Halo 4 released on November 6th 2012 and since then has became the top selling exclusive of 2012 and praised by critics and fans a like. Unless you have been hiding under a rock the last few weeks I'm sure you have heard a little bit about Microsoft's new Halo. People are saying it is the best Halo to date but is that true? If so why is the metacritic lower than previous Halo games? Below I will explain.
When Halo: Combat Evolved came out over a decade ago on November 15th 2001 it changed console gaming forever. The FPS genre was revolutionary for it's time and when you first touch down in the universe of Halo you fealt as if you were in a different world. So does Halo 4 deliver these aspects and does it need to? No and no. Halo 4 does not give you a revolutionary feeling and it does not need to. I have to say when you first touch down on the Forerunner planet you do get a feeling a lot like what we got with Combat Evolved but this has to do more with the beautiful graphics. The graphics in this game are an amazing achievement for a 7 year old piece of hardware. Every thing in this game looks good from Masterchief to the new artisitc style of the grunts. Thanks to the brilliant artsyle of Halo you can tell what kind of structure it is whether it is UNSC, Covenate, or the new Forerunner's structures. The art style in every way is absolutely brilliant no matter how you look at it. Halo has not been known to hold the graphic's crown but on the X360 I can easily say that Halo 4 now holds that crown proudly. Oh and for the audio, I don't know if a game sounds better. The guns just have this mesmerizing sound to them, it feels like you truly are holding something powerful instead of a pea shooter.
Besides the graphics though how is the story? The story is the best Halo story yet! But at the same time it always feels like you are missing something. I couldn't place it for a while. The story over all is amazing from the voice acting to the story telling. I'm not going to give away any spoilers but I will touch up on a few things. Masterchief and Cortana did exceptionally well in Halo 4! For the first time you actually feel like Masterchief is John 117. In other words it feels as if he is a human rather than a machine. See from the very beginning you learn that Cortana is deteriorating and this has a big effect on John which will be a big part of the mainstory. It shows a real human side to him the way he cares about Cortana. Yes I know Cortana is just an Artificial Intelligence so why care about her? Well if you have followed Halo at all you will know that she is a one of a kind organic artificial intelligence, meaning she was based or created off a real person. Because of this she has real emotions and real thoughs, she is much more than an artificial intelligence. She is basically a human in an AI form. Regardless I can't say too much about these two without giving spoilers away but these to highlight Halo 4's campaign. Besides that I'd have to say a few things annoyed me about the campaign. One would be the captain of the UNSC Infinity ship. This guy is just a dick. What I don't understand is why this guy is treating Masterchief so badly. Throughout the campaign you see John get disrespected numerous times and to me this just doesn't make sense because he has saved the world previously. I mean really who the hell is this other guy! Whatever though, it lead to some pretty cool dialogue between the two. Another thing that bothered me was why was there more spartans? Maybe I missed something but Masterchief has been the only spartan in previous halos so what has happened between then and now? Halo nuts post below because I just didn't get that part. Anyways the third thing that annoyed me was the new enemies. As I said before I fealt as if something was missing in the campaing and I figured out what it was while playing through legendary. The Prometheans are just annoying in every possible way. I don't mind the Knights so much but these little mechanical dog like things are just badly designed. I'm Sorry 343i, I just don't like them and I hope you can work on them in the next installment or get rid of them completely. The Covenate are still by far the most fun enemies to go against. Besides these three minor complaints the story was amazing.
Now what about the multiplayer and spatan ops? Let's face it, many people just get Halo for it's multplayer. This is why I am scoring both of these seperately rather than together. The multiplayer has changed from previous halo games a lot. For example we now have ordanance drops rather than picking up weapons on the map. This seems like an odd move by 343i so does it work? Well yes and no. It is kind of cool being rewarded for getting so many kills which is why they work. When you get around 5 kills you will get a random ordanance drop that you can call in. You have a choice from a a few weapons or power ups to call in. I really do like this as it's refreshing from over-powered killstreaks on other games(Not saying they are bad). On the bad side when you are playing Infinity Slayer which is 4v4 we have already ran into a big problem because of this. As you may know Halo has always been about map control, but if you sit on one spot someone on the apposing team can pick up a power weapon and get you out of there easily. Well because there is no map pickups people can now do map control with pretty much no worries. This has become highly annoying and it is showing. Big Team Battles has now became the number 1 most played gamelist on Halo 4 and I blame ordanance drops on this problem. Please 343i put map pickups on Halo 4. Another few changes goes to gametypes like Flood, Dominion, oddball and Capture the Flag. Capture the Flag is the same Capture the Flag that we all know and love but it made a slight change to how you actually hold the flag. Now when you pick up the flag you can not drop the flag and you are holding the flag in one hand while wielding a pistol in the opposite hand. Honestly I like this addition because I've always found flag juggling annoying. Next would be oddball. Oddball once again is basically the same, the only difference now is you can throw the ball. This allows greater teamwork so this was a great addition. Flood is a new skinned Infected mode. You can now use flood as infected, and they have armor abilities which I will explain in a moment. Lastly is the new Dominion mode. This new mode is very interesting and takes gametypes like territories and expands upon them. In Domininion there is three bases which you can capture. The longer you have a base the more it will upgrade. It will spawn weapons or upgrade it's defense by adding turrets for example. If you capture all three bases the opposite team will only have one life each but they also have extra armor to give them a better chance of surviving. Overall it has been a great addition to the game. Lastly I will explain armor abilities. Armor abilities was introduced in Halo Reach but not without problems. So what about Halo 4? Halo 4's armor abilities works flawlessly I must say. It really emphasizes a person's play style rather than giving someone a clear advantage. I'm not going to go into detail but each armor abilities has there perks and take away. As far as Spartan Ops I won't say too much about this gametype because it is still not finished. basically each week you get a new epidode which has 5 episodes each. They are great coop missions and they are dfinitely fun. Besides that I can't say too much until I finish it.
Overall this game was a great start for 343i. Yes it is the best halo to date with a full package. The reviews will be expected to lower due to no true innovations but we aren't here for innovation, we are here to hear how good the game is. No it is not perfect but when it comes to a FPS, there is nothing out there like Halo and people will continue to be split on what the best FPS is for years to come. Is it Halo or is it Call of Duty? Nobody can answer that and be right as they are both great in there own ways. All that we can do as fans is just play these amazing games and have fun.
Graphics: 10/10 (X360 graphics)
FPS Genre: 9.5/10