By Jonathan Charles | Oct 07, 2012 10:34 AM EDT
Halo 4 developers 343 Industries unveiled Flood, its evolution of Infection. While still a zombie-killing mode (or Survivor-killing mode, depending on the player's perspective), Flood resembles a user modification rather than a new game mode.
For unfamiliar players, Flood is based around killing Survivors (Spartans) to turn them into Flood. The aim for the Survivors is to survive by killing Flood and/or avoiding death. Two Flood spawn initially, rotating through participating players.
Flood have an Energy Sword-esque "Claw," lunging at close range, and have increase movement speed and jump height. Abilities including Thruster Pack to propel movement forward and particle effects to resemble Flood. Visual effects and armor abilities aside, the experience is very similar. Survivors have a Shotgun and Mangum, both one-hit kills potentially, though ammo is scarce in the latter. Armor abilities for Survivors include Promethean Vision, allowing Flood to be seen from afar.
The problem with Flood is that it is effectively a stripped-down version of the existing Infection modes. Multiple types of Flood are not available, and different ways of attacking therefore; plays simply run towards players and lunge. In Horde mode in Gears of War 3, players defend against different classes of Horde. From the Crawler, effectively a nuisance class, to the Berzerker. Horde have a real sense of fear compared to the smaller humans.
In Flood, the sense of fear is gone. Survivors have the enemy-seeing Promethean Vision and powerful weapons. Team Flood starts out with two players, a sword, and increased speed. Players are not playing as exploding Flood, or Elites or Humans turned by infection with different loadouts. When Flood appear in Halo campaigns, humans and Covenant are backing away with limited ammo and against huge numbers. Put that in tight corridors, and the desperation quickly increases.
It is possible 343 Industries will work on the mode over time. However it is difficult to feel like Flood is little more than fan service to accommodate the sections of fans wanting their inclusion, confirmed not to be in the campaign.
Halo 4 launches Nov. 6 on Xbox 360.
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