When Halsey examines the device, it displays images Thorne recognizes as depicting New Phoenix. Halsey uses an override code to force Infinity ' s AI, Roland, to assist her. Lasky decides to place Halsey in cryogenic sleep to prevent further trouble,  but Promethean forces invade Infinity , capture Halsey and teleport her to 'Mdama's base.
Halsey steps into the Forerunner device and makes contact with the Librarian.
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The Librarian gives Halsey the two pieces of the "Janus Key", an instrument that provides the location for all Forerunner technology in the galaxy, and instructs Halsey to use the key to advance humankind. Halsey passes the second piece to Thorne as Majestic Squad and Palmer arrive. Palmer wounds Halsey in the arm just before a Promethean teleports 'Mdama and Halsey from the base. In October , shortly after the release of Halo 3 , Halo developer Bungie split off from parent company Microsoft. Microsoft retained the intellectual property and rights to Halo , and Bungie continued developing Halo games until During this period of time Microsoft formed an internal division, Industries, to manage the franchise and develop future games.
In , while Industries was still in formation, Microsoft approached Starlight Runner Entertainment to help assemble the " Halo bible". Starlight Runner is a New York -based company that specializes in creating and producing transmedia franchises. Their job was to examine all content of the Halo universe, clean it up, and make it coherent and understandable for the people involved with the creation of Halo games and media.
Frank O'Connor, a content manager at Bungie, assisted the team with the creation of the " Halo bible" before moving to Industries to become Halo franchise development director. Combat Evolved Anniversary to introduce background knowledge on the Forerunners. Prospective employees could not be told they were going to be working on Halo 4. I want to prove it, and I'm passionate about proving it.
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That is a huge advantage, and that helped in hiring and forming our team. With so many developers from different backgrounds, forging a common goal and company culture was different. Creative director Josh Holmes recalled that an "epiphany moment" that proved the team was headed in the right direction was early in development, when the team completed a section of the game that was "very traditional [ Halo ]".
Despite positive feedback from testers, Industries discarded the prototype as too traditional, but felt that it showed the team could work together. Including contractors, people worked on the game.
Halo 4 and Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary were both officially announced on June 6, , at the E3 The developers described it as a pivotal moment in development, as it was the first time the game had been shown publicly. The positive reaction was a morale boost for the team, who were unsure how the public would react. Following Halo 4 ' s announcement, O'Connor reported that both Master Chief and Cortana would undergo "radical" changes in appearance for the game, some of them attributed to better graphics and others to story elements.
Reach , which were much bulkier than renditions in previous Halo games. The team would then return to creating sketches to make adjustments, and repeat the process until the main structure for the Master Chief was created. The team then worked on the finer details of his appearance. During the concepting process of Halo 4 , O'Connor decided it would be best for the franchise to explore the Forerunner fiction of the Halo universe, which had remained largely a mystery before Industries' involvement in the franchise. The art team produced a large number of sketches, which were presented to other members of the studio to get feedback and reactions.
Many variations of different character models were concepted before the team decided on a final design. Upon death, the Promethean Knight dissolves from the point where it was last shot; this visual effect also occurs when certain enemies are killed by Promethean weapons. From a gameplay standpoint the design for the Prometheans also needed to fit in well with the sandbox so they would be suitable enemies to fight. A goal when designing their behaviour was to make them highly adaptive from a tactical standpoint. For example, the Promethean Knight can phase in and out of space, allowing it to retreat or charge the player at any given moment; this changes the way that a player engages in a combat encounter.
Holmes explained that one of the goals for Halo 4 ' s campaign was to incorporate more human elements into the story. To accomplish this the team wrote a B story that explored Master Chief's relationship with his AI partner, Cortana, who would break down into a dementia -like state. Holmes was adamant about including it; he took inspiration from his mother's battle with dementia, which she was diagnosed with near the start of the game's development. This led Holmes to want to capture the emotion and tell "a perfect story".
The senior art director for Halo 4 is Kenneth Scott; he described the visual style of Halo 4 as being more ingrained in the expanded universe fiction, and more "mature" than before. The game also features more diversity in Forerunner structures, including fully active Forerunner technology as opposed to the mostly inert and abandoned structures seen in the earlier games.
Image-based lighting is also used to ground scenes and make everything fit together better. The cooperative Spartan Ops mode originally began as a Firefight-type mode, similar to that featured in Halo: Reach , but was composed of different objective-oriented mission types. Over the course of development, changes were made to Spartan Ops to include a narrative that would tie Halo 4 ' s multiplayer together.
The missions were designed primarily for four player co-op. The Spartan Ops development team worked with the narrative team to use ideas and storylines to shape the mode such that the cinematics would tie in with the missions. Axis have produced animations for numerous video games, including the award-winning announcement trailer for Dead Island.
To make each Spartan Ops episode as engaging as possible the team at Axis shot and edited episodes in live action using performance capture. The team then used the reference cameras at the live action shoot to create a performance edit, before shooting with CG cameras to provide more coverage of all scenes and a greater selection of shots for the editorial team.
The shading team at Axis made use of the 3D animation package, Houdini , to procedurally generate the environment in the cinematics. Axis worked with Glasgow-based audio post production company Savalas on sound design and the final mix for the Spartan Ops cinematics. Performance capture for both campaign and Spartan Ops cutscenes was directed and recorded at Giant Studios. Visual effects house The Sequence Group, who had previously developed animation for Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary ' s terminals,  returned to create additional animation for Halo 4. The Terminals feature a painterly artistic style, which Sequence president Ian Kirby felt appealed to gamers familiar with the style of concept art.
In addition to creating the visuals for the Halo 4 terminals, their work appeared in one of the game's main cinematics. To save time and expense using traditional motion capture methods to animate the 3D characters, The Sequence Group used twin Microsoft Kinect infrared sensors to create a home-made solution.
The game utilizes much of the "sandbox" that has been featured across all six prior Halo games and other media, in addition to introducing new characters, weapons, vehicles, and other elements. Unlike previous games in the Halo series, Halo 4 runs natively in p resolution. As with previous Halo titles, Industries provides a statistic tracking service for players of Halo 4.
On April 11, , it was announced that British record producer and composer Neil Davidge would be writing the music for Halo 4. Sotaro Tojima, best known for his work on Konami 's Castlevania: Circle of the Moon and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots , served as Halo 4 ' s audio director. Some of these recording sessions took place in generally inhospitable environments, such as underwater, in fire, and in ice, through the use of specially designed microphones;  other recording sessions have utilized "home made" explosives.
Music composer Kazuma Jinnouchi, also formerly from Konami,  joined Industries during the production of Halo 4 in Guardians , in On January 19, , McFarlane Toys announced that they would be creating action figures for Halo 4 , bringing new characters, weapons and vehicles from the video game to the fans. Vinyl toyline on November 8, Microsoft once again partnered up with PepsiCo , having done so previously while promoting Halo 3.
King of the Hill Fueled by Mountain Dew. On October 31, , Microsoft and government-owned organization Liechtenstein Marketing transformed the countryside of Liechtenstein for a special live action event for fans and members of the press. Halo 4 was announced with a trailer at E3 , titled "Awakening". It depicts the Master Chief being awakened from cryonic sleep by Cortana, as the remnants of the frigate drift towards Requiem.
On April 30, , it was announced that a web series, titled Halo 4: At E3 , the presentation of Halo 4 was preceded with a live action segment called "The Commissioning". The trailer was produced by David Fincher and directed by Tim Miller. The trailer was filmed in Prague and features both CGI and live action sequences.
The enemy moves toward John, scanning his mind to find the source of his strength and search for weaknesses. The trailer then shows John attacking Promethean Knights, before returning to the scene of him bound and being faced by his enemy, the Didact. The adverts aired on November 9, ; they featured live data on how many people were playing Halo 4 online, correct to within five minutes of the broadcast. Halo 4 was released in all territories except Japan on November 6, ;  the Japanese version was released on November 8.
The Limited Edition includes digital items for Xbox avatars and in-game Spartan-IVs, as well as access to future downloadable content in the form of three competitive multiplayer map packs, containing a total of nine maps.
It also includes a minute extended version of the live action digital series, Halo 4: For the remaining players, the Specializations were gradually unlocked in the months following launch. Microsoft produced a Xbox Limited Edition Halo 4 console bundle that launched alongside the game.
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The bundle features two custom designed controllers, a standard edition of Halo 4 , a wired headset, exclusive downloadable content and a Halo 4 -themed Xbox containing a GB hard drive. It was also announced that Microsoft would be releasing a standalone Xbox Halo 4 Limited Edition wireless controller featuring a different design to the one included in the console bundle. Microsoft reported that their security teams and law enforcement were investigating the possibility of Halo 4 content being leaked on the internet in October Over ten thousand stores across forty countries opened for the midnight launch of Halo 4.
Many copies of the game had already gone on sale with an unrestricted M certificate, but these copies are in breach of the Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act On February 5, , a digital version of the game was released via the Xbox Live Games on Demand service.
The gross was a new record for the franchise,  surpassing Halo: Three War Games map packs, each containing three maps, can be purchased individually, or bought together with the Halo 4 War Games Pass. The pass is included in the Limited Edition version of the game and is available to purchase on the Xbox Live Marketplace. The three DLC packs include: Aside from map packs, the game is supported by regular matchmaking playlist updates.
A title update to fix various game issues and glitches was released in December Players could register on the Halo 4 Infinity Challenge website to participate in the tournament, giving them the opportunity to win various prizes.
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Halo 4 was re-released as part of Halo: He was enthusiastic to see what the developer would do with Halo 5 and expected them to deviate further while retaining the series' "magic". Halo 4 ' s campaign received a varied reception from critics. Reviewers enjoyed Master Chief's return as the protagonist, and the emotional connection between Master Chief and Cortana was highly praised. He also remarked that while the narrative tied the main plot lines together well, it was disappointing to see some of the smaller story points were ignored entirely.
He stated that the hardware limitations of the Xbox had negatively impacted Halo 4 ' s campaign, in the same way that they had throttled Bungie's ambitions for Halo 2 on the original Xbox. He explained that although the game was visually stunning, this had detracted from the scale and spectacle that was present in Halo 3 ' s campaign. He found the spaces within the campaign to be narrow and constrained which led to a lack of tactical options in encounters. Competitive multiplayer was well received by critics. Chris Watters of GameSpot welcomed the new armor abilities and gameplay tweaks introduced in multiplayer.
He praised the continuing robustness of Custom Game options and the accessibility of level editing in Forge. He also thought that the multiplayer component was more approachable to people outside of the core player-base without dumbing anything down. Reception towards Spartan Ops was less favorable than multiplayer and campaign; some reviewers expressed their disappointment in Spartan Ops replacing the cooperative Firefight mode.