Halo 4: FPS EVOLVED
DISCLAIMER: THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN CONTENT THAT MAY BE CONSTRUED AS SPOILERS!! I tried my best to stay clear of this, but it’s only my opinion.
In a time when First Person Shooters are a dime-a-dozen, it takes a lot of passion for standing out. Fans are aware of this. With titles like Gears of War, Call of Duty, Resistance, or Medal of Honor, among others, it’s challenging to be a shadow caster; however, to my mind that this Halo series has brought something unique into the game… consistently. Since 2001, Halo has been the benchmark for redefined FPS games and is perhaps the most successful (with the only rival being the Call of Duty series) overall in terms of challenging gameplay, story quality in addition to competitive multiplayer.
However, Halo 4 has some quite large shoes to fill in terms of expectations, and it did not disappoint in any aspect (in my view). Everything that was required to be changed was done, and the best aspects were either left unaffected or tweaked in a creative manner. The most significant change was the development of a brand new studio (343 industries have come into the role of replacing the creators of the series Bungie studios). Initially, any game can be intimidating; however, once you are past the initial hurdle, you can begin to appreciate the dreamscape that was created to delight you. As of now, I think Halo 4 is shaping up to be the most enjoyable installment in this series. I’m here to share my thoughts on the game.
Part 1- The Campaign
Halo 4 marks a new beginning for the Halo canon. The last time we last looked at Master Chief, he was battling an intergalactic war against the alien race called the Covenant as well as trying to stop a hive-mind, parasitic intelligence known as the flood. It’s over and done, and Master Chief has been floating in space, lying in cryosleep in a decrepit ship for the past eight years, until the time he awakes by a group of Covenant members who have scavenged his ship across an unknown artificial planet dubbed the shield-world (gosh… what a rambling sentences… There’s plenty to get your speed about).
The reason I don’t want to give details on the plotline is due to a variety of reasons(you’d think that it’s due to spoiler-free, but this is mainly because I would not be able to give justice to the story in the way it deserves) however suffice it to say that the plot does not lack a sense of urgency, pace as well as depth and growth. This is the first instance that we are introduced to John 117 as he is at its most human. Under the main plotline that is the basis for 343’s highly sought-after “Reclaimer Trilogy” is the personal story of Cortana and our personal favorite SPARTAN-II that to me was almost more fascinating than the main antagonist in the story arc- an exiled and ancient predecessor known as The Didact. (cough cough, the one who shot the halo array around 100,000 years ago, cough the one who fired the Halo array some 100,000 years ago cough)
It was pleasing that the reset of the stage made the audience take a glimpse of the person who is behind the mask. Halo’s cannon Halo and the fundamental ethical aspect of the SPARTAN-II project is what first attracted me to Halo (technically, this was multiplayer matchmaking that at the beginning, However, later on, I was drawn to the novels that I swear by), and I’m glad that you have the chance to experience that side of the universe being explored. It is finally possible to reduce the action from a grand scale to a personal scale. It also gives you a look at the toll these fight scenes take on the protagonist. Since I’m a huge lover of science fiction and slow scenes in stories, it’s the place where characters can breathe and be themselves without having to compromise the pacing of the story. The little things that make a story interesting to me.
I’m a big fan of all kinds of storytelling, and this latest trilogy will review what we’ve read and turned it on its head. I’m left with some questions like 1. Did the Forerunners genuinely represent the kind of peaceful and responsible race that we were led to believe they were? 2. What does this latest threat have to do with the universe and, in particular, that peace among Humanity as well as the Covenant? Whatever the case, when I finished the mission, I was left seeking out more this is an excellent indication of an adequately started seed. I believe that a great story will make you walk off with answers and questions that only the theatre of the mind can provide.
Part 2- Multiplayer
As you’d expect, multiplayer is returning with Halo 4 (as if it was ever going to leave), and it’s different. The game is now dubbed Wargames (giving cannon matchmaking’s “why” of matchmaking). Matchmaking is back, with a lot of energy and a lot more options for customization. Matches now earn credits that players can use to modify the look of their outfits (an element that was eminently taken in Call of Duty) with weapons, grenades, and armor capabilities (unique cooldowns that can do things such as creating a holographic illusion of making you invisible for a brief period of time). You can also personalize your personal Spartan-IV by combining a variety of aesthetic looks, from your leggings to your helmet.
If you’ve ever played Halo Reach, the overall gameplay is similar, with one difference being that sprint is integrated into the standard button layout. Another significant change is the game of capture-the-flag, where flag holders are now given the ability to use a pistol for a short time with unlimited ammo (and it comes with a lot of benefits). A new type of game known as Dominion has been added to the playlist for matchmaking. It’s the big team King of the Hill and territories, with a sprinkling of things to help strengthen the points you’ve accumulated. This is my absolute favorite objective-based game now, replacing the oddball (you made a great oddball, but we’ve gotten a bit stale). The multiplayer is an excellent addition to the fantastic experience that Halo Reach provided and improved on top of it while also reducing the jet-pack’s stupidity (which I’m biasedly happy over).
I’d also like to share my love for these new guns, notably the Promethean weapons. I am a massive fan of all of them (most particularly shooting with a scattershot). The new weapons in Halo 4 are the following weapons:
-Binary Rifle(Sniper rifle)
-Bolt shot(a pistol that doubles as a chargeable almost super-close-quarters mini shotgun), Suppressor(Promethean assault rifle)
Light Rifle(The Promethean DMR basically. It is important to note that this weapon is more effective at causing damage when zoomed into)
Incendiary Grenade (different than Halo the Reach’s Grenades)
The SAW (Human machinegun heavy weapon)
-Pulse detonator(a pistol mounted grenade launcher),
The Stormrifle (Covenant substitute for plasma gun)
Also, there is a brand newly designed incendiary weapon. The other items that are returning to the shelves are fan favorites, such as the battle rifle, The DMR, and the covenant Carbine (Did you receive all that? Lol). My only complaint is: Why is the duel-wielding returning!?
The maps are not something to ignore either. In addition to their fresh appeal simply due to the fact that they are new for matchmaking purposes, the design of these maps is something worth looking into. The idea first came to my mind during a game of taking the flag to the other side on Adrift. While I was guarding the team’s flag, I experienced an opportunity to relax between battles. I was anxiously awaiting the enemy’s next move and was looking at the details of the deep abyss. It wasn’t by any stretch of the imagination, fascinating as such, just the view of a sun that was floating from a mining vessel of a specific kind, but the details were stunning. I began to admire, after that initial moment, the palette of colors used to soak the surface as well as the contrast utilized to strengthen it. Following these realizations and the subsequent failure in protecting the flag (due to the game’s ADHD), I began to notice the grit that surrounded this masterpiece. It’s not just about the flag, as it is present in every aspect of the campaign as well. Beyond the beautiful game, the beautifully created world, and the captivating story, there are the backgrounds, a stunning and largely unnoticed beauty.
Part 3: No more firefights
Another significant change in Halo 4 has been the elimination of the firefight mode (which is if you haven’t had the opportunity to play it in Halo ODSt and Halo Reach was as thrilling as it was difficult) and the introduction of a new mode dubbed Spartan-OPs. Before I dive into the details and my opinions of this mode, I’d like to point out that I adore the firefight. I loved the fun and fresh challenge it brought. I was a sucker for it when things didn’t go in the direction of the team, and I adored the fact that it consisted of waves after waves of fun alien warfare. As with all new entries to the Halo franchise, this new addition is (in my opinion, at the very most) an essential one.
Spartan-OPs is a weekly, episodic adventure that comes from 343 industries. Each week a brand new episode is being released with five chapters per chapter. They are an extension of Halo 4’s already gorgeous and engaging campaign. The OPs are set six months following what happened in Halo 4 on the shield-world Requiem and challenge you to battle both the Covenant and Prometheans again. With a UNSC Infinity Spartan-IV’s the player (and up to three other teammates) participates in these missions in a way that is similar to that of the game. Each week is a new challenge. It seems like the game is raising the stakes on the OPs, which is why I’m keen on watching the direction the game takes.
Part 4- Conclusions Reached
I’ll say this like all other exquisite artwork the more you look at and poke and probe to analyze, the more you will begin to uncover flaws. Even though Halo 4 has been my personal most loved of the Halo games so far but by no means is it without flaws. The faults lie due to a need for a modification to the game’s multiplayer matching. In terms of replay-value is concerned, Halo 4 comes with many unlockable items as well as challenging achievements. There are also numerous hidden easter eggs (like the terminals or the enthralling cameos featuring Conan O’Brien and Andy Richter) to be discovered and investigated. The background music in this game is a delight. It’s a pleasant mix of old and new and a perfect soundtrack that can be easily modified for the demanding scenarios you’ll be in often.
Overall, the game receives my stamp of acceptance (and my affections), and I’d suggest renting the game. For the seasoned Halo player, this game gives an experience that is familiar, a worthwhile campaign, and endless hours of matchmaking with a touch of something old, different, and something new. For those who are new to the Halo franchise, this game will give an insight into an effective formula that is certain to open your eyes to the beautifully illustrated story of a universe created with love.