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'Halo 4' developer 343 Industries: 'Games lack watercooler moments'

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Halo 4 developer 343 Industries believes that 'Spartan Ops' mode will create watercooler moments among gamers.

In an interview with Digital Spy, franchise development director Frank O'Connor said that video games were lacking in watercooler moments because games are played at a different pace by each individual.

Fan-favourite map Valhalla is reborn as Ragnarok for Halo 4

© Microsoft Games

Fan-favourite map Valhalla is reborn as Ragnarok for Halo 4

© Microsoft Games



"I think that the people tend to have those conversations about games typically when the sequel comes out, so they say, 'Remember in Halo 2, I think it was cool when the Arbiter does this'," O'Connor explained.

"Whereas with TV typically - I mean with DVRs and Blu-ray boxsets aside - people are having this ongoing narrative discussion just like a football season - it's like you're watching this drama unfold over a set calendar period - and so it's a totally different type of conversation.

"Effectively the recaps that people have with a game conversation - and to lesser extent movies - typically people go and see movies about the same time so those conversations happen. With games, everything is spread out. I think they miss some of that momentum from that social experience."

O'Connor also said that the episodic nature of 'Spartan Ops' makes it easier to manipulate a player's feelings, excitement and tension.

"That's one thing it does, it's one of the most fascinating parts of how the episodes feel, because when people will be done with the mission and it's quick... they can immediately discuss how they did it.

"If you want, you can go back and play it again and play a different difficulty level and turn it into a totally different feeling and experience.

This is one of those rare incidents where we can control the player's experience from beginning to end without impeding their freedom."


Halo 4 is set four years after the events of Halo 3, marking the return of iconic hero Master Chief and representing the beginning of a brand new saga.

In addition to the single-player campaign, Halo 4 will feature a robust multiplayer offering through War Games, which will take place on the Spartan training ship Infinity and will tie into the game's story.

343 Industries recently announced that there will be downloadable class specialisations available for multiplayer, as well as a War Games Map Pass providing access to future DLC maps.

Named 'Best Shooter' and 'Best Multiplayer' during Digital Spy's Best of E3 2012 awards, Halo 4 will be available exclusively on Xbox 360 from November 6 worldwide.

> Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn Episode One review: Live action series debuts
> Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn Episode Two review
> Halo 4 preview: Master Chief's return feels both old and new

Screenshot gallery - view Halo 4 images below:

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