Playing Ball in Halo 4 War Games – 343 Industries Updates Oddball and Grifball

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343 Industries shows off some brand new features in some old favorite game modes during their panel at this year’s Pax Prime, Halo Reborn.

This November 6th, Halo 4 War Games will see the return of the classic Capture-the-Flag game mode, as well as the franchise’s more quirkier but popular modes, Oddball and Griffball. However, Halo fans can look forward to a whole new way of playing thanks to the inclusion of a few simple but effective mechanics.

During the panel, 343 Industries first demonstrated Capture-the-Flag on the new map Exile, one of Halo 4’s larger maps, also playable at this year’s PAX Prime. While we got to check out some of the updates made to the scoring and HUD elements, the show-stealer was definitely the sleek and sexy flag assassination, or as some would call it, “flagsassination”. If you haven’t yet, you can check out some CTF screens and gameplay right here.

Moving on to a quick Oddball demo, a simple objective-based game mode where one team must hold on to the objective (the skull) for as long as possible, 343 Industries delightfully introduced a brand new game mechanic: Throwing. Much like throwing a grenade, players can now throw and pass the objective to each other as an effective way to keep it out of enemy hands. Spartan IV-in-the-middle, anyone?

The hammer smashing Grifball game mode, now an official Halo 4 game mode, also received similar treatment, however, with the addition of the “Hammerpass”. Quite simply, players will also be able to smack the ball around the arena with the hammer, adding to the gameplay even further. Another technique demonstrated was what I call the “steal”. Players can use the Energy Sword to assassinate and immediately steal the objective, rather than smacking both the enemy and objective away from oneself.

These new throwing and passing mechanics looked great, seemed to work rather seamlessly and should hopefully promote that sense of team-play. Perhaps we can expect “Halo Football” in the future?

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