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Old 01-18-2013, 08:37 PM   #1
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Spartan Ops Finally Fulfills Its Potential. Read Here.

Check out what IGN has to say about Season 1.5 of Spartan Ops, which is right around the corner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitch Dyer's: 'Spartan Ops Finally Fulfills Its Potential'

At nearly every turn, Spartan Ops let IGN editors down for failing to live up to Halo standard -- and that finally changes on Monday, January 21. Episode Six of Halo 4's downloadable weekly cooperative campaign kicks off the second half of Season One, and it goes to great lengths to make up for past mistakes.

During the mid-season break, 343 Industries worked to strengthen the second half of Spartan Ops season one by addressing fan feedback and important criticisms head-on. First and foremost, the gameplay and story intertwine in more meaningful ways, with first-person cutscenes, mid-mission radio chatter, and character motivations meant to connect you to more than just combat. Objectives throughout Episode Six tie closer to events going on elsewhere -- in the first chapter, Crimson had been captured by the same Covenant group that captured Spartan Thorne during the mid-season finale. Their escape involved Ghosts, optional Banshees, ground-based combat, a lot of Jackals and suicidal Grunts, sneaking through groups of sleeping Covenant, and a brutal airstrike.

Sounds a little Master Chief-esque, no?

Spartan Ops' second half mixes up the locations as well, with 343 promising plenty of new and unexpected areas to lay waste to Covenant and Promethean forces. The way these environments unfold in Episode Six feels much more akin to an actual Halo campaign -- open-ended environments with more of that sandbox freedom -- than the recycled, mostly enclosed wave-based arenas from Episodes 1-5.

This is because 343 is taking advantage of its own resources -- with campaign designers and animators no longer working on the core Master Chief portion of Halo 4, they're more readily available to help create better, more interesting add-on missions for Spartan Ops. The studio's using more of its talent to make Spartan Ops better -- and it is absolutely working.

Get caught up on Spartan Ops before its return on Monday by watching the recap at the top of this story, and look for weekly commentaries on each new episode from IGN's Xbox team every Tuesday.
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:07 PM   #2
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I wonder how hardcore these guys on IGN's Xbox team are. I mean, do they think they're in touch with the lore?
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:03 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by LickableLemons7 View Post
I wonder how hardcore these guys on IGN's Xbox team are. I mean, do they think they're in touch with the lore?
They probably don't bother reading the lore. I'm not convinced...I'm afraid Season 1.5 will not have "fulfilled" itself.
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:32 PM   #4
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Fingers crossed for better spawns and no drop pods DIRECTLY on top of your face every objective full of Fuel Rods
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:47 AM   #5
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Machinima interview with some guy at 343i. I like the little segment that starts at 2:00. Perhaps we will be seeing some new locations after all.

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Old 01-19-2013, 03:02 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by LickableLemons7 View Post
Machinima interview with some guy at 343i. I like the little segment that starts at 2:00. Perhaps we will be seeing some new locations after all.
I will have to say that the scene at the 2:00 minute mark screams anticipation for me. Great way to start a mission. At 2:30, can anyone picture that place as a DLC map? I can't get that feeling out of my head.
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Old 01-19-2013, 04:56 PM   #7
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It's good that they might be addressing some of these complaints. I don't know about everyone else, but Spartan Ops just felt like a glorified firefight mode to me. Basically every mission has the same objective - kill all of the enemies (and occasionally press a button somewhere). And it didn't help that they recycled the same locations over and over. I guess before I played it I kind of expected some kind of mini-campaign like Master Chief's campaign. Hopefully there's a little more variety in the later episodes.
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:56 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by LickableLemons7 View Post
Machinima interview with some guy at 343i. I like the little segment that starts at 2:00. Perhaps we will be seeing some new locations after all.
Agreed, 2:00 - great way to begin a mission. That video actually gave me hope, despite them stating that we will be revisiting even the new maps multiple times. 343 may be doing something good after all these months of screw ups.
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:17 AM   #9
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At 2:30, can anyone picture that place as a DLC map? I can't get that feeling out of my head.
Hmm. Well, let's take a look back at the concept art for the Crimson map pack.

http://www.xbox360achievements.org/f...d.php?t=394924

The final designs of Harvest and Wreckage don't really look like what they did in the concept art. So the new battlegrounds in SPOPS are up for grabs, I guess.

Majestic map pack is slated for a release on February 28th, and that includes Monolith(a map people on these forums are anticipating greatly just for its setting), Landfall, and Skyline.

None of those maps look like they could match with what's seen at 2:30 in the interview.

So the area around 2:30 could be exclusive to SPOPS.
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:33 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by LickableLemons7 View Post
Hmm. Well, let's take a look back at the concept art for the Crimson map pack.

http://www.xbox360achievements.org/f...d.php?t=394924

The final designs of Harvest and Wreckage don't really look like what they did in the concept art. So the new battlegrounds in SPOPS are up for grabs, I guess.

Majestic map pack is slated for a release on February 28th, and that includes Monolith(a map people on these forums are anticipating greatly just for its setting), Landfall, and Skyline.

None of those maps look like they could match with what's seen at 2:30 in the interview.

So the area around 2:30 could be exclusive to SPOPS.
Gonna have to agree with this point. Looking back at the concept vs. the final maps, you're not kidding. None of those images look even remotely similar to the final maps we received. Especially Wreckage. Still have my fingers crossed though. Skyline and Landfall are my two most anticipated because of the moody atmosphere (something the Halo series has always lacked is a rainy atmosphere. Thank god for ODST or I'd probably hang myself) and Monolith following the Concept would simply be epic. I definitely think that the SOPs arena would make for an awesome multiplayer map though! Somewhat akin to Haven, but a little more open around the path on the exterior. I could definitely find myself liking this map for Swat and Slayer. Probably not much of an Objective map though.

Nevertheless, I'm extremely excited for the new Spartan Ops Episode to hit tomorrow. I love the Cinematics before each Episode and I've been dying to find out what Jul and Dr. Glassman have been working on since Episode 2. I doubt we'll find out until Episode 8 or 9, but it will be nice to get this story underway again.

A little disappointed that they confirmed they'll be re-using maps again, but it sounds like they'll be doing it in a smarter way at least. Designing maps with segregated regions and unlocking new territories will definitely make them more interesting to revisit. My only hope is that the reason for revisiting these places isn't as contrived as the first 5 episodes (Ermagerd help! This poorly-defended outpost is under attack for the 4th time. lol)

Definitely liking the sound of the 1st person cutscenes and increased Radio chatter in the missions. Be neat if they implemented the interactive cutscenes like they had TWICE in the campaign, but that would be difficult to pull off with co-op. It wouldn't be fair to 3 teammates if only one guy got to do it.)

Anyway, bring on the Spartan Ops! And give me some levels with more Ultra Grunts! The best level to boost them only has 8 on it. No way in hell am I going to boost that without losing my sanity. Same with Crawler Snipers...

Also, passing thought. Give Knights vehicles! Even if we can't drive them, it would be nice to see them at least bring a Forerunner vehicle to the table for destruction purposes and to change up encounters a little. It'd be a good opportunity with levels being more open now.

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Old 01-20-2013, 03:26 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by LickableLemons7 View Post
Hmm. Well, let's take a look back at the concept art for the Crimson map pack.

http://www.xbox360achievements.org/f...d.php?t=394924
As of seeing this post, this is the first time I've seen the concept arts of the DLC maps, so I never really saw what the designs were going to look. I still think it could hold a sliver possibility if more map packs were released.
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Old 01-20-2013, 03:33 PM   #12
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Skyline and Landfall are my two most anticipated because of the moody atmosphere (something the Halo series has always lacked is a rainy atmosphere. Thank god for ODST or I'd probably hang myself)
Yo yo yo don't 4get da swamp in CE or Warlock and Backwash in H2!

Halo 3 lacked rain though. Poor show.

I like heavy rain the best. No light rain, that's for pansies. So the rain in Halo doesn't count. We need a downpour someday.

Quote:
and Monolith following the Concept would simply be epic.
Why does everybody like the concept art for Monolith? I dun get it

#Outcast

The concept art for Outcast looks so familiar, fingers crossed it's gonna be similar to Infinity from Halo CE PC.

Quote:
Nevertheless, I'm extremely excited for the new Spartan Ops Episode to hit tomorrow. I love the Cinematics before each Episode and I've been dying to find out what Jul and Dr. Glassman have been working on since Episode 2. I doubt we'll find out until Episode 8 or 9, but it will be nice to get this story underway again.
I want to say the Librarian is alive and 343GS could show up in SPOPS, but I'm holding my breath because a friend "spoiled" something for me and he said he saw some crazy script for SPOPS a few months ago but who knows, things change.

Quote:
Definitely liking the sound of the 1st person cutscenes and increased Radio chatter in the missions. Be neat if they implemented the interactive cutscenes like they had TWICE in the campaign, but that would be difficult to pull off with co-op. It wouldn't be fair to 3 teammates if only one guy got to do it.)
Hmm. Well, in the Machinima interview I posted above, I'd imagine someone is pressing a button while shanking that Elite at 2:00.

BUTT if the Spartan was kind enough to help his friends out of suspension, I bet all 4 of them (assuming there are 4 player) could rush at the Elite in a stylish manner.

Player 4 clicks the left stick and slips between the Elite's legs, distracting him.

Player 3 presses RB and taps the Elite's shoulders from behind, making the Elite even more confused as he spins around.

Player 2 presses RB and kicks the Elite in the Yoink!

Player 1 clicks the right stick and snaps the Elite's neck.

1 dead Elite.

Quote:
Also, passing thought. Give Knights vehicles! Even if we can't drive them, it would be nice to see them at least bring a Forerunner vehicle to the table for destruction purposes and to change up encounters a little. It'd be a good opportunity with levels being more open now.
As long as the Forerunner vehicle doesn't behave/look like a Pelican with orange lights, that'd be cool. It needs to be something unique, like da choppa was in Halo 3. (R.I.P old friend)
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:33 PM   #13
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Skyline and Landfall are my two most anticipated because of the moody atmosphere (something the Halo series has always lacked is a rainy atmosphere. Thank god for ODST or I'd probably hang myself) and Monolith following the Concept would simply be epic.
That's a little extreme.

But Landfall and Skyline were my most anticipated maps from the beginning. They look like they'll be great.

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Yo yo yo don't 4get da swamp in CE or Warlock and Backwash in H2!

Why does everybody like the concept art for Monolith? I dun get it

I want to say the Librarian is alive and 343GS could show up in SPOPS, but I'm holding my breath because a friend "spoiled" something for me and he said he saw some crazy script for SPOPS a few months ago but who knows, things change.

As long as the Forerunner vehicle doesn't behave/look like a Pelican with orange lights, that'd be cool. It needs to be something unique, like da choppa was in Halo 3. (R.I.P old friend)
Warlock was amazing. Omg. And I don't care for Monolith either. I don't get the hype around it .

Agree with you on your Librarian/Spark thought. We'll have to wait and see.

Much like the guns are all copy and pastes from UNSC and Covie weapons. I know for a fact if they made Forerunner/Promethean vehicles, there'd be nothing unique about 'em.
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:09 PM   #14
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Edit: Oops. Double Post. Sorry

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Old 01-20-2013, 07:20 PM   #15
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Why does everybody like the concept art for Monolith? I dun get it
Made this a while ago,

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Old 01-20-2013, 07:21 PM   #16
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I liked 343 GS and I enjoyed Warlock. Backwash was foggy and although I liked the map, it was more of a nuisance than an atmosphere enhancer. I've always wanted to see it remade though just for the hell of it. It was one of the most unique maps of the collection. But yes, light rain is wimpy. I want a downpour. I want blowing minds, lightning and thunder. With Landfall, there could be huge waves hitting the docks and spraying water through the air. If done right it could be the coolest map ever. Skyline I don't see having rain, but I can see them returning to a New-Mombasa type of setting. Would love a chance to go through something like that for a Big Team Battle map.

As for Monolith, I like it because I'm a sucker for backdrops (I loved Condemned in Reach for this purpose.) I also picture Monolith being akin to Boarding Action, a map that definitely needs to be revived in the series.

Based on the animation and movement of the Spartan that killed the Elite, it's pretty obvious there wasn't a player in control. In fact, if I'm not mistaken I believe that's Gabriel Thorne from Fireteam Majestic. So we don't even get to watch it in first person. Boo

Well when you think about it, most covenant tech is derived from Forerunner technology, so I wouldn't be surprised to see some similarities between their vehicles. And given the nature of the Knights, I see them as Revenant Drivers. Would be a good excuse to bring it back into the fray.
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Old 01-21-2013, 10:24 AM   #17
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Made this a while ago,

You made this too:

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I made backwash fanart.

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I liked 343 GS and I enjoyed Warlock. Backwash was foggy and although I liked the map, it was more of a nuisance than an atmosphere enhancer. I've always wanted to see it remade though just for the hell of it. It was one of the most unique maps of the collection. But yes, light rain is wimpy. I want a downpour. I want blowing minds, lightning and thunder. With Landfall, there could be huge waves hitting the docks and spraying water through the air. If done right it could be the coolest map ever. Skyline I don't see having rain, but I can see them returning to a New-Mombasa type of setting. Would love a chance to go through something like that for a Big Team Battle map.

As for Monolith, I like it because I'm a sucker for backdrops (I loved Condemned in Reach for this purpose.) I also picture Monolith being akin to Boarding Action, a map that definitely needs to be revived in the series.

Based on the animation and movement of the Spartan that killed the Elite, it's pretty obvious there wasn't a player in control. In fact, if I'm not mistaken I believe that's Gabriel Thorne from Fireteam Majestic. So we don't even get to watch it in first person. Boo

Well when you think about it, most covenant tech is derived from Forerunner technology, so I wouldn't be surprised to see some similarities between their vehicles. And given the nature of the Knights, I see them as Revenant Drivers. Would be a good excuse to bring it back into the fray.
Hey Dark, you posted this twice. FYI

SPOPS EPISODE 6 GALLERY
(From Halo Waypoint)










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Old 01-21-2013, 02:39 PM   #18
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Spartan Ops Pics
Oh my. Those Elite Rangers, Dr. Halsey and first 2 screens are amazing.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:32 PM   #19
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You made this too:
Oh wow I forgot that. I need to stop going to shiba confessions tumblr.



It's almost as good as that cat gif one that Merch posted in the other thread.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:38 PM   #20
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Is it just me or did they update the difficulty or damgage the enemies do cause im getting killed more quickly than before in spartan ops
nvm it looks like its on legendary matchmaking
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:14 PM   #21
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Awesome episode I played all 5 chapters in MM. Some parts was tough almost spawn killed all the time. 5 grenades, fuel rods, banshees etc. Shot from multiple angles. Am I safe behind this mountain pillar thing hell no, lol. Very nice level design and the opening movie was raw.
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:24 AM   #22
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Seemed like pretty standard S-Ops to me. Which is to say, I enjoyed it. The opening cutscene was epic (though Gek showing remorse for his fallen brother after bombing a dozen of them seemed kind of tacky.) As for the missions, it still feels like they push the Elites with power weapons a little too hard at times, but it doesn't seem as over-the-top as the last couple Episodes started to do. As for the rest of it, I loved it. Levels 1, 3 & 5 were gorgeous and level 2 they did a great job adapting from the Campaign (plus I like the Evening backdrop.) 4 is the only one I wasn't crazy about just because they used a multiplayer map, but I won't knock it because it's not one they've used before.

As for the storyline, it still felt a bit like aimless wandering and killing, but the extra radio dialog enhanced the storyline a bit and made me feel like there was a bit more purpose. And that harvester... wow that thing was freaky looking. Was that thing organic? I would imagine it's Forerunner in design. Covenant don't do organic whereas the Forerunner we know can create organic machine life like the Huragok. Would make sense. Either way, still jaw dropping when I first saw that thing.

My biggest complaint is having retarded teammates on Matchmaking. The kind of people that run you over with vehicles, run blindly at the enemy while ignoring the power weapons they're carrying, and blowing up Wraith tanks that I'M FUCKING DRIVING (Note to future teammates: If I'm sitting in the turret of a Wraith tank and shooting an elite next to it, don't grenade the fucking tank. I'm in the process of using it.)

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Old 01-22-2013, 08:34 AM   #23
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My biggest complaint is having retarded teammates on Matchmaking. The kind of people that run you over with vehicles, run blindly at the enemy while ignoring the power weapons they're carrying, and blowing up Wraith tanks that I'M FUCKING DRIVING (Note to future teammates: If I'm sitting in the turret of a Wraith tank and shooting an elite next to it, don't grenade the fucking tank. I'm in the process of using it.)
I know this can be a problem but this time I got good teammates. I see one of my teammates got run over, it was accident so he left the ghost and I got to drive it. Next up someone used the wraith turret I was about to drive it (he too probably) and I didn't get grenaded. I was able to finish most of that mission with the wraith

I didn't get to drive the banshee though I couldn't find it, so envious that all my teammates had banshee's. Guess I'll replay that mission to see where the banshee spawns.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:17 AM   #24
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I know this can be a problem but this time I got good teammates. I see one of my teammates got run over, it was accident so he left the ghost and I got to drive it. Next up someone used the wraith turret I was about to drive it (he too probably) and I didn't get grenaded. I was able to finish most of that mission with the wraith

I didn't get to drive the banshee though I couldn't find it, so envious that all my teammates had banshee's. Guess I'll replay that mission to see where the banshee spawns.
I usually have a handful of friends that I play Spartan Ops with, but they've all been preoccupied and don't have much time for Halo these days, hence why I was playing with randoms.

As for the banshees, I believe they spawn toward the end of Chapter 3. There was a ramp with a little side tunnel at the top that had 2 parked in it. I almost had one myself, but my teammate splattered me with the 1st one, allowing another teammate to take the second one before I could respawn. I don't know if there are any other ones on the map though.
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:01 PM   #25
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I dug all the new chapters this week. Like Dark said, the evening background on Chapter 2 was a nice touch on the level Requiem from the Campaign, and I really liked Chapters 3 and 5.

I feel as though the levels are more open now. Instead of it being one medium sized level with multiple waves of enemies in an enclosed space, there's more exploration and flow throughout the chapters - kinda like a Campaign level.

Story-wise, I still wasn't feeling it, though. Although the introduction (with Glassman and Thorne) was very, very cool.

Kinda a shame these people on the Home Page Articles commented that even new SpOp episodes couldn't have them come back to Halo 4. Achievements or not, I enjoy playing them solo or with a few friends for the experience and to see how the story unfolds.
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:21 PM   #26
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I don't care much for the "story" except it's nice to have a awesome intro movie! the gameplay doesnt really fit with the story IMO it's just objectives like side missions. but as long as it's fun I'll play. I'll probably not play it as much as I did Firefight seeing as there is no waves etc like in the good ol days of Halo Reach. Edit: LOL at those text pictures ^
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:54 PM   #27
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I don't care much for the "story" except it's nice to have a awesome intro movie! the gameplay doesnt really fit with the story IMO it's just objectives like side missions.
Very true. It'd be extremely generous and almost amazing if 343 gave us both Spartan Ops AND Firefight in Halo 5. One can hope right?
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:53 PM   #28
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I doubt they will just because this is supposed to be the new Firefight. Techically we are just fighting off waves of enemies. They just add dialog and objectives to it, which gave me a sense of actually doing something I suppose.

That said, having played S-Ops, I still sometimes wish they could bring back ODST's Firefight. Reach's was terrible personally, but ODST did an amazing job. The way enemies were brought into the arena by means of drop-ship and randomized entry points made it unpredictable. You never knew what type of enemies you were about to fight, but at the same time it maintained a structure of cohesion. In ODST it was about working together as a team trying to stay alive as long as possible. Reach was just about killing enemies by waiting in their spawn points until the game ends. I think with the weakened S-IV units and randomized units (None of that Grunt, Jackal, Elite, Brute waves bullshit) Halo 4 could've had a very enjoyable Firefight mode.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:08 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by DarkReign2021 View Post
I doubt they will just because this is supposed to be the new Firefight. Techically we are just fighting off waves of enemies. They just add dialog and objectives to it, which gave me a sense of actually doing something I suppose.

That said, having played S-Ops, I still sometimes wish they could bring back ODST's Firefight. Reach's was terrible personally, but ODST did an amazing job. The way enemies were brought into the arena by means of drop-ship and randomized entry points made it unpredictable. You never knew what type of enemies you were about to fight, but at the same time it maintained a structure of cohesion. In ODST it was about working together as a team trying to stay alive as long as possible. Reach was just about killing enemies by waiting in their spawn points until the game ends. I think with the weakened S-IV units and randomized units (None of that Grunt, Jackal, Elite, Brute waves bullshit) Halo 4 could've had a very enjoyable Firefight mode.
For sure. ODST's Firefight was a lot better. Perhaps it was also due to the limitations on lives during the mode? I think that played an important factor as to why it was more 'intense' and fun. I remember the map called 'Chasm Ten' (the one with an upper deck via grav. lifts and alotta Drones). That particular map called for some insane matches. I miss ODST's Firefight.

I've made the argument before on the Home Page News article about SpOps that SpOps is essentially Firefight, only with dialogue and what not...and everyone hated me for saying that, lol.
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Old 01-22-2013, 09:16 PM   #30
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Only thing bad with ODST was lack of matchmaking. If only lol. Spartan Ops has no waves so it is essentialy campaign ish. I'd say 70% campaign 30% Firefight.
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