343 Pulls Back the Curtain on Halo 4's Flood Mode

By Jonathan Barnes, 4 years ago
Let's jump into the DeLorean with Einstein and Doc Brown for a second, and go back to the wonderful year of 2002 to see a young(er) obj in his college apartment, drinking a bottle of... something... and playing Halo: Combat Evolved. I had just made it through the 343 Guilty Spark mission when those things appeared.

What is that? Oh god... what is that!? WHAT IS THAT!?
I'm sure many of you had the same experience when you were first exposed to the Flood, and were excited to hear that the parasitic life forms would be absent from the campaign of the upcoming Halo 4. Then last month, we showed off some new screenshots which spoke of a new "Flood Mode".

Today, 343 is giving a bit more insight into this new multiplayer mode.

Flood 1

The first thing to know is that (according to 343) Flood Mode is the spiritual successor to Infection. In this updated mode, you'll be fighting off Flood-converted humans that are much faster and focus on melee attacks.

Flood Mode is a round-based, ten-player game. At the beginning of each round, two players spawn as Flood forms with eight others spawning as Survivors. These Survivors are Spartans equipped with shotguns and magnums. When a Survivor gets killed by a Flood, the Survivor will convert and respawn as a Flood. The round ends if as much as a single Survivor makes it to 3:00 or if all players become infected.

Flood 2

One thing that 343 wants to really focus on is throwing attention on a single player in some multiplayer sessions. Think of how it feels to be the King, Flag carrier, Grif, Juggernaut, etc. They hope to carry this feeling over to Flood Mode and have gone so far as to say that being the last Survivor is a "poo-inducing" experience.

To make the experience of playing as an infected Flood more unique, they've added some features that are exclusive to the experience:

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?!
As always, the biggest challenge of designing a multiplayer mode is keeping it balanced. Fortunately, the spawning of rounds (determining who is a Survivor and who is an infected Flood) is based on the previous round's performance.

Flood 3

343 has also made an exclusive set of medals that can only be earned by playing Flood Mode as well as giving it its own set of custom game options.

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
343 has also given a quick look at what the initial settings for flood mode will be.

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

Number of Rounds
- 3

- 10 Players
o 2 Spawn as Alpha per round
o 8 Spawn as Survivors
As always, be sure to check out 343's The Halo Bulletin for complete details (and a look at those medal icons).

Halo 4 is set for a worldwide release on November 6th.
Jonathan Barnes
Written by Jonathan Barnes
Jonathan has been a news/views contributor since 2010. When he's not writing reviews, features, and opinion pieces, he spends his days working as an informal science educator and his nights as an international man of mystery.