Developer(s) – 343 Industries
Publisher(s) – Microsoft Studios
Director – Josh Holmes
Producer – Chris Lee
PEGI – 16
Highly anticipated for a number of years until it’s release in 2012, Halo 4 was the third highest-selling game of 2012 and was played by over one million people within 24 hours of its launch. It introduced a new enemy race, as well as a new range of weapons to use in combat, which makes for a pretty intense experience in lieu of Halo tradition. Nevertheless, I was left bitterly disappointed by how little the single-player experience had to offer; compared with many other Halo campaigns, it’s well below par.
Graphics – 9/10
The visuals indeed did a very good job at showing off the budget, but aside from that, there is also the basis in visual diversity, with the conceptual design of many of the varied locations, a fair few of them looking very new to the franchise, and the design of the new weapons and enemies. It could be argued that many elements seem recycled, such as the conceptual design of the UNSC and the Covenant, and even levels set in forests and desert lands, but to do that would be to mock every other great video game franchise that has come before it; Mario, Zelda, etc.
Gameplay – 6/10
Although the main story mode is extremely intense and enjoyable for the time that it lasts, which is far too short, it seemed like the best was saved for the online multiplayer, which not everyone with an Xbox 360 would be able to take advantage of. It doesn’t matter what amount of money players spend on the game, even two years after it’s release, an additional £40 has to be spent to get the majority of the gameplay out of it, which some may consider being a clever sales strategy, but to me, it seems very biased.
Controls – 10/10
There aren’t any issues with the controls, and it would have been most probably one of the most straightforward factors into making this game since all the developers would have to have done is play a Halo game, and not disappoint fans by trying to needlessly change them up, and potentially make any silly mistakes in the process.
Lifespan – 3/10
The main story campaign will take a dismal 4 to 5 hours to finish, which compared to most other Halo games, let alone most other first-person shooters is far below acceptable standards. Other Halo games before it had exceptionally longer campaign modes, and still managed put adequate emphasis, and with the astronomical budget attached to this game, there was no excuse for not sufficiently accommodating for single players as well as online players. I was personally so thrown by the fact that it lasts so short a time that I was surprised the rest of the campaign wasn’t on the second disc.
Storyline – 5/10
The story follows the Master Chief, who after being in stasis for some time, finds himself on a planet once inhabited by the ancient race the Forerunners, and awakens a new enemy of ancient forerunner warriors known as the Prometheans, and their leader, the Didact. The Master Chief must eliminate these threats in order to ensure the survival of humanity. The story is somewhat fresh, but it does ultimately work better for fans than newcomers, so it could cause problems for people introduced to the franchise with this game.
Originality – 1/10
Though it does somewhat well to stand out among most entries in the Halo series, it does very little to stand out among other first-person shooters, and no genuine innovation has been made in my opinion. I would’ve thought that with it being put in the hands of a new developer, they may have tried something a bit more different, and deviated away from some of the many stables of the series, but not a great deal has been done in that respect.
To sum up, Halo 4 to me is the worst Halo game I’ve ever played for a good number of reasons. It’s far too short, there is a grave imbalance of both single-player and online multiplayer facilities, even for an Xbox 360 game, and not enough has been done to keep the series interesting for me to even be able to recommend it to a Halo fan.