Bungie Studios legitimized the console shooter and the original Xbox with Halo: Combat Evolved, but they famously walked away from Microsoft and Halo in 2010 to work on new projects with Activision. 343 Industries took over the franchise and the first title from the new studio drops this fall. From the impressive trailer shown during Microsoft's E3 presentation and the promise of free content releasing each week after the game is out, it's clear 343 Industries wants Halo 4 to be such a spectacular hit that people will be asking, "Who needs Bungie?"
Read Steve Butts' full preview here. Halo 4 arrives on Election Day in the U.S., November 6th, 2012 for the Xbox 360.
Steve Butts: You have to love the ambition of 343 Industries. Not only is the studio set to release one of the year's biggest games, but it's also committed to releasing five new co-op levels for the game every week once it's out. That's right. Each and every week following the Halo 4 launch, 343 will deliver a fully produced story episode, complete with five playable co-op missions. Even more wondrous still, each episode will be completely free for Xbox Live Gold subscribers.
I just got back from playing this and a few other multiplayer modes for the upcoming game and, if the team can deliver this kind of content on that kind of schedule, Halo 4 should be one of the best gaming values of the year. All the multiplayer modes are structured within the context of wargames and training exercises run on the UNSC ship Infinity. The idea is that the soldiers on board need the practice and, as an added bonus, the co-op missions in the Spartan Ops mode also have the added bonus of letting players relive some key moments in the history of the Halo universe.