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 Halo: 4 full review 

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MrScrewedx
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PostSubject: Halo: 4 full review   Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:27 pm

Halo 4 is really Cortana’s story.
As usual, of course, the fate of the universe rests on Master Chief’s
long-dormant shoulders – the green-armored super-soldier has been on
ice aboard the Forward Unto Dawn since Halo 3 faded to black five years ago – but this time our hero bears an even greater burden.

Saving humanity is the easy part. In Halo 4,
his more difficult task is rescuing Cortana from herself. She is
slipping into rampancy – a condition that plagues all UNSC AI constructs
after they’ve been in service more than seven years. As their knowledge
base expands, they eventually, as Cortana explains, think themselves to
death. And that’s the unexpected heart of Halo 4’s greatness. The plot
delves deeper into John’s humanity than ever before, but Halo 4 is more
about Cortana and the fight for her own – ironically enough – humanity.

Amazingly, Halo 4 is not only a success, but a bar-raising triumph
for the entire first-person shooter genre. And just how new developer
343 Industries has done it will surprise you.


Familiarly Unfamiliar

It starts with a mesmerizing CG cutscene that flat-out knocks you on
your ass. The lighting is flawless, subtle movements and animations
abound, and it even goes so far that Commander Lasky (yes, the same
Lasky we see as a teenager in the Forward Unto Dawn webseries) has
crooked teeth – not the usual polygon-perfect Chiclet choppers that
every other animated video game human has. It strikes a fine balance
between old-school fan service and establishing context for new players,
and it quickly segues into gameplay, where Halo 4’s greatest strength
becomes immediately apparent: its gunplay.
Halo’s weapons continue their trend of working in complementary
harmony, where each gun has a purpose, and every situation a fitting
firing solution. The inaccurate Promethean Suppressor and undesirable
Covenant Storm Rifle proved near-useless at times, but Halo 4 still hits
on a ludicrously high percentage of its death-dealers. The short-range
Energy Sword or new Scattershot are great to pack alongside mid-range
delights such as the DMR or Battle Rifle, which also pair nicely with
the ferocious Sniper Rifle if you’re into the long game.


As usual, of course, the fate of the universe rests on Master Chief’s
long-dormant shoulders – the green-armored super-soldier has been on
ice aboard the Forward Unto Dawn since Halo 3 faded to black five years ago – but this time our hero bears an even greater burden.











Saving humanity is the easy part. In Halo 4,
his more difficult task is rescuing Cortana from herself. She is
slipping into rampancy – a condition that plagues all UNSC AI constructs
after they’ve been in service more than seven years. As their knowledge
base expands, they eventually, as Cortana explains, think themselves to
death. And that’s the unexpected heart of Halo 4’s greatness. The plot
delves deeper into John’s humanity than ever before, but Halo 4 is more
about Cortana and the fight for her own – ironically enough – humanity.
Amazingly, Halo 4 is not only a success, but a bar-raising triumph
for the entire first-person shooter genre. And just how new developer
343 Industries has done it will surprise,

Familiarly Unfamiliar

It starts with a mesmerizing CG cutscene that flat-out knocks you on
your ass. The lighting is flawless, subtle movements and animations
abound, and it even goes so far that Commander Lasky (yes, the same
Lasky we see as a teenager in the Forward Unto Dawn webseries) has
crooked teeth – not the usual polygon-perfect Chiclet choppers that
every other animated video game human has. It strikes a fine balance
between old-school fan service and establishing context for new players,
and it quickly segues into gameplay, where Halo 4’s greatest strength
becomes immediately apparent: its gunplay.















Halo’s weapons continue their trend of working in complementary
harmony, where each gun has a purpose, and every situation a fitting
firing solution. The inaccurate Promethean Suppressor and undesirable
Covenant Storm Rifle proved near-useless at times, but Halo 4 still hits
on a ludicrously high percentage of its death-dealers. The short-range
Energy Sword or new Scattershot are great to pack alongside mid-range
delights such as the DMR or Battle Rifle, which also pair nicely with
the ferocious Sniper Rifle if you’re into the long game.
In the opening mission, Master Chief is thawed out and immediately
put back to work shooting Covenant, evoking both Halo: Combat Evolved
(it’s set aboard an under-attack spaceship) and Halo 2 (the stage’s
major battle takes place in zero-G on the hull of the ship). Expect your
jaw to drop at least once on every level of Halo 4’s eight-mission
campaign, especially after crash-landing on the Forerunner planet
Requiem, emerging from the wreckage, and ascending a hill whose apex
overlooks a gorgeous valley. It is your introduction to the planet
you’ll be spending most of the game exploring and fighting the new
Promethean enemies on, an obvious callback to the unforgettable moment
when you touched down on the Halo ring for the first time in Combat
Evolved.


Now Hear This

Of course, gorgeous graphics are only one responsibility a console’s
killer app must bear. Perhaps equal to Halo 4’s monitor-melting visuals
is its bar-none, best-in-class sound design. If you think you’ve heard
Halo, check your ears and listen again. Nary a gunshot, MJOLNIR boot
clank, or Covenant Elite’s “Wort wort wort” passes through your speakers
without a significant, authoritative overhaul that lends an aggressive,
testosterone-inducing punch to Halo 4’s combat.

Few game series are known as much for their music as Halo, and thus
much has been made of British electronica producer Neil Davidge taking
over for the beloved Bungie incumbent, Marty O’Donnell. It’s a bold
shift – and probably wise of 343 to go in a tonally different direction
rather than attempt to emulate O’Donnell – but the results are mixed.
The trademark monk chants are gone, and Davidge’s moody tunes are
complementary rather than additive. The new tracks simply aren’t
memorable and never elevate the action happening on the screen the way
that O’Donnell’s bombastic scores did, though this may be intentional,
as Davidge’s compositions are decidedly atmospheric.


Hello New Day

Resplendent set-pieces are ubiquitous during your quest, matched by
what is inarguably the finest Halo sandbox yet. Halo 4 feels much more
open-ended and organic than Halo Reach’s paint-by-numbers sequences
because of its massive scale, scope, and freedom for possibility. Go it
on foot, or take the Scorpion in front of you? Hop in a Ghost, or take
the riskier strategy of trying to get to a heavily guarded Wraith? All
of these choices exist in a moment, not a spectacular scene, allowing
for emergent encounters dictated by the opportunities you seize.





The wealth of options in Halo 4's sandbox make the campaign a joy to play again and again.


To be clear, Halo 4 certainly has its share of dedicated vehicle
sections. The walking two-story Mantis robot packs a high-caliber
machinegun alongside a rocket barrage. It’s even sporting a mean foot
stomp attack to flatten any Covenant or Promethean scum who dare venture
within spitting distance of you. The time you’ll spend behind its
controls is both empowering and refreshing.

Halo 4 also finally lets me do two things I’ve always wanted to do in
a Halo campaign: fight alongside other Spartans and fly a Pelican. It’s
a treat to blast Covenant Phantoms out of the sky with the silver
bird’s beefed-up Spartan Laser, giving a classic Halo vehicle its
long-overdue moment in the sun. Furthermore, an amazing near-final
sequence tips its cap to the Halo finales of yore – you’ll know it when
you see it and I dare not spoil it for you – even if it’s very obviously
reminiscent of another powerhouse pop-culture phenomenon.


Digging Deeper

All throughout, the Halo 4 campaign is paced better than any
first-person shooter this side of Half-Life 2, deftly mixing on-foot
combat, vehicle sequences, quiet story moments, and key
Chief-and-Cortana interactions. That pacing is most evident on Normal
difficulty, where you won’t run into the patience-testing battles for
the next checkpoint that define the Heroic and Legendary settings.

The series has long been lauded for its brainy bad guys, and they’ve
gained a whole host of IQ points for Master Chief’s return. As you’d
expect, the full smarts of Halo 4’s brilliant enemy AI are most evident
at higher difficulties. Vehicles get brought down to earth – sometimes
literally, in the case of the Banshee – now that enemies are proficient
at firing ride-disabling overcharged Plasma Pistol bursts. And the new
Promethean aggressors are wicked intelligent without being unfair.




The Prometheans are anything but dummies. In other words, they're not the Flood.


Watcher units hover above the Knight infantrymen, acting as guardians
and medics – if you can get around the protector’s shield or
return-to-sender grenade tosses, it can revive its allies. Halo 4’s
combat is about efficient prioritization: kill the Watcher before it can
get to cover, and turn the Knights to dust before they can escape, all
the while dodging fire from swarms of speedy wall-running Crawlers –
dog-like denizens of Requiem that can only be shot in the face.


An Imperfect Being?

The campaign has few failings, but the primary annoyance is that a
lot of great story content is left for the eight hidden Terminals.
Unlike previous Halos, the Terminal tale here isn’t a side-story, but
rather it fills in important backstory for both the main antagonist and a
key allied character. Worse, you can’t view the videos within the game.
Instead, you’re directed to Halo Waypoint, which serves only to pull
you out of the experience, literally and figuratively.

On a related note, as much as Halo 4 delves delightfully deep into
its iconic characters, it leaves a number of threads hanging. Why is
Spartan-II creator Dr. Catherine Halsey in handcuffs in the intro? What
did Master Chief’s [spoiler redacted] do to him? How did [spoiler redacted]
survive at the end? No doubt these will be addressed in the fifth and
sixth Halos, but until then the discussions will be heated and the wait
will be maddening.




Fair warning: Getting the special Legendary ending is going to require a lot of tough work.


Halo 4’s other drag is one that’s only really evident on Heroic or
Legendary difficulties: some of its fetch quest-y, flip-three-switches
sequences feel like they artificially lengthen the game because of how
long you can get hung up on them when the going gets tough. I spent
upwards of an hour trying to trudge through one of them on Heroic, but
when playing again on Normal I cruised through on the first try. At one
point, Cortana even makes a self-deprecating remark about the
repetition, which I recognized and appreciated.

These are mostly just scrapes in the paint of Master Chief’s MJOLNIR
armor, however. His return in the Halo 4 campaign is a success of
mission design, art direction, level design, technology, and story
writing. Underpinning it all, though, is that irresistible combat. Some
shooters get a few weapons right, or, like Sniper Elite v2, they build
their entire experience around one facet like long-range. Halo, however,
boasts the best of all worlds. As you’d expect, this plays
exceptionally well in Halo 4’s robust multiplayer modes.


Great Expectations

No console shooter has a richer, deeper, more revered multiplayer
history than Halo. So how does Halo 4’s multiplayer suite live up to the
legacy in 343’s hands?

It’s golden.

Halo has evolved, wrapping its multiplayer in an unexpected narrative
context – the Spartan-on-Spartan battles are presented as training
sessions aboard the UNSC Infinity ship – complete with more of
the same visually arresting introductory cutscenes for both the
adversarial War Games and the new Spartan Ops co-op mode.

With Halo 4’s immaculate weapon balancing and gun-for-every-situation
combat strategies, it needs only a great crop of multiplayer maps in
order to qualify for classic status. Fear not, as 343 packs War Games
with 10 mostly stellar stages and three additional Forge-built
battlegrounds. Exile leads the vehicle-heavy Big-Team Battle complement,
Ragnarok shines as a Mantis-showcasing remake of Halo 3’s Valhalla, and
Haven is among the series’ all-time finest small and symmetrical
levels. Oh, and one of the official Forge constructions, Settler, is a
smaller, crazier evolution of the franchise’s most famous map that I
absolutely love: Blood Gulch. Halo 4 might not have its instant-classic
(a la Halo 2’s Lockout), but this is an impressive collection of
outstanding battlegrounds, with a seemingly greater emphasis placed on
the large-scale, vehicle-inclusive levels that are Halo’s
bread-and-butter.



Meanwhile,
Halo 4 includes all of the same matchmaking, playlists, customization,
and social options you’ve come to expect from the series. The more
visual lobby screen, where player cards depict each person’s custom
Spartan, is a bit more cluttered and difficult to parse through than
previous Halos, but that’s the only downgrade. Everything else is on par
with what Bungie had previously established. The Theater returns
virtually unchanged, as does the Forge editor, with its notable
improvement being a magnet feature that allows you to more easily
connect Forge pieces.

That leaves Spartan Ops, a downloadable series of 10 episodic side
missions for Gold subscribers, each of which include a lengthy CG
cutscene. The first one spans five chapters, and it took about an hour
to play through in four-player co-op on Legendary difficulty. As you’d
expect, the more friends you bring the easier it’ll be – and, while it’s
perfectly enjoyable and makes for a good excuse to jump online with
your pals once a week, once you’re finished with each episode, it lacks
the replayability and score-based incentives of the Firefight mode it
replaces. However, the incredible pre-episode cinematics make the mode a
must-play regardless, and it opens up a number of interesting narrative
possibilities for future episodes and seasons. So even if you only play
each episode once, you can’t complain about the fact that nine more
weeks of downloads await you.


The End of the Beginning

After soaking in the new game, I am beyond thrilled to be so in love
with Halo again, more than I’ve been since Halo 2. Halo 4 is a
masterstroke everyone can and should celebrate, and its two guaranteed
sequels instantly make the next-generation Xbox a must-own system, with
Halo 5 its most anticipated title. Halo has been rebuilt. It has been
redefined. And it has been reinvigorated. The Xbox’s original king has
returned to his rightful place on the throne.

The Verdict!


Cortana once asked Master Chief what would happen
if he missed his target, and in the single greatest line of dialogue in
Halo history, Chief replied with the coolest, calmest confidence, "I
won’t."


"Everyone you know and love, everyone you've ever met, they will all die!"
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Trillionair18
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PostSubject: Re: Halo: 4 full review   Tue Nov 06, 2012 11:02 pm

Overall, amazing.


tweedle dee and tweedle dumbass
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SALTYxSANDWICH
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PostSubject: Halo: 4 full review   Wed Nov 07, 2012 8:27 pm

The game looks and sound sweet cant wait to get my hands on i.

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PostSubject: Re: Halo: 4 full review   Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:27 pm

Machinima a 10. More importantly, I GAVE IT A TEN! I rate all halo games a ten though :P
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MrScrewedx
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PostSubject: Re: Halo: 4 full review   Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:42 pm

Except for wars lol, i think that one stands at about a 6/10 lol


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PostSubject: Re: Halo: 4 full review   Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:45 pm

Eh, for me its about like 8.5 becase i grew up onstatelike command and conquer. Then i was introduced to console gaming and crash bandicoot and halo. Besides, if not for wars, i would never of known about UXA. I met Shadow of dark on an online game who introduced me to RfArbiter who introduced me to UXA. Halo MMO might happen. Theres a job listing for it so yeah. That'll probably be even worse.
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MrScrewedx
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PostSubject: Re: Halo: 4 full review   Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:58 pm

I don't see how a Halo mmo would even work, lol, like how could you put in a story, ans the gameplay, and the over all feel of the game, like hey I'm going to the spartan upgrade store so i can verse level 50 grunts on some halo ring, were there will be 500 other Spartans randomly placed, you can see how messy that would be. lol


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PostSubject: Re: Halo: 4 full review   Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:01 pm

Apparently it's supposed to be like planetside 2 which I have no knowledge about...
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MrScrewedx
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PostSubject: Re: Halo: 4 full review   Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:57 pm

They shouldn't make games setting out to be like other games i think that's stupid, but Halo 4 seems to have so many other games ideas taken, no offense to anyone *SPOILER ALERT*, suck as the Prometheans being humans that's like how mass effect has the Geth turning people into husks, and the mantis, there are similar mechs on Gears of War 3 and Killzone 3, so similar that they all use the same weapons, rocket pods and a chaingun, and the Didact im just gonna call his ability "the force", from star Wars lol, and the list can go on for a while, but i cant be bothered with all the typing lol


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PostSubject: Re: Halo: 4 full review   Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:05 pm

Mantis was based off of the Halo: Legends MJOLNIR Prototype. The Promethenas being ancient humans is from The books. The composer. Remember that? It is a weapon created by the didact to turn flood infected humans into Promethean Warriors. Those Prometheans are Half-Biotic. The reason *SPOILER* he brought it to earth was to expand his army and convert humans to the forerunner cause. The didact uses telekenesis (I think thats the word) not the force lol. There has even been an idea of that before star wars. People used to think that the greek gods could raise things just by thinking about it.
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PostSubject: Re: Halo: 4 full review   Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:37 pm

I haven't read the books, but when i mentioned the mantis, i meant the overall design of it, it was so much like the Killzone 3 mech, as far as the other things go i guess your right, but that could bring us to another topic, do you think what 343 did by basing the game mostly off the books, was a good thing? it has left lots of Halo players really, confused, even some that read the books. lol


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PostSubject: Re: Halo: 4 full review   Thu Nov 22, 2012 10:53 pm

Not at all. I have a feeling they'll explain it a bit better in halo 5 and 6 but it is a good thing. The books are now finally connected to the games which is what a lot of hardcore fans wanted.
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MrScrewedx
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PostSubject: Re: Halo: 4 full review   Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:09 pm

I don't think its a bad thing, but it could of been more drawn out, like you go from all the other Halo games then this ones all like "LOOK AT ALL THIS NEW SHIT!", *SPOILER ALERT* what i mean is, there was Didact, then the Librarian, then the mantle, and well you played the game and you can probably see that so much shit happened so fast, and then there was the 7 terminals that you had to find and that then showed you some more content, i thought that that information should have of been put into the game, and not have to be gathered from external sources.


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PostSubject: My opinion   Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:57 am

I don't think it deserved that high of a score, It was good and all, but it just didn't grab me, especially the multiplayer, I would give it an 8.5/10 at the max, and the crimson DLC shenanigans, really made me think about if I wanted to buy it, which I ultimatly, didn't want to.
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PostSubject: Re: Halo: 4 full review   Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:59 am

Same with me Jack, I didn't get that addiction setting in like I did with Reach.


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PostSubject: Addiction   Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:49 am

I've only had one other addiction experience similar to Reach's, and it was the single-player game Alan Wake. I fucking loved that game, it was so original and fresh.
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MrScrewedx
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PostSubject: Re: Halo: 4 full review   Thu Jan 03, 2013 6:14 am

That's the same feeling I got from playing the Mass Effect series, I've never played anything like it, and it's a Sci-fi with hot blue alien chicks you can screw, so naturally no complaints haha.


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PostSubject: Re: Halo: 4 full review   Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:22 pm

Hot Blue alien babes? SEX? I'm getting Mass Effect. Idgaf. I'm getting it.
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MrScrewedx
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PostSubject: Re: Halo: 4 full review   Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:30 pm

Start with the first one, or I will fucking kill you.
Far to many people don't play the first two before 3, and you have to because you import your save from one game to the next, and why did you say Mass Effect is alright on another topic, when you haven't played it?



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PostSubject: Re: Halo: 4 full review   Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:53 pm

Mass effect is alright BECAUSE I've seen gameplay. Also, I never play a series from without starting from the first game except Gears of War. I played 2 and like it but didnt bother getting anything else because it was kinda boring. True story. We should have an emoticon or picture or whatever for that.
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PostSubject: Re: Halo: 4 full review   Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:57 pm

You can not judge a game by watching gameplay, and Mass Effect isn't all about the gameplay, you will fall in love with fictional characters and it will hurt if they die, you will have to think about in game decisions as they will make you sad, welcome to the Mass Effect fandom. (I can back this up as I have cried 4 times throughout all 3 games.)


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