A look at the Covenant weapons in Halo 4
With less than 50 days until the launch of Halo 4, the whole FPS community is ramping up for its release. The devs at 343 Industries are passionate about the game they're making and aren't leaving any stone unturned. With everything from enemy design to how the game plays, they're leaving their stamp on Halo 4, all while making sure it still feels like a Halo title.
Something that provided a challenge for the team was the Covenant weapons in the game, which aren't as popular as the UNSC weapons. They just aren't used as much. So the team wanted to make them still feel alien, yet viable. The team decided to change the look of the weapons, from shiny, polished and perfect toys to more wear and tear with imperfections in their metal alloys. The sound for the weapons were overhauled. Projectile speeds have changed, as well as the way they look when using scopes.
The team that has worked on the covenant weapons are really excited about the changes; so we're going to run you through the nine Covenant weapons in Halo 4 and give you one of their thoughts on each of them.
Directed-energy weapon capable of semi-automatic firing and a scaled-burst effect which disables electronics.
Chris King (Lead Sandbox Designer) - "Don’t be deceived by the toy-ish looks. This is a powerful gun! To be effective with the normal shot, you will need to use it at close ranges because the projectiles are extremely slow relative to other weapons. And since players spawn with it from the get-go as a secondary weapon, we’ve had to retune the number of charge shots down from the past (when charging, the energy drains pretty quickly in multiplayer compared to the past). It’s still a great choice, though, especially on vehicle maps. If you are a fan of the Noob Combo, I’d recommend trying to scavenge a Magnum as a backup. The Halo 4 pistols all have faster animation timings than in the past, allowing you to switch to them faster than any other weapon in the game. Charged Plasma Shot + Magnum headshot = WIN!"
Exotic guided-munitions weapon firing crystalline shards that home in, impale, and detonate on soft targets.
Chris King (Lead Sandbox Designer) - "The Halo 4 Needler is probably the most powerful version of the gun to date. I love the new, more mechanical firing sounds of the gun as it feels more visceral. One of the big changes this time around is that the needles stick to shields again (in Reach, the needles only supercombined when shields were down). This makes it deadly for sure. However, its effectiveness is tempered by the overall faster pace of the game, which gives players a better chance of avoiding the needles. If you catch an opponent off-guard, they are in for a world of hurt."
Fully automatic, directed-energy weapon, widely considered the successor to the traditional Plasma Rifle.
Todd Colby (UI) - "Before Halo 4, I was lukewarm on Covenant weapons. I never felt like I got the meaty feedback I got from UNSC weaponry. The Storm Rifle has converted me to the Covenant arsenal – half of my loadouts are customized with it in mind. Its rapid fire rate makes it perfect for run-and-gun, and covering teammates has never been so rewarding. When I engage enemies with the Storm Rifle, it’s like I’m repeatedly slapping my opponent in the face with a thousand fruit roll-ups. Delicious victory."