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Comic Con 2012: Halo 4 Hands-On Preview

Though the big Halo 4 news out of Comic-Con is likely the limited edition console, I have to wonder who doesn't already own a 360 at this point? Especially a Halo fan. Point is I'm more interested in the Halo 4 gameplay than any fancy new console, and going hands on with the latest build at an exclusive Comic-Con event was definitely a great time.

The event had plenty of demo stations set up, many spotlighting the new 4-player co-op missions. Together with two colleagues we delved into it, first witnessing a short trailer which explained how new co-op missions will drop weekly, with the hopes of fleshing out the Halo universe. Seems more like a hope to grab some of that sweet DLC cash, though I'm sure dedicated Halo fans will enjoy the unfolding storyline.

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The mission itself was pretty standard, dropping four of us into a Covenant controlled area and tasking us with shooting them until they were dead, occasionally pausing to hit a switch or take out a particularly nasty turret pilot. Things started to heat up a bit however, as the new enemy types began showing up en masse. One of these new enemy types is a sort of exploding dog, a nasty looking thing which you'll want to pick off at a distance unless you enjoy the touch of shrapnel. Unfortunately, they tend to come in packs, and move rather quickly, so this isn't always an option. A new flying type enemy was impressive looking, though didn't seem to pose much of a threat. Alternatively, the game's new brute-type enemy was a serious problem, the giant hulks not only able to shrug off bullets before moving in for devastating close range attacks, but could actually teleport away from the battle, making it rather hard to keep a bead on them.

Halo 4 gameplay

At the end of the demo we found some artifact, which our C.O. speculated must be very important if the Covenant was teaming up with this new alien race. Defending that point from the coming horde, we were eventually chop-lifted out of there along with this new artifact, which is sure to play a part in the coming co-op missions.

Overall, the game is looking like the most graphically-advanced Halo yet, and though we didn't catch wind of any new weapons, the old suite served just fine (the Battle Rifle was particularly devastating). We tried a bit of the new deathmatch as well, which was enjoyable though still felt a bit slow. It was definitely annoying to keep having to press the sprint button, but truth is that Master Chief just moves like molasses. Though this pace might work for some players, my idea of good deathmatch involves running around like a maniac trading fire, not tossing 'nades down a hallway and hoping headshots connect. Then again, I've never been a huge Halo fan, so I can only assume fans of the series will fall in love with this gorgeous installment.

Heck, maybe they'll even buy that new 360.

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Vito Gesualdi GameZone.com Senior Editor, DraftMagic.com Editor-in-Chief, NoNoComedy.com Contributor, and the hardest working man in show business. King of video walkthroughs for new games. Follow me on the twitters @VitoGesualdi.
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