Halo 4! Is it November Yet?

With about a month and a half left until Halo 4 comes out on the Xbox 360, gamers like myself are without a doubt getting pumped for the fourth installment in the Halo series.  We’ve been told that Halo 4 will be like nothing we’ve experienced before, with a new onslaught of enemies (the forerunners), a whole new co-op game mode called Spartan Ops, and a completely revamped online multiplayer experience called War Games.  Hold on to your plasma grenades and load your battle rifles because Halo 4 will be invading homes very shortly.

I think the biggest question that most of us have concerns 343 Industries‘ ability to preserve the classic Halo feel we all know and love while simultaneously revamping the Halo experience entirely.  Can they really make huge improvements to a game that is already hailed as one of the kings of FPS’s without turning it into something that feels like COD?  We’ve been told that sprinting and custom classes have been added into Halo 4’s online play (amongst other things), which sounds very similar to the Call of Duty franchise’s online experience, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t be Halo anymore.  It’s scary when game developers begin to make big adjustments to games like Halo because there is always a chance that the changes may be too much for die-hard fans to handle.  That being said, I don’t believe that Halo 4 will disappoint in any category of its gameplay, even on Xbox live.

From the Halo 4 online gameplay videos I’ve watched I’ve noticed a few interesting things.  First, the assassination animations have been refined, which is awesome because there’s nothing more satisfying than assassinating your opponent.  Additionally, point indicators show up when you kill your opponent in a manner that is very similar to COD.  This is a small change, but it may bug Halo fans who prefer the classic play style and interface from previous games in the franchise.  Finally, sprinting and armor abilities have been separated, which means that you better watch your back because now everyone can sprint without giving up something else.  I don’t really know how I feel about this yet because I haven’t played the game, but I’m assuming that online play will feel much more fast-paced and hectic than previous installments like Halo 3 and Halo Reach where sprint was classified as a separate armor ability.  Although there are some major changes in online play regarding Halo 4, it still seems to possess the classic Halo feel that we’re all used to.  It almost feels like the jump from Halo 3 to Halo Reach.  Some big changes were made between those two games as well, but the changes ultimately served to refine the playing experience.

One of the cooler features I’m looking forward to in Halo 4 is Spartan Ops mode, which is a separate campaign style game mode that can be played solo or online with friends.  It’s recommended that you play Spartan Ops with multiple players, but playing alone is a viable option as well.  What gets me so excited for this game mode is the fact that 343 Industries will be updating missions on a regular basis so you never have to worry about running out of missions to play.  What’s even better is that the newly updated missions are supposedly free.  This may just be a rumor, but I’m banking on an endless supply of Spartan Ops missions for the wonderful price of absolutely nothing.  Be sure to add me on Xbox live if you want to play some Spartan Ops with me!

I’m absolutely ecstatic about every aspect of this game.  Master Chief is making his return, the campaign looks beautifully original and unique compared to previous Halo installments, and online play looks fantastic.  I simply cannot wait to pick up my pre-order from Game Stop at the midnight launch party on November 6th!  I’ll see you online my fellow Spartans!

-Ocarina of Time Nerd

About Joel

Live, love, play video games.
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