Halo 4

Master Chief has returned with a Bang.

By Grayshadow, Posted 09 Nov 2012

It’s been 5 years since we last saw Master Chief as he and Cortana were left in a empty ship awaiting a rescue team. Within that period two Halo games were released before Bungie left the series in the hands of a new studio, 343 Industries. Stepping onto the mantle of something as adored as Halo is no easy task, especially when taking the reins from a studio that has earned its admiration. Halo 4 makes the start of a new trilogy and is possibly the best Halo game made so far.  

Halo 4, Review, FPS, Shooter, Master Chief

Halo 4 begins 4 years after the events of Halo 3 with Cortana waking Master Chief from cryosleep aboard The Forward on to Dawn. After a brief introduction a group of Covenant attack and then you plummet to a new world called Requiem. Here is where you meet the crew of the UNSC Infinity and is where 343 Industries does something new. Instead of telling brief a story 343 attempts to include a large amount of Halo lore from books, animated series, and games. Characters address issues such as the moral dilemma of initiating the Spartan II project and the longevity of an AI. Things that was previous ignored in Halo games is now brought up. It is definitely a change of pace from pervious games, but if you are like me and read all the books or saw any of the animated or live action series based on this beloved franchise then you will be in for a treat.

I bring up the lifespan of an AI because 343 places Cortana in the spotlight of Halo 4. As a old AI construct Cortana has exceeded the predicted lifespan and is beginning to show signs of rampancy. Right after Cortana wakes Chief from cyrosleep she begins to show signs of deterioration such as a screeching voice, violent emotional outbursts, and processing tactical data . She and Chief have also kept each other safe but now it’s up to Chief to keep Cortana from insanity, creating a much more personal story that puts there relationship to the test.

Master Chief and Cortana may be dealing with there own personal issues but a new enemy has risen to take the place of the Flood parasite. Requiem is an amazing planet full of secrets and some are better left alone. For the sake of brevity a new enemy has risen to eliminate humanity as a potential threat and retake the position as the apex race. Master Chief must now do what Spartans were designed to do, to protect humanity at any cost. 

Halo 4, Review, FPS, Shooter, Master Chief

Halo 4 has had a massive graphical upgrade, making it the best looking Halo game so far. The new planet of Requiem host an array of areas from past Halo games such as forests and deserts but adding new Forerunner architecture that looks stunning. Textures look pixelated up close though and the overuse of lens flare is distracting at times. Although the Xbox 360 has aged these new visuals are a impressive feat, it’s obvious that Microsoft spared no expense in the production of this beloved franchise.

The combat mechanics of Halo 4 have been modified while remaining loyal to traditional elements. The new and old enemies will require you to use every weapon and equipment available to you. Regardless of the situation, whether you fight one of the heavily armor Promethean Knights or the classic Elites, you will have a weapon designed for the task. Eliminate an enemy shield and then melee them to finish them off or sneak behind an enemy and perform a vicious assassination attack still remain a viable tactic.

Halo 4, Review, FPS, Shooter, Master Chief

But what good is being a genetically modified solider if you have no one to fight, fortunately you won’t have no shortage of enemies. Halo 4 will have the Covenant Elites, Grunts, Jackals, and Hunters as well as new Promethean enemies called Knights, Lurkers, and Watchers who want nothing more then your extermination. The Covenant rely on the same strategies the Prometheans can teleport, summon support, revive allies, throw grenades back, and provide shields for friendly forces. The objectives are a simple mash of moving from one marker to the next, but combined with vicious opponents and a stellar atmosphere you’ll forgot These new adversaries are a welcome addition to the Halo universe and worthy opponents.

Beside the story, the gameplay, and the multiplayer the other significant portion of Halo as been the soundtrack. Sound effects that didn’t exist in Halo before have been introduced such as heavy metal boots hitting the floor. Every weapons been audible redone with human weapons sounding more lethal or alien. Neil Davidge done a phenomenal job of retaining the original feel of Martin O’Donnel, while establishing itself within a new trilogy. Whether you are shooting hostiles or apporaching your next objective the soundtrack will have you engaged in each level. 

Halo 4, Review, FPS, Shooter, Master Chief

Halo is responsible for making online console competitive gaming what it is today. The multiplayer mode, now called Infinity, takes place during and after the events of Halo 4. Infinity consist of the map creator Forge, the post-single player cooperative campaign called Spartan-Ops, and the competitive mode known as War Games. The most radical changes to the multiplayer is the use of loadouts, default sprint, kill camera, kill streaks, and instant respawn. The map and playlist creation mode known as Forge as been updated with new items, but it may be weeks before creative minds are able to fully utilize these tools to make some interesting creations.

War Games host plenty of competitive options for those seeking to test there skills against human opponents. Right now 10 maps and 10 modes are available that allow for classic modes such as deathmatch, team deathmatch, domination, capture the flag, and free-for-all. Pervious modes like grifball and flood, perviously known as zombies, have been modified to feel more like competitive modes then a custom game.

Halo 4, Review, FPS, Shooter, Master Chief

Spartan-Ops replaces firefight and offers five episodes, each consisting of 5 missions, that take place after the events of the campaign. Only one mission is currently available and 343 plans to release new missions weekly with no additional cost. These short missions allows you and up to three friends to tackle a series of missions following Fireteam Crimson, which consist of a team of Spartan IVs, to repel Covenant and Promethean forces to establish bases on Forerunner structures.

As you complete challenges and kill other human players you’ll earn experience which can be used to unlock new gear, gain levels, and earn cosmetic items. Halo 4 gives you a large amount of options for you to make your own personal Spartan IV. You are constantly earning experience from the rewarding leveling system that grants you points for every contribution you make.

Halo 4 signifies the departure of Bungie and welcomes 343 Industries as the new handler. It makes an amazing and emotional return for Master Chief in the stunning campaign shows that 343 intends to maintain the same high quality Bungie preserved. The competitive multiplayer picks up where Reach left off and Spartan-Ops may proves its worth in the coming weeks or fall in the shadow of main campaign. It is no doubt that Master Chief has return with a bang.  


Adam Siddiqui, Noobfeed
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General Information

Halo 4


Platform(s): Xbox 360
Publisher(s): 343 Industries
Developer(s): Microsoft
Genres: First-Person Shooter
Themes: Action, Adventure
Release Date: 2012-11-06

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