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May 16, 2012

Halo 4 Preview (Xbox 360)

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As millions of fans worldwide eagerly await the return of the Master Chief with the launch of “Halo 4” on Nov. 6, Microsoft and 343 Industries today revealed all-new details around the year’s most anticipated blockbuster. Set almost five years after the events of “Halo 3,” “Halo 4” takes the series in a bold new direction and sets the stage for an epic new sci-fi saga, in which the Master Chief returns to confront his destiny and face an ancient evil that threatens the fate of the entire universe. In addition to a rich story and campaign, “Halo 4” introduces a ground-breaking new multiplayer offering, called “Halo Infinity Multiplayer,” that builds off of the “Halo” franchise’s rich multiplayer history and promises to continue to innovate and redefine the way people think about storytelling and multiplayer experiences.

Introducing “Halo Infinity Multiplayer”*
The hub of the “Halo 4” multiplayer experience is the UNSC Infinity – the largest starship in the UNSC fleet that serves as the centre 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. Surrounded by the sights, sounds and crew of the biggest vessel 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, arsenal, and role on the battlefield.

Spartan Ops. The story of the UNSC Infinity intersects with the “Halo 4” campaign, then continues on in a brand-new, story-driven experience known as Spartan Ops. A first of its kind and 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 on Xbox LIVE, Spartan Ops will tell the continuing story of the UNSC Infinity, following the events of “Halo 4.” These episodes will centre on the UNSC Infinity leaders and crew, and 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 three friends), explore the corners of Requiem in these 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 as War Games, take place on the combat deck of the UNSC Infinity and revive the visceral and immersive experiences that “Halo” multiplayer is famous for. “Halo 4” introduces fresh, immersive new game modes and strategies to help you progress your Spartan-IV career, while also delivering an experience that’s still distinctly and uniquely “Halo.” More details on all the modes of War Games will be released at a later time.

Total Combat Freedom and Player Progression. “Halo 4” features a vastly expanded suite of new multiplayer modes, weapons, vehicles, armour abilities, a new loadout and player progression system, and a new armour 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 player choice, vastly expanding their creative options, and make 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 earn 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.

“Halo 4” Limited Edition
Available for preorder today, the “Halo 4” Limited Edition maximizes your multiplayer experience and puts you in the boots of a Spartan-IV aboard the UNSC Infinity – the hub of your “Halo” multiplayer career.

Available for $99.99**, the “Halo 4” Limited Edition includes:

War Games Map Pack Access – The Limited Edition includes access to nine maps – three future competitive multiplayer map packs, each including three locations, available for download post-launch on Xbox LIVE.
(A detailed release schedule for the map packs will be announced at a later time)
Specializations – Receive early access to six Specializations, available at launch on Xbox LIVE, to achieve higher ranks in your Spartan career. In addition to gaining access to new ranks, Specializations unlock new customization options. Purchasers of the “Halo 4” Limited Edition will get access on launch day, while others will have to wait as Specializations are released over time.

The Limited Edition also contains the UNSC Infinity Briefing Packet, which includes an armour customization schematic, a blueprint of the massive ship itself, and insight into what it means to be one of humanity’s finest warriors: the Spartan-IVs.

Bonus digital content through Xbox LIVE:
Unique in-game Spartan-IV armour skin
Unique in-game weapon skin for the Assault Rifle
An exclusive in-game emblem
Xbox LIVE Avatar prop
Xbox LIVE Avatar Spartan-IV armour set

Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” Special Edition – An extended 90-minute version of the live-action digital series that will bring the “Halo” universe to life as you’ve never seen it, and provide an enthralling backstory leading up to the events of “Halo 4.”
“Halo 4” Limited Edition also includes the following exclusive videos:
Bonus in-fiction content expanding the characters and stories of
“Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn”
Special Featurette: Bringing Gaming into Reality
Making of “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn”

“Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” – A Groundbreaking Live-Action Digital Series

Premiering this October on a soon-to-be-announced Machinima channel on YouTube, and on Halo Waypoint, “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” is a live-action digital series that takes fans back to the terrifying beginning of the Human/Covenant war, when the Master Chief inspired a young cadet who would eventually become a leader aboard the UNSC’s greatest vessel: the UNSC Infinity. “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” tells a story leading into the events of “Halo 4,” the biggest entertainment event of 2012.

Created in partnership with top Hollywood talent from film, television and new media, “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” brings a brand new “Halo” story to life on a scale never before seen in the “Halo” Universe. The series will debut this October on the new Machinima channel on YouTube and on Halo Waypoint as a series of five episodes. The “Halo 4” Limited Edition will include access to the “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” Special Edition via Halo Waypoint, with never-before-seen bonus footage, as well as exclusive fiction and behind the scenes videos.

Launching on Nov. 6, 2012 exclusively on Xbox 360, “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 groundbreaking multiplayer offering unlike anything before it – setting the stage for an epic new sci-fi saga.

*Online multiplayer and Spartan Ops missions require Xbox LIVE Gold membership (sold separately). See http://www.xbox.ca/halo

**Estimated Retail Price. Actual retail prices may vary.

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