All about Halo 4 Flood Mode

Excerpt from The Halo Bulletin: 10.3.12 by Bs Angel at Halo Waypoint:


Brand spankin’ new Flood screenshot 1!
Flood is the spiritual successor to Infection, a fan-favorite game type from Halo 3 and Reach. Our goal was to recreate it and push the mode to be new and different from previous versions. As both War Games and Spartan Ops fit within the fiction of the UNSC Infinity, we wanted to use Halo fiction in this mode too, which led to us to create the Flood form in Multiplayer. Flood-converted humans are much faster and focus on melee attacks, so they were a natural fit for Infection’s successor.

Halo 4’s Flood mode is a round-based, ten-player game. It is a true asymmetric experience with the added twist of dynamic teams; this really changes things up as each game is different, especially in the incredibly intense and high-action final seconds.

At the beginning of each round, two players spawn as Flood forms and eight players spawn as Survivors. Survivors are standard Spartans equipped with shotguns and magnums, while Flood move very quickly and can only use a melee attack. When a Survivor gets killed by a Flood, the Survivor will convert and respawn as a Flood. The round ends if a Survivor makes it to 3:00 or if all players are converted to Flood.

One of the things we concentrated on for War Games was establishing player roles in Multiplayer, so we put a great deal of attention into being the King, Flag carrier, Grif, etc. Being the final Survivor is another role we focused on, and it’s a very intense experience having nine other Flood rush at you. Some (and by some, I of course mean David Ellis) would even say it’s poo-inducing.

Brand spankin’ new Flood screenshot 2!

We went through several iterations of tuning settings, mostly around getting the Flood to feel right in the sandbox and making the Flood experience noticeably different than the Survivor experience. To ensure the Flood’s gameplay had a unique feel, we honed in on the following elements:

The Flood Character Model
A unique character model for both first and third-person.

The Claw
A special melee weapon tuned just for the Flood.

Flood Armor Effect
A special effect that trails behind Flood characters.

Flood Screen Effect
A first-person screen effect that shows the haunted view of a Flood.

Dynamic Music
When playing as the Flood or final Survivor, dynamic music plays in the background to intensify the experience.

Flood Gameplay Tuning
Flood move faster, react differently to bullets, and have specially tuned armor abilities, the core of which is an enhanced Flood Thrust Pack.

The Floodsassination
How could we not?!

The biggest challenges when designing this mode were getting the Survivor vs. Flood balance just right, keeping the experience interesting and dynamic (whether it’s two Flood vs. eight Survivors or nine Flood vs. one Survivor), and building a system that made initial-round spawning more consistent. Where we landed, for the lattermost thing in particular is that players will not spawn randomly as Flood or Survivors at the beginning of a match. Instead, your initial spawn is based on previous rounds.

Flood features an exclusive set of medals that can only be earned by playing this particular game mode, and it also has its own set of custom game options. The former is detailed below.

(see original article for images of Flood Mode medals)

Flood Conversion Convert a Spartan to the Flood
Alpha Conversion Convert a Spartan to the Flood as an Alpha
Infector Kill 2 Spartans in a row as a Flood without dying
Carrier Kill 3 Spartans in a row as a Flood without dying
Juggernaut Kill 4 Spartans in a row as a Flood without dying
Gravemind Kill ALL Spartans in a row as a Flood without dying
Flood Kill Kill a Flood
Flood Kill Assist Assist killing a Flood
Flood Hunter Kill 4 Flood in a row as a Spartan without dying
Flood Survivor Kill 6 Flood in a row as a Spartan without dying
Flood Exterminator Kill 10 Flood in a row as a Spartan without dying
Last Man Standing Be the last surviving Spartan
Final Conversion Kill the last remaining Spartan
Flood Victory Contribute to the Flood total conversion of all Spartans
Ancient One Survive the entire round as a Flood and convert at least one Spartan
Clever Survive the entire round as a Spartan

Brand spankin’ new Flood screenshot 3!
Here’s a sneak peek of our planned Flood settings for launch.

Round Length

3:00 minutes (Survivor win or all Spartans converted)

• Number of Rounds

– 3

• Players

– 10 Players

o 2 Spawn as Alpha per round

o 8 Spawn as Survivors

For Lead Designer Kevin Franklin, the best part of the design process has been seeing players who have never tried Infection before try out Flood. The overwhelming sentiment from those players has been that it’s a great high-action, high-intensity experience with tons of close quarter combat and close calls.

We expect you to tell us what you think, come November 6. :)

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