OFFICIAL SILVER SCREENER REVIEW
– HALO 4 –
IGN RATING: 9.8 out of 10
Developed by: 343 Industries
Published by: Microsoft Studios
The Master Chief is back, and I couldn’t be more pleased.
I’ve been playing Halo games for a long time. Ever since Halo: Combat Evolved, I’ve been in a trance. The setting, the storyline, the characters and the high-tech alien weapons. What’s not to love?
My expectations for this game were subdued. I was expecting a different kind of game; not one that I’m used to seeing in this series. With 343 Industries being the sole developer, I thought this game would be taken in a whole new direction. Bungie made superb games, and it would be hard to top their efforts.
Actually, it was a matter of how much of a change would take place in this game. New developer, new race of antagonists, new planet, and some new guns. But really, 343 stayed true to the series; Same Master Chief, same Cortana, and you still felt that emotion, that want and desire for the UNSC to win the battle, because you knew if they didn’t, there would be some serious consequences.
So overall, my expectations were high. And this game did not disappoint.
THE CAMPAIGN has subtle differences, which were always going to happen when you introduce a new species of enemy. The Prometheans are really interesting characters to behold. Basically, they’re savage aliens who can disappear, run like a dog, jump really high, fly around, reproduce from their back, and turn into sand. Pretty lethal, right?
There are 3 main types of Promethean. Knights, Crawlers, and Watchers. The Knights are the tall ones, who wield crazy-cool weapons and can kill you without second thought. Approach these ones carefully, because they can be tricky to maneuver against. The Crawlers are like dogs, who run really fast, jump on you, and can somehow shoot guns. That would be hard to do with those skeletal paws, one might think, but apparently not. Doesn’t make a whole heap of sense, either. The most annoying things, though, are the Watchers. These things take a s***load of time to get rid of, and really hurt you when you don’t, because they reproduce like bacteria. They shoot at you, then fly away, making it impossible to maintain aim, reproduce, then comeback and shoot you again. A nightmare.
The campaign is fun and exciting as always. Requiem looks amazing, as do all the weapons and the game play itself is smooth and balanced. When you play campaign, however, don’t focus all your attention on the Master Chief. Because as much as he is the main character, this campaign is about Cortana.
SPARTAN OPS is a great inclusion into the game. It’s lots of fun, and its a great way to earn XP for your Spartan rank. It’s like a more settled and organised version of Firefight, or for you CoD players out there, it’s Zombies meets Special Ops. A heap of fun. Do still wish, however, that Firefight was in this game.
MULTIPLAYER. Here we go. The most important bit.
Nailed it. Congratulations 343, you absolutely nailed it. Fun, fast-paced action. Great game modes. Balanced weapons. Ordnance strikes. Good maps. I could go on and on and on, but I shouldn’t. My personal favourite weapon is the Battle Rifle. I didn’t enjoy it in Halo 3, which was weird, because everyone used it. But I’ve found a subtle change in the power of the gun and the maneuverability of the gun, which has made it easier to use and more lethal. Also, the AR has been vastly improved, and the DMR is a popular choice, understandably, for it’s range and power.
I love the customization of this game. Choosing your classes has been something I’ve been hoping this series introduced, and now that it has, I’m left thinking what a great job they did. It may be a first effort, but I already like it more than CoD’s custom class system. Everything is balanced and most combos are just as lethal as any other one; it comes down to player skill, which is how it should be.
The new customization, some may say, caters for new players. But I disagree. A lot of loadouts can be seen as very evenly matched, so it comes down to player skill. The best player will usually win the gun fight. Either that, or the one with the upper hand will win (more health, more ammo). This makes sense, unlike CoD’s system that hasn’t been changed in 3 years, and can be manipulated so that a beginner can dominate a much more experienced opponent. CoD is on the way down, it seems, but I might get into that another time.
The maps are awesome. The spawns are even and fair. The gameplay is exciting and fast-paced. And the game modes are enthralling. Personally, I can’t get enough of Regicide and Flood. Regicide, a more exciting version of CoD’s Free For All, involves players trying to kill the “king” (the person with the highest score). You get extra points for killing the king, and when you do kill him, that awesome voice-over guy says “REGICIDE!” in that sexy voice of his. God I love that guy. And Flood is so much fun, it’s crazy. It’s a great game mode to play with friends. In Flood, you try frantically to kill alien flood mutants trying to polax you, with nothing more than a shotgun and a pistol. Makes for a helluva lot of fun.
The one mistake 343 made is the map “Rangarok“. Worst. Map. Ever. The spawns are annoying, because you have to waste time running to the middle of the map, only for you to get hunted down either by 4 people holding down the center hill, or a sniper camping at the back of the map. There are too many vehicles, as well, to ever sustain any grasp over your enemy. Once someone hops in the mantis, their opposition is done for.
Big Team Infinity Slayer is fun, at times, but doesn’t work a whole lot of the time. It’s not a case of too many people on a map, it’s more of a “being stuck in a room, by yourself, against 4 enemies” kind of thing going on. It can get a bit frustrating. Dominion, Halo’s take on Domination, is pure anarchy. Way too much going on.
This game has it all: Interesting Campaign that stays true to its origins, an exciting new addition in Spartan Ops, and awesome Multiplayer. I can’t get enough of this game.
Top job 343, you’ve done the Master Chief proud.
MY RATING: 8.5 out of 10.
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