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== HALO 4 ==
Halo 4 is a first person shooter game developed by 343 Industries and published by Microsoft. The game is an exclusive to the Xbox 360. The story to Halo 4 starts four years after the events of Halo 3. Halo has always been one of my favourite games for many reasons and while every one enjoys Call Of Duty (probably more) I myself love the Halo franchise and think it offers a lot more. This is the first Halo 343 Industries have created because the previous creators were Bungie who are now working on another project. Halo 4 is one of the best, most action packed and thrilling shooter games out there so far. Halo 4 also takes place in a futuristic science fiction setting in the year 2557. Also this game sees the return of the Master Chief!
=== STORY ===
Master Chief is woken up from cryonic sleep by his friend Cortana who helped back in Halo 3. Just before she awakens him, rogue covenant forces board the vessel that you are on. As Master Chief and Cortana explore the vessel and taking down any enemy covenant forces, Cortana malfunctions. She reveals that she is basically dying and past the usual operating period of an AI. She also reveals that she is becoming rampant and out of control, slowly thinking herself to death because of it. Now as Master Chief your mission is to get Cortana back to Earth where her creator is and try and get help from her. Master Chief picks up muffled transmissions from a human ship called Infinity. After warning Infinity away from the vessel they realize all is not what it seems and that an ancient Forerunner warrior from imprisonment is out for their blood. Can you help Master Chief with his missions, or will it finally be the end of him!
=== GAMEPLAY ===
Halo 4 has to be the best one yet in terms of gameplay for sure. Its a first person shooter similar to how Call Of Duty games are but in a science fiction world set way into the future. You are Master Chief returning from his heroics from Halo 3. The game offers a wide variety of game modes that include campaign, spartan ops and a ton of multiplayer modes. In campaign you work through the missions you are given. There are a total of 8 missions for the campaign. This doesn't sound too good but its actually not as bad as it sounds because some missions can last well over an hour depending on how you're going through them. Also in campaign mode you can play with three other online players if you wish and try and finish the game with them. You can also play system link on the same console with you and one other person.
Along with the campaign comes Spartan Ops mode which is fantastic. At first when the game was released this mode was very limited because it wouldn't let you play many of the episodes at first. 343 decided to release an episode every week on a Monday. Now there are a lot of missions available. These Spartan Ops missions are basically just a mission with an objective or two. They can last about 45 minutes depending on the difficulty and depending on if you're playing alone or with friends or other online gamers. Spartan Ops missions are based around levels similar to that of the campaign ones but offer quite a bit difference. Its always good to play these missions when you can because you earn EXP (experience), even more so than the other game modes. EXP is used to level up your character in online play. You can add new things to your character.
Stuff you can add include new armor like shoulder armor, helmets, body armor and more. There are thousands of customization options for your Spartan. You can also add a tag to your Spartan for online play and for others to recognize you like teammates and other players. Also available to you is an icon to also tell who you are and there are a lot of options for this. You can also change the colour of your Spartan but this only noticeable when you play Spartan Ops missions. There are also loadouts which you alter to suit your needs and online play. Loadouts basically let you have different weapons and abilities equipped so you don't need to keep changing. There are quite a few different abilities that include stealth, jet pack, decoy and an extra burst of speed for those tricky situations. There are also tons of different guns that include previous ones from other Halo games and also some new guns available at your disposal.
Online play is absolutely fantastic and Halo 4 is good to play alone but even better for online play. There are lots of different options that include team deathmatch which is 4 vs 4 on a map that is voted for out of three different options. there is also games that include capture and hold, oddball, big team deathmatch which is 8 vs 8 and many more. All have different aims and different rules but you are told what these are upon picking which game you wish to play. My personal favourites are deathmatch and oddball. Oddball is killing the person who has the ball then holding it for as long as possible to rack up points. You're not allowed to shoot whilst holding the ball but if you can get close enough you can whack them with it to instantly kill them. This is also 4 vs 4 with your teammates trying to protect you whilst you hold the ball.
=== GRAPHICS & SOUND EFFECTS ===
The graphics for Halo games has never been its main point of the game but they're not at all that bad in Halo 4. Some of the scenery in the game (when it can be seen) is actually really well designed and looks pretty good. One of the biggest improvements are the basic look of the enemies. There are more enemies now than there has ever been and this is fantastic because they all look great. Also a good thing about Halo is that its never had glitchy graphics or faults in them so I guess that is always a bonus. Characters look okay but nothing to shout about but overall I think 343 has done the game justice with the graphics and the layout. Beautiful game with some stunning visuals.
Now the sound effects have always been a highlight and its no different in this game. I always find myself humming the music at the start of the game when you first load up, its really that addictive. The in game music is equally impressive and certainly stands out from other games. The actual sound effects when playing are flawless. The full on action perspective is brilliant. Enemies sound really good and have their own noise but the another good part has to be the voice acting because its perfect. The way the characters tone of voice changes when it needs to works. Overall the sound effects to Halo 4 are something special but the best part has got to be the music because it will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout.
=== DIFFICULTY & LONGEVITY ===
The difficulty of the game always depends on what game mode you're playing and whether or not you are playing online. Online play usually varies but in Halo 4 its quite different this time because the servers do try and find gamers with a similar level to you. Spartan Ops difficulty depends on what you choose it to be on starting with easy leading up to legendary. I wouldn't recommend legendary if you are playing alone because it does actually prove challenging. However if you are playing with a friend, friends or other players then go for it because its much easier. This is basically the same for campaign mode too. The controls to the game are very simple and easy to get the hang of.
Length of the game is an interesting subject because I find the campaign a little short but you do have to playthrough it at least twice. Once alone and once with friends. There are numerous achievements for alone and with someone so its always good to do it. Campaign will last around 8-10 hours maybe a little longer depending how you go but the highlight is online play and Spartan Ops mode because both of which can last a very long time. There are lots of people still playing the game so it wont die out anytime soon. I would say to do all the Spartan Ops missions you're looking at around 20 hours and as for multiplayer modes you are looking at well over 50 hours. Its a fun packed game that will last a very long time.
=== PROS ===
*A fun action packed game with a decent story.
*Lots of customization options for your online spartan.
*Lots of different games modes to play including campaign on your own or with friends over Xbox Live.
*Fantastic sound effects and even better music!
*The length of the game for an Xbox Live fan is brilliant, one of the best out there.
=== CONS ===
*Does get a little boring after playing for hours.
*Can be repetitive if you play the same sort of modes over and over again.
*Story mode isn't long enough and should be a bit longer for people who don't play online.
*Graphics don't seem much different from the last Halo games!
=== FINAL THOUGHT ===
Halo 4 is a fantastic game. One of the biggest reasons I like it is because it doesn't have stealth bits such as some games. Don't get me wrong because I love a good stealthy game but some games that feature stealth doesn't work. Halo 4 is based around all out action and this works incredibly well. It also features no end of game modes for all kinds of players and also little bits of role playing elements such as the customization options that are available. This is the best Halo so far and offers more in many ways to the other games.
I would definitely recommend the game because its fun, action packed and different in my opinion. Campaign is great, game modes are great and there is always something new that 343 are doing to it. If you like first person shooter games then this is right up your street because its the best of its kind for sure. If you love Call Of Duty then try this because its similar in many ways. The game has an age rating of 16+ which is about right.
The best Halo game out there so far to date, with so much on offer. I would give Halo 4 a very solid 9/10! Fantastic game!
Review also on Ciao under the username: MrBrightside1987!
Halo 4 is the brand new game from 343 Industries. A lot of risk was involved in creating this new Halo title. I for one was worried myself when I heard Bungie (who developed Halo games before) wasn't involved in it.
To cut a long story short. Halo 4 is awesome and probably the best Halo game to date.
Everything from the graphics to the incredible story telling in the campaign is pretty special.
The graphics of this Halo are unsurprisingly the best of any other game I've played on the Xbox 360.
From the details in the guns to the brilliance of the cut scenes make this a truly extraordinary experience.
Even with the details put into the textures of the rocks and the sky makes you think how much effort was put into this game.
The gameplay for Halo 4 feels polished for sure. They've changed the sluggish feel of previous titles and changed them into something a lot different. The gameplay is much more fast paced this time around, shooting feels way more fun and enemies a lot more tougher!
Probably the best thing about the whole game. The new maps cater for close quarters, medium sized and all out warfare maps. Superb!
There is no longer no spawn times on multiplayer. This, one of the other reasons why it feels a lot faster in terms of gameplay.
There's so much to say about the online side of things. I could go on forever!
Multiplayer now has a different ranking system. Instead of the 1-50 skill rank. It now has a 1 - 130 rank.
There isn't really any skill involved with the new skill system as it's experienced based (The more you play, the higher you rank). This may put older Halo players off. But it's probably one of the only disadvantages of multiplayer.
If you've played previous Halo games and loved them. Then, this game is for you.
I've played Halo since the beginning of the series on the Xbox, and I'm a little disappointed by this game. Halo 4 is very similar to Halo 3 ODST in just about every aspect. The graphics, sound, and controls feel exactly the same. While this isn't all that bad because I didn't need to learn anything new, it didn't give me any new challenges.
The story continues a few years after the last Halo game. You are woken up and immediately sent out to fight. The opening of the game is easy and leads you to an awesome opening scene.
The best part about the single-player mode of this game is the graphics. The cut scenes look amazing, and the voiceovers are really great and very dramatic.
The gameplay itself was pretty short. I beat the game on the normal difficulty mode in around 12 hours of gameplay. Also, the game seemed to be repetitive after a while. It seems that every enemy group was the just about the same, just physically different. In every group, it seemed there were a few weak small enemies, two or three stronger enemies with shields, and a bunch of flying enemies that heal the strong enemies as well as attacking you. No matter what they looked like, it seems you had the same number over and over again. This makes the strategy really boring.
The multi-player features of this game are even better than the other Halos. There are more game modes, and there is a great ranking system based on experience points. The more experience points that you acquire gives you the options for different armor, power-ups, and other features.
Overall, if you're a Halo fan, this game is a must have. While the single-player mode wasn't all that great, the multi-player is worth it.