Halo 4 Review.

Every once in a while a game is made that comes into the industry and changes the way how we look at games, genres and art style alike is given a new identity when these things happen.

Halo:Combat Evolved did that all the way back in 2001 and changed how we looked at the FPS genre, with an open beautiful environment and a new take on how FPS games are played, the game also changed how we look at online multiplayer gaming.

Fast forward to 2012, 343 Industries changes how we look at Halo and it's multiplayer.

It changes how we look at the relationship between Master Chief and Cortana, it changes how the game is played and sets a new bar for FPS gaming but lacks some key things in the multiplayer.

Story
Since the first Halo, we have perceived Master Chief or John Spartan as a killing machine, he has no emotion and only has one thing on his mind "Complete the Mission" in Halo 4 we see a new Master Chief.

After 4 years of the events of Halo 3, Chief and Cortana are still on board the UNSC Forward Onto Dawn, Chief is in cryo-sleep and Cortana is there waiting for someone to come rescue them but is also aging into a state of rampancy. Cortana is thinking herself to death, she is becoming rampant and it affects her thinking, she does free John from the cryo-sleep but she knows that soon she will not be able to help John as she normally could. John is now the one that is doing the rational thinking and is becoming more man than machine, we see a human side to the once though  killing machine and we now see John finally realize he is human.

Cortana and Chief stumble upon the ForeRunner planet Requiem. Where the Covenant are exploring because they believe it is the home of  one their gods, Chief and Cortana discover the ancient humanoid race the Prometheans. Currently under control of the Didact, a Forerunner Promethean who sees humanity as the number one threat in the galaxy.

He plans to take the device known as The Composer and use it to kill all of humanity back on Earth.

Chief and Cortana must stop him but also face the challenge of overcoming Cortana's rampancy.

Presentation

Halo 4 is remarkably beautiful, the game looks almost like you are playing the PC version of Halo 4. It pushes the limit of the 360's technology and earns the award of being the best looking game in the 360's library.

Everything is given a new polish and redesign that makes you awe at the detail. You will be awe struck when you see a glimpse of what Requiem has to offer.

Gameplay(Single Player, Campaign)
Halo 4 plays like a Bungie Halo but at the same time plays differently. The combat is still as fun and epic as it has been but with this new strategic depth added to the game.

The strategic depth added to the game is achieved with the 3 sets of weapons, both old and new that add new ways to either achieve long range dominance, mid-range proficiency or close quarters mastery.

There may be one or two moments in a level when you don't have the right weapon, to only realize the right weapon for the situation is only 4 feet in front of you. You will have a weapon ready for the right situation.

Promethean weapons will combine 2 weapon traits, Covenant weapons will still be your close quarter or long range weapons and the UNSC weapons will be the weapon which neither weapon set can compare to.

The enemy A.I. is smarter and tactical. These enemies think and will know when to use their abilities to take you down in the perfect situation for them to do so, these enemies will not bum rush you and overwhelm you with numbers. Their power is instead found in their accuracy and teamwork with each other.

The combat is still Halo but in my experience has been much more enjoyable then previous Halo games. Mowing down the Covenant with the classic Assault Rifle and Shotgun is still loads of fun and assassinating Covies has never been more satisfying.

If you are a die hard Halo fan this is the game you want to play if Halo Reach left you heart broken.

Gameplay(Multiplayer, Spartan Ops)

343 has redefined how we look at Halo's multiplayer, with the addition of scoring points with kills, assists, kills with certain weapons, capturing objectives and holding onto the objective.

The multiplayer brings the classic Halo multiplayer back, it's arguably the same as the past Halo games. However in this rendition of the multiplayer I notice a much stronger focus on team work, lone wolves be warned, going solo is suicide.

New comers be warned, you will need to plan and think out your attack before running in guns blazing. This is not CoD or Battlefield, keep eye on your radar and make sure you're more accurate than your opponent.

The multiplayer's hit detection and server connection is solid, where your crosshair is pointed and aimed, a bullet or a flare of plasma rounds will hit(unless the bloom comes into the situation) and wound your target.

I do see the occasional lag every once in a while but it happens so rarely that lag is so surprising it's like lag is a newly found glitch in an online multiplayer(trust me though it still exists),the first time experiencing it in so long will surprise you and you won't know what to do, but after it goes, you can continue to slaughter.

I am a bit peeved on the matchmaking system, instead of looking at rank and skill lvl you might be paired with a player who is all ready lvl 65 and be slaughtered by him and his new specialization.

The multiplayer also adds this new Call of Duty like scoring reward known as 'Ordinance' Ordinance drops will give you the choice to  pick one of 3 drops, either it being a new weapon, grenades or a power up such as an OverShield, Speed Boost or Damage Boost, these drops will happen instantly and will drop depending on where you pointed the crosshair.

Also introduced with a CoD-ish like style is loadouts, you can customize what your spartan will be equipped with and what he will be able to use on the battlefield as soon as you spawn. Don't be to excited though, you can only use rifles and small weapons such as the Magnum, Plasma Pistol and Bolt Shot.

However in the primary slot there is a huge in-balance. The DMR and BR are your two starting rifles and both are unbalanced in one way or another. The BR is said to be the best at mid and short range, but in game this is not the case. The DMR will outdo the BR in mid-range and even long range fights, just 4-5 shots to the head with the DMR and the player is dead, or you may experience what I like to call "The Magic Fix" one match the BR will be the best weapon and the enemy team will mow you down with ease, you go into the next match with the BR, all of a sudden it's the worse weapon and you can't get a single kill. The damage outputs and range performances for these weapons need to be fixed, either the BR needs better damage output at mid-range or the DMR needs to loose performance at long range.

On the co-op side of the multiplayer Spartan Ops(a 4 player co-op mode) is an ongoing campaign currently being played as an episode like campaign.

Each week there will be 5 new missions to play along with a new episode in the story of Infinity 6 months after the events of Halo 4, this mode is fun but these missions go by quick, you can breeze by this missions easily and will hardly feel challenged.

It's also a good way to rank up and unlock new armor sets and XP to rank up for class unlocks. If you don't like the competitive  multiplayer but still want to play Halo 4, then Spartan Ops is the way to go.

In Conclusion

Halo 4 is a fantastic game. The story, the graphics, the gameplay and the new take on the multiplayer, however it still is not perfect.

The multiplayer is unbalanced in terms of of the primary weapons and the fact that there is no skill ranked type multiplayer, you can be new to the multiplayer and suddenly be put in a match with players who are so skilled, you won't even be able to get a hit on them.

Spartan Ops is a nice continuing campaign mode to play with friends but the missions are so quick they won't take more than 5 minutes of your time.

I do think it is the most ambitious Halo game to date and the best looking game in the 360 library. The campaign is great, the multiplayer needs rank and skill balance but still is fun, Spartan Op missions need to longer and need new maps to play on.

I give Halo 4 a 9/10




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