Review by undertaker188
"A Brilliant Start for 343 Industries"
The Halo franchise has been one that marked itself into the record books back in 2001 with Combat Evolved, and with Halo 4, that is truly what we have seen, an evolution that brings one trilogy to a fitting close, and another trilogy stem before our eyes, and as Bungie passes over the reigns to 343 Industries, we can be assured that our beloved Master Chief is in the best of hands.
The campaign, while short as always, backs a punch in the short time we are reunited with the inseparable duo of The Master Chief and Cortana. Halo 3 ends with The Master Chief telling Cortana to wake him when she needs him. Now, four years later, Cortana utters the words now cemented in history: "I need you." This epic moment rings true as the player is thrust into the campaign, fighting from the very start. As each mission progresses, we begin to see the story unravel further and further, as we see the unveiling of the new enemy race, the Forerunners. Each mission is as memorable as the last, and final moments of the game leaves the player with a cold sweat running down their backs. The story, as always, was touching, and did not disappoint. Also touching is the message that 343 Industries left for players at the end of the credits that give a longtime Halo fan a moment to get choked up on. 343 Industries did an amazing job filling the big shoes left behind by Bungie but have also ensured that Halo fans will be returning for the rest of their Reclaimer trilogy.
The graphics in Halo 4 were absolutely astounding. The very first cut-scene leaves the player wondering if this was live action or animation. You are truly immersed into the game through the eyes of John-117, and in my opinion. these are the best graphics of any game I have seen come out in 2012. Such fine attention to every detail left me in absolute awe as I ventured through each location, whether it was a lush jungle, or a cold-steel base, it pushes the console to it's absolute limits to deliver one of the greatest experiences of all time.
The soundtrack of Halo is unmatched when compared to any other game on the market. Enough said.
The controls for the main part have remained mostly intact over the past 11 years, with minor changes, if any to the overall control scheme. Halo 4 does adapt some new features to the player, such as a sprint option with The Master Chief. In past reviews of mine I have said that the control scheme can truly make or break a game, because a player does need to feel comfortable when playing a game. If there's no comfort, then the game will inevitably suck. The control scheme feels snug enough to believe that you are in control of this legendary super-soldier.
With this new addition, we see some changes to the multi-player as a whole. The system does indeed feel more balanced as opposed to the preceding games, and the teams feel more balanced as well. In previous games, each online match was basically a tug-of-war that one team won from the get-go. Now, it feels as though each team has equal opportunity to get the proverbial knot-in-the-middle to their side and pull off the victory. The multi-player experience is certainly a plus to this already incredible game.
The campaign has that certain charge to make the player want to do it again. Whether you were playing on easy or legendary, you felt the push to go back to the beginning and start fresh. Of course the legendary mode will leave you wanting to chuck your controller through your TV screen, but it's those blood boiling moments that feed the players adrenaline, making them want to go back for more.
Halo 4 brought about an amazing conclusion to the trilogy that began back in 2001, and brings one story full circle while opening up another one, hopefully assuring players we haven't seen the last of The Master Chief, and that the fight is not yet over. 343 Industries has filled the shoes of it's predecessors successfully, and I know as a Halo fan, I can trust them from here, all the way to the end of the next trilogy.
Reviewer's Rating: 5.0 - Flawless
Originally Posted: 11/19/12
Game Release: Halo 4 (US, 11/06/12)
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