KIRKLAND, Washington – With the Halo 4 launch slated for November 6, fans of Microsoft’s bestselling franchise will be in for a very robust experience across all media. 343 Industries has had three years to plot the direction of Halo over the next decade. Halo 4 will kick things off, but there’s a lot of new story coming from books, graphic novels, live action videos and DLC. 343 Inudstiries invited a few journalists to check out the game early. Kevin Franklin, lead designer on Halo 4 War Games, breaks down the amazing new Dominion multiplayer mode in this exclusive interview.
There will be four Dominion maps at launch. Can you break down the two you’re showing here?
Exile is one of my absolute favorites in Halo 4. It’s a very large map with a big circle that’s shaped like a donut that you can take all the vehicles around. It’s a big crashed starship in the middle of an alien planet and there are these defensive placements set up by the survivors and they form as the bases in Dominion. While you’re playing, the best thing is to go out for the Scorpion or the Banshee, which are all-new and back in a big way for Halo 4, and go after those bases.
What’s the key to the other map?
In Longbow, you have much more entrenched bases. One of the bases is on the high ground and it spawns the Banshee, and the other bases are on the low ground. Your team can go after the risky high ground base and try to get a big push out of there, or you go for the two low ground bases and try to push up to the high ground base. It makes every game in Dominion a lot different. I always see teams coming up with strategies or arguing over who gets to defend and who has to attack, or who gets to take the vehicles. But once it comes together and you see a team in full force attacking another base, it’s just amazing.
What impact will Promethean weapons and technology have on the multiplayer experience?
With Halo 4, once we had the Prometheans we knew for sure that we could come up with some awesome new weapons for the campaign, Spartan Ops and multiplayer. The biggest and most important impactful weapons you’re going to see are the Binary Rifle and the Incineration Cannon. These will spawn in the world, or you can call them in through Infinity, or they’ll get resupplied on ordinance to bases on some maps. Then you have Forerunner Vision, which is a Promethean vision. That’s an armor ability that you can use that will let you see where the enemies are on the map. This is being integrated into the Spartan armor as an armor ability, so it’s a really interesting fictional element. It also is an incredibly powerful armor ability in gameplay. We also have the Bolt Pistol, which is a new pistol you can bring in your loadup system, and the Forerunner Pulse Grenade, which is an all-new grenade type. If you throw the grenade, it will pop up and create a big sphere that drains enemy shields. The unique part about it is that all this Forerunner technology is coming in in all different places and all different ways. It will really change the way that you play Halo 4.