New information regarding Halo 4 has slipped out, courtesy of Microsoft’s ExpertZone website, a resource that allows retailers to train staff on upcoming products.

The information was gleaned from a collection of slides by The Little English Halo Blog, and it has emerged that we will see ten all-new weapons in the full game. We’ve already seen two of these in the E3 demo – the Forerunner Lightrifle and shotgun-like Scattershot – so I’m looking forward to seeing what other tools of destruction we’ll see. On top of this, we also have two new vehicles to look forward to – I’m guessing some futuristic Forerunner rides.

On the multiplayer side, Halo 4 will ship with ten maps out of the box, which will of course be supplemented down the line via DLC map packs. But the big news here is more detail for Spartan Ops, Halo 4’s co-operative, story-based multiplayer mode. We’ve heard 343i talk of this mode in terms of ‘seasons’, and a slide shows that a season will comprise 50 missions over a ten-week period, and that this first season will be completely free – five free missions a week for ten weeks? For free? Sign me up! These missions will apparently be prefaced by a “high-quality cinematic” to brief you on the mission ahead, and the first season as a whole will apparently run about 12 hours in length, which the slide notes is “…like getting two campaigns with one game!” A subtle hint that Halo 4‘s campaign will be twelve hours long, or a case of me reading far too much into it..?

Spartan Ops could well end up being Halo 4’s ace-in-the-hole when it launches this November, as it sounds like a more-than worthy replacement for Firefight mode (which could still make a surprise appearance), especially with hours of free content on the way. It may also invite previously SP-only players into multiplayer, seeing as it’s embedded in the full game’s narrative.

I’m liking pretty much everything I’m hearing about Halo 4, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the finished article in five month’s time.