Spartan Ops

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This article is about the game mode. For the military branch, see Spartan Operations.
An early build of the Spartan Ops episode selection menu.

Spartan Ops is an episodic cooperative campaign in Halo 4. It is included as part of the Infinity game mode in lieu of Firefight.

Overview

Spartan Ops allows up to four players to play cooperatively.[1][2] Though it is designed primarily as a cooperative experience, Spartan Ops can be played solo as well.[3] It follows the SPARTAN-IV units Fireteam Majestic and Fireteam Crimson, with the players assuming the role of the latter while the former features in the CGI cinematics.[4][5] Set six months after the campaign, Spartan Ops expands on the story of the UNSC Infinity and her crew.[3] Due to its scope and scale, this new mode has been likened to a second campaign for the game.[6]

Frank O'Connor has stated that the mode will "bridge the gap" between the events of Halo 4 and the future release of its sequel.[7] 343 Industries will support additional Spartan Ops missions for months after launch of the game and players will have the opportunity to play from the beginning of the episodic campaign regardless of when they started playing. The first season is included with the game, though 343 Industries have not ruled out charging players for additional Spartan Ops seasons.[7] As of March 2013, there are no plans for a second season of Spartan Ops. However, Frank O'Connor has stated that "the story of Crimson, the Infinity and those characters and events is far from over".[8] Indeed, the comic series Halo: Escalation follows largely the same cast of characters a month after the events of Spartan Ops.

Halo: Infinity

Each episode is accompanied by an episode of Halo: Infinity, a computer-animated series that follows the crew of the UNSC Infinity. Produced by the British studio Axis Animation,[9] the series' point-of-view alternates primarily between the ship's command crew and Spartan Fireteam Majestic. The events of the series intertwine directly with those of the cooperative missions, which in turn carry the story forward to the next episode. Those without an Xbox LIVE account may view the Halo: Infinity series on Halo Waypoint, Waypoint's YouTube channel or the Halo Channel.

Summary

Main characters

Spartan Ops follows an ensemble cast of both new and preexisting characters.

  • Thomas Lasky - Commanding officer of the Infinity, Captain Lasky leads the UNSC expedition on Requiem.
  • Sarah Palmer - Leader of Infinity's Spartan complement, Commander Palmer occasionally steps in as she deems Crimson to be the squad of choice to deploy into the most dangerous ops.
  • Catherine Halsey - ONI's former chief scientist and mother of the SPARTAN-II Program, Dr. Halsey has recently been stripped of her power and declared a war criminal by ONI's leadership. However, her expertise is required to decipher the mysteries of Requiem.
  • Henry Glassman - A civilian scientist serving as the Infinity's chief engineer.
  • Roland - Infinity's eccentric shipboard AI construct, Roland runs the ship while making occasional appearances during operations whenever his expertise is required.
  • Fireteam Majestic - Consisting of Spartans DeMarco, Grant, Hoya, Madsen and Thorne, Majestic is frequently deployed on the most crucial ops alongside Crimson.
  • Jared Miller - A Spartan who serves as Fireteam Crimson's mission handler.
  • Robert Dalton - Another Spartan tasked with directing ordnance, air strikes and extraction whenever needed.
  • Jul 'Mdama - Leader of the reconstituted Covenant, 'Mdama is a cunning figure who seeks to claim Requiem's treasures by awakening the essence of the Librarian.
  • Gek 'Lhar - A brutal Sangheili soldier serving as Jul 'Mdama's top lieutenant.
  • The Librarian - A Forerunner Lifeshaper, whose imprint and her secrets are wanted by the UNSC and Covenant alike.

Plot synopsis

Main article: Requiem Campaign
Fireteam Majestic aboard Infinity.

In February 2558, the UNSC Infinity is dispatched to reclaim Requiem from the occupying Covenant forces. Once there, Infinity engages in combat with the Covenant fleet, and deploys ground forces, including Fireteams Majestic and Crimson as well as detachments of Marine, Navy, Air Force and Army forces on Requiem. The Spartan fireteams run through a series of search and destroy, rescue, artifact recovery, extraction and assassination operations.

During a mission on the surface, Fireteam Crimson uncover a Forerunner slipspace artifact which is subsequently brought aboard Infinity. After the device disrupts the ship's systems and teleports Chief Engineer Glassman to the surface of the planet, Dr. Catherine Halsey is brought in to investigate. The artifact scans the ship's systems and begins transmitting data to the surface of Requiem, where said data is intercepted by Jul 'Mdama. Glassman is taken captive by the Covenant and is ordered to activate the Librarian's shrine, though he is not successful.

Fireteam Crimson secure another Forerunner artifact, dubbed "the Didact's Gift". This device is revealed to contain the memories of victims of the Didact's attack on New Phoenix six months prior, revealing that the composed human minds have been repurposed as Promethean Knights. Investigating the first artifact on his own, Spartan Gabriel Thorne is translocated to the Cauldron and is left to fend for himself amidst Covenant-controlled territory. Dr. Halsey begins dialog with an unknown party who shares her interest in the Librarian. The intelligence is actually Jul 'Mdama, who is manipulating Halsey into divulging vital secrets about the Forerunners. Halsey is apprehended after her unwitting communication with 'Mdama is discovered. Meanwhile, Spartan Thorne rescues Dr. Glassman and the pair escape custody.

After Dr. Halsey briefly escapes imprisonment and resumes her communication with 'Mdama, Infinity is boarded by Covenant and Promethean forces who capture Dr. Halsey. They take her to the Librarian's "shrine", where 'Mdama awaits. Meanwhile, Admiral Serin Osman, head of the Office of Naval Intelligence, orders Captain Lasky to assassinate Dr. Halsey; Commander Palmer departs to execute the order. However, Lasky sends Fireteam Majestic to rescue Dr. Halsey and stop Palmer. Meanwhile, Dr. Halsey successfully activates and enters the Librarian's shrine. The Librarian's essence gives Dr. Halsey an artifact known as the Janus Key, but Jul 'Mdama gets one half of the key. Halsey tosses Gabriel Thorne the other half before she is abducted by 'Mdama.

Believing to have obtained what they were looking for, Jul 'Mdama sends Requiem to be destroyed by a nearby star. Deactivating a slipspace anchor originating from Requiem, the UNSC Infinity narrowly escapes the planet's gravity well. Afterwards, Lasky and Palmer observe as Dr. Glassman studies one half of the divided Janus Key. Meanwhile, aboard a Covenant ship, Dr. Halsey seemingly agrees to collaborate with Jul 'Mdama and his forces, stating that she wants revenge.

Episode list

Each week, players with an Xbox LIVE Gold membership[10] were able to view a new episode of Halo: Infinity,[11] which was then followed by five objective-based missions. The missions offered new content, as well as challenges to complete for each week.[1]

Title Original release date
Departure November 6, 2012
  1. Land Grab — "UNSC joint operations begin on Requiem as Infinity mass deploys Spartan, Navy, Marine, Army and Air Force units."
  2. Sniper Alley — "Covenant operations are reliant on several power stations around Requiem."
  3. The Challenge — "Spartan Fireteams are engaging enemy forces across Requiem. Enemy forces are surprisingly resilient."
  4. Sacred — "Infinity Science requests a Spartan Fireteam scout |a suspicious structure. Caution advised."
  5. Core — "Covenant archeological teams operating on Requiem are searching for something. Infinity Command wants to know what."
Artifact November 12, 2012
  1. Clean Up — "Marine forces have failed to neutralize a Covenant stronghold and are requesting Spartan assistance."
  2. For Science — "An Infinity Science team issued a distress call, then went silent. There has been no contact since."
  3. Hacksaw — "Marine squad Hacksaw is pinned down and requests Spartan assistance."
  4. Pelican Down — "Fireteam Crimson has been shot down."
  5. Gagarin — "Science Team Gagarin, last seen researching location codenamed Refuge, is MIA. No distress call."
Catherine November 19, 2012
  1. The VIP — "Parg Vol, a known Sangheili terrorist and associate of Jul 'Mdama, is confirmed to be on Requiem."
  2. Galileo — "UNSC Science base Galileo requires assistance repelling enemy advances."
  3. Spartan Mountain — "Marine squad Mountain has crashed behind enemy lines and requests immediate evac."
  4. Shootout In Valhalla — "Fireteam Crimson's attempted rescue of Mountain Squad has gone sideways. Situation developing."
  5. Hunting Trip — "Covenant terrorist Parg Vol has been located again. There is no better opportunity to eliminate him."
Didact's Hand November 26, 2012
  1. Hairy Call — "We have discovered Covenant are using a Requiem comm net to communicate secretly."
  2. Rally Point — "Information from comm network tap has led to the possible location of Jul 'Mdama."
  3. Random Transport — "During previous Op, Fireteam Crimson stepped through a portal. Current whereabouts unknown."
  4. The Chase — "Jul 'Mdama continues to flee through Requiem's portal system. Fireteam Crimson is giving chase."
  5. The Didact's Gift — "Although 'Mdama escaped, "the Didact's Gift" was successfully retrieved and is being held at Galileo Base.
Memento Mori December 3, 2012
  1. Spartan Miller — "Infinity Science requests Spartan aid investigating anomalies in Requiem-wide portal system."
  2. Nothing Can Go Wrong — "Infinity Science has begun to understand Requiem's portal system and request assistance in its testing."
  3. Everything Has Gone Wrong — "The Refuge facility is the focus of heavy enemy activity. Additional UNSC forces are being deployed to the area."
  4. The Cauldron Base — "Forward Base Magma has placed a distress call. Fireteam Crimson is responding."
  5. Spartan Thorne — "Spartan Gabriel Thorne has been transported to Requiem, without weapons or comms. His current status is unknown."
Scattered January 21, 2013
  1. Escape Plan - "All contact has been lost with Fireteam Crimson. Last seen facing insurmountable odds, they were either killed or captured. Infinity will continue attempting to establish their status."
  2. All The Secrets - "En route to rendezvous with Infinity, Fireteam Crimson has been forced to land at Covenant control facility. Spartans are investigating structure's purpose."
  3. Need To Know — "Surveillance has revealed an underground Covenant intelligence base. Fireteam Crimson is deployed to dig up information on Covenant Operations."
  4. Search and Destroy — "In reaction to intel extracted from Covenant base designated 'Control', Fireteam Switchback is investigating a Covenant archeological dig while Crimson disrupts a Covenant supply depot."
  5. Switchback - "Covenant employing a Harvester in their search for a mysterious artifact. Spartans are deployed to shut down its operations. "
Invasion January 28, 2013
  1. Backup - "All fireteams are recalled to UNSC Infinity to repel Covenant invasion."
  2. Home Field - "Infinity hangar bay is overrun by with Covenant forces. Fireteam Crimson routed to eliminate hostile force."
  3. Engine of Destruction - "Havok nukes have been detected near Infinity engine rooms."
  4. The Guns of Infinity - "Covenant forces en route to retake Infinity engine room. Spartans are to defend against further incursion."
  5. Victory Lap - "Covenant threat has been neutralized, but scattered hostiles remain onboard Infinity. Fireteam Crimson are volunteered for cleanup duty."
Expendable February 4, 2013
  1. Unfinished Business - "Fireteam Crimson redeployed to finish clearing out remaining Covenant hostiles at Apex."
  2. Majestic Rescue - "Fireteam Majestic faces heavy fire from Covenant artillery and are requesting backup. Fireteam Crimson is being sent in to kick some ass."
  3. Lancer - "Fireteam Lancer has detected some covenant nests in Warrens. Spartans are inbound on their position."
  4. Crystal Ball - "Fireteam Crimson dispatched to investigate how the Covenant have been anticipating UNSC movements."
  5. Glassman - "Dr. Glassman has requested the assistance of Spartans in decoding a map recovered from the Covenant. Fireteam Crimson are inbound to assist."
Key February 11, 2013
  1. The Search for Halsey - "Jul 'Mdama has abducted Dr. Catherine Halsey. All fireteams dispatched to investigate her whereabouts."
  2. Clean Up - "Fireteam Crimson dispatched to back up Boa Squad in holding UNSC base at Covenant Control."
  3. Science Mountain - "Spartans deployed to investigate Halsey transmission at Apex. Scorpion tank drop requested."
  4. Revenge - "Covenant detention facility targeted for shut down. Spartans on the ground to level structure."
  5. The Hammer - "Numerous Covenant forces inbound on Lockup. UNSC ground teams are holding the area and request Spartan reinforcements."
Exodus February 18, 2013
  1. Artifact - "Shield world Requiem highly unstable and on trajectory to collide with sun. Fireteams Crimson and Majestic in pursuit of artifacts needed to halt planet's course."
  2. In One Way - "Fireteam Crimson is on route through Warrens to acquire the replacement Harvester power supply stored at Apex."
  3. Seize the Power - "Numerous Pelicans shot down trying to recover the power supply for the Covenant Harvester. Fireteam Crimson searching for survivors while recovering the replacement part."
  4. Out the Other - "Pelican dispatched to retrieve Fireteam Crimson and the Harvester power supply, but Covenant forces are converging on their location in Warrens."
  5. One Last Time - "Requiem's impact with sun is imminent. Spartans deployed to Covenant Harvester with replacement power supply."


Appearances

Characters

Locations

Organizations

Weapons


Production notes

  • Prior to the adoption of the photorealistic CGI used in the final game, Spartan Ops episodes were to be accompanied by stylized motion comics akin to those featured in the Terminals. A sample was produced by Planet Jump, an animation studio based in London.[16]
  • Each episode contains a radio that, when shot, plays the first few notes of the Red vs. Blue theme song. Doing so replaces some of the dialog in the episode with lines from the show's voice actors.
  • In Halo: Infinity, some weapons use models from older builds of the game, as seen in early in-game screenshots. For example, the BR85HB SR is erroneously labeled as the BR55HB SR and the M395 Designated Marksman Rifle lacks a front sight. The use of earlier builds to reference in-game assets might also explain why Commander Palmer's hair color varies between the campaign (reddish brown) and the Epilogue and Spartan Ops (nearly black).

Gallery

Sources

  1. ^ a b Game Informer (May 2012), pages 46-47
  2. ^ Kotaku Cortana is Dying, Multiplayer Sounds Very Interesting, and Other Pieces of Halo 4 News
  3. ^ a b Game Informer: Special Halo 4 Podcast
  4. ^ Halo 4 Spartan Ops trailer
  5. ^ Joystiq Halo 4's 'Infinity' multiplayer to introduce Spartan Ops, War Games
  6. ^ The Guardian: E3 2012: Frank O'Connor on Halo 4 – Spartan Ops could run for years
  7. ^ a b NYDailyNews.com: SYSTEM UPDATE: Halo 4 preview, with our first glimpse into return of Master Chief
  8. ^ Halo Waypoint: The Halo Bulletin: 3.28.13
  9. ^ Axis Animation: FEATURED WORK - Halo 4: Spartan Ops Ep 1
  10. ^ Halo Waypoint: The Halo Bulletin: 6.13.12
  11. ^ IGN: Halo 4 E3 floor coverage
  12. ^ a b c IGN The Magic Behind Halo 4
  13. ^ MightyApe.co.nz: Halo 4 Limited Edition screenshots
  14. ^ a b YouTube - Halo 4: Spartan Ops Gameplay
  15. ^ "Halo Waypoint - Halo 4 Terminal - Jul 'Mdama"
  16. ^ Planet Jump: Halo 4 Promotional Film