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Halo 4 Review

Talk about being in the right place at the wrong time. This should be Master Chief and companion AI Cortana’s mantra at this point. Halo 4 brings us into a new trilogy headed by 343 industries instead of Bungie, but I must say I am incredibly impressed with the results of they’re hard work. The story in Halo 4 gives the player a very emotional attachment to the Chief and Cortana that wasn’t always there before as well as delivers the fast bullet flying action we are all familiar with from past games. Multiplayer online has received a complete haul over that gives gamers a lot more customizable options for their own online character. But let’s dive right into the story first.

 

The story begins a little over 4 years after the Halo Event in Halo 3. Master Chief is still frozen asleep in space aboard the derelict Forward Unto Dawn, the humans had made a peace pact with the Covenant, the imminent threat of the Halo Rings and the Flood had seemed to be under control so…where could things go wrong? Well as Chief is woken up by Cortana to investigate a disturbance aboard the Forward Unto Dawn, he discovers a new planet that was created by the Forerunners as it literally sucks him and his ship into itself. From there we discover a new enemy, the Covenant return, and the story turns to a race against time to rescue Cortana who is now past the standard AI operating time of 7 years and is now fighting Rampancy. And this is where the game shines truly are the involvement of Chief fighting for Cortana. It delves into a side of the characters we haven’t seen before showing that Master Chief has a human side and how the relationship between him and Cortana who seems more human than chief has evolved.

First off, the Cinematics and Cut scenes in Halo 4 are flat out amazing. It looks like your watching a live action movie instead of a CGI game. The shadows, lighting, movements, and hell even the character imperfections are so well done I found myself putting the controller down and simply watching every little detail totally amazed. From small details like the way someone walks or the gap in there teeth, to the huge trees and mechanical structures all moving in there own directions is simply breathtaking in scope and detail. And after playing through the game multiple times I’ve only found one stage that had any initial glitches and I didn’t mind it considering how small in scope they were, and this is an achievement after some of these years’ earlier titles that were unplayable before a patch. Bravo 343, bravo.

So the weapon set has had a few changes of its own. First off the Halo standard covenant weapon the plasma rifle has been replaced by a new gun called the Storm Rifle. It functions almost identically to the plasma rifle although I found almost no use for it in the game at all. Longtime fans of the series will be happy to see that both the Battle Rifle and the DMR are present along side the Assault rifle and Zoomed Magnum for the humans. Another few new human weapons were introduced in the form of a Rail gun, a chargeable weapon capable of vehicle take downs and one hit kills, and a new vehicle called the Mantis that is a walking Mech. And if all of that wasn’t enough we have an entirely new third weapon set from the new race called the Protheans. But due to me not giving spoilers, you’ll have to play the game yourself to get more details on those guys.

As if I didn’t have enough good things to say about it, Halo 4’s sound design blew me away. You will never miss a beat…literally. From Master Chief’s heavy armored footsteps, every gun shell hitting the floor, Covenant and Prothean chatter, to simple breaths you hear it all with authority. And the musical score has always been a prominent feature for the Halo Series and I feel they have succeeded in another master piece. Although very different from the Monk chanting tunes players are use to due to the fact that there is a different producer, the music was still a great addition if very different.

The online seems to me to be a lot more user friendly this time around. All the fan favorites return for the most part including the Forge mode. A new feature in place of Firefight is called Spartan Ops. Delivering a story of its own, you play as a squad of Spartans aboard the UNSC Infinity as you complete certain objectives in episode form. The episodes are released weekly and are free so no worries there. Team Death match, King of the Hill, Swat, you name it. All the staples of the Halo franchise are here. And the new load out screen allows the player to customize a few different weapon set ups before they start matchmaking instead of always racing to get the one weapon that suits there play style. Kill cams have also been introduced allowing you to see through the enemies eyes how they brought you down online.

So overall it was hard for me to find faults in this game as it had very very few. The graphics and sound design blew me away, and damn does it feel good to play a good Halo game again after so many years. Hats off to 343 for starting an amazing new trilogy with a fan favorite franchise. 9.5 out of 10. Happy gaming everyone.

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