Master Chief Is Back!

It’s been five years since the last appearance of the iconic Master Chief in Halo 3. The Halo rings were destroyed, 343 Guilty Spark was destroyed, and Earth was saved. The Chief and Cortana however were last seen drifting in the far reaches of space on the fractured UNSC ship Forward Unto Dawn. The Chief has gone back into cryo sleep and tells Cortana to wake him when he’s needed. Now after more than four years in space a new threat along with Covenant called the Prometheans has arisen. Add onto that Cortana’s AI is deteriorating. What does the Chief do? Kick ass, take names, and once again try to save the day. It’s time for me to take part in a brand new Halo trilogy. The Reclaimer Trilogy.

PROS:

The Story Drew Me Right In (Spoiler Free)
343 Industries sure did their homework because Halo 4’s story was amazing right from the start. I was hooked right away as the action ramped right up after the awakening. I was able to really feel the tense drama between Master Chief and Cortana throughout the campaign. Then again I’ve taken quite a keen interest in the adventures of the duo since the original Combat Evolved game more than a decade ago. At no point did I feel lost, bored, or wondered what the heck was going on. Halo 4’s story is gripping, intense, and kept me interested in between all the gunfights with Covenant and Prometheans forces.

The Visuals Are Absolutely Stunning
It’s not very often that I talk about a game’s graphics. Actually I never do, but I need to comment on the visual eye candy of Halo 4. It’s amazing. The sheer amount of detail is awe inspiring. I had to pause for a moment, pull out the disc, and put in previous Halo games just to see all the differences in both character design and the overall environment. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. While the graphics look impressive on my 1080p HD television I’ll bet that it still looks just as good on any standard television as well.

Amazing Sound
What makes Halo so unique is the amazing soundtrack. It’s almost tells a story in itself with tones that spell out the drama along with energetic beats when the action heats up. I absolutely loved it. Along with the music comes with the sounds of the weapons themselves. 343 Industries did a complete overhaul with weapon sounds making them sound even realistic than ever before. Now It really feels like I’m here to kick some ass with some awesome weapons.

Spartan Ops
Along with the thrilling campaign 343 Industries replaces Firefight with a new episodic campaign entitled Spartan Ops. The new campaign has weekly episode updates bringing me a whole new story taking place after the event s of Halo 4. Featuring both solo and co-op play Spartan Ops is quite addicting giving me even more Halo bang for the buck. It’s also great to play in between all the competitive multiplayer action. Sure I’ll miss Firefight, but all I’ll have to do is change discs to Halo: Reach and everything will be just fine.

Multiplayer Is Still Awesome
Besides a well done story, Halo is also known for some of the best multiplayer action online on Xbox Live. Yes, I said it. No, I’m not bragging. I honestly seem to enjoy Halo’s competitive multiplayer a little more than Gears of War, Battlefield, and Call of Duty. Halo: Reach made some radical changes in the multiplayer formula, but still kept it’s fun factor. Halo 4 continues that tradition by making a few tweaks here and there, but still keeps the core mechanics intact making me want to put on my Astro A50 headsets and kick some ass online. Forge mode is also back allowing me to create new game types along with making a tweak, or two, in popular maps just to change things up. Finally, there’s the customization factor allowing to create my own unique Spartan along with loadouts catering to my competitive needs.

CONS:

Honestly, throughout my gameplay time with Halo 4 I really couldn’t find any nagging issues that brought the game down for me. Maybe I was too hooked on the epic story and action to even care. It’s extremely rare for me not to have some sort of negative about a game, but I’m at a loss with this one. I’m not saying that Halo 4 is perfect, but I will say that this game is the closest thing to a near perfect experience.

IN CONCLUSION

Bungie handed 343 Industries the keys to the palace, and clearly they didn’t disappoint. Sure I had my doubts in the beginning, but they were quickly dashed once I got underway in the campaign. Combat Evolved was the bar in my opinion when it came to Halo games. Halo 4 has clearly surpassed that bar, and now sets the standards for what a first person shooter should be. I didn’t think that the Halo series needed a new trilogy, but this new Reclaimer Trilogy is a welcome addition. I can’t wait to see what 343 Industries have next up their sleeves with Halo 5, but I will say that the expectations will be at an extremely high level. Hopefully they’re up for the difficult challenge that lies ahead. Until then it will be more of the campaign, Spartan Ops, and multiplayer for me. Welcome back Master Chief!

Developer: 343 Industries
Platform: Xbox 360
Players: 1-16 (online multiplayer)
Price: $59.99

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s