As you emerge from the wrecked escape pod, a foreign and alien world awaits you. Halo. The acclaimed series was able to do it in its first outing, Halo: Combat Evolved developed by Bungie, and continues with Halo 4 as strange environments are again a focal point of the biggest game in 2012.

Game Informer have recently revealed Halo 4 to be front and center in the May edition of their monthly magazine and a slew of new information has leaked to the internet prior to the release.

Scans of Halo 4 info have officially hit the web as they give gamers the first concrete information on the campaign. As previously posted, Halo 4 directly continues the story of Halo 3, set 4 years after Master Chief finally awakes from his cryogenic sleep.

Now to get to the nitty-gritty details that were totally unexpected seeing as how 343 has kept so much secret. Cortana signals to the Chief that she needs help. Alarms are going off everywhere, as there is supposedly a forced entrance aboard the Forward Unto Dawn frigate that, at the end of Halo 3, is half torn apart. The Chief gets out of his pod and stuffs Cortana back into his helmet as she navigates him through the dreary ruin of the ship. This shot clearly shows off how stunning Halo 4 looks and how much it pushes the Xbox 360’s limits.

Cortana also updates the Chief on the firmware updates on his HUD and physical armor. They both get back into the banter known in previous Halo games akin to a sort of Drake and Sully relationship in the Uncharted series and 343 Industries have hugely stressed the importance of their growth as characters being important to the ‘Reclaimer Trilogy’. Which literally means, ‘Human Trilogy’. That may be a bit of a challenge though, seeing as how the typical AI lasts 7 years before rampancy, and Cortana is dangerously close to that mark.

Getting back to the mission, Cortana recommends John to get to an observation deck a few floors up to check on the status of the intruder alert. As Chief tears apart a door, he is nearly blasted away due to the pressurized air that has been building up, in part from the frigate being chopped in half! A minor set piece is said to be played here that is fully controlled by the player, as 343 attempt to create a more dynamic and cinematic first person shooter narrative experience. Think more Uncharted set pieces instead of Call of Duty.

After the player hurdles that obstacle and climbs up the narrow elevator shaft, more action scenes are playing up of falling debris until the pair finally reach the top. As Cheif prepares to ask his trusty AI a question, an Elite comes out of nowhere! Chief manages to throw the Elite back down the shaft, but it is unknown whether this will be player controlled or a small cutscene.

“I thought we had a truce with the Covenant,” says the Chief. Cortana replies back with, “Your welcome to take it up with them.” This sets the tone for what is to come as more Covenant show up and Chief fights his way up to the observation deck. This is the first time the player is equipped with a weapon. The infamous Halo battle rifle in this case. The Game Informer crew commented that the ensuing firefight with Elites and Grunts felt like a classic Halo battle and were very encouraged.

The Chief is signaled to open up the deck’s blast shield only to reveal a Covenant armada surrounding the ship. Landing craft manage to get on the demolished frigate and the protagonists are pressured to take action. “We need to get off the ship,” says the Chief and the battle is skipped to the grounds of Requiem and through the shield world, as to not show off the entire level.

This sets up the story of Halo 4 as players are going to see a bunch of new additions to the sequel including different types of enemies, new weapons and vehicles and totally unique environments.

Check out the Game Informer trailer of their monthly coverage and tell us what you think of Halo 4. Is 343 straying away from the winning Halo formula, or does it have what it takes to top Bungie, the creators of the original trilogy? Halo 4 is set to release holiday 2012 exclusively for the Xbox 360.

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Halo 4 Images from Gameinformer

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