Halo 4 Review
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A thrilling, moving story and intense competitive multiplayer help Halo 4 continue the series' reign as one of the premier shooter franchises.
- Engrossing, emotional story
- Stellar combat mechanics
- Attractive environments, charismatic characters, and exceptional soundtrack
- Greater diversity in competitive multiplayer
- Powerful creation and customization tools.
- Spartan Ops missions are too fleeting.
Halo is in new hands. After chronicling humanity's defeat in Halo: Reach, developer and series creator Bungie passed the reins to 343 Industries, who has charted a new course for the iconic Spartan and his AI companion, Cortana. In Halo 4, the duo confronts a fresh new threat to the human race and grapples with mortality in a way the series never has before. The result is the most compelling story a Halo game has ever told, conveyed through a campaign that combines the excellent combat, pacing, and environmental design that have long been hallmarks of the series. The intriguing new cooperative mode feels flimsy, but the competitive multiplayer reasserts itself as one of the most exciting offerings in the genre. Halo 4 doesn't just take the franchise baton in stride; it sprints out confidently to keep Master Chief and company at the head of the pack.
At the end of Halo 3, Master Chief and Cortana were adrift on a derelict ship, having just struck the final blow to bring an end to the Covenant's devastating campaign against the human race. Chief then entered cryo-sleep for the next four years, while humanity poured its energies into fortifying its defenses and expanding its galactic presence. A captivating opening cutscene shows this new initiative taking a critical look at the past, foreshadowing some interesting tension later in the game. Meanwhile, Chief and Cortana are roused when they stumble upon a dire threat to humanity's existence. This foe provides the series with its first proper villain, one whose roots in previously-vague Forerunner mythology soon come into frightening focus.
These galactic machinations are dramatic and intriguing, and they are brought to life vividly by Halo 4's stunning technical prowess. From sweeping panoramic vistas to claustrophobic jungle clearings, the environments are rich with detail enhanced by thoughtful lighting and sharp textures. The excellent artistic design that makes human, Covenant, and Forerunner architecture so instantly recognizable is on display once more, helping to create a cohesive sci-fi world. Expressive facial animations bring characters to life, imbuing the cutscenes with extra emotional weight and making the story that much more engaging. It's all tied together with an amazing soundtrack that complements every aspect of the game. Alien environments ring with eerie strains, characters' emotions are reflected in plangent chords, and the intense action is driven along by urgent orchestrations.
Yet for all the excitement and emotion of the main plot, the most engrossing drama of Halo 4 takes place between Master Chief and Cortana. Everyone's favorite artificial intelligence is nearing her expiration date, forcing these two all-but-invincible characters to face the prospect of death in a way they never have. This delicate, degenerative process is handled eloquently, and great voice acting, animation, and writing combine for some poignant moments. 343 Industries delivers a compelling narrative on both an intimate and a grand scale, with a satisfying conclusion that will make you excited for what's to come.
Halo 4 is a striking step up in storytelling for the series, but when it comes to the action, things are more familiar. Halo has always been a shooter built on clear gameplay systems that combine in complex and gratifying ways. The crafty and aggressive enemy AI squads work together, adjusting their tactics as you assault their ranks. Your four-pronged arsenal of guns, grenades, melee attacks, and armor abilities fuels a variety of different battlefield strategies. And the environments both large and small provide enough space to maneuver creatively, occasionally furnishing a vehicle or two for your driving enjoyment.
These systems are a through line in the series and they continue to hold up well in Halo 4, right down to the Covenant enemies that you fight at various points throughout the campaign (apparently not everyone knows the war is over). They still make great foes, but the new Promethean enemies offer a fresh combat challenge. Canine crawlers fire from a distance or swarm up close, while hovering watchers flit back and forth, offering maddening support to their allies. The hulking knights look fearsome and put up a mean fight, teleporting both defensively and offensively to make killing them from a distance a tricky proposition. New enemies come with new weapons too, and though these guns fit familiar niches, neat tweaks like the boltshot's shotgun-esque alternate fire and the scattershot's ricocheting bullets make them feel distinct.
As you balance aggression and restraint, you see your enemies doing the same thing, and this tactical interplay makes the core combat eminently engaging and replayable. The campaign is well paced and often challenging, and though some Forerunner areas flirt with repetition, the whole endeavor is exciting for the 8 to 10 hours it takes to finish it. Playing with up to three other players is a blast, and Halo 4's campaign thrives in cooperative play. More Spartans means more freedom for you to employ team tactics, put vehicles to good use, play around with the various game-tweaking skulls, or simply have fun horsing around.
i played the previous one,it was absolutely ridiculous so i'm not gonna pay for this.and of course it doesnt deserve 9
i have decided to not read comments about games i love to play, as the comments are just filled with haters who MOSTLY have not even played the game. shame on you. its too bad the console war crap is probably going to increase come next gen...
Alas,the bane of the modern FPS is the short campaign.Apart from Far Cry 3,granted the story is shortish,but outposts,hunting,etc,gave it some meat.May get Halo 4,the campaign can't be any worse than COD blops 2 can it? That sucked more than a toothless ho!
This is one great game period. If you own an Xbox this is one game that's a must have in your library. But view the credits to catch Master Chief's lasts comments you will not be disappointed.
I need players to go through the campaign and spartan ops with.
Both on legendary. Interested?
Gamer tag is OG ZombieInk.
Xbox all the way!!!
The real attraction for most Halo fanatics is the story. And while it may seem generic, that is truly only surface deep. Unfortunately, 343 thought it was a good idea to explain the story in the ACTUAL detail required through hidden terminals. This rendered the story fairly generic and generally incomprehensible. Dig deeper, go to Halopedia.org, and you'll see just how complex the Halo universe really is.
Loved it. The only thing I dont like, is the opening screen theme. They should of kept the original.
Okay so this is my first halo game, nice visuals, has a feel of grandeur about it, one thing I loved is that the campaign seems more difficult on normal setting than other FPS.
ehhh... I have to say 343 definitely seem to have a different approach to graphics, in places it is quite lazy. I noticed this with combat evolved anniversary and the later halo: reach map packs they did. They went all mass effect 3 with the lens flares which at times is annoying and pointless.
The story didn't really engage me as the previous ones have, just a whole lot of running around familiar-looking shiny buildings pressing buttons and whizzing through portals. Don't get me wrong, all halo games have a very linear story-line but it just felt really forced in this one. I felt like meeting a foreunner was actually pretty anti-climatic. generic bad guy motives and voice... who obviously will return for the next couple of games. Aaaaaaand *spoiler* since cortana is dead I am seriously concerned about how she will be replaced. They've been a duo since the beginning, and I wonder if 343 will pull an old deus ex machina and produce some sort of excuse as to how she can be revived.
And no theatre mode for campaign?? that's just shit. really, really, shit. Taking a step backwards there. And why have we not got a forge world equivalent? And why does forge insist on updating the lighting each time you switch from mode to mode, instead of after each round? even though it only takes a few seconds it gets annoying really quickly.
Spartan ops is just a bit silly really. I mean, at least with firefight, they don't try and glorify it with some sort of storyline, it's just waves of enemies for no reason and it's fun. I don't really give a shit about these generic military characters, I mean if you actually listen to the reasons they give for re-visiting each map area again and again, it's completely nonsensical. I like the idea of a secondary storyline, and the CGI clips you unlock look fantastic, but it is not needed to justify recycling campaign maps.
I think that is everything I want to rant about. On a smaller side note, I do not like the main menu. I know. but I am really anal about these things and it bugged the crap out of me seeing them use a white flash when you exit infinity. Laaazzzyyyyyyy. I think halo: reach got it right with the 2.5D matte paintings. and the buttons are just bulky. I'm sorry but you can tell it's not bungie because they would be more tasteful than that.
I dont really see the difference between Halo 3, Halo:Reach and Halo 4. Beside some graphic changes and cortana looking differente in each game. I like Halo 4, but come on ppl, stop saying its the best thing ever or the worst thing ever. Ust enjoy it or dont play it.
I am looking for people to play halo 4 with (war games), if you're interested add me, GT = WAR ISTHEAN5W3R
Great game, took the best parts of the previous Halo games and sped it up just enough to make it more fun.
343 Studios outdid Bungie with this new chapter in the Halo saga as it is easily the best of the best in the series - looking forward to the next chapter in the Halo universe now :)
This game is very beautiful if you never seen Skyrim, Battlefield 3 or Far Cry 3. It has a great multiplayer if you have never played Battlefield 3, Unreal Tournament or Planetside.The story in Halo 4 is just amazing.... If you never saw a game with a story before, and I am not even talking about Pathologic or Bioshock. It has a great music indeed... Unfortunately not in a world where there are McGee's Alice, Populous 3 and Dawn of War. So, you see, Halo 4 is a very very good game! Not its fault that all other games are just better! LOL
Sure, you beat the game on Legendary difficulty to get almost a whole entire second of footage of something that we already knew. Then it's all cheers and w00ts. But you do three times the amount of work in Mass Effect 3 for a huge reveal that is supposed to give you the emotional satisfaction that you triumphed over all odds and survived, but all of a sudden it's all like *BOO* *HISS* "THE ENDING TO ME3 SUCKED BAWLZ BIOWARE CHANGE IT"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1K818C7wm4 subscribe and like please
I got this game from a friend to day, and I going to have a go at it... and probably that is the only way I ever going to play this game.... for FREE..
I mean... come on.. who wants to pay the full price for JUST about 6 hours of game play, that resembles all the other Halo games ?
here is my review. ok, your a space marine. there are aliens that you have to kill. some little funny ones and some big ones. you have a rifle and a handgun and sometimes u can get a sniper rifle and a rocket launcher type gun. bad stuff happens and you save the world at the end.
this review is good for all the halo games. im kinda talking trash but honestly ive bought and played all the halo games and while I enjoy them it just makes me think people haven't had a chance to try some of the better games out there. to each their own I guess.
@fa11en1134 I'm inclined to agree with you. My problem with Microsoft is that they just aren't being very original with new IPs. They're mostly relying on refining the same franchises including Halo, Gears of War and Call of Duty rather than make new ones like Sony is doing or adding many new things to their treasured game series like Nintendo has done over the years. Maybe that will change in the next Xbox (if it's announced this year of course!)
@fa11en1134 Actually, the game where you really 'are a space marine' (ironically called 'Space Marine') has a much more satisfying melee, shooting and hit registration, and better graphics and level design, and still considered to be a failed game. What to say about Halo then?....
I bought the Halo 4 Xbox 360 package, I don't play that many console games. I played Halo 1 & 2 on the original Xbox, hadn't played any since then. Figured I'd break down and buy a 360, now that there's tons of games available. Halo 4 was a lot of fun, had a few frustrating moments, but that's with any game. I will definitely play the next game in the series (plus go back and play Halo 3).
Usually, I'm not interested by any type of shooter game on the market, but the recent Halo 4 has my interest peaked. I'm not a regular FPS person at all (I'm more of an action-y, JRPG Final Fantasy fan) but I'm wondering if I should delve into the series or not...as a question directed to the fanbase of Halo, what is the appeal of this game? I've heard great things about its soundtrack and story, which are two things I value in my games, but what about the gameplay itself? For an FF fan like me, I'm not too eagar to play anything that had me mashing buttons in intense combat. Unless it's Bayonetta, of course xD
@Bayonetta2013 It all depends if you're willing to plunge into a deep sci-fi universe. It's already a well developed series with a fantastic story, but if you aren't interested in the fps gameplay then don't bother with halo 4.
@Bayonetta2013 Well, ma'friend, HALO: Combat Involved was the greatest HALO ever. But, anyways, this one deserves a place in the hall of fame.
Here are my thoughts on 'Spartan Ops'.
343 follows the rule golden rule: "If it ain't broke don't fix it" very well, they just forgot about "If it ain't broke, don't ditch it!" Firefight is completely gone. Campaign scoring also missing. Firefight is replaced with Spartan Ops. Which on paper is great idea. Having new missions unlocked each week gives players something new to comeback too. I wanted to love Spartan Ops, but again they 'ditched' a few key ingredients that would have made it amazing and additive. There is no scoring and there are no limited lives either. In fact if you die, you just span right near where you died. No consequence for dying, which removes all thrill of succeeding. I loved being down to my last life on Firefight and working battle and sneaking by on skin of my teeth to the next wave. My solution would have been simple, add the option of limited lives and double players experience points for passing the level and increase that number for the higher difficulty settings.
What do other people think?
@chris_watters Hi. The way you describe Halo 4's single player, all apart from the story, makes me think of the original Unreal. That is not a bad thing in any way, in fact, its lacking in modern FPSs imo. How would you match them up?
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@UltraHiDef Obvious troll is obvious.
If not trolling, incredibly....INCREDIBLY ignorant.
Ignorance on a turbo-legendary magnitude
CoD Black Ops 2 is the same as the last Black Ops, CoDMW3, and CoDMW2is the same as the one before it CoDMW. Thanks for 343 Industries and Microsoft for innovating in Halo 4 and their efforts to make this a better game.
Where in COD "fun" can't be added in a patch. So no matter how many times they patch it, a bad game is a bad game.
P.S. You could do this ^ with any game, both games suck, but CoD get the gold medal of crappiest games, why Activision bother with names?, they should call them Call of Duty 2011, 2012, 2013, same game with some updates and an interactive 3-4 hr movie, "innovating" lol.
@UltraHiDef Youre out of your mind Blops 2 is horrible