It’s been about a week since the much anticipate launch of Halo 4 on the Xbox 360 and while it didn’t fail to impress, I can’t help but have mixed emotions regarding some of the major changes implemented by 343 Industries. I’m not necessarily angry or disappointed by some of the decisions made by 343, but I’m still somewhat confused. The game itself is a breath of fresh air for the series, but with any set of changes comes slight resistance from the fans.
Halo 4’s campaign is absolutely beautiful. The story is extremely well thought out and it finally begins to develop a human side of John 117 (Master Chief). Graphically, Halo 4 blows any other game out of the water. The cutscenes themselves literally made my jaw drop due to the immense amount of detail. Gameplay wise the firefights against enemies are intense and co-op is extremely fun to play with a few friends, although I would recommend playing through by yourself for the first time in order to fully immerse yourself in the story and the gameplay.
Overall, I give Halo 4’s campaign a perfect score of 10/10. There are very few games I would say that about, but everything about the game’s campaign is beautiful. 343 utilized the improvements that have been made since Halo 3 and implemented them graphically and from a control standpoint. It is without a doubt my favorite Xbox 360 game to date.
Xbox Live Multiplayer:
This is where things get a bit hazy. Although playing Halo 4 online is a lot of fun, there are some major changes that leave Halo fans a bit confused. The most commonly noted change in this installment of Halo’s online gameplay are its Call of Duty like changes. Custom classes, specializations, kill streaks (ordinance drops), and a kill-cam have all been added to this game and, although it’s still the same Halo at its core, I know there are a lot of Halo fans that are disappointed with such a drastic set of changes. Personally, I’m fine with the new changes because I feel as though they serve as a positive new form of gameplay, but it has still taken some getting used to. The only other thing to note is that the sniper rifle is significantly different in this game, which is rather unsettling for the true Halo fans out there. Since Halo: Combat Evolved, the sniper rifle has remained relatively the same, but in Halo 4 almost everything about it has changed. It looks different, it feels different, and when you scope it just doesn’t resemble snipers from the past. It’s a minor setback, but it’s pretty annoying that 343 felt as though they had to completely renovate the sniper from the ground up.
Overall, I give Halo 4’s online play a 9/10. It’s incredible, but it’s almost as if they tried to do too much.
This is the newest and most notable addition to any Halo game so far and it’s a whole lot of fun. Spartan Ops is a separate segment of Halo 4 that allows you to play through missions with your friends or alone as your own custom spartan. Each set of missions comes with a short episode that continues the story after Halo 4’s campaign. Currently, there are five episodes planned, each with five missions. These episodes are released with their missions on a weekly basis, which is amazing because it gives fans something to look forward to each week. This is a brilliant concept because it prevents online play from becoming boring and stale. The only concern I have with Spartan Ops is that the missions themselves all take place on missions from the campaign (so far at least). Also, most of the missions are short and have a similar objective of “wiping out enemy forces,” which can become a bit monotonous after a while. Hopefully, future missions are a bit more well thought out and include a change of scenery, but I’m not counting on it. Spartan Ops could and should be amazing, but it’s up to 343 to make that happen for its fans.
Overall I give Spartan Ops an 8/10. It has a lot of potential, but it lacks any real sense of depth and replay value.
My Overall Score:
Halo 4 is amazing and there’s no denying that. I truly do love everything about this game and I’m sure there are plenty of other fans who feel the same way. Despite a few minor setbacks and some pretty extreme changes, Halo 4 is truly my favorite Halo game thus far. 343 did a brilliant job in making Halo 4 unique to the series, which is fitting since they now hold the reigns on the series altogether. There are a few things I wish they hadn’t changed, such as the removal from the Halo theme at the start screen and the renovation of the sniper rifle, but those things are very minute in the big picture.
Overall, I give Halo 4 a 9.5/10.
If you have any other thoughts or comments feel free to leave them in the comments section below!
-Ocarina of Time Nerd
- Halo 4 Review (pwrcords.com)
- Halo 4 sold a record-breaking $220M in its first 24 hours (venturebeat.com)
- Halo 4 makes $220 million in first 24 hours (gimmegimmegames.com)
- Conversations About Games Episode 6 – Halo 4! (langstrothgamedesign.co.uk)
- Halo 4 Hangover – One Week Later (beckytaylor.org)
- ‘Halo 4′ Review (gamerant.com)
- Halo 4 Review (godisageek.com)
- Halo 4 Diary: Contrived and Disappointing Wake-Up Sequence (news.softpedia.com)
- Halo 4 reportedly sets new record for Halo franchise on opening day sales (ubergizmo.com)
- Does Halo 4 Make Bungie Irrelevant? (slashgear.com)