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'Halo 4's' Specializations add new armor and features

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A game changer comes to Halo 4

Halo 4 Spartan Ops
Halo 4 Spartan Ops

Halo 4's introduction of multiplayer 'Specializations' – a kind of Spartan mini-class – will allow players to customize and prolong their multiplayer experience, according to Halo 4 Spartan Ops designer David Ellis.

Two of the Specializations – Pioneer and Wetwork – will be available at launch with the remaining six rolling out online after the game's launch. Those who purchase the Halo 4 Limited Edition will have access to all eight Specializations immediately.

David Ellis says that the Specializations are an opportunity to make the game feel fresh long after its release by giving players the opportunity to unlock 10 extra levels of cosmetic armor and a gameplay modifying perk.

The unlockable armor types include:

Wetworks: Players show up on screen as only an outline while wearing this armor (they still appear on radar, though). The suit adds sound dampening to the soilder and speeds up the assassination animation, which leaves players vulnerable for a shorter period of time.

Pioneer: Features a Fast Track mode that nets the player experience points at a higher rate. Players can only get the extra experience points for the duration that they are using the mod.

Engineer: The Engineer has the advantage of seeing weapon drops a few seconds before they are visible for everyone else. Based on distance to the weapon, players can get an arrow pointing them to the nearest timed ordinance drop.

Tracker: When a weapon drops, players are usually given either grenades, a weapon or a power up. The Tracker mod allows the player to get a new selection if they are unhappy with what they've found. Ellis describes this as a "re-roll" of the three choices.

Rogue: When players are zooming in for a shot, the Rogue Specialization allows them to keep their reticule more stable, essentially allowing players to snipe.

Stalker: Using the Stalker Specialization, players will be able to see an icon of the last person that killed them on their HUD. Players can also track enemies who have attacked but not killed them; a useful perk for retaliation.

Pathfinder: The Pathfinders Specialzation gives players access to the Gunner mod, which reduces the cool-down on vehicle weapon overheating and allows players to move faster when carrying a detached emplacement.

Operator: The Operator Specialization allows players to recharge the health of a vehicle faster than usual and rewards players for driving well.

Halo 4 will be released November 6th and is exclusive to the Xbox 360.

Update: We've added a gallery of the armor types below.