Halo 4 Review *May Contain Spoilers*

When I first heard they were making yet another “Halo” game my immediate response was, “Isn’t that franchise dead yet?” If you couldn’t tell from that statement, I am not the biggest fan of the “Halo” games, not so much from a story standpoint but from a multiplayer view. I have played all games except for the first one (I have no desire to play it unless you plan on buying it for me). I figured since I played the old ones, why not this one?

“Halo 4” takes place four years after the events of “Halo 3.” Cortana awakens Master Chief as the remnants of the “Forward Unto Dawn” are being scanned by an unknown energy source. After fighting off some Covenant, you discover the new Promethean/Forerunner threat. The majority of the game takes place on the planet “Requiem.”  That would seem pretty lame and unimaginative if it weren’t for the fact the the game is beautiful.

I beat the campaign in 5 hours and 30 minutes, and what I noticed in those five and a half hours is that the story is a beautifully crafted beginning chapter to the new trilogy. Gameplay is exactly how you remember it with all your favorite weapons, like the UNSC battle rifle, assault rifle and magnum, the Coventants needler, the energy sword, and the Covenant carbine. New to the weapons list are the Forerunner weapons, Scattershot, Lightrifle, and the Boltshot, to name a few.

I found myself using either my trusty Battle Rifle to headshot my way through levels, or any Forerunner weapon I could find; those weapons are a lot of fun to use. I did play the game on easy (Don’t get on my ass, I was playing solely for the review.), but the enemies were still pretty quick on their feet.  Don’t get me wrong, the Covenant Grunts were still dumb enough to just run toward my gun fire, but the majority of the other enemies were a lot more quick-witted, especially the Prometheans. The Prometheans love to teleport behind you or descend from walls, which makes lining up a shot a real bitch.

To break up the monotony of just running around shooting things, you also get to fly around shooting things! I actually enjoyed the missions that took me off the ground and into the air.  Of course you can’t spend all your time up in the clouds (I’m sure Microsoft will license a “Halo” flight sim game), so during those missions you will have to jump out of your Pelican and go to work on the ground.  I just liked the the pacing of the gameplay; it was pretty spot on. Just when you might feel like you want to turn the game off because you’re bored…blam! Jump in a vehicle and do some damage.  When you start to feel complacent you’re hit with wave after wave of enemies.

As much as I enjoyed the campaign, I really enjoyed Spartan Ops. Spartan Ops replaces Firefight from “Halo: Reach” and “Halo 3: ODST.”  Spartan Ops ties into the SPARTAN-IV Program and takes place 4 months after the end of the campaign. You are part of Fireteam Crimson deployed on Requiem, and will encounter Prometheans and “The Storm Covenant” while attempting to complete objectives. For each “Season” you play through ten episodes, each containing five chapters.  That’s fifty chapters people! Each week a new episode is released free of charge, so grab three buddies and have at it, because this is by far the best part of “Halo 4.”

I did run into one issue while playing through Spartan Ops.  During Episode 2, I meleed an enemy on a turret and fell through the map See picture below

I don’t know if anyone else had the problem but at no other time did this issue arise.

Multiplayer now known as War Games once again is a huge problem for me.  Maybe I have become spoiled from playing on dedicated servers, but lag does ruin a game for me. Having an enemy just disappear on me, or- my favorite- when you’re shooting someone from behind and they turn around start shooting you and you die! I was really hoping that the multiplayer would be better than previous titles, but once again I was let down by the “Halo” franchise. What they did manage to fix was sprinting.  No longer do you need to pick up the perk, nor do you have to spend your Spartan Points (SP) to acquire it, as it is immediately available. Because of the lag Multiplayer was just no fun for me, but I know fans of the series will rave about it.

“Halo 4” does something most games aren’t doing, creating a game that makes you crave the next installment. The last game to do that for me was “The Walking Dead” video game by Telltale. Multiplayer not withstanding…

Final verdict for Halo 4:

4 out of 5