Halo 4 'Infinity Slayer' spices up Team Deathmatch
Back in May, 343i promised they would "innovate and redefine" multiplayer experience with Halo 4. At the heart of this new multiplayer experience, lies the UNSC Infinity. Whether it servers as a storytelling device, or a new way to change things up in competitive multiplayer, it seems a lot of emphasis is being placed on this ship.
One of the biggest changes in Halo 4, as detailed back in April, is the role the UNSC Infinity will play in the weapon drop and player spawn systems. Back then, 343i talked how the Infinity would drop weapons at the beginning of the match and in timed-intervals throughout.
It's an interesting concept, but one that we really had no idea how it would work. Until today, when 343 Industries announced that they are spicing up Team Slayer in Halo 4 with an all-new mode called "Infinity Slayer". As the name suggests, the UNSC Infinity will play a "large role" in Infinity Slayer, providing players in the game with weapons and ordnance.
Unlike past Halo games, you will not only be earning points for your team, but for yourself as well. It will still take a certain amount of kills to win the game (currently one kill equals 10 points, and 60 kills wins the game), but now there is a personal progression meter as well. Halo 4 adds new medals and rewards for style, assists, team support, and objective gameplay.
While all modes in Halo 4 feature the new scoring system, this new ordnance and scoring systems are best displayed in the new Infinity Slayer mode and here is how it works.
At the start of each Infinity Slayer match, the UNSC Infinity will drop ordnance across the map. No longer will weapons be randomly leaning up against walls as in other Halo games. Instead, they will be dropped across the map at "carefully-tuned intervals" to resupply the map with weapons.
After the initial ordnance, the Infinity will drop "semi-randomized" weapons with "very specialized constraints" that are determined by playlist and map settings. These drops will occur every few minutes and are dropped in pre-determined, designer-scripted locations. You will be able to customize Infinity ordnance in Forge.
You won't just be relying on the UNSC Infinity to supply you with weapons, though. As you earn medals throughout the match you'll fill a "Personal Ordnance" meter that, when full, will reward you personally in the form of three randomized power weapons, grenades, or powerups (two of the former, one of the latter). You will then choose which one you want, and the Infinity will drop the ordnance at your location. You won't get the highest tier power weapons in personal ordnance, but it is all "awesomely powerful".
"We are still fine-tuning the system but in its current iteration, each successive ordnance takes 30% more to get," 343's Jessica Shea explained. "On average, each player gets 1-2 ordnance per game. Solid playing may net you three; however, I’ve been unable to confirm. For obvious reasons."
Infinity Slayer will feature three powerup selections: Overshield, Damage Boost, and Speed Boost. They will have a limited duration and "combo well with the new weapons and Armor Abilities in Halo 4", Shea promised.
"Some additional features of Infinity Slayer are perspective scripting and dynamic music, but you’ll hear more about those things later," she concluded.
343 Industries isn't reinventing multiplayer with Infinity Slayer. At its core, it is still deathmatch. But these added features and personal goals make for a much more interesting gameplay experience. For me, Halo was a franchise beginning to get stale. I look at these changes 343 Industries is implementing and I commend them on it.
Halo is already a fun play. Halo 4 doesn't need to lose any of what it was, but it does need some features to keep it fresh. Hopefully Infinity Slayer will do just that. Halo 4 is set to release on November 6, 2012. The last update from 343 revealed that development is currently in "super crunch time" with a lot of the big features finished or very close to completion.