Thursday, November 8, 2012

Game review: Halo 4

I initially began playing Halo simply because it wasn't Call of Duty. I played Reach, ODST, and Halo 1. The thing that stood out to me the most in all three was the enthralling campaign. 343 Industries continues this tradition with Halo 4.

The background of the series should be fairly well known to most, so I'll leave it out. In Halo 4, Master Chief crash lands onto a Forerunner planet, known as Requiem. On this planet, he searches for the UNSC Infinity, which is on a crash course with the planet. However, in doing so, Chief uncovers an ancient evil that has returned - the Forerunners. Meanwhile, Cortana is experiencing some serious issues. She has been in service longer than most AI, and is now deteriorating rapidly, aka rampancy. Between Cortana and the main antagonist, Chief has a lot to deal with throughout the game.

Since the game focuses on the Forerunners, naturally there are some new weapons to follow suit. The Forerunner weapons are fun to use, and they deal quite a bit of damage. Luckily, you see the Forerunners often, so ammo is never in short supply. In fact, early on, you are forced to try these new weapons, as your human weapons quickly run out of ammo. Speaking, of which, there are some new human weapons as well. The main two I can think of are the Rail Gun, which is basically a one shot kill on most enemies, and the SAW, which is like a\the Assault Rifle, only better.

Between the story, new features and weapons, and the gritty lone-wolf style gameplay that is reminiscent of Halo 1, the Halo 4 campaign was one of the best yet. I was hooked from the first mission all the way to the last cutscene.

The new "Infinity" multiplayer is certainly different than traditional Halo online play. There is now a "unlock weapons by ranking up" system, as well as user-defined loadouts available in all games. Gameplay can be a bit Call of Duty-esque at times, and I'm still not quite sure how I feel about it. I had heard that Grifball had changed a bit, but I still have been unable to find it on the game mode list. There are less maps than previous games, and Forging is harder now with the absence of Forge World, and with it, some classic maps like Bloodgulch.

Despite my conceived shortcomings about the multiplayer, Halo 4 is still an amazing game, well worth the wait and money. I'm happy to see that 343 continues moves forward with the Halo franchise.

Catalyst King's rating

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