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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 Champions Bundle DLC Review

Posted by Peter Carpenter | 20 Aug 2013 |

The Pit is back!

The Halo 4 Champions Bundle was released today and I’m going to make this review very easy for you: it includes a remake of the The Pit from Halo 3 and they didn’t screw it up. Go buy it. Now, for the rest of you that may be new to Halo since Halo 3 or those of you that just want a bit more info before you buy it, let’s take a look at all of the content included in the newest DLC pack.

Halo 4 Championship Bundle DLC Review.

What You Get

The Halo 4 Champions Bundle DLC includes a ton of new content and 343 Industries released in a convenient way so that you can buy individual pieces if you want, or you can buy it all in one big pack, save some money and get some bonus items. You can buy the Infinity Armor Pack for 240 MS Points and get new armor pieces such as the Mark V from Halo: Combat Evolved and ODST from, well, Halo 3: ODST. You can buy the Steel Skin Pack for 240 MS Points and get some new weapon skins, but that’s not very exciting on its own. The real DLC Pack that you’ll want is the Bullseye Pack, which includes the two new multiplayer maps and the new ricochet game mode. That one will cost you 480 MS Points, but you can save 160 MS Points by buying the Champions Bundle and getting everything I just mentioned for only 800 MS Points. Not only will save a little bit of money by buying the Champions Bundle, but you’ll also receive eight new stances, five new armor skins and five new weapon skins that are only available when you buy the full bundle.

All of the customization content is great and all, but what I was really excited for was the new maps, specifically the remake of The Pit, now called Pitfall. Before we get into that though there is one other map included in this DLC Pack and it’s called Vertigo. Set in and around massive cliffs and the ocean coast, Vertigo is another small map, but it packs a punch by including a new player-driven dynamic event in the form of shield busters on the two towers. If you shoot an opening on the opposing tower, it will create an electric field that will pop the shields of anyone unfortunate enough to be within its range. Both towers have these fields and they will regenerate every couple of minutes, so they are available multiple times each game. It’s nice to see Certain Affinity adding events like this and hopefully we’ll see more of them in future Halo maps.

Halo 4 Vertigo Map

I like Vertigo, but Pitfall is easily the best part about the Champions Bundle. The Pit was one of our favorite Halo 3 maps and I was glad to see that Certain Affinity were able to keep what made it so great, while also updating it with some small, but noticeable changes. For the most part, Pitfall is just as you remember it, but it now features a gravity lift under the Sword room and an escape hatch inside of it, giving you easier access in and out of everyone’s favorite room to hide in. It’s been touched up aesthetically, but the layout is other wise untouched and it returns in all of its glory. I don’t really need to go on and on about this one as you either loved The Pit and a remake is enough to make you buy the Champions Bundle (or at least just the Bullseye Pack) or you didn’t and nothing I say will change your mind. I’m sorry if you choose to live your life going down the latter path.

The last part of the Champions Bundle that’s worth talking about is the new game mode, Ricochet, which is a new competitive gravball mode. Basically, your team needs to grab the ball and score in the other team’s goal. If you run the ball in you get 50 points and if you throw it in, you get 20 points, with the team that gets to 150 points first, winning the game. It’s a fun alternative, but I don’t think it’s something that’s going to keep me coming back for more. If you enjoy competitive, sports-based Halo modes like this, you’ll more than likely love Ricochet.

Verdict

If you’ve been playing Halo since the good old days of Halo 3 and The Pit was one of your favorite maps, go get the Champions Bundle (or at least the Bullseye Pack), right now. Not only do you get a great remake of one of the best Halo maps ever created, but you get another great multiplayer map and a ton of content to customize your Spartan. If The Pit wasn’t one of your favorite maps and this remake doesn’t excite you, well, sadly you’ll be missing out on some of the best Halo 4 DLC yet. Wise up and go get it.

Price: 800 MS Points ($10)
Release Date: August 20th, 2013
Available On: Xbox 360

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  • Justin Richardson

    Whenever new leadership takes over a company or product, a lot of people are worried. The workers might be wary of what kind of new boss they get, the fans might worry about what kind of new product they will receive and this is something that the new power in control needs to be self aware of. Ultimately you only go scrapping and overhauling in large quantities when the company or product you are taking over is failing and in the same vein you don;t scoop water out of a sinking ship. However Halo was no sinking ship. So why so much change? If you made a list of Halo “features” in some spredsheet program you would realize most of the checkmarks are in Reach and Halo 4, because those two games have added the most “stuff” As Bungie’s swan song Halo Reach had every right to try new things and be the most different Halo. As 343′s first full Halo game (Lets not count CEA really) lets realize that they probably needed to be a bit more moderate when changing the formula that has worked so well for so many years. You know possibly test the water first. The “more traditional Halo” that they mentioned they scrapped was probably the thing they should have stuck with while increasing features and the features powers they had within Halo. Which if you notice Halo 4 has less technical features than Reach and Halo 3. For example things that come right to mind are Halo 4 scrapped campaign scoring, skull effects, campaign timing for speedrunners, campaign theater, and a visible ranking system which every Halo with XBL has had.

    As another person already mentioned if you look at the games MP population you notice the sharp decline of players. Some decline is expected but you now have the game peaking at 30K. Many times if you are on at night its very very low. Last night while I was playing it hit 6K. This effects my experience through playlist search times and quality of the matchup I receive. As a knowledgeable semi-skilled Halo player the chance of me and my friends getting a quality game is very very low. We usually are just trying to see at that point how much we can beat the enemy team by, not IF we can. This leads to some very non-challenging games without a true ranking system. Alright stealth brag over. The reason is because this game has introduced elements of CoD, and this cannot be denied. Instant Respawn, More one-shot overpowered weapons to reduce the importance of Halo’s Shield/Health player dynamic, Personal and Global Ordnance to introduce more randomness and take the focus off map control as traditional Halos have always rewarded map control. These things are inherent beauty spots of the game that have been removed to pander to the masses to get CoD sales. That may have worked looking at the sales figures and I will never mention Halo 4 was a failure as a product, not even as a game. It was a good game, just not a good Halo!

    Now lets talk about change. Change is inevitable, in life there are factors that you cannot control. Death, the rising taxes, your gut getting larger with every night gaming session you know should be spent on the elliptical. However the gaming world is different, its a magical world where programmers can control every little knob and lever of the world we play in. You technically could release Halo 2 and just cross out the title and put Halo 3 and re-release it. While Madden adds new features, the core game is still football a game that hasn’t changed in forever besides a small number of rule changes. So every year a new one releases and every year players buy the game for the new player changes, the graphical enhancements, and possibly a new feature or two. Or you have CoD, a game that’s stayed sort of true to its core gameplay besides the CoD4 to MW shift, and even Blops tries to alleviate that gap. Halo has done nothing to alleviate the changes it makes, they try and shoehorn a classic mode in Reach and Halo 4 and always fall sort of flat. Mainly because the core is so warped and changed you cant set options to make it feel like the past Halo’s.

    They constantly talk about how to make Halo more accessible to players and new players. This ends up catering to the masses of casual players who will play Halo for awhile. They will play through the campaign maybe once or twice, play through it with friends maybe once or twice, and maybe play through it a year or two later before the next game comes out so they can remember more about the game. They will step into MP for an average of 24.5 games* (*this number is completely made up) and then they will stop after winning 20% of their games and never care to notice the intricacies of everything they’ve just played. Then they will say oh yea “that game was fun”. Meanwhile you have hardcore players playing a game that wasnt designed with their needs in mind, and these players now probably make up a much higher percentage of the people who are still on your game night after night. The CoD players left the week after Halo 4 was released when Blops II came out, you can even see the sharp decline of players right after Blops release on the Halo population charts. You can see the Christmas spike that lasted a week and you can see other small bumps that are mostly weekend and DLC bumps, but besides these bumps its been a game of pure decline.

    Another note now that players can choose loadouts with perks, AA’s, and everything that is locked behind unlocks. You actually have to grind to level up and unlock gameplay altering abilities. This means a kid at SR-130 the highest experience ranking has every ability unlocked in multiple loadouts. You can switch loadouts throughout a game. So this person essentially has more things available to him in game than a player who just started does. Gameplay altering abilities should never be in Halo. The only thing keeping a player from beating another player is his knowledge and skill. If a kid comes home and gets to play eight hours of Halo 4 all week and I have to be at work come home make dinner and put the kids in bed and then I finally get two hours to sit down at night and play I shouldn’t be penalized before I even pick up that controller. Unlocking of items needs to be purely aesthetic.

    Also maps, because of the fact players can have two mobile AA’s at once. Sprint is now default and then you can have say jetpack, you now have much more mobility and abilities all at once. This is too much. It makes larger maps feel smaller so Halo now has to have all these large maps, and what small maps are there Haven and Abandon? Then they released the first DLC which was once again all large maps!? Really!? Give us some arena maps like Halo has always had! Halo has always been about sort of knowing what your enemy can do and predicting and analysing what hes going to do based on that essential assumption. You no longer can do that though because there are so many abilities and variables players can have and you never know if they just got some random ordnance drop that gave them a sniper that can one shot even if they hit your body? Really!?, you are more playing rock paper scissors guessing what he has against what you chose at spawn. Nobody wants their gameplay that close to a gamble.

    So lets stop catering to the casuals who leave because you’ve removed all depth and skill gap so they could play, let people learn the game figure out what works what doesnt let them evolve their skill and feel great about it, let them rank up to 50 and let them say “I am now good at Halo!” and feel proud of their accomplishment. Lets create a game with competitive players in mind. Lets release a game with a ton of smaller maps and maybe 2-3 large maps. Then your first DLC can be 2 small and 1 more large and continue in that fashion. Lets focus less on having the players fix your map problem by using Forge World and subsequently getting less than par maps into MM that effects everyone’s experience when they play. Lets bring back campaign theater and scoring for communities like High Speed Halo. Lets get this game back into MLG so people can watch tournaments and play Halo professionally again. Lets have a HaloTV feature where when we dont want to play we can stop in and watch preloaded files of good games recently played, lets be able to chat about it too, lets be able to stream to JTV or Youtube from within the game. Let us remember that you can keep a game true to its roots and have great sales like Madden. Halo 2014, The next great Halo, HALO game, not CoD. Halo.

    Also Hiring that Juices would be a great idea.

  • Solid1000

    None of this content works at all with Spartan Ops. There are currently no plans to fix this.

  • Justin Richardson

    No, Hire Juices.

    • http://www.thecontrolleronline.com/ Peter Carpenter

      Cool story.

    • HaggardMess

      I didn’t get the story? Are the juices people? What sort of employment would you hire them for? Why not; yes?

    • Doom DH

      This would save halo.