Last week the Chief fought his way back onto our screens with the widely anticipated Halo 4. Like many other people I have long looked forward to this game, but is it a worthy successor to the games by Bungie? Would I like the storyline? And would it still feel like Halo? After playing the game I can definitely say I had no reason to worry.
Even though it’s made by a different company the game still feels like Halo in every aspect and hasn’t been turned into a Call of Duty like many feared.
343 industries immediately throw you into the fight on the shattered wreck of the Forward unto Dawn. Clearer and crisper graphics are immediately obvious, but, due to heavy fighting, you will have other things on your mind. The campaign has more than a passing resemblance to Halo: Combat Evolved with its long almost unending levels. Also it’s mostly just Chief and Cortana exploring a strange new world like in the first game. The levels have a lot of variety in them and a perfect mix of old Covenant enemies as well as the new Promethean forces lead by the mysterious Didact seeking to complete a war he started many thousands of years ago.
Game play is smooth with no loading screens. The default control layout is similar to Halo Reach but now has a permanent sprint function added.
The game has been described as a romantic tragedy by some, as the Chief’s relationship with Cortana is explored in more depth, also due to Cortana’s age she begins to deteriorate rapidly with massive outbursts of anger and in some cases insanity. For the first time Chief disobeys orders to protect his deteriorating companion.
I could only pick up on two things I didn’t like; at only six hours in length the campaign isn’t by any means long; as usual the game has an extensive multiplayer side to compensate. Also before you can use the multiplayer parts of the game you have to download 8Gb of data from the second disk onto your hard drive or a USB.
In previous games matchmaking was just two different coloured armies fighting each other for no apparent reason; this time 343 have centred it on the UNSC Infinity, home to the Spartan IV’s. Battles are now classed as holographic combat simulations and other cooperative missions have also been added giving a whole new multiplayer experience. The multiplayer still has many features that made the games predecessors so popular as well as many others. Many of the designers came from working on the Modern Warfare series so you can expect some new features to make it into the game; the Spartans now have customisable classes for multiplayer games, air drops of weapons have also found their way in as well as several new game types.
343 industries have certainly gotten off to a great start; the game is a brilliant addition to the Halo universe.