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Halo 4 Review

Halo 4

Release Date: November 6th, 2012
Genre(s): First Person Shooter
Publisher(s): Microsoft
Developer(s): 343 Industries
Multiplayer: 2-16 Player Online
Co-op: 2-4 Player Online and Local
Score
10/10

Halo 4 Review

Posted by Scott Grant | 06 Nov 2012 |

Wake up, Chief, I need you.

Halo 4 Review.If there was ever a game series that I’ve put more hours into than the Halo series, I would be completely astonished. In fact, If you were to actually show me the number of hours I’ve spent on Halo 3 alone, it’s sure to be downright embarrassing. Whether it was playing team deathmatch, the campaign for the fifth time, or achievement hunting, my friends and I invested a lot in this series so of course we were concerned about the fact that Bungie would not be developing the next Halo game. 343 Industries are now at the helm, and it’s time to find out if we really had anything to worry about. Strap on your jet pack and gas up the Warthog, Halo 4 starts now.

Single Player

Halo 4 has a lot to offer, in terms of content, so we’ll start by taking a look at the campaign. Though I’m sticking this section under the Single Player heading, you can still play every minute of the campaign with three of your friends by your side. I know some people were confused about this, due to the inclusion of the separate Spartan Ops co-op campaign, so I wanted to clear that up right away.

Halo 4 picks up with Master Chief right where we left him after Halo 3, except for the fact that quite a bit of time has passed. I don’t want to give away any spoilers regarding the story so I’m just going to stick to the info that’s out in the open already. Mainly that you’ll of course be fighting the Covenant, but you’ll also be tangling with a new alien race called the Prometheans. Master Chief will find himself on a new planet, with both hostile races, a bunch of Forerunner structures and some eventual UNSC backup. He’ll be joined by his longtime AI sidekick, Cortana, whose dynamic with the Chief will play heavily into the story.

Halo 4 Battle Rifle

Well, hello old friend.

 

Of course, with a new alien force in the mix, you’ll be looking to get your hands on some new toys. I mean, weapons. The new weapon set doesn’t disappoint, but before you get to those you’ll meet up with some old friends such as the Assault Rifle and the Needler. The first thing that really struck me about Halo 4 was the quality of the audio, and specifically the weapon sounds. Every weapon, old and new, sounds absolutely amazing. You can feel the weight of the gun, and the force of the shots, simply by listening to each weapon and even guns that sounded sort of wimpy in previous games, like the Assault Rifle, now sound so much more bad ass.

In fact, looking at everything in the game it almost feels like Halo has grown up a little. Take the Covenant, for example, they still look like Grunts, and Elites, and Jackals but the colors and armor of each enemy have been tweaked in a way that makes them look less like cartoon characters, while still looking somehow the same. No longer do they yell all sorts of goofy things in audible English, these Covenant voices will not be translated and this goes a long way to making them feel more threatening.

How many times do I have to tell you? This is my planet.

 

Aside from a story where we get to know Master Chief like we never have before, Halo 4′s campaign delivers a varied and perfectly paced series of events that lead you smoothly through the story. Just as you’re realizing you’ve been wandering around in one building for a while, you’ll be thrust into a vehicle sequence or a new environment with new challenges.

Multiplayer

As great as the campaigns are, most of you will be spending the majority of your time in Halo 4′s competitive multiplayer modes. 343 Industries have been hard at work on a number of improvements to the overall multiplayer platform, and their hard work shows. It shows in additions like the ability to join games in progress, watch replays of the player that killed you last and the ability to spawn almost instantly.

Each Spartan will be able to customize a number of features, and save them in loadouts, similar to the way you do it in the Call of Duty series. You will still have access to Armor Abilities, like the jetpack or active camouflage, like you did in Halo: Reach, but sprinting is no longer an armor ability and is now something you can do whenever you want. Sprinting, combined with the quick re-spawns in Halo 4 make this the fastest, and most intense, Halo game yet, where multiplayer is concerned.

Halo 4 Exile Multiplayer

Assassinated by the flag carrier? Embarrassing.

 

As you gain experience, you’ll unlock new items you can add to your loadout, including primary and secondary weapons, grenade type, armor abilities and other passive abilities called Tactical Packages and Support upgrades. These are bonuses like faster shield recharge rates, or infinite sprinting distance. You aren’t just competing for visual upgrades to your armor, you’re building your perfect Spartan and that’s progress.

Once you’re in an actual match you’ll notice a few more differences from previous Halo games. The one that jumped right out at me was the return of vehicles to 4-on-4 game types. It felt like Bungie were trying to force vehicles out of the game, with Halo: Reach, but I’ve always thought they were a fundamental part of the experience and it’s good to have them back. More notable is the availability of weapons on each multiplayer map; instead of being placed in the same spot every time the game will periodically, and randomly, drop new weapons onto the field of play. Players can now also call in their own personal ordnance drops, by earning points in each match, and these will offer you the chance to get your hands on some heavy weapons that Halo 4 has to offer, or other in-game bonuses.

Halo 4 Spartan Ops

I really hope nobody shoots those three or four gas tanks hanging off the back of the ‘hog.

 

The other big addition to the Halo 4 multiplayer scene is the new co-op focused, Spartan Ops campaign. This mode will serve to tell the story of a new, and completely separate, team of Spartans who operate out of the UNSC Infinity. Spartan Ops will feature a new, free, chapter to download each week for a total of five chapters, with five episodes each, in what 343 are calling ‘Season One.’

To my eyes, Spartan Ops really serves as the successor to Firefight. Instead of battling wave after wave of enemies on a small map, you’ll be placed in a larger map with simple objectives and scenarios that task you, and your co-op partners, with killing a whole lot of covenant and usually blowing some stuff up. Firefight, and its many clones were reaching a saturation point around the industry and even if Spartan Ops wasn’t meant as an evolution to Firefight, it really feels like one.

Last, but not least, the Forge map creation engine has been updated to be much more user friendly, with additions like magnet points to help you line pieces up together, and easy cloning of pieces to speed things along. I know this shouldn’t be a big deal, but the pieces also look much, much, better than they did in Halo: Reach so you won’t be running into a ton of ugly Forge variant maps anytime soon.

Closing Comments

We all expected 343 Industries to make a decent Halo game, when they took the reins, but that isn’t what they did. Instead, they made a fantastic game that advances the series in just about every way. Halo 4 is the best looking, best sounding, and most intense Halo game to date. The folks at 343 could have played it safe when making their first game but they didn’t, and it paid off. Halo 4 is a brand new game, with brand new features, that I somehow still feel right at home playing, from the moment I picked up the controller.

Score: 10/10

Price: $59.99
Available On: Xbox 360

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  • Adam

    Alright Scott, call pete, its almost time to devote the rest of 2012 to Halo… (Reminiscing to myself about calling in sick at work for 2 weeks back when Halo 2 was released…)

  • pharmassist

    Wonderful review and very detailed. This game is great.

    • http://thecontrolleronline.com/ Scott Grant

      Appreciate the kind words, now I’m going to go play some more!

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Images

Halo 4 Vertigo Map
Halo 4 Champions Bundle DLC Review logo
Halo 4 Championship Bundle Pitfall (1)
Halo 4 Championship Bundle Pitfall
Halo 4 Championship Bundle Vertigo
Halo 4 Weapon Tuning Matchmaking Update
Halo 4 Community Maps
Halo 4 Castle Map Pack DLC Review
Halo 4 Castle Map Pack DLC Review - Daybreak
Halo 4 Castle Map Pack DLC Review - Outcast
Halo 4 Castle Map Pack Daybreak
Halo 4 Castle Map Pack Daybreak Overhead
Halo 4 Competitive Skill Rank
Halo 4 Forge Island
Halo 4 Castle Map Pack
Halo 4 Castle Map Pack Announced
Halo 4 Action Sack
Halo 4 Extraction
Halo 4 Majestic Map Pack DLC Review
Halo 4 Majestic
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Halo 4 Majestic Landfall
Halo 4 Majestic Monolith
Halo 4 Majestic Skyline
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Halo 4 Team Snipers
Halo 4 Team Doubles
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Halo 4 Majestic Map Pack
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Halo 4 Crimson Map Pack
Halo 4 Team Regicide
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Halo 4 Crimson Map Pack - Wreckage
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Halo 4 War Games Pass Announced
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Halo 4 Exile Multiplayer Map
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Videos

A Closer Look at Daybreak From The Halo 4 Castle Map Pack

A Closer Look at Daybreak From The Halo 4 Castle Map Pack

Posted by Scott Grant | 04 Apr 2013 |
Until the break of day. The Castle Map Pack is coming to Halo 4 on...
Halo 4 Castle Map Pack Announced

Halo 4 Castle Map Pack Announced

Posted by Scott Grant | 11 Mar 2013 |
King of the Castle. Hungry for even more Halo 4 multiplayer maps? 343 Industries have...
Watch The New Halo 4 Majestic Map Pack Video

Watch The New Halo 4 Majestic Map Pack Video

Posted by Peter Carpenter | 19 Feb 2013 |
Vehicles not included. The Majestic Map Pack for Halo 4 will be released next week...
Halo 4 Spartan Ops Season One Goes Out With a Bang

Halo 4 Spartan Ops Season One Goes Out With a Bang

Posted by Scott Grant | 14 Feb 2013 |
Episode ten approaches. If you’ve been keeping up with Halo 4′s secondary co-op campaign, Spartan...
Halo 4 Spartan Ops Episode 7 Trailer

Halo 4 Spartan Ops Episode 7 Trailer

Posted by Scott Grant | 28 Jan 2013 |
Keeping secrets again, are we, Dr. Halsey? The second half of Season One of Halo...
Halo 4 Spartan Ops Episode 6 Trailer

Halo 4 Spartan Ops Episode 6 Trailer

Posted by Scott Grant | 22 Jan 2013 |
Fireteam Majestic are back. 343 Industries are ready to kick off the second half of...
Halo 4 Spartan Ops Episode 2 Trailer

Halo 4 Spartan Ops Episode 2 Trailer

Posted by Scott Grant | 09 Nov 2012 |
The Eggheads are all tingly. We’re still deep into Halo 4 around here so it’s...
Halo 4 Forward Unto Dawn Episode Five

Halo 4 Forward Unto Dawn Episode Five

Posted by Scott Grant | 02 Nov 2012 |
The Finale is here. Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn wraps up today with the fifth...
Halo 4 Spartan Ops Season One Trailer

Halo 4 Spartan Ops Season One Trailer

Posted by Scott Grant | 30 Oct 2012 |
Your new workplace is a planet called Requiem. Usually we think of the Halo games...
Halo 4 Forward Unto Dawn Episode Four

Halo 4 Forward Unto Dawn Episode Four

Posted by Scott Grant | 27 Oct 2012 |
Who’s the best shot here? The Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn live-action video series marches...
Seven Minutes of Halo 4 Multiplayer Gameplay

Seven Minutes of Halo 4 Multiplayer Gameplay

Posted by Scott Grant | 26 Oct 2012 |
Infinity, in action. In case you haven’t heard us say it before, Halo 4 hits...
Halo 4 Gameplay Launch Trailer

Halo 4 Gameplay Launch Trailer

Posted by Scott Grant | 24 Oct 2012 |
The other launch trailer. While Finch and the gang were getting arty with the first...
Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn Episode Three

Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn Episode Three

Posted by Scott Grant | 19 Oct 2012 |
What the hell is that? The live-action Halo 4 prequel series, Forward Unto Dawn, continues...
Halo 4 “Scanned” Launch Trailer

Halo 4 “Scanned” Launch Trailer

Posted by Scott Grant | 19 Oct 2012 |
John. John? Can you feel it? It’s getting closer and closer to November 6th and...
Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn Episode 2

Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn Episode 2

Posted by Scott Grant | 12 Oct 2012 |
Finals week. The second episode of the prequel series to the events of Halo 4,...
Halo 4 Forge Details

Halo 4 Forge Details

Posted by Scott Grant | 10 Oct 2012 |
Forgemasters unite! 343 Industries have released a great video, via Gamespot, that finally gives us...
Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn Episode One Released

Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn Episode One Released

Posted by Scott Grant | 05 Oct 2012 |
Visit the Academy of Military Science. I’m not usually a fan of the “Live Action”...
Meet The Promethean Weapons In Halo 4

Meet The Promethean Weapons In Halo 4

Posted by Peter Carpenter | 27 Sep 2012 |
These look like a good time. Having already released videos showcasing the UNSC and Covenant...
Halo 4 Covenant Weapons Detailed

Halo 4 Covenant Weapons Detailed

Posted by Scott Grant | 20 Sep 2012 |
Yes, that one’s there. That one too. This week, 343 Industries are giving us an...
A Closer Look At The Weapons In Halo 4

A Closer Look At The Weapons In Halo 4

Posted by Peter Carpenter | 09 Aug 2012 |
Pump up the volume for this one. 343 Industries have released a new video for...
E3 2012: Halo 4 War Games Multiplayer Shows Some New Tricks

E3 2012: Halo 4 War Games Multiplayer Shows Some New Tricks

Posted by Scott Grant | 06 Jun 2012 | 1 Comment
Warthogs! I remember those. 343 Industries were out in force at E3 2012, to show...
E3 2012: Halo 4 Spartan Ops Gameplay Video

E3 2012: Halo 4 Spartan Ops Gameplay Video

Posted by Scott Grant | 05 Jun 2012 |
Suit up with Majestic Squad. 343 Industries are at E3 2012 to give everyone a...
E3 2012: Watch The New Halo 4 Trailers

E3 2012: Watch The New Halo 4 Trailers

Posted by Peter Carpenter | 04 Jun 2012 |
What a way to start the show. Today at E3 2012 in Los Angeles, 343...
Halo 4 Release Date Trailer Confirmed as a Fake

Halo 4 Release Date Trailer Confirmed as a Fake

Posted by Scott Grant | 27 Feb 2012 |
Microsoft Rains on your Parade. Earlier today, a video surfaced that claimed to be a...
Halo 4 Field Audio Recording

Halo 4 Field Audio Recording

Posted by Scott Grant | 23 Feb 2012 | 1 Comment
Cut me some slack, it’s Halo 4. Before you watch the video and get mad...
E32011: Halo 4 Debut Trailer

E32011: Halo 4 Debut Trailer

Posted by Peter Carpenter | 06 Jun 2011 |
See the first trailer for Halo 4. Microsoft has officially announced Halo 4 and showed...

DLC Reviews

Halo 4 Champions Bundle DLC Review

Halo 4 Champions Bundle DLC Review

Posted by Peter Carpenter | 20 Aug 2013 | 6 Comments
The Pit is back! The Halo 4 Champions Bundle was released today and I’m going...
Halo 4 Castle Map Pack DLC Review

Halo 4 Castle Map Pack DLC Review

Posted by Peter Carpenter | 08 Apr 2013 |
Did they save the best for last? The third, and final, Halo 4 Map Pack...
Halo 4 Majestic Map Pack DLC Review

Halo 4 Majestic Map Pack DLC Review

Posted by Peter Carpenter | 25 Feb 2013 | 1 Comment
Dude, where’s my Ghost? The second map pack for Halo 4 was released today and...
Halo 4 “Crimson Map Pack” DLC Review

Halo 4 “Crimson Map Pack” DLC Review

Posted by Peter Carpenter | 11 Dec 2012 | 3 Comments
My vehicle always has the right of way. My biggest complaint about Halo 4 is...

Guides

Halo 4 Terminal Locations Guide

Halo 4 Terminal Locations Guide

Posted by The Controller Online Staff | 06 Nov 2012 |
Join the Domain. Halo 4 has seven Terminals, scattered throughout the campaign, that you’ll need...