Halo 4

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Halo 4 Champions Bundle Trailer: DLC Coming August 20th

A new DLC for Halo 4 is being released on August 20th called the “Champions Bundle” that comes with three new packages.

One package is The Infinity Armor Pack containing three skins; the next is the Steel Skins pack which is a steam punk take on various weapons; the third is the Bullseye pack with two new maps and a new ball type game called Ricochet.

The two DLC maps will also feature the return of The Pit from Halo 3, and Vertigo, said to feature hazards and such.

Check out the trailer below.

The Halo 4 Champions Bundle will be available on 8/20/13 for 800 Microsoft Points. 

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Spike TV 2012 VGA Fallout: The Good & The Bad

2012 Spike TV VGA Fallout

By: Lawrence Napoli

 

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, what did Spike TV do now? 

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:4553:]]Last year, my underlings at Cosmic Book News and I discussed several failings regarding the 2011 VGA’s and the kind of improvements that were needed to make this televised event simply better. This year, we prefaced December 7th with a 3 part podcast that raised several concerns regarding the games that were represented, the categories themselves and which games we thought should be recognized as the best.

After watching last night’s show I was left befuddled, in the middle of the arid wasteland, alone with my thoughts, completely convinced that I was living in another world in the year 2012 where I played video games that no one else apparently played and experienced things that no one else did. 

Then I had my moment of clarity and realized that once again, the Spike TV VGA award show reaffirmed its static role in the videogame industry as a dedicated marketing tool and nothing more. As such, the following truths reveal themselves to be self evident and unwavering:

1) The show is barely an awards show and merely a lengthy, cross promotional commercial.

2) The show does not provide an adequate venue for the industry professionals that make games.

3) The show is more interested in looking ahead than appreciating the present.

4) The winners determined have less to do with quality and more to do with economic power plays that fabricate trends and enhance already popular ones.

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:4557:]]The Host

Samuel L. Jackson’s return as the host of Spike TV’s VGA award show is most welcome in light of past curiosities such as Zach Levi and Doogie Howser, er . . . Neil Patrick Harris.  The man conveys equal parts confidence and eccentricity and this show needs his type of energy.  I enjoyed his frequent cursing (would have loved to actually hear it).  I enjoyed the fun a 64 year old man clearly demonstrated in being the temporary focal point for an industry he may or may not have genuine interest in.  Either way, he’s an excellent actor and an exceptional host.  Kudos, Samuel L!  The audio clips of your most iconic dialogue in films set the tone for a very entertaining evening and those in attendance were truly privileged.

The Musical Performances

There was a lot to talk about in regards to the music of the 2012 VGA’s.  It all starts with the orchestra that was featured multiple times (as well as that hot, blonde 1st violinist in the leather dress) that played a musical homage to all of the game of the year nominees.  They even had the girl who sang the vocals for the Dishonored theme, which was a neat add-on.  Then there was DJ Wolfgang Gartner who kept the tech, pop, beats pumping throughout the show which was very acceptable, but by no means exceptional.  I enjoyed Gustavo Santaolalla’s live performance presenting another introductory trailer for The Last of Us which is set to be released May 7th 2013.  I also got into Linkin Park’s performance of Castle of Glass, the theme for Medal of Honor: Warfighter.  I honestly don’t care if Linkin Park isn’t what they used to be as a band, but their performance was solid.  Finally, Tenacious D gave the show a nice bookend with their signature 80s rock sound.  I’ve never been the biggest Jack Black fan in the world, but he’s a decent showman.

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:4563:]]The Celebrities

Right off the bat we are all greeted by 3 cast members of The Walking Dead TV show: Steven Yeunn (Glenn), Norman Reedus (Daryl) and Danai Gurira (Michonne) make the presentation for the Best Shooter Category.  I didn’t care for Zach Levi and his weird haircut making some color commentary (and promoting his nerd website) with Alison Haislip.  Zach needs to stay away from this show.  Jessica Alba presenting the world premier of Dark Souls 2 was funny due to every male in attendance achieving simultaneous erections, but odd because it had no connection to her little intro story concerning her “love” of Super Mario Bros.  Marlon Wayans shows up to shamelessly promote his dumber than Scary Movie, scary movie who simply presents (Rasta) Snoop Dogg who talks about how much he loves Tekken Tag Tournament and then introduces Assassin’s Creed 3’s Tyranny of King Washington expansion.  Before Tenacious D got to playing music, they presented the first ever Game of the Decade recipient which I completely disagreed with, but we’ll get into that later.  Yet another curious celebrity cameo was Zoe Saldana (Star Trek Into Darkness) presenting Game of the Year (which I also disagreed with) who claimed it took some extra effort for her to be at the awards, but wouldn’t miss it for the world.  Overall, the celebrities seemed out of place and for the awkwardness to end, they’d be better off staying home in the future.

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:4556:]]The Good

The best thing I saw all night was the world premier of The Phantom Pain by Moby Dick Studios, a Swedish company that no one has apparently ever heard of before.  It featured a haunting trailer of a man attempting to escape a hospital that was besieged by murderous soldiers as well as some supernatural force which had many speculating as to what this game could be.  The internet has recently provided a possible explanation via conspiratorial links to Hideo Kojima and Konami in order to shroud what this game may really be: Metal Gear Solid 5

Possible link #1) Later in the show, cameras cut to Kojima’s table, making note of the 25th anniversary of the Metal Gear franchise.  Link #2) Moby Dick’s CEO is listed as Joakim Mogren“Joakim” is an anagram for “Kojima.”  Link #3) “Mogren” contains the word “ogre” as in Kojima’s secret “Project Ogre” which Kojima himself refutes having anything to do with Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, further suggesting that Project Ogre is, in fact, Metal Gear Solid 5.  Link #4) The main character bears a striking resemblance to Solid/Old Snake or Naked Snake/Big Boss.  Link #5) Several on the internet suggest the man on fire shown in the hallway is Colonel Volgin from MGS3 and Psycho Mantis from MGS1 is seen briefly towards the end of the trailer.  Whatever the rumor and speculation concerning The Phantom Pain suggests, the trailer looked amazing, mysterious, suspenseful and everything gamers want to see in new projects.

Other show highlights involved the video skits that put Samuel L. Jackson’s likeness in various video game videos.  They were all quite funny featuring Sam’s affinity for the F-word, but my favorite was the digital composite of Sammy in The Walking Dead: The Game graphics.  I also enjoyed the overall flow and format of the show despite the fact they make precious few “award presentations.”  I also want to make note of the really cool commercial for the game Metro: Last Light which presented it in a very dramatic fashion, but almost zero game footage to prove it.

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:4558:]]The Bad

Here’s the short list:

1) Anything that continues to make South Park into a game, 2) Zach Levi’s hair, 3) the world premier of Castlevania Lords of Shadow 2 — Castlevania in the world of today? 4) Marlon Wayans, 5) too many Playstation All Stars commercials, 6) the “new” voice of Lara Croft making an appearance without much of an English accent despite her claiming to be very British, and 7) Ken Levine pushing the release of BioShock Infinite (which looks AMAZING!) further into 2013.

The Ugly

The results, ‘nuff said!  And now we roll up the sleeves:

Best Shooter: Borderlands 2?– I never agreed with this game being in this category in the first place.  If Borderlands 2 was subjected to Goldeneye’s award system, it would win the “Where’s the hit detection” award every time it is turned on.  Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed Borderlands 2 and it is worthy of winning Best Multiplayer, but come on!  Shooting needs more precision than that.

Character of the Year: Claptrap?– Ok so I guess this was a bit of a fan favorite and Claptrap is hysterical, but I bring this result up to make a further point regarding Borderlands 2 as a production.  What does it say about your game when none of your main characters get considered for this category and the annoying comic relief gets the victory representing all characters for the year of 2012?

Best Individual Sports Game: SSX?– Do we even need stupid categories like this?

Best PS3 and Xbox Games: Journey and Halo 4? – The biggest “no duh” moments of the evening and totally worth mentioning only in passing.

Best PC Game: XCOM: Enemy Unknown? – I’m pretty sure Guild Wars 2 is amazing and XCOM is just pretty fun.  I have no explanation for this.

Studio of the Year: TellTale Games?– No.

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:4559:]]Game of the Decade: Half-Life 2?Entertainment Weekly compiled a list of 10 games since 2002 which were deemed worthy of the title “Game of the Decade.”  Unfortunately we don’t exactly know what this means because it clearly doesn’t mean “the best.”  Such a title implies the best incorporation of all elements of a video game that creates a truly seminal work of art.  Wii Sports (2006) was on this list because it sold a hell of a lot of copies considering its simplicity both as individual software and with every Wii bundle that is currently collecting dust in your grandmother’s basement.  Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (2002) was considered because someone really fell in love with cell-shading Link (FYI, I didn’t).  World of Warcraft (2004) was considered because it is the biggest money making juggernaut (from a purely software perspective) of all time.  Shadow of the Colossus (2005) was on the list for its “alternative art” status.  BioShock (2007) was considered because of its twisted take on art design, its kick-ass gameplay and giving shooters more intelligence.  Batman: Arkham City (2011) was considered for being the best video game adaptation of all time.  Red Dead Redemption (2010) was here simply for being the best offering Rockstar could muster up.  Portal (2007) was here to fill out another “different type of game” slot.  Mass Effect 2 (2010) SHOULD have won because its combination of graphics, gameplay, narrative, characters and scale redefine what it means to be a videogame and is on the short-short list of best games ever. 

But, Half-Life 2 won because a lot of nerds out there sleep next to a blow up doll of Gordon Freeman.

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:4560:]]Game of the Year: The Walking Dead: The Game?– Thank you Robert Kirkman.; AMC and TellTale Games have relevance thanks to adapting your comic book. And make no mistake! 2012 is the year of TWD; good or bad, right or wrong and it is that shear fact alone that explains how this game took home the title of Game of the Year for 2012.  If you require an explanation, I refer you to my review of TWD’s final chapter and thoughts concerning the game overall right here.  Despite the insane ridicule suffered by Mass Effect 3, it is a superior game in EVERY respect.  Of course, I could say the exact same for Assassin’s Creed III and Dishonored (both of which I am enjoying very much right now).  The only Game of the Year contender I haven’t experienced is Journey, but simple games like that are lucky to have been made, let alone win for GOTY.  This was simply the wrong choice and I loved The Walking Dead: The Game.  But it is an extremely flawed game and to a large extent, doesn’t fully qualify as a game in the first place. 

So who were the losers of the 2012 VGA’s?

Assassin’s Creed III and Ubisoft got absolutely zero love from Spike TV this year. This is quite stunning considering the quality of the game and the dedication of the company, but I somehow feel this is backlash for producing annual titles for a series that I affectionately refer to as suffering “The Madden Effect.”  Madden comes out every year, they charge $60 bucks for it and how much of a “new game” are you really getting for your money? The Madden Effect has already taken a hold of Call of Duty. Apparently Assassin’s Creed needs to go into hibernation for a while to get back some respect.

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:4562:]]Who were the “winners” of the 2012 VGA’s?

The Walking Dead and TellTale Games are the obvious choices besides winning Game and Studio of the Year they also took home Best Adapted Game, Best Downloadable Game and Best Performance by a Human Female (Melissa Hutchinson as Clementine).  The real winner, however, is Robert Kirkman because his children’s children can easily afford to eat as well as he clearly does without concern for health risks because they are now (or will soon be) super rich thanks to The Walking Dead.  I’m happy for Kirkman because the success of the comic book is warranted.; however, I give one warning to heed in regards to selling his license out as shamelessly as the local hooker.  TWD: The Game is already showing a lesser polish to its product and the more hands that are stretched out, begging for a piece of TWD, the greater the chance for dilution pissing the brand away.  I realize Kirkman’s comic series is soon coming to a close, so I guess it’s cool to take whatever money he can grab now and run, but that doesn’t mean TWD will be truly dead.  If someone pays Kirkman more than enough money, you bet your ass he’d come up with more TWD stories.  The fans love TWD specifically because its tone is the polar opposite of the concept of “selling out.”  Please don’t break our hearts Robert.  It’s ok if you feel the need to kill off Carl.

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Call Of Duty Sales Gun Down Halo 4 and The Avengers

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Previously, Microsoft released a couple of press releases with mention of Halo 4 having the largest entertainment launch of 2012 with specific mention of the game outselling The Avengers movie.

Well, Microsoft can kiss that good-bye as the new Call of Duty: Black Ops II video game that went on sale Tuesday has become the “biggest entertainment launch of the year” with over $500 million in worldwide sales in the first 24 hours.

In addition, it was also revealed previously that gamers overwhelming preferred Call of Duty to Halo 4.

Probably should be noted that Halo 4 (XBox 360) is not available on the PS3, and that Activision doesn’t specifically mention The Avengers movie as well.

See below for more.

 

Press Release

 

CALL OF DUTY ®: BLACK OPS II DELIVERS MORE THAN $500 MILLION IN WORLDWIDE RETAIL SALES IN FIRST 24 HOURS
 

London, UK – 16th November, 2012 – Activision Publishing, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI), today announced that for the fourth consecutive year, the Call of Duty® franchise has delivered the biggest entertainment launch of the year.  The highly-anticipated Call of Duty®: Black Ops II has achieved an estimated sell-through of more than $500 million worldwide in the first 24 hours of its release, according to Chart-Track, retail customer sell-through information and internal company estimates. 

“With first day sales of over half a billion dollars worldwide, we believe Call of Duty is the biggest entertainment launch of the year for the fourth year in a row,” said Bobby Kotick, CEO, Activision Blizzard, Inc.  “Life-to-date sales for the Call of Duty franchise have exceeded worldwide theatrical box office receipts for “Harry Potter” and “Star Wars,” the two most successful movie franchises of all time.  Given the challenged macro-economic environment, we remain cautious about the balance of 2012 and 2013.”

On 13th November, 2012, millions of fans attended more than 16,000 midnight openings at retail stores worldwide.  Reflecting the wave of excitement that swept the globe, Call of Duty: Black Ops II drove social conversation in its first 24 hours as it was a top trending topic globally on Twitter in 23 cities worldwide.  Additionally, there have been more than 30 million YouTube video views of the game’s live-action ‘Surprise’ launch trailer since its release on 29th October, 2012.

“Call of Duty  has become more than a product people buy, it’s a brand people buy into.  And every November we do more than just the launch of a game, we kick off an annual, unofficial but worldwide phenomenon called the Call of Duty season,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing. “I want to thank our incredible team at Treyarch for making an amazing game, everyone at Activision for making this brand a force of nature and our retail partners for their unprecedented support of this franchise. But most importantly I want to thank our millions of fans for their continued support and loyalty and for making us better every day.”

Call of Duty: Black Ops II is available at retail locations worldwide on the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, and Windows PC.  The title is also expected to be released in the UK for the new Wii U™ game system from Nintendo on 30th November, 2012. 

The game is rated PEGI 18 

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Gamers Prefer Call of Duty Over Halo 4 Reveals Search Statistics and Data

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:4055:]]

Both Call of Duty: Black Ops II and Halo 4 were recently launched.

You have most likely seen it asked on the various social networks: Which do I buy? or Which is better?

Well, some apparent new data suggests that gamers may prefer Call of Duty to the new Halo 4 video game.

Seems some site put together statistics that came up with Halo 4 users being generally disappointed.

See below for more.

 

Press Release

 

Xbox Gamer Research Shows Gamers Hail Call of Duty and Berate Halo 4

A UK money saving site has compared the first 24 hours of site search data from when both Halo 4 and Call of Duty Black Ops 2 were released, and found that CoD2 has had 4 times the number of searches on-site compared to its opponent.

In addition to dominating the search volumes, a flash poll of 1,115 Xbox gamers from VoucherCodesPro.co.uk also found that 39% of Halo 4 players were ‘disappointed’ with the new game; compared to just 9% of Call of Duty Black Ops 2 players asked the same question.

When asked why they were disappointed with the new games; 48% of Halo 4 gamers said they felt it was not ‘challenging enough’, with 19% saying it did not live up to the pre-launch hype and 16% saying that it did not represent good value for money.

In contrast, the majority, 61%, of those who were ‘disappointed’ with the new Call of Duty game explained that they felt the game was ‘too similar’ to others in the franchise. A quarter, 23%, were disappointed with the graphics of the game.

Two fifths, 42%, of the Xbox owners taking part admitted that the Halo series was a big reason for purchasing their Xbox 360 in the first place. 26% of those taking part also owned a PS3.

Speaking about the results, George Charles, Marketing Manager from VoucherCodesPro.co.uk , said:

“We all know that the gaming community does not hold back when it comes to voicing opinions, but we were certainly surprised at the clear disappointment about the newly launched Halo 4 from gamers”.

He continued:

“Searches for the two games certainly dominated search volumes on our site on their respective launch days, but once again, the Call of Duty gaming franchise has come up trumps”.

Searches on VoucherCodesPro.co.uk related to saving money, vouchers and discounts for both Halo 4 and Call of Duty Black Ops 2.

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Halo 4 Sales Eclipse The Avengers Movie Says Microsoft (XBox 360)

[[wysiwyg_imageupload:4004:]]

This is the second press release sent out by Microsoft that mentions Halo 4 having the biggest opening for any “entertainment launch” with mention of The Avengers movie.

“…eclipsing the record for the biggest day-one opening in U.S. box office history, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” and the biggest movie of 2012, “The Avengers Assemble” – based on U.S. sales alone.”

Here’s the first.

 

 

Press Release

 

“Halo 4” Makes Entertainment History with More Than $220 Million in Global Sales in the First 24 Hours

The first chapter of a new blockbuster “Halo” saga eclipses the biggest movie launch in U.S. box office history; on track to reach over $300 million in global sales in the first week

LONDON – 13th November 2012 – In a year when Hollywood is rolling out its biggest blockbusters, one video game has eclipsed them all. “Halo 4” is on track to reach $300 million in global sales in the first week, making it the biggest “Halo” launch in history and the biggest entertainment launch of the year to date. In the first 24 hours of its release, “Halo 4” garnered more than $220 million worldwide, eclipsing the record for the biggest day-one opening in U.S. box office history, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2,” and the biggest movie of 2012, “The Avengers Assemble” – based on U.S. sales alone.

The launch of “Halo 4” propelled lifetime sales for the “Halo” franchise beyond $3.38 billion, cementing its status as one of the most popular entertainment franchises in the world. “Halo 4” also shattered the record for the largest number of players in the history of the “Halo” franchise, with over 4 million players in the first five days. Users spent a total of 31.4 million hours playing “Halo 4,” pushing the total number of gameplay hours across the “Halo” franchise well beyond the five billion mark. 

“We’re thrilled that ‘Halo 4’ has emerged as the biggest U.S. entertainment launch of the year,” said Phil Spencer, corporate vice president of Microsoft Studios. “Thanks to the millions of fans worldwide who helped make this another record-breaking launch for the ‘Halo’ franchise, ‘Halo 4’ is kicking off a strong holiday season and has become the must-have blockbuster experience of the year.”

Hailed as “breathtaking, heart-breaking and awe-inspiring,”1 “Halo 4” has garnered universal acclaim as one of the top-rated video games of 2012,2 and sparked a worldwide celebration when it released on 6th November. More than 10,000 retail stores in more than 40 countries worldwide, including Seattle, Paris, London, Berlin, Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai and Sydney, opened their doors at midnight to commemorate the highly anticipated return of the Master Chief. In London, a massive 50-foot illuminated glyph symbolising the new threat in “Halo 4” flew over the River Thames, marking one of the largest objects ever to be flown by helicopter as a lighting art performance. Additionally, for one day only, Microsoft transformed the European country of Liechtenstein into a replica of the “Halo” universe, signifying the first time a brand has taken over an entire country for an entertainment launch. Microsoft has released a launch video which explores the mystery of how “Halo 4” was brought to life for the European launch, accessible here.

Developed by Microsoft studio 343 Industries exclusively for the Xbox 360, “Halo 4” is the next blockbuster installment of the iconic franchise that has shaped entertainment history and defined a generation of gamers. “Halo 4” continues the story of the series’ iconic hero the Master Chief as he returns to confront his destiny and face an ancient evil that threatens the fate of the entire universe. The game takes the series in a bold new direction by delivering its most epic and explorative campaign yet, alongside an emotionally resonant story and a groundbreaking multiplayer offering unlike anything before it – setting the stage for an epic new sci-fi saga.

The Standard Edition of “Halo 4” is available for £49.99 RRP, and the Limited Edition, which includes an extended 90-minute version of the live-action digital series “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” and additional bonus content, is available for £69.99 RRP. Fans can also pick up the Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Halo 4” Console Bundle for £269.99 RRP. In addition, the “Halo 4” Original Soundtrack, which broke the record for the highest-charting video game soundtrack ever on the Billboard 200 chart the week of 29th October, is available for purchase for £9.99 (CD) / £7.99 (Digital) RRP. A special limited edition and individually numbered three-disc box set, which includes the original soundtrack, a remix album featuring remixes from 14 of the world’s most renowned electronica producers, a 70-minute DVD called “Composing a Universe” and additional exclusive content, is available for purchase for £49.99 ERP starting today athttp://www.halo4soundtrack.com.           

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Halo 4 Soundtrack Available Now (XBox 360)

Press Release

 

“Halo 4” Original Soundtrack and Special Edition Remix Album Coming 22 October

In addition to the original soundtrack from famed composer/producer Neil Davidge, renowned electronica musicians DJ Skee, Sander Van Doorn, Apocalyptica, Hundred Waters and more contribute to first ever “Halo” Remix Album as part of a Special Limited Edition Box Set

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LONDON – 22 August, 2012 – Microsoft and 343 Industries, in conjunction with new soundtrack partner 7Hz Productions, today announced the “Halo 4” Original Soundtrack (OST) produced by composer Neil Davidge of Massive Attack fame will be available online and in stores on 22 October. The “Halo 4” Original Soundtrack, featuring 15 tracks and over 75 minutes of unique music, marks the first time a new composer has taken the reins for the iconic series’ musical score since the launch of the original “Halo” game more than a decade ago.

The “Halo 4” individually numbered and limited Special Edition 2-Disc Box Set will consist of the “Halo 4” Remix Album, produced by Davidge in tandem with fourteen of the world’s most renowned electronica producers and artists, including DJ Skee, Sander Van Doorn, Gui Boratto and more. A first for the “Halo” franchise, the landmark remix project is a premier example of a video game drawing from the breadth and caliber of talent in the electronica music world, breaking new ground for the blockbuster franchise that has sold over 43 million game copies worldwide and generated nearly $3 billion in revenue.

“It was an honour to compose and produce the ‘Halo 4’ score,” said Davidge. “I am so proud of the way the OST has turned out and to have had the opportunity to evolve the great legacy of ‘Halo’ music. To be able to then collaborate with these talented DJ’s and musicians on various remixes was a real bonus as it is always fun and interesting to see how others interpret and reimagine what you have created.”
Pushing the musical envelope, Davidge and his production company enlisted popular electronica producers DJ Skee, Caspa, Sander Van Doorn & Julian Jordan, Gui Boratto, KOAN Sound, Matt Lange, Andrew Bayer, Norin & Rad, Alvin Risk, Bobby Tank, Maor Levi and Hundred Waters, in addition to rock maestros Apocalyptica and ex-Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha, to create a 14-track remix disk based on the Original Soundtrack (samples available on Halo Waypoint). When approached to work with Davidge, these artists not only took his work on the “Halo 4” score and shaped it into their own unique sound, but kept true to the roots and feel of the “Halo” franchise.

“I have been a fan of ‘Halo’ since day one, and when I heard Neil’s epic compositions for ‘Halo 4’ I was blown away,” said DJ Skee. “When we got the opportunity to remix and add our style, I wanted to create something just as epic that could stand alongside both the original composition and ‘Halo 4’ itself.”

A summary of the “Halo 4” soundtrack offerings is as follows:

“Halo 4” Original Soundtrack (available in physical CD and digital formats)

· Available for standalone purchase of £9.991 (CD) or £7.991 (digital), the “Halo 4” Original Soundtrack features 15 themes from award-winning producer Neil Davidge, co-writer and producer of the pioneering trip hop group Massive Attack. This marks the first time a new composer has taken the reins for the iconic series’ musical score since the launch of the original “Halo” game more than a decade ago. 
· Working in collaboration with 343 Industries, Davidge and his production team enlisted a 16-person hand-picked male tenor / bass choir plus ten females from the London Bulgarian Choir, a full 50 piece orchestra and a whole host of other performers to bring the music of “Halo 4” to life through a massive production effort on par with a major Hollywood blockbuster.
·  In addition, “Halo” fans who purchase a physical copy of the Original Soundtrack will receive a free download voucher for three exclusive remix tracks and three additional Davidge tracks not included on the soundtrack but featured in the “Halo 4” game. These game pieces will not be available on any other platform other than through the physical CD purchase.

“Halo 4” Original Soundtrack List and Titles (CD & Digital):

  1. Awakening
  2. Belly Of The Beast
  3. Requiem
  4. Legacy
  5. Faithless
  6. Nemesis
  7. Haven
  8. Ascendancy
  9. Solace
  10. To Galaxy
  11. Immaterial
  12. 117
  13. Arrival
  14. Revival
  15. Green And Blue

“Halo 4” Special Digital Original Soundtrack 

·The Special Digital Original Soundtrack features the full content of the Original Soundtrack, a digital booklet, as well as six bonus remix tracks composed by renowned producer Neil Davidge and remixed as follows: “To Galaxy (Sander Van Doorn & Julian Jordan Remix),”  “Awakening (Gui Boratto Remix),” “Revival (DJ Skee & THX Remix),” “Ascendancy (Caspa Remix),” “Requiem (Bobby Tank Remix) and “The Beauty of Cortana (Apocalyptica vs. Neil Davidge Remix).”

“Halo 4” Special Edition 2-Disc Box Set (available direct to consumer

· Available for preorder today for £49.991, the “Halo 4” Special Edition 2-Disc Box Set  includes:
o   “Halo 4” Original Soundtrack
o   “Halo 4” 14-track remix album
o   Exclusive “Making of ‘Halo 4’ Music” DVD containing over 70 minutes of unique behind the scenes footage, interviews and recording sessions from Abbey Road
o   Exclusive hardcover book on the “Making of ‘Halo 4’ Music” featuring production and composition notes from Neil Davidge plus exclusive behind-the-scenes photos and exclusive artwork images
o   Exclusive 12” Neil Davidge signed art print
o   Exclusive 180g heavy weight 12” Vinyl Full colour Picture Disk of Master Chief and Cortana in a uniquely designed Sleeve bag
o   Exclusive Avatar T-Shirt download (Male & Female)
o   The first 5000 orders will all be individually numbered in a limited series and personalised by Neil Davidge
o   Pre-order at: http://halowaypoint.com/halo4soundtrack

“Halo 4” Remix Album Track List and Titles:

1.       Awakening – Gui Boratto Remix
2.       Green And Blue – KOAN Sound Remix
3.       Requiem – Bobby Tank Remix
4.       Ascendancy – Caspa Remix
5.       To Galaxy – Sander Van Doorn & Julian Jordan Remix
6.       Haven – Hundred Waters Remix
7.       Revival – DJ Skee & THX Remix
8.       Ascendancy – Matt Lange Remix
9.       Nemesis – Alvin Risk Remix
10.   Solace – Maor Levi Remix
11.   Arrival – Norin & Rad Remix
12.   Green And Blue – Andrew Bayer Remix
13.   Foreshadow – James Iha Remix
14.   The Beauty Of Cortana – Apocalyptica vs. Neil Davidge Remix

All Soundtrack formats will be released by Microsoft’s new soundtrack partner, 7Hz Productions and affiliates: Friday October 19th, Australia & New Zealand (7Hz / Sony Music); Monday October 22nd UK & Eire, Europe & Japan (Essential), USA & Canada, South America (The End/RED).

Launching on 6 November, 2012 exclusively on Xbox 360, “Halo 4” is the next blockbuster installment of the iconic franchise that has shaped entertainment history and defined a generation of gamers. Developed by 343 Industries, “Halo 4” continues the story of the series’ iconic hero the Master Chief as he returns to confront his destiny and face an ancient evil that threatens the fate of the entire universe. “Halo 4” takes the series in a bold new direction by delivering its most epic and explorative campaign yet, alongside an emotionally resonant story and a groundbreaking multiplayer offering unlike anything before it – setting the stage for an epic new sci-fi saga.

Halo 4 is now available for pre-order in three distinct editions: the standard edition (£49.99 ERP), the Limited Collector’s Edition (£69.99 ERP) and the Xbox 360 Limited Edition Halo 4 console bundle (£269.99 ERP) – please visithttp://www.xbox.com/Halo-4 for more details.

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Halo 4 Spartan Ops: Episode Two Trailer Now Online (XBox 360)

Press Release

“Halo 4” Spartan Ops: Episode Two Trailer Debuts on Halo Waypoint

LONDON – 9th November, 2012 — Spartans, gear up for battle! 343 Industries today debuted the “Halo 4” Spartan Ops: Episode Two trailer.  Spartan Ops: Episode Two, including an all-new CG cinematic and five new gameplay missions, will be available for download on Xbox LIVE next Monday, Nov. 12 at 11am GMT.

The episode sees a mysterious artifact (recovered from Requiem) take control of vital systems on board the UNSC Infinity, forcing the Spartans of Crimson and Majestic back down to the planet to look for a way to free the ship.

A first for the “Halo” franchise, Spartan Ops is a story-driven, episodic co-op adventure that blends immersive storytelling, high-quality cinematics and action-packed gameplay to deliver an unprecedented serialised experience.

Through a weekly series of cinematic episodes, Spartan Ops tells the continuing story of the UNSC Infinity, following the events of “Halo 4.” These episodes center on the UNSC Infinity leaders and crew as well as a new team of Spartans — Fireteam Majestic – as they explore the corners of Requiem in objective-based missions and help uncover the secrets of the mysterious Forerunner world. A massive adventure that builds off the “Halo 4” story, access to Spartan Ops is included with “Halo 4” at no additional charge — effectively delivering two campaign experiences in one game.

The Standard Edition of “Halo 4” is available for £49.99 ERP, and the Limited Edition, which includes an extended 90-minute version of the live-action digital series “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” and additional bonus content, is available for £69.99 ERP. Fans can also pick up the Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Halo 4” Console Bundle for £269.99 ERP. In addition, the “Halo 4” Original Soundtrack, which broke the record for the highest-charting video game soundtrack ever on the Billboard 200 chart the week of Oct. 29, is available for purchase for £9.99 (CD) / £7.99 (Digital) ERP. A special limited edition and individually numbered three-disc box set, which includes the original soundtrack, a remix album featuring remixes from 14 of the world’s most renowned electronica producers, a 70-minute DVD called “Composing a Universe” and additional exclusive content, is available for purchase for £49.99 ERP at http://www.halo4soundtrack.com

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Target Offering Halo 4 Discounts and Gift Cards (Xbox 360)

Press Release

 

Halo 4 Hits Shelves Nov. 6; Earn Cash Back w/ Purchase at Target
 

Trade In Credit for Old Games and Consoles Also Offered

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Tuesday, Nov. 6, marks the day Halo 4 and the Master Chief return to battle ancient evil. In anticipation of the launch, Target has announced special offers for guests who purchase Halo 4 and the Limited Edition Halo 4 Xbox 360 Console (available in store and on  Target.com on Nov. 6).

Beginning Nov. 6, guests who purchase Halo 4 ($59.99) and any 12-pack of Mountain Dew or 11.5 oz. Doritos will receive a free $10 gift card.

Additionally, those who purchase the Limited Edition Halo 4 Xbox 360 Console bundle ($349.99) which includes a custom designed console, two custom designed Halo 4 Wireless Controllers, Halo 4 standard edition game, Xbox LIVE code for bonus downloadable content, wired headset and custom sounds will receive a free $20 gift card toward the bundle.

Target guests can purchase this must-have game and console in time for the holidays at an exceptional value when using Target’s 5 percent off REDCard Rewards Program or by trading in a used electronic or video game to receive credit towards their purchase.

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Halo 4 Launch Glyph Sees Largest and Brightest Man-Mad Structure Over London (XBox 360)

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Press Release

Xbox 360 Takes Over London’s Skies To Launch Epic Blockbuster “Halo 4”

Xbox 360 celebrates “Halo 4“ with one of the largest and brightest man-made structures to ever fly over London

 

On the eve of the one of the most highly anticipated blockbuster launches of 2012, Xbox 360 celebrated the release of “Halo 4” with a ground breaking aerial lighting performance visible for miles over London. The “Halo 4” Glyph symbol is one of the largest and brightest man-made structures to ever fly over a capital city and measures 50 feet in diameter and weighs over three tons.

Super fans and spectators were treated to an epic aeronautical show as the Glyph flew over the River Thames past some of the world’s most iconic landmarks. Dynamic effects wowed crowds as they enjoyed the spectacle of one of the largest lighting art performances ever flown under a helicopter.

“”Halo” launches are renowned for being entertainment game-changers and we are back with our most ambitious projects to date,” said Chris Lewis, Vice President, Interactive Entertainment Business, Microsoft EMEA. “Last week we created a replica of the “Halo” universe within the heart of Europe. This week we have one of the worlds’ largest and brightest performance art objects being flown over London.”

“The Glyph flyover makes the seemingly impossible world of science fiction a reality, a 50 foot symbol of the Didact hovering in the skies of a major capital city, seems a fitting way to herald the next chapter of this phenomenal blockbuster franchise.”

“Halo 4” is the start of a new saga in the “Halo” story which is set to cause a sensation when it hits stores today on Tuesday 6th November 2012. Acclaimed film director David Fincher, the creative visionary behind Hollywood thrillers such as “Fight Club” and “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, produced an action-packed launch trailer for the game and American talk show host Conan O’Brien and actor Andy Richter are voicing two of the game’s characters. The “Halo 4” Original Soundtrack was composed by award-winning producer and composer Neil Davidge, long-term co-writer and collaborator for music production outfit Massive Attack.

Key Glyph Facts

· The Glyph measures 50 feet in diameter and weighs 3.2 tons
· This is one of the largest and brightest man-made flying structures to ever be flown by helicopter.
· A team of over 50 designers, engineers and fabricators created the Glyph.
· It took approximately 8 weeks to design and construct: 2 weeks to design with the engineers, 4 weeks to build the aluminum structure and 2 weeks to apply the LED lighting.
· There are 455 LED light strips mounted onto 37 panels and a total of 113,096 LEDs of a pure orange color consuming 20 KW of power!
· The dynamic lighting effects are all powered and controlled from an onboard electrical and computer system, which was remote controlled from a boat following the Glyph.

The helicopter flew at a height of 600 feet with the Glyph suspended 350 feet above the River Thames.

Developed by 343 Industries exclusively for Xbox 360, “Halo 4” ushers in the return of its hero, Master Chief, in a newly envisioned sci-fi adventure. Set nearly five years after the events of “Halo 3,” “Halo 4” follows the Master Chief as he ventures into a mysterious new world and discovers an overpowering ancient evil that threatens to annihilate mankind.

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Halo 4 Poised To Surpass The Avengers: Biggest Launch of 2012 (XBox 360)

Press Release

The Biggest Entertainment Event of 2012 Is Here: “Halo 4” Launches Worldwide Today
 
The highly anticipated first chapter of a brand-new “Halo” saga is poised to surpass “The Avengers” as the biggest entertainment launch of 2012 to date.
 
 

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REDMOND, Wash. — Nov. 6, 2012 — The Master Chief is back. Poised to become the biggest entertainment launch of the year so far, “Halo 4” is the first chapter of a brand-new saga in the genre-defining, $3 billion franchise that has shaped entertainment history and sold a staggering 46 million games worldwide. Hailed by NBC News as “breathtaking, heart-breaking and awe-inspiring,”1 “Halo 4” has garnered universal acclaim as one of the top-rated video games of 2012, according to Metacritic.2 In a year jam-packed with record-breaking Hollywood movies and games, “Halo 4” is expected to break all previous day-one entertainment sales records in 2012, cementing its status as the must-have blockbuster of the year.
Excitement for the return of the Master Chief has swept the globe. In London, a massive illuminated glyph soared over the River Thames, a symbol of the new threat that has awakened in “Halo 4.” The glyph, which measures 50 feet in diameter and weighs 3.2 tons, was illuminated by 113,096 LED lights and represents one of the largest objects ever to be flown by helicopter as a lighting art performance. On Oct. 30, the European country of Liechtenstein was reimagined into a real-life replica of the “Halo” universe, marking the first time a brand has taken over an entire country for an entertainment launch. For one day only, Xbox 360 transformed some of the country’s most iconic landmarks, including a 13th-century castle and a working mine, to create a mysterious alternate universe in the heart of Europe — all inspired by “Halo.” 
Around the world, midnight madness swept more than 10,000 stores in more than 40 countries, as hundreds of thousands of fans lined up around city blocks to count down to the game’s release. At marquee launch events in Seattle, Paris, London, Berlin, Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai, Sydney and other major cities, throngs of fans, celebrities and athletes flocked to be among the first to play “Halo 4” and participate in other launch activities, such as meeting the creators of the game, viewing private screenings of the live-action digital series “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn,” and taking photos with the Master Chief.
“‘Halo 4’ marks a rebirth and a new beginning for one of the most beloved and iconic franchises in the modern history of entertainment,” said Phil Spencer, corporate vice president of Microsoft Studios. “Over the past decade, the ‘Halo’ franchise has become a bona fide pop culture phenomenon, and ‘Halo 4’ promises to take the franchise to a new level and set the stage for the next decade of ‘Halo.’”
With the launch of “Halo 4” coinciding with Election Day, Microsoft Corp. is amplifying its get-out-the-vote campaign, which kicked off earlier this year in collaboration with Rock the Vote, to encourage “Halo” and Xbox LIVE fans to exercise their civic duty before jumping into “Halo 4.” The campaign began with voter recruitment efforts at major consumer events as well as a voter registration program on Xbox LIVE and expanded to major launch events and more than 100 college campuses nationwide yesterday.
Developed by Microsoft Studios’ 343 Industries exclusively for the Xbox 360, “Halo 4” is set nearly five years after the events of “Halo 3” and follows the Master Chief and his faithful artificial intelligence (AI) companion Cortana as they venture into a mysterious new world and discover an overpowering ancient evil that threatens to annihilate mankind. “Halo 4” takes the series in a bold new direction by delivering its most epic and explorative campaign yet, alongside a groundbreaking multiplayer offering unlike anything before it, known as Spartan Ops. This story-driven, episodic, cooperative adventure blends immersive storytelling, stunning cinematics and action-packed gameplay to deliver an unprecedented serialized experience. Through a weekly series of cinematic episodes, Spartan Ops continues the story beyond the main campaign by introducing new characters, storylines and gameplay missions over a 10-week season, akin to a high-quality, interactive TV show.3
Coupled with breathtaking visuals, heart-pounding audio, emotionally cinematic performances and a sweeping musical score by acclaimed composer Neil Davidge of Massive Attack fame, “Halo 4” delivers a riveting experience that resonates as powerfully as an epic Hollywood blockbuster. Some of entertainment’s best and brightest have joined the effort to make the launch of “Halo 4” a landmark pop culture moment, including legendary Hollywood director David Fincher (“Fight Club,” “The Social Network,” “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”) and acclaimed visual effects lead Tim Miller (“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World”), who produced and directed the live-action launch trailer for the game, respectively.
The Standard Edition of “Halo 4” is available for US$59.99 ERP4, and the Limited Edition, which includes an extended 90-minute version of the live-action digital series “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” and additional bonus content, is available for US$99.99 ERP. Fans can also pick up the Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Halo 4” Console Bundle for US$399.99 ERP and a standalone Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Halo 4” Wireless Controller for US$59.99 ERP. In addition, the “Halo 4” Original Soundtrack, which broke the record for the highest-charting video game soundtrack ever on the Billboard 200 chart the week of Oct. 295, is available for purchase for US$13.98 ERP. A special limited edition and individually numbered three-disc box set, which includes the original soundtrack, a remix album featuring remixes from 14 of the world’s most renowned electronica producers, a 70-minute DVD called “Composing a Universe” and additional exclusive content, is available for purchase for US$74.99 ERP starting today at http://www.halo4soundtrack.com.
About “Halo”
The “Halo” franchise is an award-winning collection of properties that has grown into a global entertainment phenomenon. Beginning with the original “Halo: Combat Evolved” (2001), the critically acclaimed and record-shattering series of games has since inspired multiple New York Times bestselling novels, comic books, action figures, apparel and more. Published by Microsoft Studios, the “Halo” franchise of games is exclusive to the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system and the Xbox LIVE online entertainment network. To date, more than
46 million copies of “Halo” games have been sold worldwide, driving more than 5 billion hours of gameplay by people connected to Xbox LIVE.
About 343 Industries
343 Industries is the publisher and developer of the blockbuster “Halo” series of videogames and, as part of Microsoft Studios, oversees the “Halo” franchise, including novels, comics, licensed collectibles, apparel and more. 343 Industries is home to world-class developers working on the Reclaimer Saga, which commences with the arrival of “Halo 4” on Nov. 6, 2012, exclusively on Xbox 360.
About Xbox 360
Xbox 360 is a premier home entertainment and video game system. Thanks to the addition of Kinect, Xbox 360 will forever transform social gaming and entertainment with a whole new way to play — no controller required. Xbox 360 is also home to the best and broadest games as well as one of the world’s largest on-demand libraries of music, standard- and high-definition movies, TV shows and digital games, all in one place. The entertainment center of the living room, Xbox 360 blends unbeatable content with a leading social entertainment network of more than 40 million Xbox LIVE members to create a limitless entertainment experience that can be shared at home or across the globe. More information about Xbox 360 can be found online at http://www.xbox.com.
About Microsoft
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
 

1 Source: NBC News: “Halo 4” makes the Halo series even more epic
2 As of Nov. 1, 2012. Source: http://www.metacritic.com/game/xbox-360/halo-4/critic-reviews
3 Spartan Ops also requires Xbox LIVE Gold Membership and an Xbox 360 hard drive or an 8GB USB drive (sold separately).
4 Estimated retail price. Actual retail prices may vary.
5 Source: Billboard: Chart Moves: “Halo 4” Sets Record as Highest-Charting Video Game Soundtrack Ever

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Halo 4 Live-Action Launch Trailer By David Fincher and Tim Miller (XBox 360)

Check out the live-actor trailer, “Scanned,” for Halo 4 that was put together by Hollywood luminaries David Fincher and Tim Miller.

Both Fincher and Miller worked together on The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

See below for more.

Press Release

 

Famed Hollywood Visionaries David Fincher and Tim Miller Team Up with Microsoft to Create “Halo 4” Launch Trailer

Legendary director of award-winning films like “Fight Club” and “The Social Network” and acclaimed visual effects lead for “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” collaborate with 343 Industries to ignite anticipation for the year’s biggest entertainment launch

LONDON, 10th October 2012 – Today Microsoft and 343 Industries announced renowned Hollywood director David Fincher (“Fight Club,” “The Social Network,” “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”) as executive producer and acclaimed visual effects lead Tim Miller (“Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”) as the director of the launch trailer for the most anticipated blockbuster game of the year, “Halo 4.” In partnership with 343 Industries and agency twofifteenmccann, Fincher and Miller will help deliver an emotionally-charged look at the backstory of “Halo’s” iconic hero, the Master Chief.

The extended two-minute trailer will make its world premiere during the 18thOctober episode of “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” (airs weeknights on NBC at 11:35pm CT) before the launch of “Halo 4” on 6th November.  It will be available on Halo Waypoint and the Xbox YouTube channel immediately following the broadcast debut (around 6am BST).

Titled “Scanned,” the trailer is an action-packed cinematic production that offers a captivating look at the backstory of Master Chief, and provides a glimpse of the new threat he will encounter in “Halo 4.” Filmed in Prague, “Scanned” continues the franchise’s tradition of expanding the universe through award-winning live-action stories, adding to the lore and anticipation for the next chapter in the landmark franchise that has sold more than 43 million game copies worldwide and generated more than $3 billion in franchise sales.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to direct the ‘Halo 4’ launch trailer in creative partnership with 343 Industries and David Fincher,” said Miller, who also collaborated with Fincher to create the title sequence for the Academy award-winning 2011 film, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” “‘Halo is one of the most iconic sci-fi universes, with a depth that allows for amazingly cinematic and emotionally riveting stories.  The chance to tell a story that explores never-before-seen facets of Master Chief’s journey is an honor. Our goal is to deliver a blockbuster, Hollywood-quality trailer that raises the bar for the award-winning legacy of live-action ‘Halo’ storytelling and gets fans stoked for the return of Master Chief.”

Reinforcing the talent behind the powerhouse team, Fincher stated, “I enjoy collaborating with Tim Miller, who is at the visual and technical forefront of hybridised live-action/CGI – not only pushing the boundary but defining it.”

“As a studio, we’re incredibly excited to be working with one of Hollywood’s most acclaimed directors and one of its top visual effects leads to bring our creative vision for the launch trailer to life,” said 343 Industries’ franchise development director Frank O’Connor. “Their involvement is a testament to the significance of ‘Halo’ as a pop culture touchstone, and we think fans are going to be blown away when they see the final piece.”

Launching worldwide exclusively for Xbox 360 on 6 November 2012, “Halo 4” is the next blockbuster instalment of the iconic franchise that has shaped entertainment history and defined a generation of gamers. Developed by 343 Industries, “Halo 4” continues the story of the series’ iconic hero the Master Chief as he returns to confront his destiny and face an ancient evil that threatens the fate of the entire universe. “Halo 4” takes the series in a bold new direction by delivering its most epic and explorative campaign yet, alongside an emotionally resonant story and a ground-breaking multiplayer offering unlike anything before it – setting the stage for an epic new sci-fi saga.

The standard edition of “Halo 4” will be available for £49.99 (RRP), and the Limited Edition, which includes an extended 90-minute version of the live-action digital series “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” and additional bonus content, will be available for £69.99 (RRP). Fans can also pick up the Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Halo 4” Console Bundle for £269.99 (RRP) and a standalone Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Halo 4” Wireless Controller for £39.99 (RRP). Please visithttp://www.xbox.com/Halo-4 for more details.

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E3 2012: First Look At Halo 4 Gameplay Footage

Microsoft revealed the first gameplay footage for Halo 4, which has a November 6th, 2012 release date for the XBox 360.

More information can be found below the trailer.

Halo 4 Fact Sheet

“Halo 4”
 

June 2012

Title: â€œHalo 4”

Publisher: Microsoft Studios

Developer: 343 Industries

Format: DVD for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system; Xbox LIVE-enabled

ESRB Rating: Rating Pending

Price: $59.99 (U.S.) ERP1  Standard Edition           
         $99.99 (U.S.) ERP1  Limited Edition  

Availability: Nov. 6, 2012 

Product 
Overview: â€œHalo 4” marks the beginning of a new saga in the blockbuster franchise that has shaped entertainment history and defined a generation of gamers. Developed by 343 Industries exclusively for Xbox 360, “Halo 4” ushers in the return of mankind’s greatest hero, the Master Chief, in a newly envisioned, epic sci-fi adventure.

Set nearly five years after the events of “Halo 3,” “Halo 4” follows the Master Chief and his faithful artificial intelligence (AI) companion Cortana as they venture into a mysterious new world and discover an overpowering ancient evil that threatens to annihilate mankind. With humanity’s fate hanging in the balance, the Master Chief and Cortana are thrust into a desperate mission against overwhelming odds to save mankind from the threat of imminent extinction.

As one of the biggest video game franchises in history, the “Halo” series has sold more than 42 million games to date, generating nearly $3 billion in total franchise sales. “Halo 4” takes the award-winning series in a bold new direction, delivering its most epic and explorative campaign yet, together with a groundbreaking multiplayer offering rooted in “Halo” fiction —setting the stage for an epic new sci-fi saga.

Features2Top features include the following:

·   A new “Halo” saga begins. â€œHalo 4” marks the dawn of a blockbuster new game series, the Reclaimer Saga, centered on the Master Chief ashe embarks on an emotional journey fraught with personal demons and the most daunting challenges he’s ever faced. Featuring a darker and more personal story that reintroduces the iconic hero as a genuinely human character, “Halo 4” sets players on an epic sci-fi voyage that will span the next decade of “Halo” games.

As the story unfolds, the Master Chief and his relationship with Cortana will evolve in deep and meaningful ways that will resonate through the entire Reclaimer Saga.

·   A powerful and riveting campaign. Brace for a thrilling, action-packed adventure deep inside a mysterious new world to confront the gravest threat humanity has ever faced. Harness a vast arsenal of futuristic human and alien weaponry, abilities, and vehicles as you step back into the boots of the Master Chief and wage a desperate war against an overpowering new nemesis and a deadly new class of technologically advanced foes —the Prometheans —that will challenge you to employ innovative new combat tactics.2

With increased pace and action, greater epic encounters, new interactive story elements, and more combat freedom than ever before, “Halo 4” delivers the series’ most dynamic and explosive campaign yet —whether you take up the fight solo or launch a cooperative assault with up to four players over Xbox LIVE.

·   A revolutionary new multiplayer experience. â€œHalo 4” introduces the groundbreaking “Halo Infinity Multiplayer” offering that will redefine the award-winning series and revolutionize the way people think about storytelling and multiplayer gameplay.

–   Birth of your Spartan: Infinity. The hub of the “Halo 4” multiplayer experience is the UNSC Infinity â€”the largest starship in the UNSC fleet that serves as the center of your Spartan career. Here, you’ll build your custom Spartan-IV supersoldier and progress your multiplayer career across all “Halo 4” competitive and cooperative game modes. As you advance your Spartan career aboard the largest starship in the UNSC fleet, your multiplayer experience will be embedded in the fiction of “Halo” like never before, where your progress and game choices affect your appearance, your arsenal and your role on the battlefield.

–   Spartan Ops. The story of the UNSC Infinity intersects with the “Halo 4” campaign, and then continues on in a brand-new, story-driven experience known as Spartan Ops. A first-of-its-kind, exciting new addition to the “Halo” franchise,Spartan Ops is an episodic adventure that blends immersive storytelling, high-quality cinematics and action-packed gameplay to deliver an unprecedented serialized experience.

Through a weekly series of cinematic episodes, Spartan Ops will tell the continuing story of the UNSC Infinity, following the events of “Halo 4.” These episodes will center on the UNSC Infinity leaders and crew as well as a new team of Spartans —Majestic Squad. These cinematic episodes will provide the backdrop for the weekly Spartan Ops gameplay missions. Playable in single-player or cooperatively with up to four players, Spartan Ops lets you explore the corners of Requiem in objective-based missions and help uncover the secrets of the mysterious Forerunner world.

A massive-scale adventure that builds off the “Halo 4” story, access to Spartan Ops is included with “Halo 4” at no additional charge —effectively delivering two campaign experiences in one game.

–   War Games. The competitive multiplayer modes of “Halo 4,” known asWar Games,take place on the combat deck of the UNSC Infinity and revive the visceral and immersive experiences that “Halo” multiplayer is famous for. Featuring 10 diverse and action-packed new multiplayer maps at launch, “Halo 4” introduces a broad variety of immersive new game modes and strategies to help you progress your Spartan-IV career, while delivering an experience that’s distinctly “Halo.”

–   Total combat freedom and player progression. â€œHalo 4” features a vastly expanded suite of new multiplayer modes, weapons, vehicles and armor abilities; a new loadout and player progression system; and a new armor modification system that introduces gameplay-enhancing customizations for the first time in a “Halo” game. These advancements can be used in both Spartan Ops and certain War Games matchmaking playlists, empowering players’ choices, vastly expanding their creative options, and making the experience deeper for core fans and more approachable for newcomers.

The “Halo 4” player progression system goes beyond simple aesthetic upgrades, encouraging players to invest time and effort to create a Spartan that looks and plays the way they want. Players can obtain and activate combat enhancements called “Specializations” based on the style of play they engage in, from stealth to all-out assault and everything in between.

·   Redefining the “Halo” game engine. Built on the backbone of the engine that revolutionized the shooter genre and console gaming, “Halo 4” provides a more visceral and visually stunning “Halo” experience than ever before, taking a massive leap forward with all-new engine technology, including state-of-the-art graphics, lighting, animation, audio, physics, motion-capture cinematics and AI. All these systems have been dramatically overhauled or redesigned from the ground up to deliver the most visually striking and immersive “Halo” game to date.

·   Gripping music and audio. From acclaimed producer and composer Neil Davidge of the famed trip hop group Massive Attack comes a sweeping musical score that captures the heroic spirit and emotional intensity of the Master Chief’s adventure. Combined with all-new audio recordings for every weapon and sound effect in the game, the action gets up close and personal, delivering an impactful experience that resonates as powerfully as an epic Hollywood blockbuster.

·   Building on the “Halo” legacy. â€œHalo 4” delivers one of the most anticipated entertainment launches of the year, building on the “Halo” franchise that has accomplished the following:
–   Sold more than 42 million game copies to date
–   Made nearly $3 billion in franchise sales over its lifetime
–   Amassed more than 3.3 billion hours of Xbox LIVE gameplay
–   Inspired books, comics, graphic novels and strategy guides that have sold more than 9 million copies (Eight of the 10 novels are New York Times best-sellers.)
–   Garnered more than 580 media and industry awards, accolades and nominations

“Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn”

Availability: 
– 
October 2012 (worldwide)debut of five weekly episodes available via the Machinima Prime channel on YouTube and Halo Waypoint
– Nov. 6, 2012 launch of the “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” Special Edition, an extended edit with additional footage and bonus content as part of the “Halo 4” Limited Edition

Overview: Premiering this October on Machinima’s YouTube channel and on Halo Waypoint, “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” is a groundbreaking, live-action digital series that takes fans back to the terrifying beginning of the Human-Covenant wars, when the Master Chief inspired a young cadet who would eventually become a leader aboard the UNSC’s greatest vessel: the UNSCInfinity. “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” delivers an emotional, action-packed story of heroism and sacrifice that leads into the events of “Halo 4,” the biggest entertainment event of 2012.

The “Halo 4” Limited Edition will include access to the 90-minute “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” Special Edition via Halo Waypoint, with never-before-seen bonus footage, as well as bonus content and behind-the-scenes videos.

About “Halo”
The “Halo” franchise is an award-winning collection of properties that has grown into a global entertainment phenomenon. Beginning with the original “Halo: Combat Evolved” (2001), the critically acclaimed and record-shattering series of games has since inspired multiple New York Times bestselling novels, comic books, action figures, apparel and more.

Published by Microsoft Studios, the “Halo” franchise of games is exclusive to the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system and the Xbox LIVE online entertainment network. To date, more than 42 million copies of “Halo” games have been sold worldwide, driving more than 3.3 billion hours of gameplay by people connected to Xbox LIVE.

About 343 Industries
343 Industries is the publisher and developer of the blockbuster “Halo” series of videogames and, as part of Microsoft Studios, oversees the “Halo” franchise, including novels, comics, licensed collectibles, apparel and more. 343 Industries is home to world-class developers working on the Reclaimer Saga, which commences with the arrival of “Halo 4” on Nov. 6, 2012, exclusively on Xbox 360.

1Estimated retail price. Actual retail prices may vary.
2Online multiplayer and Spartan Ops gameplay requires Xbox LIVE Gold Membership (sold separately). Minimum 8GB USB flash drive or Xbox 360 hard drive required for “Halo Infinity Multiplayer.” For an optimal experience, play with an Xbox 360 hard drive. (For Xbox 360 4GB, Arcade and Core consoles, Xbox 360 hard drive is sold separately). See http://storage.halo4.com for specifications.

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Halo 4 Release Date: November 6th (XBox 360)

Press Release

 

Master Chief Returns with Worldwide Launch of “Halo 4” on 6th November 2012
 
Marking the return of gaming’s most iconic hero, the first chapter of a brand new “Halo” saga is the year’s most anticipated video game release.
 
 

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London — 17 April 2012 — The countdown has begun for the landmark entertainment event millions of fans worldwide have been anticipating for more than four years. “Halo 4,” the hotly anticipated sequel to the iconic franchise that has shaped entertainment history, will launch worldwide on 6th November 2012.

 
“Halo 4” marks the return of legendary hero Master Chief, named by Fast Company as “one of the most popular characters in gaming history,”1 and aims to set a new standard for blockbuster interactive entertainment. Set four years after the events in “Halo 3,” Master Chief returns to confront his destiny and face an ancient evil that threatens the fate of the entire universe. Developed by 343 Industries, “Halo 4” marks a new beginning for the landmark entertainment franchise that has sold more than 40 million games worldwide and inspired multiple New York Times best-selling novels, live-action shorts, comic books, action figures and apparel.
 
“We are beginning a new saga with ‘Halo 4’ and embarking on a journey that will encompass the next decade of ‘Halo’ games and experiences,” said Phil Spencer, corporate vice president of Microsoft Studios. “Millions of fans worldwide have been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to step back into the boots of Master Chief, and with ‘Halo 4’ leading the charge, we’re confident 2012 will be the most successful year in Xbox history.”
 
“Halo 3,” the biggest consumer product launch of all time when it released in 2007,2 concluded the original game trilogy, but left many unanswered questions around the fates of the series’ beloved hero, the Master Chief, and his artificial intelligence companion, Cortana. On 6th November, fans will experience the next chapter of the iconic franchise.