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E3 2012: “Halo 4” demo and gameplay promises “everything matters”


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There will be new weapons, abilities and “surprises,” some of which have already been announced. The campaign will be the bulk of “Halo 4’s” story and will be connected to the novels written by Bear and Karen Traviss. But the gameplay experience won’t stop there. In addition to the classic multiplayer mode present in previous “Halo” games, 343 is introducing a new type of cooperative multiplayer content called Spartan Ops.

This is 343’s way of combining the way they release new “Halo” stories in novels with the downloadable gameplay maps and missions that are available after a new game launches. Spartan Ops is sort of like a “season” of new content that will be released in new “episodes” each week over the course of months. It takes place six months after the events of “Halo 4,” and each episode will be five to seven minutes in length, with five gameplay missions included. These O’Connor and Wolfkill kept comparing to television episodes, with the hope that this series will continue on for years — likely until “Halo 5” is released — as long as users still want it.

“The stories aren’t just ‘blow up the generator’ and you see the generator explode in CG,” O’Connor said. “It’s you’re going to meet really important characters and meaningful characters and things are going to happen to people you love, things are going to happen to actually change the course of the universe, so some of the biggest story beats to ever happen in the ‘Halo’ universe are actually going to happen in Spartan Ops. So it’s not just throwaway content by any stretch of the imagination.”

The first season will also be free to everyone who has a copy of “Halo 4,” even if it’s rented or pre-used. The same guarantee can’t be said for future seasons, but at least all this downloadable content will be available without an additional cost.

Within the “Halo 4” story, War Games is simulated training for Spartan Ops. “It’s absolutely an evolution of our existing multiplayer suite and you can play all the classic games that you like — Capture the Flag and Slayer — but we’ve added a bunch of stuff,” O’Connor said.

It was War Games and Spartan Ops that were available to play at an exclusive “Halo 4” event that happened Tuesday night. Much of the playable content was the same as what was shown in the demo, with players battling against Promethean Crawlers, Knights and Watchers. The new examples of enemies have different attack patterns than players will be used to from Grunts, Jackals and Elites. There will also be new Promethean weapons, but for the most part the gameplay experience in “Halo 4” is very similar to “Halo: Reach.”

The Storm Rifle, Scattershot and Sticky Detonator were three examples of the new weapons, which require players to use new tactics to defeat their enemies. Crawlers, for instance, travel in packs, and users will quickly find themselves overwhelmed by the creatures. Watchers will continue to spawn new enemies until they are defeated. But the essence of the game — at least as it was shown in this playable content — was the same as in “Halo: Reach.”

Fans arrived at the event in all shapes and sizes. Whedon regulars Nathan Fillion, Alan Tudyk and Fran Kranz were all there just because they wanted to check out the game (Fillion and Tudyk both lent their voices to previous “Halo” games), while “Friday Night Lights” star Scott Porter was also in attendance. 343 has some big ideas for their first jaunt into the “Halo” universe, but it’s clear that they’re doing it as carefully, respectfully and passionately as they can.

“It’s been a long plan, but it’s about to pay off,” O’Connor said.

“Halo 4” will come out for Xbox 360 on November 6.

Are you looking forward to “Halo 4”? Tell us in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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