Chris Haluke, the lead designer working on Halo 4, reveals that the Spartan Ops cooperative game mode in the new Master Chief adventure was initially set to be a version of the Firefight mode that was introduced in Halo: ODST.
The developer tells the official Halo Waypoint that, “It originally was a Firefight-type mode, where it wasn’t always about killing all the enemies. Some missions would be get an item (like a bomb) to the bomb spot, kill the leader, capture the item, etc. But it was more arcadey and meant to be replayable.”
He adds, “Each map would have the same four or five types of missions. When you played them, it would randomly pick four missions on four different maps, and your party would play through them. We got back to this concept, then onto just concentrating on the five missions a week, then making the missions story driven.”
When 343 Industries took over the Halo franchise, they understood how important strong narrative was to the game and they decided to expand the story in Spartan Ops and make it almost as important as that of the core single player.
Spartan Ops is also a good way of keeping players interested in Halo 4 in the long term and allows the development team to drop more narrative nuggets as it works on the next game in the planned second Master Chief trilogy.
In Spartan Ops, two players join forces in order to explore maps taken from the single player, battling larger enemy forces and cooperating to achieve various objectives.
343 Industries is in the middle of the first season for the game mode, which will take place over 10 weeks.
Halo 4 is available exclusively on the Xbox 360 and the game managed to break sales records for the series during its first week on sale.