Video Games & Tech

Halo 4 – (Xbox only) 9GPPs

by on 08/11/2012
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Straight to the point – The chief is back! Greatly anticipated and he didn’t let me down. Campaign could have been a bit more varied, feeling like I was just playing through old missions from previous releases at times, but the story kept me hooked and the Multiplayer will keep me happy  for a long time to come. … BUY BUY BUY!

 

What we like

Welcome back chief! I’m an unashamed  Halo fan boy and as much as I really enjoyed the story behind Noble team in Halo Reach, I missed Master Chief and Cortana…. a lot.  The idea of them floating around in space, with no rescue in sight, broke my little heart.  Now he’s back and I couldn’t be happier; the saga continues and I’m front row centre for the ride!

Nice graphics -Brilliant CG cut scenes, beautiful landscapes and despite the elites looking a bit “thinner” the new  look of the game, after some getting used to, is really nice, textured and more realistic.

Forward unto Dawn – Who ever came up with the idea to have an Epic, mini-series that linked in with the game , deserves a medal!. Not only was the series amazing to watch; really getting my hopes up for a movie or, at least,  another web series, but it also added depth to the Halo universe and the gameplay itself.

Seeing Lasky made my day and I actually said out loud, “THATS LASKY! ” whenever he came on screen; to which my girlfriend just gave me a strange look.  The idea of linking film and game together was a master stroke and hopefully portents for more similar endeavours in the future.   

Halo of Duty 1 – One of the main changes that 343 have made to the entrenched Halo franchise was altering the Multiplayer slightly, to mimic games  like the COD series. A bold (and blatant) move but one that I think has given the old War horse a new lease of life and will definitely pull in the CODers.  Players no long spend most of their time fighting FFA, with that really annoying kid who plays 24/7, winning all the time and mocking you for it in his little girls voice. No it all seems to be about points and team play; I like it! 

You get points for assists, points for defending bases and flags, for assaulting bases and flags, for destroying gun turrets and defenses in the awesome Dominion game; for different types of kills, be it melee,  hand guns , vehicles etc. It just feels that bit more rewarding. You can be at the bottom of the table and still feel like you have achieved something because you helped defend a base or had a lot of assists; and as long as you are on the winning team you get a win bonus, no matter where you are on the table.

Other areas to follow suit with COD are the Perks you can unlock  (better sensors, more ammo, etc.) and the new section that replaced fire-fight; Spartan Ops. Pretty much a mini campaign that you can play with your mates to earn XP and unlock armour / weapons.  The latter also has a story behind it  (and more awesome CG videos) with 5 episodes to start; 343 will be adding more as time goes on.

Improved AIIt could just be me but the AI, especially on harder levels like Heroic and Legendary, seem to be a lot smarter and definitely a lot more aggressive.  Nothing strikes the fear of  the Gods into you more than an angry elite charging you with a Energy Sword!

MechsThat’s right we have mechs now and they are quality.. slow moving but really good fun to pound people with, though sniper rifles seem to be very good at knocking them out.

Being able to shoot a hand gun while carrying a flag – Remember when you were playing CTF and you had the flag? Unless you had some good support you were pretty much dead right? Well now they have given you the chance to wield your handgun as well as the flag. A great idea  that makes you feel like you have half a chance of actually defending  it while in your possession… Why have they not done this sooner!

The relationship between Cortana and the Chief (SPOILER ALERT) – In Halo 4 Cortana is losing her mind due to age; AI only having a life span of 7 years before they degrade and “Rampancy” sets in. As she is facing her on mortality the dynamic between her and Master Chief becomes a lot more, emotionally driven;  especially for Cortana who, facing death, seems to become a bit more flirtatious and prone to emotional outbursts, which get worse as the game goes on and it dawns on her that she might not be able to be with Master Chief much longer. These outbursts obviously have an effect on the usually stoic Chief who seems to lose patience with her at times and at the end is extremely troubled by her loss.

The relationship between John and AMANDA is a complex one but it is integral  to the success of the halo story and one of the main reasons I really enjoy it. They both make each other more human and without one another they cease to be; she is just a computer and he is just a lab experiment. Together they have something more.. love maybe, who knows but it is really touching and really pulls at your heart strings.

[quote]“In that case, you won’t mind…” Cortana appears behind the Didact.
at all of the Cortanas emerging from the Bridge
“Compassion for mankind is misplaced.” – Didact
“I’m not doing this for mankind.” Chief then charges thet Didact[/quote]

 

Niggles

Malnourished Elites – As I said the elites seem.. well thinner?  Not a major niggle but something did distract me slightly, Master Chief and the Spartans are huge, why have the elites been on a diet all of a sudden? 

Des ja vu – Campaign could have been better. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy it but it seemed like 343 were rehashing old missions, from previous games, and just adding a new skin on top. For example: the mission in Reach where you have to fly the falcon from tower to tower, taking out bad guys and blowing up beacons; well you pretty much have to do that mission again in halo 4. Yes the story and enemies are slightly different but for all intents and purposes it’s the same.

I Know  there is a fine line between keeping fans happy and finding a winning formula but I felt like I had played a lot of these missions before and it would have been nice to see a bit more variety. Didn’t ruin it for me but I would hope in the preceding games, that more thought is put into this.

Lots of weapons.. or are there? – There are now 3 races worth of weapons to choose from but they all seem to pretty much work the same way. Eg, The scatter gun and shotgun are the same;  the suppressor, assault rifle and storm rifle are the same; and the DMR, Carbine and light rifle are the same.  So pretty much, apart from a few new weapons; like the sticky grenade launcher,  the rail gun and the Sar.. there isn’t much choice and people tend to stick with the DMR or the battle rifle in the open and the shot guns in enclosed areas.

No forge world? – I had a tinker around with the forge and it seems you can’t build maps from scratch anymore and I really loved that in Reach.


Wish List

  • More weapon variety and that actually do different things or at least differ in power from race to race.
  • Bring back the forge world, I want to make epic maps, to own my friends on.
  • If you are going to copy the COD / BF Style games then why not have actual specialisations like; medic, heavy support etc, instead of just fancy looking armour.

Conclusion

Was there ever any doubt? I loved it, I enjoyed the story and I’m already anticipating the next instalment. I am glad they changed the game play, in multiplayer at least, it kept it fresh while not destroying the already proven formula. Yes it is very similar to the COD games but I think it  has merged the two concepts of old and new together really well to give an all round, superior product and a launching board for the future. 

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