented the characterization improvements of Chief and Cortana, calling their evolved love story more "focused" and "relatable" to the player, in comparison to the "cloudy and impersonal" stories from the prior games of the franchise.




  • Halo 4 is the first Halo game by 343 Industries that is not a re-release.
  • After Halo 3 was finished, Bungie considered developing Halo 4, but they decided to develop Halo: Reach instead.
  • Halo 4 is the second Halo game to not include the Plasma Rifle, the other being ODST, which had the Brute Plasma Rifle. This game has the Storm Rifle to replace it.
  • This is the first Halo game to show the faces of Forerunners.
  • Halo 4 does not feature dual-wielding even though it does follow after Halo 3, which did include dual-wielding.
  • Halo 4 is the first Halo to give a storyline as to why the Red and Blue teams of Multiplayer are fighting each other.
  • Halo 4 is the first Halo game to not include Firefight, since its introduction with Halo 3: ODST.
  • Halo 4 was released on November 6, 2012, the same date as the U.S. presidential election.
  • Halo 4 is the second Halo game to include voices from Rooster Teeth Productions, the first being Halo 3.
  • Halo 4 was first leaked early from its initial reveal at E3 2011 an hour early by, along with Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, the Halo title that would later be released that year.
  • Like Halo: Reach, Halo 4 is rated M for Blood and Violence.
    • However, the German USK rated Halo 4 "16+" when Halo: Reach was rated "18+".
  • Halo 4 is the first game by 343 Industries to not have Sangheilli return for Matchmaking, War Games, or Forge.
  • In the Prolouge cutscene, the Sangheilli seem to wear Storm armor, and the Spartans wear armor similar John-117's current armor. This could had been a reason to show-off Halo 4's graphics.
  • Halo 4 is the first Halo game to have less than 10 missions.
  • Halo 4 is the third Halo game to not feature Marines at the first mission, with Halo 3: ODST being the first, and Halo: Reach being the second, because the player only encounters army troopers in Reach, not marines.


Main article: List of Achievements for Halo 4


  1. 1.0 1.1 IGNHalo 4 Release Date Confirmed
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 - Halo 4
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Halo Waypoint - Halo 4
  4. Xbox Magazine343 Industries: Halo 4 will "re-inject some new life" into Halo multiplayer
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Halo Waypoint - The Halo Bulletin: 5.2.12
  6. 6.0 6.1 Halo Waypoint - The Halo Bulletin: 10.3.12
  7. Videogamer - Halo 4 development is complete
  8. YouTube - Eurogamer Expo 2012: Halo 4 Developer Session with Frank O'Connor
  9. - Halo 4 confirmed
  10. YouTube - Halo 4 Teaser Trailer
  11. - Halo 4 voice control and the cloud
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Halo Waypoint - The Halo Bulletin: 3.07.12.
  13. IGN - Halo 4 Specializations Will Change Halo Multiplayer Forever
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Halo Waypoint - Halo Evolved: Game Types
  15. 15.0 15.1 Halo Waypoint - The Halo Bulletin: 9.5.12
  16. 16.00 16.01 16.02 16.03 16.04 16.05 16.06 16.07 16.08 16.09 16.10 16.11 16.12 16.13 16.14 16.15 16.16 16.17 16.18 16.19 16.20 16.21 16.22 16.23 16.24 16.25 16.26 16.27 16.28 16.29 16.30 16.31 16.32 16.33 16.34 16.35 16.36 Halo Waypoint - Halo 4 Intereactive Guide
  17. IGN - Abandon
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 Halo Waypoint - The Halo Bulletin: 10.25.12
  19. GameSpot - Exclusive Halo 4 Forge Mode Details
  20. 20.0 20.1 Halo 4 ViDoc
  21. [1]
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 Halo Waypoint - The Halo Bulletin: 08.22.12
  23. Halo Waypoint 343 Sparkcast 11
  24. GameTrailers: E3 2011: Halo Returns Interview
  25. Halo 4 Maps + Missions
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 GameInformer - The Arsenal Of Halo 4
  27. 27.0 27.1 Halo 4 teaser trailer
  28. 28.00 28.01 28.02 28.03 28.04 28.05 28.06 28.07 28.08 28.09 28.10 28.11 28.12 28.13 28.14 Halo 4 Official Site: ORDINANCE + ARMOR
  29. Halo Waypoint Forums: March 343 Sparkcast up (Jay S094: "They didn't say that the DMR was in the game." Total Sellout: "Yes we did.")
  30. - Assault Rifle in Halo 4
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 31.3 31.4 31.5 31.6 31.7 31.8 Halo Waypoint - The Halo Bulletin: 9.19.12
  32. YouTube Halo 4 Exile PAX 2012 - Beam Rifle, Banshee, Jetpack Gameplay & More! (Commentary)
  33. YouTube Halo 4 - Fuel Rod & Binary Rifle Leak
  34. 34.0 34.1 YouTube - Halo 4 News : Enemies Leaked, E3, & Elites Replaced in Mutliplayer! - FT. Chris
  35. Halo Wypoint - E3 2012: HALO 4 RENDERS
  36. YouTube - "Halo 4 Spartan Ops Gameplay" (Briefly Seen at 1:08)
  37. [2]
  38. 38.0 38.1!images/screenshots/ce74650a-bfc6-4126-a02d-d7db778eff25
  39. 39.0 39.1 39.2 39.3 39.4 39.5 39.6 39.7 39.8 Halo Waypoint - '
  40. 40.0 40.1 40.2 40.3 Mighty Ape - Bonus Content
  41. 41.0 41.1 41.2 Amazon - Bonus Content
  42. 42.0 42.1 42.2 42.3 EB Games - Bonus Content
  43. 43.0 43.1 GAME - Bonus Content
  44. 44.0 44.1 Best Buy - Bonus Content
  45. Play - Bonus Content
  46. 46.0 46.1 HMV - Bonus Content
  47. Microsoft Store - Bonus Content
  48. Walmart - Bonus Content
  49. YouTube: Halo 4 ViDoc: First Look

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