You know what's better than a shiny new Halo 4 image? 18 of the buggers. If you want evidence of that, simply click through this here gallery. A whole raft of the things have appeared via Game Informer's (opens in new tab) recent preview (via All Games Beta (opens in new tab), and they show a whole stack of exciting stuff, from weapons to enemies to settings to multiplayer to huge smashed up metal things on fire. And you just know how you love huge smashed up metal things on fire.
There's also the small but notable fact that Halo 4 now looks utterly bloody gorgeous. Seriously, "optimised" as they may well be (as is usually the way with early screens), the grabs here show a massive visual improvement over the previous games. Click on and enjoy.
Looks like these guys are back, even if only for a bit. Word is that they turn up for some unexplained reason at the start of the game before Chief and Cortana end up on Requiem, Halo 4's new setting.
Apparently this face-to-face clash is an early example of Halo 4's new, more immersive narrative action sequences, which use more varied environmental thrills to up the sense of truly inhabiting the Chief.
Lightness of touch
What really impresses about these Halo 4 screens isn't the extra level of detail over previous games (although it's very welcome). It's the powerful subtleties of lighting and reflection on show throughout, which make everything feel much more solid and tangible.
Looks like the squeaky combat Muppets are making a comeback too. And as usual, they seem to be taking a right old kicking.
The cool moody blue tones of the game's early stages are complimented beautifully by the soft, smoky lighting. Syndicate take note. (opens in new tab) This is how you do atmospheric bloom.
And here's Cortana
Looking somewhat perturbed, which is entirely understandable given that the ship is under siege by Covenant and Master Chief has only just woken up.
And here she is again
Still not looking too impressed. Or maybe a bit like she's only just woken up herself.
But it is a very pretty corridor. We're guessing the glowing thing at the end is an objective. Video games are like that. Also, note the newly tweaked HUD. Cortana has upgraded it while Chief has been asleep following the end of Halo 3, and apparently it's much more kinetically reactive to his movements.
The old red vs. blue action looks like it nails the required blend of controlled chaos and hilarious anatomical damage. That poor blue in the bottom left really should not be bending like that.
Okay, make that controlled chaos, hilarious anatomical damage and really pretty explosions. It's not all atmospheric monotone colour washes in Halo 4, and the brash comic book pallet has never looked better.
Either red has just spotted a really big spider crawling on blue's shoulder, or blue is about to meet the end of a really bad day.
Fart-powered elevation ability confirmed, or just an unfortunate camera angle?
And now a few bits of concept art to round off. That'll be the new Warthog then, but who's that manning the gun? Looks like Chief isn't going to be as alone as we initially thought this time around.
Cortana was really regretting not bothering to pay the heating bill. And the gravity bill.
The Chief opening the observation deck blast shields of the Forward Unto Dawn.
Wake up, open curtains, see enemy fleet. Not a great start to the day. We'd go straight back to bed, personally.
Crash and burn
We're guessing this is how the Chief ends up on Requiem after the opening siege. The man never lands anywhere in a sensible fashion.
It looks like Master Chief isn't the only one who's made it down to Requiem. Are those Jackal shields up ahead?