Halo 4 development in ‘super crunch time’

Halo 4 is nearing development completion and in a phase currently being referred to as "super crunch time".

What does that mean exactly? According to 343's Jessica Shea, it means a lot of the big features are complete or very close.

"The Campaign for Halo 4 is playable from start to finish," she confirmed, "with some levels being near complete and others still needing some good, old fashioned elbow grease (in the form of polish and bug bashing)."

As for the new Spartan Ops mode that we've heard and learned so much about recently, the first several weeks are also nearing completion.

"The first several weeks of Spartan Ops finds themselves in a similar state, as do the ten multiplayer maps that are shipping with the game," she added.

Spartan Ops are separate episodic adventures in Halo 4 that will be released over the course of the year. The different episodes, which follow the Majestic Squad aboard the UNSC Infinity, will add up to 12 hours of incremental gameplay in addition to the Halo 4 campaign. Thanks to recently leaked details, we now know that season one of Spartan Ops will deliver a total of 50 missions: 5 new missions each week for a total of 10 weeks during season one. Best of all, season one of Spartan Ops will be completely free.

"Every time I participate in a daily play test, I am reminded of where we started and just how far we’ve come," Shea concluded.

Halo 4 is set to release on November 6, 2012. With the launch just a few months out, 343 Industries and Microsoft have big plans for the game in the coming months.