As with most of my reviews, they're not punctual with regards to the release date. Halo 4 by 343 came out on November 6, 2012. It's Feb 2014.I feel that reviewing a game at any juncture is a valid opinion. It changes our perception of the game. Especially for games, the hype plays a major role.
Prior to this review, I booted it up and played Halo 3 and Halo: Reach. Luckily on H3's multiplayer there were only 149 players world wide. Gone were the days of half a million players :( at one time. Halo reach had a good amount of players.
Onto the review:
Halo 4 brings back the Master Chief and Cortana once again.They are what make Halo...well Halo. To not make games about them is like saying Disney is no longer going to have Mickey as a mascot. I was really glad to see that our favorite duo are back. The chief's armor looks completely different yet you can identify him in a crowd and say, well it's him. Kudos to 343, for making the change seem natural yet maintaining the character's feel. Cortana on the other hand looks like a different person, some might say a completely different ethnic group. Is it part of her AI nature to change shape? or an effect of rampancy? I don't know..
The game definitely feels like a Halo game. The sound bites are the same, the grunts, the Elites, and definitely the human weapon arsenal available to the chief. The story is odd. It feels rushed and unexplained. This Didact villain is never really explained. The protheans... I mean ....the Forerunners are back, and that's all you need to know. Which I thought, after fighting the flood and humanity on the near brink of extinction, we need to know why the Forerunners are evil. Something about a mantle of responsibility and the humans being the top of the food chain. But in reality, the whole story didn't feel as good as it should have. Sure Cortana is dying, and perhaps this is the purpose of the game, to make you feel for an AI. The chief himself didn't feel for Cortana. If there is a "love" relationship between them, shouldn't they show it a bit more. It felt bland. The new weapons are a nice addition, but felt very repetitive. The only "new" vehicle was this walker suit, that frankly feels out of place in a Halo game. Hell, everything feels out of place. There is no cohesion. The same banshee, the same ghosts, the same grunts. It pissed me off seeing them again and again. The stupid Banshee. I hate that stupid ship. It's stupendously slow yet indestructible only when you're not piloting the thing. The second you pilot one, you have 5 seconds until kaboom. That's the problem with Halo 4. It's the same game with just different colored enemies than last time. How many times must we have a scorpion tank level. Or a "cartographer" somewhere in the game's lingo. It lacks the spice it once had. I didn't recommend Halo Reach for the very reason that it offered nothing new. Compared to Halo 4, Halo Reach feels amazing, at least it made you feel something at the end. Halo 4 was just...there. It didn't do anything. It had beautiful vistas, but you didn't do anything with them. Driving the now muscle car of a warthog, across the same paths.
It felt lame. I've been here before, countless times. Those damn grunts. Every freaking Halo game, has to have the covenant. I'm sick of it. Now they have dogs and "AI" enemies that have 4 weapons on them. On the subject of the AI and the forerunners, the similarities between Halo 4 and Tron: Legacy is uncanny, even the colors Orange/light blue. It's ok for them to borrow inspirations from anywhere, but it kills the cohesion.
Moreover, playing Halo 4 felt like playing mass effect, from the "artifacts" to the didact's indoctrination plan.
Did I expect 343 to sweep me off my feet? No. It's their first run. They did an amazing job revitalizing Halo CE in Anniversary, but that success was because Halo CE was an outstanding game.
Halo 4 falls in the mediocre shooter, that rinses and repeats stuff we already saw. The multiplayer maps are not enjoyable, despite having awesome abilities and weapon designs. It is balanced and fast paced. It just falls short. Don't wait too long to introduce innovation 343, you may miss you chance where others will take it.
Cortana better lay off the donuts, she gained some weight. You do look fat in that outfit
Halo 4 gets a D on the B.U.D scale:
"This year we put a different number on the box", in this market there are many more games providing a more cohesive and exciting experience. It's just missing in this installment.
The B.U.D scale:
U= Useless (Not recommended)
D= Do not buy