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(Pocket-lint) - Halo fans, we’ve got some good news; Microsoft has confirmed that Halo 4, the next installment in the Halo franchise on the Xbox 360, will be in the shops this Christmas. 

Microsoft made the rather vague launch date announcement in a press release detailing how the company has teamed up with Neil Davidge of Massive Attack fame to compose the score for Halo 4.


Burried at the bottom of the press release was this: “Launching worldwide exclusively on Xbox 360 this Christmas, Halo 4 is the next blockbuster instalment of the iconic franchise that has shaped entertainment history and defined a generation of gamers.”

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First teased at E3 in June 2011, Halo 4 is expected to be one of Microsoft’s biggest games this year and no doubt a big focus for the company at the 2012 E3 gaming conference in LA. 

Developed by 343 Industries, Halo 4 continues the story of the Master Chief as he returns to confront his destiny and face an ancient evil that threatens the fate of the entire universe. 

“Halo 4 takes the series in a bold new direction by delivering its most epic and explorative campaign yet, alongside an emotionally resonant story and a groundbreaking multiplayer offering unlike anything before it – setting the stage for an epic new sci-fi saga,” reckon Microsoft, trying to get us more excited than someone first in line at an Apple event. 

As for the soundtrack, there appears to be no holding back. Davidge and his production team have enlisted a 16-strong male tenor / bass choir plus 10 female vocalists, a full 50-piece orchestra and a host of other performers. 

“As a passionate Halo fan, I’m incredibly honoured and thrilled to have the opportunity to compose the score for Halo 4,” said Davidge.  “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.”

Davidge’s previous work includes the score for Clash of the Titans. 

He replaces Martin O’Donnell from Bungie who composed the previous game soundtracks.

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Writing by Stuart Miles.