Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Developer: 343 Industries
Release Date: 11/6/2012
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The Halo series is probably one of the most repetitive and unchanging series I have ever played. The first 3 were pretty good and Reach and ODST made me fall asleep. With Bungie out of the picture and 343 Industries into the captain’s chair, I figured Halo may have some great new changes. I was half right. The single-player campaign is pretty fun and is as tough as nails. The new weapons are awesome to shoot and there are new enemies for once that are different. The story is convoluted and confusing, but hardcore fans may be able to follow it okay.
The mechanics are pretty much the same as previous Halo games. There are no iron sights, the game is fast-paced with high jumping and fast sprinting. There’s still no cover system which is a shame and the game is damn hard. I felt the story was a bit random and the environments felt the same way. One minute I’m shooting the same tired Covenant then these machines type aliens, then mutated Covenant, then regular Covenant. There were some vehicle sections and I was riding a giant vehicle. The game just felt all over the place, but it was fun at least.
The story is really confusing and never makes much sense. Something about Cortana being infected and a giant being called the Didact trying to destroy everything. It’s nothing fancy or sophisticated but you can’t expect much from an FPS. At least the game just feels tighter and a bit more heavy feeling and less floaty than other Halos. I felt the weapons had weight to them and the sheer variety had me switching them up all the time for different situations. I did find that there were repetitive scenarios throughout the whole game like jumping into stations to hit a button at the top and running back down to get to the next one. This scenario repeated often throughout the whole game and felt archaic and overly simple.
While the structured campaign felt old and tired the multiplayer is still the best part of Halo. The constantly updated match types make you come back for more all the time. The game feels faster-paced and just more fluid and balanced than any previous Halo game. Customization is deep for your avatar, there are many levels to climb, and the unlocks are sweet and rewarding. After you beat the Halo campaign just once I doubt you will ever go back because of how forgettable and repetitive it feels. I honestly think at this point Halo should just continue as a multiplayer-only game and maybe jump on board with PC.
The few little tweaks here and there help the game just become more balanced overall. The lack of dual-wielding makes the game feel more raw and “hardcore”, various adjustments in damage from each weapon and the increased damage for melee attacks are nice. I also love how great the game looks. This is the best-looking Xbox 360 game out and the voice acting and animations are so lifelike. However, the Xbox 360 doesn’t have the processing power as the PS3 so you won’t see The Last of Us quality textures and lighting effects. There are some ugly textures in Halo 4 and it really showed sometimes. Surprisingly there weren’t any slow down or glitches that plagued other Halo games.
Overall, Halo 4 is a great final opus for the 360 but isn’t the revolutionary new Halo like everyone thought. The campaign is repetitive, extremely difficult, and confusing, the story is so-so, but the multiplayer is where the meat of the game is at.