A Tasty Burger review: Halo 4
My review of the latest installment of the Halo franchise, Halo 4!
I'm a huge Halo fan, so it goes without saying that I was unbelievably excited when Halo 4 was revealed during E3 2011 even if I was somewhat skeptical knowing that this will be 343's first Halo game. I'd followed the game for over a year, and as the release came closer my excitement grew. It's safe to say that I went a few nights without sleep. After getting through an shockingly long day at school I ran home in a style somewhat reminiscent of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory to find a package laying on my door step...
I am extremely happy to say that Halo 4 is nothing short of amazing, and dare I say it, possibly the best Halo to date.
Now I've never reviewed a game before so I'm going to do this by reviewing different categories. Let's get started!
At the end of Halo 3 we left Master Chief floating away in a wrecked ship sleeping in a cryotube waiting to be blasted into action once more...Halo 4 picks up four years later when Chief is awakened by Cortana as they drift towards a mysterious planet...An ancient evil awakens.
I've never been a huge fan of the Halo stories, I've always felt they've been a little weak. However Halo 4 does not follow this pattern, Halo 4's story is absolutely incredible. The story is very character driven, Master Chief just about has more lines in Halo 4 than Halo 1, 2 and 3 combined. Cortana is facing rampancy (a process which happens to every AI after a certain amount of years) this has a huge effect on Chief and it's actually extremely emotional,you actually feel really bad for him throughout the game. And it takes a lot for a game to get me emotional. Chief and Cortana's relationship is pushed to the limits as they both deal with Cortana's rampancy, leading on from this Steve Downs and Jen Taylor have brilliant chemistry together, and believe it or not this was the first game for which they actually recorded their lines together. On a side not regarding the Chief, his new armor is fantastic, the detail is incredible!
One of the greatest aspects of Halo 4's story is the fact that we're actually given a proper antagonist, I'm not going to give anything away but I think this was a brilliant choice. A real villain is the one thing that I think the series has always lacked. Halo 4 also introduces us to a lot of new faces, including Captain Del Rio and Commander Lasky (Last seen in the Halo 4 prequel Forward Unto Dawn) all of the new characters are great, the voice acting is brilliant and they're all likable...well most of them are.
One of the greatest things about Halo 4 is that 343 are successfully expanding the universe, the series still has A LOT of potential and I can't wait to see where 343 takes Halo next.
Halo 4 features the same classic Halo gameplay we've all come to love and whilst still being faithful 343 have also added some great new features. Halo 4 still plays like Halo, if you've played Halo before then you'll instantly know what to do once you get control of Chief for the first time. Old fan favorite weapons have returned as well as some new ones. Leading on from this 343 went out and completely re-recorded all the weapons sounds and they are...amazing. Halo 4 also gives us a whole batch of new enemies to battle (don't worry, you still pummel Grunts). The Prometheans are tough, relentless and terrifying enemies, they bring a whole new level of gameplay to Halo and it's actually refreshing to face off against new foes. Crawlers are easy to take out when they're alone but when they get into a group they can be very tough to beat. The Promethean Knights are actually slightly tougher than Elites, the Kights can deploy Watchers who are actually pretty annoying. They can revive enemies, shield Knights and even catch your grenades! As well as adding new features 343 has also revived some features from more recent Halo games. Assassinations and Armor abilities are back but are slightly different. The sprint ability is now a default, abilities such as Hologram have returned and 343 have also added some new ones. The only problem I have with these new features is that they're only implemented once or twice throughout the campaign.
Halo 4's visuals are absolutely incredible, Requiem (your new playground) looks stunning, the grand landscapes are beautiful, the lighting is breathtaking and generally everything is shiny (remember, in the future everything is shiny). Halo 4's multiplayer actually ties into the story, the hub is called the Infinity and matchmaking is now War Games. Games like slayer has returned and we've also been treated to some new games like Dominion (it's kind of like Battlefield's conquest). War Games is a lot of fun, especially game modes like Flood and of course, Slayer. Spartan Ops has replaced Firefight, 4 friends can team up to play through weekly missions offered as free DLC! These missions take place after the campaign and actually feature characters from the campaign.
Overall Halo 4 is brilliant, the story is fantastic, the gameplay is faithful yet refreshing, the visuals are breathtaking and the multiplayer is as fun as ever! Although it suffers from a few little glitches and some aspects are implemented as much as I would have liked Halo 4 is still a fantastic addition to the series.
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