05/03/2012 15:46 GMT | Updated 05/03/2012 16:25 GMT

Halo 4 Multiplayer Announced - Winter 2012 Release Date - PHOTOS, VIDEO

Details of Microsoft's Halo 4 in multiplayer mode have been revealed today.

For the first time in the series (which could well be called 'get slaughtered by a bunch of 13 year-olds you'll never meet despite your extensive gaming prowess 4'), players can customise abilities and equipment of characters as they progress through the game.

The next instalment of the Halo blockbuster game will arrive in winter 2012, right in time for hibernation time.

The Master Chief is back in Halo 4 to face an ancient evil which threatens the fate of the universe. Just that little thing, then.

If you're excited for Halo 4, then get ready for not just one game, but a whole new trilogy of the Halo series arriving in your sweating, twitching hands from Christmas 2012. If you haven't been good, there's plenty of time to start now.

The Multiplayer detail was leaked last month, via the CV of programmer Brandon Layton, who had been working on Halo 4 starting July 2011, according to Game Bandits.

That site says that Layton listed his duties as including the following:

* He worked on the automation using the language C# and in-game C++ for the creation of bots for a more challenging multiplayer.

* Using the C# language, he was able to create automated bots. These bots will be testing both multiplayer and single player/campaign environments.

* He customised a tool that made it possible for team members to make use of bots in their consoles the whole night. He used SQL database to allow simultaneous bot running.

Along with the Halo 4 announcement, Microsoft also revealed details of the new Forza Horizon and Fable games in their spring Xbox 360 showcase.

Halo 4 will be released on Xbox 360 in winter 2012