Content: Halo 4 Forge Island
Check availability in your Xbox LIVE region
Dash Text: Referred to as the ‘Great Anvils’ by UNSC personnel deployed to the southwestern peninsula of Requiem’s smallest continent, these massive sentinels tower high above the shield world’s warm tropical ocean. The geologic data acquired from these islands has offered incredible fodder for Infinity Science’s Forge group, providing diverse and modifiable terrain for the War Games combat simulations.
343 has just released the following details on the next Halo 4 map pack.
Halo 4” Castle Map Pack Reignites Team Objective Battles with New Maps and a Fresh Playlist on April 8
The third War Games Map Pack focuses on team objective and vehicular combat by introducing three new maps and the addition of a new 6 vs. 6 playlist
343 Industries today announced the third major expansion in the Halo Infinity Multiplayer experience, the Castle Map Pack, launching Monday, April 8. Developed by Certain Affinity, in collaboration with 343 Industries, the Castle Map Pack brings players three medium-to-large, stunning maps that emphasize vehicular warfare and large battles over open spaces, where team strategy is key to successfully conquering the battlefield.
Daybreak places you amidst military facilities, against the backdrop of an idyllic mountain range, while Outcast plunges you into the natural tunnels and arches of a secluded rebel outpost. Perdition takes players into the heart of an urban battleground, where tactical speed and situational awareness are essential to achieving victory. The Castle Map pack provides 9 new Achievements worth a total of 250 Gamerscore.
To offer a glimpse of the new maps, 343 Industries released a trailer for the Castle Map Pack today, available now on Halo Waypoint. Full descriptions of the new maps and modes are below:
New Battlegrounds: Castle Map Pack
Daybreak: Two UNSC bases oppose each other in this large asymmetrical map. Teams must split focus between attacking the enemy base while playing close defense to their own. Claim your team’s sniper rifle to cover the central Man Cannon, or grab a Warthog to push through the side channels and flank the enemy base. The Rocket Launcher and Banshee both spawn in positions diagonal to the starting bases; claiming their firepower early is crucial to land the first flag cap or take an early lead in kills.
Outcast: Controlling vehicle paths is critical in this circular map set in a desert environment. Outcast features frequent Mantis vs. Wraith battles, so teams must keep their drivers informed with constant communication to get the drop on enemy vehicles. While driving the Mantis, you can target fusion coils in tunnels to flush out camping opponents directly into your rain of fire, or cover your flag runner’s dash to a friendly Warthog. If you find yourself without a vehicle, race to the secondary bases to secure a power weapon or drop on enemies for a game-changing hijack.
Perdition: Blending long sightlines, vehicles, and close-quarters combat, Perdition caters to nearly any gameplay style. Wheelmen and gunners will be right at home in this urban environment as a well-placed Warthog can lock down a quarter of the map, securing valuable ordnances for the team. Learning the interior routes is essential to both escaping danger and finishing off ranged kills. Be sure to look for the Gravity Hammer in Power Station 3 – an ideal revenge weapon against a pesky sniper or a big surprise for an enemy Warthog.
The Castle Map Pack will be available on Xbox LIVE for 800 Microsoft Points. Players who purchase the “Halo 4” War Games Map Pass* or “Halo 4” Limited Edition will receive access to all three Map Packs (Crimson, Majestic, and Castle) at a 15 percent savings versus purchasing them individually.1
New Playlist: “Castle DLC”
The Castle Map Pack brings a new playlist to the War Games experience called “Castle DLC,” a six-versus-six playlist that focuses on both team play and coordinated objective gameplay.
The new maps will also be integrated into existing Infinity Slayer, Big Team Objective, and Dominion playlists. DLC maps will appear in a playlist if all members of the match have the content purchased or the War Games Map Pass.
We kick off the “Xbox LIVE Ultimate Game Sale” today. Each day between now and March 4th, well have different Games On Demand titles on-sale. Below are the offers for today:
|Ultimate Game Sale 1-Day Offers||Standard Price||Discount Price||Savings||% Off|
Note: If you don’t see the discounted price, try again later as the price drops are rolling out.
Follow me on Twitter to be notified each day for the daily offers.
Content: Halo 4 Majestic Map Pack
Price: 800 Microsoft Points (or included with the “War Games Map Pass”)
Availability: Check availability in your Xbox LIVE region
Dash Text: If you own Halo 4’s “War Game Map Pass,” DO NOT purchase this content here as you will be charged again. Landfall’s emphasis is on infantry battles against a glittering ocean on a distant world, while Monolith exposes you to the naked vacuum of space – and the firepower of opposing teams, and Skyline’s distinctly industrial feel provides new challenges in somewhat familiar, but occasionally confined spaces.
Purchase the Map Pack and add it to your Xbox 360 download queue
If you own Halo 4’s “War Game Map Pass,” DO NOT purchase this content here as you will be charged again
343 Industries announced today that the Majestic Map Pack for Halo 4 is coming on February 25th. Developed by Certain Affinity, in collaboration with 343 Industries, the Majestic Map Pack delivers the close-quarters action fans have been craving in three all-new small to medium sized maps designed specifically for tight, competitive combat in small-team and free-for-all modes: Landfall, Monolith and Skyline.
Landfall: A shining city under attack…
The world of Tribute is now a graveyard, but its capital was once a bright beacon of commerce among the inner colonies. Fight in the corridors and courtyards of Casbah’s port authority buildings, but don’t stand still too long. Perfect for Infinity Slayer, this small to midsize asymmetrical map offers interiors with sparse cover, which encourages close-range combat, while the exteriors offer long lines of sight to stalk your opponents. Awesome jump routes let players spring around the outside of the map, incidentally offering a perfect view of the city as it is razed by the Covenant’s brutal assault.
Monolith: Adrift in a forgotten asteroid belt…
This monument and many like it were built by the Forerunners after their final victory over the ancient humans. This small map has central man-cannons, short corridors, almost no cover, and open sightlines which make the location great for a mixture of close and mid-range battle. Monolith harkens back to more classic “Halo” arena-based maps, and its symmetry lends nicely to objective-based modes like Capture the Flag. Monolith is an open battlefield; wherever you look, you will witness the ferocious action that only a small and open map can provide.
Skyline: Combat analysts agree…
The rooftop terrain on this new space tether construction site is an ideal training environment for close-quarters infantry combat. This map, perched high above the sights of reconstruction in Cascade’s capital city, is small and symmetrical, perfect for Regicide with a mixture of high and low spaces and plenty of cover. Don’t think cover means you’re safe, however – this map holds explosive fuel cells that can and will wreak havoc in Skyline’s confined spaces, not to mention the long, long drop if you misstep.
The Majestic Map Pack will be available on Xbox LIVE for 800 Microsoft Points. Players who purchase the “Halo 4” War Games Map Pass* or “Halo 4” Limited Edition will receive access to both the Crimson and Majestic Map Packs as well as the final map pack when it releases in April at a 15 percent savings versus purchasing them individually.1
New Game Type: “Infinity Rumble”
“Halo 4’s” new game type, Infinity Rumble, is exclusive for a limited time to Majestic Map Pack owners and brings a few new twists to the War Games experience. It is a free-for-all game type where players can earn personal ordnance; all special medal and style kills help you earn ordnance faster, and you can also earn assists off of enemy players for even more medal points. Players must carefully conserve and use their ordnance at just the right moment, or combine power-ups with power weapons in the race to be first. Every kill, and every death counts in Infinity Rumble, and this is reflected with a slower spawn time in the free-for-all matches.
New Playlists: “Majestic Team DLC” and “Majestic FFA DLC”
The Majestic Map Pack also brings two new playlists to the War Games experience:
Majestic FFA DLC (8 players): Majestic FFA is an incredibly intense free-for-all playlist. Players are all alone in this playlist with seven others, vying for first place!
Majestic Team DLC (4 vs. 4): Majestic Team DLC is a 4 vs. 4 playlist that focuses on both team play and tight objective combat.
The new maps will also be integrated into existing Infinity Slayer, Capture the Flag, SWAT, Regicide, Doubles, Team Objective, and Team Throwdown playlists. DLC maps will appear in a playlist if all members of the match have the content purchased or the War Games Map Pass.
“Exodus” is now ready for you. Plus, the latest matchmaking updates include “Team Throwdown” a new competitive playlist. Plus more of the daily and weekly challenges you know and love.
This week’s Halo 4 update brings five new missions in Ep 9. Meanwhile over in War Games, Oddball, King of the Hill and Team Regicide are combined in Team Objective. Plus a tweaked version of Team Snipers returns.
This week’s Halo 4 update brings five new missions in Ep 8, two new Specializations (Rogue and Tracker) and a brand new Team Doubles playlist.
Full details on the five playable chapters are over at Halo Waypoint.
“Invasion” will be available Monday morning (PT)
“Scattered” can be found by starting up Halo 4 and then heading to Infinity > Spartan Ops> Play Chapters > Episode 6.
Note: This is a free download. Add it to your download queue here.
PLUS: Matchmaking now has a “Community Forge” Playlist which contains smaller community created maps. Also available are two new Specializations: Pioneer and Pathfinder.
The second half of Halo 4 Spartan Ops Season 1 returns on Monday, January 21st
This Get a first look at episodes 6-10 featuring brand new stories, missions and locations.
Here is the official press release
Halo 4” Spartan Ops: Season One Returns with All New Episodes Starting Jan. 21
One of the most awarded titles of 2012 kicks off the New Year with five weeks of brand-new Spartan Ops episodes, starting Jan. 21
“Halo 4” launched worldwide in November 2012, quickly becoming the fastest-selling “Halo” title ever released on the Xbox 360, and the action will continue in 2013 with brand new content. Today Microsoft and 343 Industries announced the return of Spartan Ops: Season One, which includes five weeks of brand-new content – from Jan. 21 through Feb. 24 – returning players to the episodic adventure that tells the continuing story of the UNSC Infinity.
Reenlist with Fireteam Crimson as they search for Spartan Thorne on planet Requiem and come face-to-face with the threat of Jul ‘Mdama and his cult of Covenant separatists. The intensity of Season One builds to its thrilling conclusion in Episodes 6-10 as the battle moves beyond Requiem to a wide variety of locations featuring epic vehicular combat and on-foot encounters with Prometheans and Covenant forces.
Each week in “Halo 4,” experience a new high-quality cinematic episode, and fight alongside friends in five action-packed playable chapters through Feb. 24. Continuing the story following the events of “Halo 4,” access to Spartan Ops is included with “Halo 4” at no additional charge — effectively delivering two campaign experiences in one game.1
The first half of Spartan Ops: Season One (Episodes 1-5) is available for play at any time in “Halo 4” for those beginning their Spartan careers. Get introduced to Captain Lasky, Commander Palmer and Fireteam Majestic as they continue to explore the mysterious of the Forerunner planet of Requiem. For more information on the continuing season of Spartan Ops, including weekly tune-in trailers as well as exclusive content, visit www.halowaypoint.com.
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Content: Halo 4 Crimson Map Pack
Price: 800 Microsoft Points
Availability: Check availability in your Xbox LIVE region
Dash Text: If you own Halo 4’s “War Game Map Pass,” DO NOT purchase this content here as you will be charged again. Venture into the large, vehicle focused human environs of Harvest, explore a human foray on an alien moon in Shatter, and witness the chaos of a clash of civilizations in Wreckage, with its blend of claustrophobic spaces and dangerous exposures.
It starts December 17th. Win an amazing Ford F-150 or a spot in a future Halo game.
Full details in the press release below.
Virgin Gaming, Xbox 360 and 343 Industries are joining forces to launch the “Halo 4 Infinity Challenge” on Xbox LIVE starting Dec. 17, bringing gamers the biggest and most accessible free-to-enter “Halo” tournament in the world.
Starting today, players can register for the “Halo 4 Infinity Challenge” by visiting www.halo4infinitychallenge.com (localized registration sites available on Dec. 12). Launching on Dec. 17, the free-to-enter tournament will track your personal score in War Games and the number of Spartan Ops chapters you complete on global leaderboards, giving players of different preferences and skill levels all a shot at the more than 2,800 prizes. For the War Games leaderboard winner, the grand prize will be a UNSC-themed, V8-powered 2013 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor truck designed by 343 Industries, and for the Spartan Ops winner, the grand prize will be an appearance in a future “Halo” game.
During the qualifier phase (Dec. 17 – Jan. 10), players will need to climb the ranks of the global leaderboards by competing in either the Spartan Ops or War Games leaderboard. After the qualifier phase, players will be tiered into three groups (based on their results on the qualifier phase leaderboards) and will enter the finals phase (Jan. 12 – Jan. 19). In addition, players can also participate in Weekly Challenges found on Halo Waypoint at http://www.halowaypoint.com/en-us/intel/challenges for a chance to win great prizes.
During the finals, the leaderboards will reset and prizes will be awarded to the top performers in each tier. While terrific prizes are available within all three tiers, the grand prizes will be offered exclusively for those that have battled their way to the top tier.
“HALO 4” CRIMSON MAP PACK
Comprised of three brand new multiplayer maps (Wreckage, Harvest and Shatter), the “Halo 4” Crimson Map Pack will launch on Dec. 10 on Xbox LIVE for 800 MS points (or at no additional charge for those that purchased the “Halo 4” Map Pass or “Halo 4” Limited Edition).
Timed just before the launch of the “Halo 4 Infinity Challenge,” the new map pack gives players more reason than ever to stay online and prepare for the upcoming competition by exploring these stunning new battlegrounds.
SPARTAN OPS SEASON CONTINUES IN JANUARY
Clearing the way for the “Halo 4 Infinity Challenge” and the “Halo 4” Crimson Map Pack, Spartan Ops will go on a mid-season break starting Dec. 10. During the week of Dec. 10, 343 Industries will re-enter five chapters from the first half of the season into Matchmaking as a “Best of Spartan Ops” compilation. From Dec. 17 – Jan. 14, episodes 1-5 will be re-entered into Matchmaking (one episode per week) to support the “Halo 4 Infinity Challenge,” and allow anyone who missed or wants to replay a previous chapter to easily find teammates online. (Check out http://www.halowaypoint.com/en-us/intel/spartanops for more information.)
The second half of Spartan Ops Season One will resume later in January with brand new episodes, chapters, locations and maps. Be sure to tune into the Spike TV 10th Annual Video Game Awards, live on Spike TV, Dec. 7 at 9:00 PM ET/6:00 PM PT for more information and an exclusive first-look at the continuation of Spartan Ops Season One. The Spike TV Video Game Awards will simulcast on MTV 2, MTV Tr3s, Xbox LIVE, spike.com and gametrailers.com.
Hit www.halo4infinitychallenge.com to for more details
The first of three Halo 4 map packs is coming Dec 10th for 800 points. Here are the details:
- Wreckage: Wreckage is the manifestation of the chaos of war. A medium-sized, asymmetrical map great for accommodating a wide range of objective-based game modes including King of the Hill and Capture the Flag, it is a ravaged environment of crashed debris, where the surrounding destruction creates complex paths perfect for throwing off your opponents, or testing the limits of your Warthog. This devastated landscape provides plenty of cover, and tons of nooks and crannies are at your disposal while fighting for your turn to become King. Wreckage supports up to 16 players in Infinity Slayer and up to 12 players in a variety of other modes, including Capture the Flag, King of the Hill and Oddball.
- Harvest: Harvest is a canon concept brought to life – the doomed agricultural planet where humans first made contact with the Covenant. A small to mid-size map, Harvest is ideal for Capture the Flag. Here, you’ll need to get creative to effectively use light vehicles which are limited to the exterior pathways and can’t get into the bases, making this map perfect for infantry firefights and face-to-face skirmishes. Snipers will also feel right at home; long sightlines are broken up by great cover and hiding spots. Harvest allows up to 12 players to face off in Capture the Flag, Infinity Slayer, King of the Hill, SWAT and Slayer Pro.
- Shatter: Shatter is themed around natural crystalline surfaces and the huge UNSC factories mining them. This large, symmetrical map is a playground for the Warthog and Mantis – its open pathways make it easy to get around, whether on foot or in vehicles. Shatter is a great fit for Dominion and the new game type Extraction. For some close-quarters face-time, escape the open landscape and duck into a mining facility, or slip through a doorway and hunt unsuspecting Spartans. This map has variety for different types of players. Shatter enables multiplayer mayhem for up to 16 players in Infinity Slayer and up to 12 players in other modes, such as Capture the Flag, King of the Hill, Dominion and Extraction.
Available this December on Xbox LIVE for 800 Microsoft points, the Crimson Map Pack is the first of three upcoming “Halo 4” War Games add-ons, and will include eight all-new Achievements worth a total of 250 Gamerscore. Players who purchase the “Halo 4” War Games Map Pass* or “Halo 4” Limited Edition will receive access to all three map packs as they become available in December, February and April at a 15 percent savings versus purchasing them individually based on ESRP.
Crimson Map Pack owners will have exclusive access to a single premium playlist that will only feature the new maps and will be the only place players can enjoy unique 6 vs. 6 matchmaking experiences, the new game type “Extraction,” and a wide range of voting combinations for different maps and modes.
Eager for a first look at the brand-new multiplayer maps? Be sure to check out the trailer and first screenshots of the Crimson Map Pack on Halo Waypoint today.
In addition to the Crimson Map Pack, 343 Industries today unveiled “Extraction,” a new game type that will be introduced to “Halo 4” online matchmaking day and date with the map pack on Dec. 10:
- Extraction: Extraction is a 5 vs. 5 objective-based game type where opposing Spartan teams are tasked with extracting assets from various sites around the map. Once a team has found a site and is in position, they must plant their beacon and protect it from the opposing team while the extraction process occurs. If the defending team remains in control of the beacon, they receive one point, however if the opposing team overtakes the site before extraction is complete, the point goes to them. Once a site has been extracted, a new site becomes available. The first team to extract five points wins.
* Content includes “Crimson, Majestic & Castle Map Packs” plus 2 in-game helmets and an emblem at a special value. If you own this Map Pass, access map packs thru the Halo 4 in-game store. Do not download from Xbox LIVE Marketplace or you will be charged twice. Halo 4 game, 4GB storage, & Xbox LIVE Gold membership (each sold separately) required to use this content. (Map Pass included with Halo 4 Limited Edition.)
“Didact’s Hand” can be found by starting up Halo 4 and then heading to Infinity > Spartan Ops > Play Chapters > Episode 4.
This is included for all versions of Halo 4 at no extra charge
Plus, the War Games playlists have been updated as well. Details in game.
“Catherine” can be found by starting up Halo 4 and then heading to Infinity > Spartan Ops > Play Chapters > Episode 3.
This is included for all versions of Halo 4 at no extra charge
Plus, the War Games playlists have been updates with Team Snipers and Team Slayer Pro.
“Artifact” can be found by starting up Halo 4 and then heading to Infinity > Spartan Ops > Play Chapters > Episode 2. Five new missions await you and your friends.
This is included for all versions of Halo 4 at no extra charge
Plus, if you are a fan of SWAT, that playlist is now available.
“Halo 4” Makes Entertainment History with More Than $220 Million in Global Sales in the First 24 Hours
Yup…it’s big. How big? The “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. Full details just went out in the press release:
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” – 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.”
“Consumer demand and excitement for ‘Halo 4’ is even greater than we anticipated,” said Tony Bartel, GameStop president. “Day-one sales of ‘Halo 4’ make it the biggest ‘Halo’ launch in GameStop history and the biggest game launch on any platform so far this year in our stores.”
As further testament to the unprecedented excitement surrounding the launch of “Halo 4,” Microsoft announced that online content for the live-action digital series, “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” has generated more than 46 million total views to date, including 39 million on Machinima.com’s YouTube channel alone.
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 2012,2 and sparked a worldwide celebration when it released on Nov. 6. 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 symbolizing 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.
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” will be available for $59.99 (U.S. ERP 3), 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 $99.99 (U.S. ERP). Fans can also pick up the Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Halo 4” Console Bundle for $399.99 (U.S. ERP) and a standalone Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Halo 4” Wireless Controller for $59.99 (U.S. ERP). In addition, players can purchase the “Halo 4” War Games Map Pass for $24.99 USD (2,000 Microsoft Points), which provides access to three upcoming War Games map packs as they become available in December, February and April, and represents a savings of more than 15 percent versus purchasing the packs individually. 4
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 Estimated retail price. Actual retail prices may vary.
4 Savings based on estimated retail prices. Actual retailer prices may vary. Content includes “Crimson, Majestic & Castle Map Packs” plus 2 in-game helmets and an emblem at a special value. If you own this Map Pass, access map packs thru the Halo 4 in-game store. Do not download from Xbox LIVE Marketplace or you will be charged twice. Halo 4 game, 4GB storage, & Xbox LIVE Gold membership (each sold separately) required to use this content. (Map Pass included with Halo 4 Limited Edition.)
Video from the launch event in London
Photos from the London event as well as the one here in Seattle.
I’ll add videos and photos as they come in