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Halo 4: Spartan Ops used to be a Firefight mode with random missions

Halo 4's Spartan Ops season of co-op episodes was originally coined as a slant on Halo: ODST's Firefight mode, developer 343 Industries has revealed.

In an interview on Halo Waypoint, Halo 4 lead designer Chris Haluke and senior designer Greg Murphy discussed the origins of Spartan Ops in detail.

Murphy recalled, "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.

"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."

Haluke explained that the addition of narrative prompted 343 to think bigger with Spartan Ops, "One of the main changes or evolutions with Spartan Ops was the importance of narrative and tying all of Halo's multiplayer together with a story that matters.

"Narrative is an integral part of Spartan Ops, and this truly began to come together at a critical point in production when all the pieces began to fall into place. Working so closely with our narrative team has been an incredible experience, as we all get to feed into the ideas and storylines that ultimately shape Spartan Ops.

Murphy added, "The best way that it changed was going from more arcade-like "random" missions where you would accomplish the same goals, just on different maps in a very generic way, to something story-based, with each mission featuring a unique story, VO, goals, etc."

What do you make of Spartan Ops as it exists now? Does it serve to enhance the core campaign and multiplayer offering, or would you have preferred an expanded return to Firefight mode? Let us know below.

Thanks OXM.

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Dave Cook

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Living in Edinburgh, Scotland. Writing a game called Jettison and a book called Seventh Circle. Loves spicy food.

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