An honest attempt to bring new life into the franchise... That falls short, rather unfortunately.

User Rating: 5.5 | Halo 4 (Wireless Controller Bundle) X360
The single player is really short about six or seven hours on heroic, the AI is very simple falling into repetitive patterns that are easy to predict and manipulate. I found the most difficult part was the mammoth, as you more or less have to hope that the friendly AI doesn't blow up your turrets or just stands there, when you know they could actually use the other turret or I don't know make a cake or something. Ammo is sometimes short in the start (as guns tend to float away) and sometimes you have to leave a good gun behind because the one time they give to you it's almost completely worthless. I found myself bound to two different weapons types as changing my tactics would mean almost certain death, which is a strong let down as at least before you had the whole plasma/shield gun/flesh rock paper scissors dilemma. As far as visuals the game delivers strongly but the polish only goes so far and in some cases it is strangely peeled back to expose a weird sense that maybe it needed more time to play test or direction as bodies fly straight up or the warthog you want to use is crushed in the mammoths door, killing the gunner not that he was worth much. (The mammoth itself was a giant let down) The final stretch of the campaign left me just wanting to run past the three new enemies, to no avail as they throw them at you in such great numbers that by the end of the game you could fill an ocean with all the dead left in your wake, which isn't as gratifying as you would think. I strongly recommend bringing a friend as most of the game you spend alone either because they want you to feel the whole crazy computer lady thing or possibly because the laughable AI who knows. Story is an excuse and nothing more to run here and kill there and run back again, failing to capture any sense of tension or intensity, although it is occasionally broken up by a few rays of light that almost capture that feel…
As far as multiplayer goes I'm still more or less on the fence, most of the modes are the tried and true classics, just with "Fresh" names. It's kind of sad that Halo has gone toward more modern shooters but some of the changes where very much appreciated i.e. people can join your match if teammates leave. I did run into some rather odd bugs; starting an assassination only to inexplicably stop left me scratching my head a few times and the kill cams are hilariously broken as of now. The combat has an odd feel to it that is almost Halo, but that could easily be fixed with patches. Spartan Ops feels like a stripped down firefight that offered no challenge or incentive to play beyond the initial playthrough.
My only hope is that the lessons learned here will help the next game and I am happy that they are willing to take risks and change the formula to try to bring new life into the game.

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