The UNSC has driven back the Covenant but has uncovered a bigger and far more destructive foe; the Forerunners. As the UNSC press on to defeat the Forerunners, on the planet Requiem, Cortana awakes Master Chief from his cryogenic slumber, once again to save the human race. On this journey, your emotions will be pulled at, as twists, turns, and the outright unthinkable occur. With gameplay responsive and an immersive universe with glorious graphics and environments, topped off with a resonating and powerful soundtrack, Halo 4 ticks all the boxes.
343 industries, the new developers of Halo, have met the mantle and taken what fans loved from the first trilogy, and added their own unique twist and improvements. For example, the sound for vehicles and weapons, re-recording and providing many with a much more realistic and ‘meaty’ sounds, as well as a redesign of old enemies and weapons, adding an extra depth allowing the player to fully take on the role of Master Chief.
The new enemies of the Forerunners and environments upon Requiem are also astounding in their visual effect upon the player. The game retains the H.U.D system that all Halo games have seen, but again, with a more engaging feel to it. What little criticism the game has received relates to the length of the campaign, coming in at eight chapters long, as well as the length and relative ease of the Spartan ops.
However, this can easily be countered through the beauty of the game itself, as well as the improvements of the online section of the game, allowing much easier finding of games, and cutting down the waiting time players had endured within previous Halo games. The retention of the close intimate maps blended against the larger maps offering vehicles allows for a massive switch up of play. 343 have decided to adopt elements from other first person shooter games, such as the customisable classes. However, it does it in a simplistic and easy to use way. Also, with the release of new a Spartan ops mission every Monday and it offers an expansive game, which is updated for free by 343. These two elements combined allows for a massive co-operative/multiplayer experience, as there is effectively two campaigns you can play through as well as playing player versus player games.
343 have developed and written an engaging storyline that keeps throwing problems and scenarios at players, challenging them. The story also provides a brand new angle on the Master Chief – Cortana relationship, injecting an element of seriousness that is a running theme within the game, that’s constantly raised, questioning the player as well as the characters.
During the campaign there are elements that appear to be simple, whilst other bits that will have you thinking there is no way in which to progress. The campaign isn’t as short as some people seem to think. I spent a good amount of time, the best part of 16-17 hours, on it before touching the multiplayer.
Also, the A.I are improved, with a greater reliance on cover and movement than run and gun taking precedence, meaning they don’t compromise you as much as seen in previous games.
Overall, Halo 4 is a fantastic game, and, in my opinion, the game of the year. The gameplay is amazing, the graphics and design are beautiful and the story grasps you taking you on the emotional journey that unwinds far better than any other game has ever managed to. In short, any gamer NEEDS this game in their collection.