Halo 4. If someone were to ask me to describe it in two words I’d say “simply astonishing”. This is how a video game should be made. There is little to nothing wrong with this package and is a must buy for any fan of the genre or anyone who owns an Xbox 360.
Right off the back you are greeted with fantastic visuals from the simplistic yet beautiful menu design to the in-game visuals to the cg cutscenes. Characters look very realistic and almost rival LA Noire in terms of character models. The grand scale places are simply breathtaking and awe inspiring to say the least. Even subtle nuances such as the effects from gun bursts and grenade explosions look good. It’s pushing the power of the Xbox 360 to its limits and it is well worth it. Usually there are two things that people think about when Halo gets brought up into conversation, awesome story and fun multiplayer. 343 Studios really showed they cared because both of them are amazing.
The campaign while not long in length, compared to the previous titles, is still excellent and may be my favorite one to play through. The story starts with you waking aboard the ship you were last on at the end of Halo 3 and are greeted with a familiar foe in the Covenant. Soon enough you learn that they are not your biggest threat. Prometheans, a new cybernetic enemy faces off against you trying to resurrect the Didact. All the while trying to return Cortana to her former creator because her life expectancy as an A.I. has expired and there may be hope of restoring her.
Without trying to spoil to much the story is very gripping and not as hard to follow as prior entries in the series. It gives Master Chief more personality and helps the player to better connect with him. While the ever moving story of the fight is appearing the true story is between Chief and Cortana. It’s moving and makes you care all the while giving a deeper story that makes you think about military issues and the way society views soldiers. The only real problem with the campaign besides its length is that it feels very traditional in mission layout. No mission truly stood out but they were all enjoyable nonetheless.
Then there is the multiplayer, forge, theater and Spartan ops offering. Spartan Ops is the replacement for Firefight and it’s pretty good. Nothing really to brag about so far, but still entertaining. It picks up immediately after the main campaign and is episodic in content…and it’s free. The four player cooperative mode may be a nice distraction but nothing is enticing you to replay it due to the lack of scoring. Either way it’s a nice inclusion.
Multiplayer, the bulk of where time will be spent with most people doesn’t disappoint. The feeling of it is basically them taking all of the good parts of the Halo: Reach multiplayer and mixing it with it’s own and adding a bit of modern shooters to boot. It’s incredibly addictive and overall fun. This time around you get a custom class loadout to make that lets you pick your starting weapon and armor abilities along with specializations (perks) for your player. These may be more ammo for starting guns or extra grenades to increasing the range of the radar. It works and adds a new dynamic to the classic halo formula. Did I mention ordinance drops? They are essentially drops from out of nowhere that benefit the player if they have done well. You’ll get several tweaks to how you play and you choose from 3 different things. You could get a drop that has Overshield, Sticky Detonator & Plasma Grenades. It’s always random and you can hold on to it however long you desire.
Then there is forge mode where they made it easier to build maps and custom game types. Its basically the same mode that you love with tweaks in place to make it that much better. The same goes for theater mode. It’s good and is still great.
Overall, Halo 4 is like a swansong for the Xbox 360 offering so much in just one game. It’s definitely worth the price of admission in overall terms of sheer bang for your buck. It will go down as one of the best game of this year and perhaps the best game in the lifecycle of this generation. Just go and buy it.