Halo 4 is still a while off, but 343 Industries has started revealing bite-sized tidbits of information about the upcoming game. While most people are, understandably, a little fixated about details of Halo 4 multiplayer and story elements, gamers who enjoy a good tune or two are pleasantly surprised to learn that a composer from Clash of the Titans will be penning the game's musical score.
Neil Davidge has scored documentary films, action movies and contributed additional music to a number of Hollywood blockbusters, but he's perhaps best known as part of UK-based group Massive Attack. One of the pioneers of the trip-hop genre, Davidge is an award-winning producer, songwriter, musician and composer, who has created some of the most innovative sounds released over the past two decades.
In amongst all that, Davidge has found time to spend some time with Master Chief.
As a passionate Halo fan, I’m incredibly honored and thrilled to have the opportunity to compose the score for Halo 4.
Music has always been at the heart of what makes Halo so captivating and iconic. With Halo 4, we want to build upon the franchise’s amazing legacy and create a score that captures the awe and wonder of the Halo universe, and reinforces the deeper and more emotionally impactful journey Master Chief will embark on.
It's appropriate for Davidge to step up to this task - he's the first new composer to write music for the series since the original Halo more than a decade ago. Combine that with the new brooms of 343 Industries, and we're in for something that will inevitably bring a breath of fresh air to the series.
(...with a 16-person male tenor/bass choir, 10 female Bulgarian vocalists and a 50 piece orchestra, that fresh air will sound pretty nifty, too.)
But that's not all we know about Halo 4, which has been under a bit of media spotlight this week, focussing on multiplayer. If you're one of those people who memorises where each item spawns, you're outta luck - drops are now random, so you'll have to look like the rest of them. We're also promised super-speedy respawn times, with 343 promising to refine and evolve the multiplayer elements of the series.
In addition to that, 343 Industries has promised a new game mode: Regicide. Like a schoolyard game of tag, the most successful player will be hunted down by everybody else - and the winning 'King' will score a bunch of points, before becoming the target of the next round.
Another new mode - Spartan Ops - will focus on episodic content, up to four-person co-op, and new (free!) missions arriving each week.
Storywise, details are slim, but Halo 4 will involve Cortana - like all Halo universe AI creations - reaching the end of her seven year shelf-life. Whether Master Chief will accept this news quietly is yet to be seen.
The game is based four years after the events of Halo 3, the Covenant are back, but a new enemy is also set to make itself known. More details are expected soon - most likely with a major update around E3.