Say hello to Halo 4's Wraparound map, a floating assemblage of Forerunner towers, wreathed in gorgeous squiggles of cloud. Posting on Halo Waypoint, 343 has shared a few details on the multiplayer environment's creation and gameplay possibilities, promising more info on Halo 4 single player in the not-too-distant future.
"Last Friday, amidst four different types of pretzels and five different varieties of mustards, we gathered around the big screen to watch one of our designers play through a Halo 4 Campaign mission," writes community chap BS Angel.
"With the hectic schedules everybody has been keeping, this was the first time many of us saw the sequence in an almost final state. Yes, it's still a work-in-progress, but to see several near-finished game components form a single, cohesive experience was an exciting moment for us as a studio.
"You'll be hearing more about that mission very soon."
Wraparound isn't the only Halo 4 level or map to show Forerunner influence - a Halo 4 art video published last year suggests the long-extinct species could play a decisive role in Halo 4's storyline - but it's proven crucial to the evolution of 343's art style.
"Wraparound was one of the first maps we worked on for Halo 4, and because it was done early in the development process, it went through a few different reboots," continues the post. "From a design perspective, it stayed the same. Visually, though, it became more ornate with each successive iteration.
"When the first iteration didn't meet our vision for the Forerunner style, we (literally) went back to the ol' drawing board. Significant progress was made between the second and third iterations, and that's when this particular multiplayer map became an integral part in helping define the visual style of the Forerunner geometry found in Halo 4.
"Some of the things we really wanted to push were the impossible scale of being on colossal towers, the complexity of the high-reaching structures, and the familiar yet foreign sky. We also felt it was important to capture a feeling of movement. When you look at a still image of Wraparound, the form pulls your eyes in different directions. Players follow those guiding lines, which helps with traversing this two-tiered playspace.
In terms of the precise calibre of Spartan-blasting it offers, Wraparound is modelled on the original Halo trilogy. "Stylistically, the philosophy behind the layout of the map is closer to some of the small, symmetrical arenas in Halo: Combat Evolved, 2, and 3. We wanted something balanced and tuned for competitive play, and something that supports Halo in its purest form: aiming, running, shooting, and jumping."
There's more through the link. We're gagging to go hands-on with this. Halo 4 multiplayer apparently features some sort of persistent unlocks system, comparable to Call of Duty perks - this way for thoughts.