In last week's Halo bulletin, 343 Industries revealed some fresh looks at Master Chief in Halo 4 wielding the iconic Battle Rifle. And while 343 has stated that the new Halo 4 game "still feels" like the original trilogy, there are still plenty of changes – one of them being the Battle Rifle.
In yesterday's Halo 4 bulletin, 343 Industries confirmed the Battle Rifle is officially coming back in Halo 4, "in all of its three-round-burst glory."
The BR85HB Service Rifle is a gas-operated, magazine-fed semi-automatic rifle optimized for three-round-burst firing, and proven to be extraordinarily effective against dissipative energy shielding on both exotic and domestic armor types. Performance-wise, the Battle Rifle is hitscan (meaning the effect is immediate), it features a scope attachment (x2), and it has recoil in its current tuning (rising slightly when fired but in a suppressible way). It doesn’t have bloom, the rhythm feels good when firing it, and it can be used for longer-range engagement.
The Battle Rifle in the Halo games is probably most known for its three-round burst. Unlike previous games, where damage lacked, the Battle Rifle in Halo 4 is "felt and heard".
"The major driving force behind the design of the Halo 4 Battle Rifle was a decision to base it on real-world weaponry and then add sci-fi elements," it was explained. "Since the BR already existed, we didn’t want to deviate too far from its last iteration. So we updated it, while putting our own creative spin on it. The overall silhouette is similar to the existing BR, with a few artistic changes."
"Old-school UNSC weapons were grounded in modern day to give the sense that Spartans are underpowered. We wanted to retain that while pushing the sci-fi elements. You can see that in the scope, the LCD display, the ammo count, and other stylistic details on the gun."
"In regard to the scope in particular, traditionally, Halo has had one type of each weapon per game. Taking into consideration Halo 4’s sandbox, we went with the square scope to differentiate it from other guns and rifles that have bulky scopes on them."
In addition to the look and power of the Battle Rifle, all-new audio was recorded to convey the power of the weapon through sound.
"The three-round burst is one of the most important aspects of this gun, and that is represented through a slightly ascending pitch scale and a strong accent on the final shot," community manager Jessica Shea explained.
"Since the Battle Rifle is one of the most popular Halo weapons, we’ve repeatedly asked ourselves, “What do we keep the same, and what do we change?” We want the Battle Rifle to be an iconic status weapon. When players get it, we want them to feel empowered, especially by the way it operates."
"We’re hoping that we nailed it. You can let us know Holiday 2012," Shea concluded.