Halo 4 Review

Posted by: Scott Morgan | 27 November 2012

Microsoft Studios

343 Industries

Release Date:
November 6th 2012 (NA, EU, AU), November 8th (JP)

Single Player Campaign, Online Multiplayer

Xbox 360

Reviewed On:
Xbox 360

We were told we’d finish the fight in Halo 3 yet at the end gamers were left drifting in space along with Master Chief and Contana wanting more. After the game other ones followed like Halo: ODST and Halo: Reach but were never really want the fans wanted. After Bungie stepped out of the Halo light Microsoft took it upon themselves and created 343 Industries which would purely develop more Halo games. Many fans have been wondering if 343 could take over and make a Halo game which all fans have been waiting for.

Halo 4 continues four years after Halo 3 where the Chief turned on a distress signal hoping the UNSC would find the ship he was on as it flowed through space. Master Chief is suddenly awakened by Contana as someone or something appears to board the ship. The pair realise they are floating above a planet called Requiem and head to the surface to realise they are facing a new threat to humanity. Their journey to stop this becomes harder as Contana has some issues of her own along the way. As well as fighting off the new enemies, the promethiums, the story goes deeper than ever into the relationship between Master Chief and Contana.

The game has so much more to offer than any other Halo game. As well as the campaign which comes in under 10 hours the game features Spartan Ops. Spartan Ops is an small episodic story which happens a few months after the end of Halo 4. The story doesn’t follow Master Chief but contains a few tiny spoilers if you haven’t completed the campaign, so watch out. You play missions which last about 5 chapters which are all set in the same small universe. rumours gave surfaced about there being 50 episodes
in total. And that could just be the first season of them. Fans of ODST and Reach may wonder “Where is Firefight?”. Well this is its replacement. Firefight mode has been removed and finally replaced with someone decide. Don’t get me wrong it was a good game mode but got boring very quickly.

Halo 4 definitely strikes a new balance between old and new. The classic Halo gameplay everyone remembers and loves and the new environment, enemies and weapons make people want to play it even more. Once again the enemy AI in this game really holds it together as they are unpredictable and make each fight memorable. One enemy type will revive their comrades forcing you to think about what you are doing while fighting and who to kill first instead of just killing everyone in the area and moving on.

The multiplayer for any Halo game was always the best part of it and Halo 4 does not disappoint. The multiplayer has had a tweak or two in its lay out. Everything comes under ‘War Games’ making it an even more competitive place to play. The classic game modes like Slayer, Oddball, King of the King and Capture the flag are of course back but joined with new modes like Flood. If you have played Custom Games since Halo 3 you most likely have played a game type called Infection. Flood is just the same but
made properly at the studio. The classic forge is back too and bigger than ever with 3 maps design especially for creating your own maps for Custom Games. The maps online are different from what you maybe use to. There are a lot of maps but they are designed for certain game types and don’t appear in every game mode so the maps online are always the same and seem to be nothing different.

The levelling up system in the game isn’t all that great and is just like all modern shooters. As you progress and earn XP you can unlock guns, armour and now special abilities like jetpacks, constant sprint and more. you also get tactical packages which all give you a little something extra in your loadout. You can have many different loadouts and having them ready for any game mode is a plus. Don’t forget to use the new alien weaponry and abilities. Though these weapons are just like UNSC and Covenant weapons but of course adjusted a bit to be different. They cant be to different as this would unbalance the game. There is only one new vehicle in the game which is a Mantis which is a giant fighting defence robot you can get in and control.

The soundtrack to this game I think is better than ever. The main theme was always over used in the other games but in this game there is a different piece of music for a certain part of the game. When I first put the game in I sat and listened to the title screen theme as it blew it away. The voice acting in the game is top rate and the Master Chief himself finally shows some emotional rather than just being a heartless killing machine.

343 Industries have done an amazing job with the graphics in the game. The art is just so unreal. As I started the campaign I struggled to figure out if the cinematic opening was real or computer generated. A friend of mine still believes its real. I didn’t think an Xbox 360 could handle the outstanding CGI graphics that Halo 4 cinematic scenes but it can and makes me wonder why no one else has tried. A massive fun part of the game is playing the story just to see what eye popping environments lie around the corner.

Expectations for Halo 4 have obviously been high and 343 have delivered a game that manages to balance perfectly between old and new with only a few stumbles. They left alone the structure of the campaign while giving it an overcoat in graphics and much more. They May have played around with the multiplayer to give it their own feel but I don’t think it really did any damage and Halo fans will love it. The studio defiantly played it safe with this game but may play around with things to much in the next. Lets hope they don’t and just keep Halo, Halo.

The Good
The Bad
A great addition to the Halo series
This review is based on playing the Xbox 360 version of Halo 4 .

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