Turns out the UNSC Infinity isn't just appearing in the Halo 4 campaign, as new multiplayer details touch on the ship's role in competitive play.
Every Halo player knows and probably loves Team Slayer. In Halo 4, developer 343i decided to give this popular mode a facelift, but how exactly do you fix something that -- as they say -- ain't broke? That's where the UNSC Infinity comes in.
In this new, additional mode, players will find new weapons, vehicles, loadouts, and Armor Abilities to play with. The ship's job is to provide you with the tools you need. Rather than spawning weapons at the start of a match, Infinity will drop power weapons at "carefully-tuned intervals," resupplying the map over time.
The distance at which you can see these weapons is tuned by map. The more lethal weapons (Rocket Launcher, Scattershot, and Sniper Rifle, for instance) are always on your screen. Mid-tier weapons and grenades are not.
After initial ordnance, the Infinity drops semi-randomized weapons within very specialized constraints, set up specifically by playlist and map settings. These drops occur every few minutes. When Infinity is ready to drop a weapon, it looks at all pre-determined, designer-scripted locations, and then selects one.
You will be able to customize Infinity ordnance in Forge.
Halo 4 also adds "personal ordnance" to the mix, which rewards individual players (not just their teams) for playing well. It's not just about straight kills, either; assists, style, team support, and objective gameplay are all major factors. "Style," more specifically, can refer to stylish takedowns like killing another player while they're hijacking a vehicle or ending someone's killing spree. As 343i explains it:
As you earn medals, you fill up your ordnance meter. When that meter is full, you earn a reward drop for yourself from the Infinity. The reward comes in the form of three randomized power weapons, grenades, or powerups (two of the former, one of the latter). You can then choose which one you want, and the Infinity will drop the ordnance (if you’re inside, it will teleport in). You won’t get the highest tier power weapons (e.g., rockets) in personal ordnance, but everything you do get is powerfully awesome. And awesomely powerful. And everything in between.
We are still fine-tuning the system but in its current iteration, each successive ordnance takes 30% more to get. On average, each player gets 1-2 ordnance per game. Solid playing may net you three; however, I’ve been unable to confirm. For obvious reasons.
All modes will include this new personal scoring system, but Infinity Slayer makes the most use of it.
Powerups are also being added to the mix, with three available options in Infinity Slayer. Overshield (green) is making a triumphant return alongside new additions Damage Boost (red) and Speed Boost (blue). Each effect only lasts a limited span of time, but they can be used in tandem with weapons and Armor Abilities to create some interesting combos.
For instance, the Energy Sword pairs well with the Overshield. Or, if you have a Magnum, selecting the Speed Boost is beneficial so you can quickly reach a power weapon. There are numerous on-the-fly choices and combinations to discover.
More Infinity Slayer goodness will be revealed soon, no doubt next week at San Diego Comic-Con. We'll be there, of course. In the meantime, dig some new footage in the E3 mash-up video below.
Halo 4 is currently due out on Xbox 360 this November 6. If you're still playing on a wimpy 4GB HDD, an upgrade will be required for multiplayer.