I finally have it. It, of course, refers to Halo 4. From what I’ve played, which is the first five missions of the campaign, Halo 4 is easily the best of the eight Halo games, and, could be my favorite game of all time, though I will reserve judgment on that until I have finished the campaign and played the multiplayer modes, which I’m psyched to do.
Quick sidenote: While it’s cool that Halo 4 has a separate multiplayer disc, the eight gig download is a hassle. Especially when our console only has 4 gigs of memory. Yes, I have a had drive. But I’v never felt the need to format it, and transferring over 300 gig of music, comics, movies, and TV shows so that I don’t lose it all in the format. Anyways, I’ll just get a 16 gig flash drive, this isn’t a major complaint, jus a slight annoyance. The fact that the multiplayer is 8 gigs is probably a sign that it’s great anyways.
So, the campaign. Halo 4’s campaign is easily the most fun I’ve had with a game since Arkham City. Yes, Dishonored was a great game, and I had a lot of fun with that. But Halo 4 blow it out of the water. Essentially, it takes Halo Reach’s already awesome gameplay, and refines it a little. New enemies (and weapons, but more on that later) make for a much needed change. The Prometheans offer an excellent new twist. The gunplay is also much improved, and much easier, at least in my opinion.
Oh, and man, oh man, those graphics. Now, graphics aren’t on the top of my list when I look at a game, but, wow. Halo 4 has the best graphics I have ever seen in a game, bar none. It completely destroys Crysis 2. Seriously. It’s rendered amazingly! First, the lighting is really awesome. And all of the different environments are beautiful. And you will encounter quite a few different environments.
You’ll battle on the UNSC Forward Unto Dawn. You’ll fight your way through forerunner structures. You’ll battle the Covenant and Prometheans in a system of valleys. You’ll meet up with marines and (spoiler alert) more spartans in the dense jungles of Requiem. And you’ll ride a mammoth through the deserts of Requiem. Needless to say, the level design is stellar. You’ll start off fighting the Covenant, and then you’ll be introduced to the Prometheans. You’ll fight your way through both factions doing battle with one another. And then, with marines and spartans at your side, you’ll fight an alliance of them both.
After, of course, you awaken the Didact. Who is (possibly) the last remaining Forerunner. And he is, of course, the one that hates humanity the most. And he is also the Forerunner warmaster. And the Covenant (who are actually just a splinter group…though a pretty big one), eight games in, have finally found their gods. And, as soon a he is awakened, they all bow before him. And he uses this to his advantage, of course, quickly uniting the Covenant and Prometheans.
And the Master Chief is a lot more talkative than I remember him ever being. This probably has something to do with the fact that Cortana, who is one of his few close friends, is quickly going rampant, since AI’s decay after 7 years, and she’s been active for eight. The Chief’s first thought? Halsley. Except, in the opening cutscene we saw her in captivity (If you’re wondering why, read Ghosts of Onyx and Glasslands), so getting to her could be a problem.
Oh, and how about that animation? That CG? It’s stunning that it isn’t live action. STUNNING. It looks amazing! And not just in the opening cutscene… But throughout the game.
Back to the story, then… Throughout the game, we get increased signs of Cortana’s rampancy. The scream of “THEY REPLACED YOU!!!”, show how far off the deep end she’s going. And the Chief still wants to save her. But we do know that the UNSC, is, in fact, trying to replace the Master Chief. With spartan VI’s, who play a role, but I hope it grows both in the last missions of Halo 4 and over the course of the Reclaimer trilogy.
And where are the remaining II’s and III’s? Fred, Kelly, Linda, etc. They would add a great dynamic… Especially since they’re friend of the Master Chief. Close friends, actually. Seeing them later would be cool.
And the soundtrack! Wow, just wow. I’m a big fan of Marty O’Donnell’s work, and have all of his work. So I was skeptical about someone new handling it. But you know what? I didn’t need to. The soundtrack is really, really good, and adds a lot to the game. Definitely worth a listen on it’s own for sure.
Now, there are two things that offer variety to the game: the weapons and the environments. First, in typical Halo style, each mission, while linear, is still something of a sandbox. The environments are, for the most part, wide open and allow you to experiment. Even the enclosed environments avoid being simply narrow hallways.
And then there’s the weapons. The standard assault rifle, magnum, and battle rifle are all back, along with familiar Covenant weapons, such as the plasma pistol and carbine. However, there are a variety of new weapons, from the binary rifle to the saw to the storm rifle. And the massive choice of weapons adds a lot of variety to the game. It allows for multiple styles of playing, and that is awesome. And each weapon has it’s use, all of them carve out a niche for themselves, even the returning weapons, which have been refined greatly. There is only one weapon in the entire game that is almost completely useless, which is the storm rifle. Other than that, all the weapons have a clear purpose, and are one of the game’s strongest aspects.
So yeah, Halo 4. It’s amazing. Buy it. And that pretty much sums it up. I really cannot wait to finish the game and get the next two in the trilogy. Even if I have to buy a new console to do it.