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on November 26, 2012
I've been a Halo fan since 2002 when Halo first game out. I was at the release of Halo 2 and still remember buying it at a convention right before I moved from California. With each purchase of the Halo games I loved it even more. Then after Halo 3 release I found out that bungie was not able to work on Halo much longer anymore and another company was working on it. The news broke my heart. I found out that 343i is taking over, and I didn't like that idea. I had disliked 343i when i found out, but as more news came out about them, i started to trust them. Especially with the Halo 4 trailer. And of course I got it. I was not disappointed in any way whatsoever. I booted up the xbox, put in the disk, turned my tv to 3D, and turned up the sound. It was probably one of the greatest moments of my life. The graphics were so great that I literally just sat there doing nothing but looking at the screen for 15 mins. The sound effects was the second thing I noticed. From the deep and powerful sounding Assault Rilfe to the high pitched alien-like sounds covenant weapons. Everything was perfect, it had the original "halo" feel, awesome sound effects, unbelievable graphics, and great story. The only complaint I have is the fact that the campaign was shorter than normal, but 343i were able to explain the whole story and add little extras all in that short campaign. It felt a bit rushed, but everything was there. The campaign was a lot more immersive and I could actually feel what was going on, it could just be from the graphics and sounds, but it was more immersive than all the Halos i've played. The campaign shows more of the human side of chief and I could feel what he was feeling even with his helmet on. The ending really threw me off, and I started crying. Multiplayer is a bit like reach and halo 3 combined, which think is great. I gotta say, out of all the Halo games i've played. Halo 4 felt like the most polished. Halo 4 is probably the best Halo game in my opinion. I can't wait to see Halo 5. 10/10!
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on November 8, 2012
Six months ago I was convinced that NOBODY could possibly take the incredible work of Bungie and maintain their level of quality and refinement. I had no intention of buying Halo 4. But over the past couple of months 343 would keep putting out videos that kept me intrigued. I decided to give in to the hype and I am absolutely blown away by what I am seeing on my 60" screen...

* The game feels like Halo, but it also feels new - not sure if that is helpful, but they managed to keep the core while pushing the story and gameplay forward
* The graphics are superb, but the sound is absolutely the best of any game I have every played. The gun sounds "punch" your speakers pretty hard and all the affects really grab your attention
* A lot of diversity and progression has been added to the multiplayer aspect of the game. I am less of a "run and gun" type player so I appreciate some of the game modes where the goal is to capture buildings (Dominion) or control space (King of the Hill). It adds a layer of strategy that allows us mediocre gamers to play a key role
* Spartan Ops is fun! With three other friends you can play these "bite-sized" missions and continue the story beyond the campaign. I believe we will continue to get new missions every week so my friends and I have new content to play together every weekend!

* In the campaign, I kept running out of ammo and was forced to switch weapons constantly. Sometimes trying new weapons was a lot of fun, but other times it was a drag using the plasma gun over and over and over...
* In mutliplayer when I watch my Death Cam to see how I was killed, it seems like they dont always hit me and I still died. Its like there is some sort of an accuracy issue with the game. Either the Death Cam is wrong, or I am getting killed by bullets that are not hitting me. Either way it needs to be fixed

Overall, I am still surprised that anyone can take a big franchise like Halo over and somehow manage to not only keep the "magic" but actually make it feel like the next step. I have no regrets buying Halo 4!
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on May 12, 2014
I'm glad I didn't buy this game the day it came out. I would've wasted $60. When I saw a used copy available through Amazon for only $13 + free shipping, I figured I might as well give it a try.

The campaign is unmemorable. This is the only installment in the franchise that I have yet to revisit the single player upon completing it on Legendary. I do so with the previous Halo games made by Bungie and still replay them to this day. I find the level-design in Halo 4 to be quite poor. There are only two missions in particular that I enjoy. The rest follow the same linear format of, "run here, press this button. Run over there, press another button."

I, unlike the majority of the fans on here, find the relationship between the Chief and Cortana rather stale. It's another cliche rendition of a machine falling in love with a human. I understand that it was necessary for 343i to detail her rampancy for the sake of the plot, but I wish they had done so differently. There are times when she's sad, irritable, and stressed, and there are other occasions when when she's happy and humorous; she's a lot like a woman who's experiencing premenstrual syndrome. Some of the dialogues between Cortana and John were quite sappy and cheesy. Examples:

Cortana: *goes AI crazy* THEY REPLACED YOU! Sorry!
Chief: It's okay.
Cortana: How? How is that okay? How is me putting you at risk because I can't keep it together okay?

At the end of the game:
Cortana: *touches Chief on the chest* sigh..I've been waiting so long to do that...

The multiplayer is fun, but it doesn't feel like Halo; it's the bastard child of Call of Duty and Halo. I also dislike the game's ranking system (SR1-130 in contrast to Halo: Reach's military-like ranks). But most of all, I hate the new armor permutation. 90% of the helmets are grotesque. The Spartan-IV's look like cheap action figures. I prefer the gritty look of the Spartan-III in Halo: Reach.
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VINE VOICEon January 8, 2013
You know, call me crazy but this entry in the series is quite possibly one of the best Halo games yet. The graphics are the best in any Halo game to date and the newly redesigned sound effects pack some serious oomph into the game. The story is really well done and introduces a whole new set of characters for us to get familiar with. It's interesting to note that when the game starts off, it's simply business as usual with very little to separate it from any of the other games. Then the Prometheans are introduced and the game suddenly becomes something else, a whole other thing entirely. These new enemies are super cool additions to the Halo universe and I look forward to seeing more of them and their variations when the inevitable Halo sequels get released.

The campaign itself feels a little shorter than usual but it's completely satisfying throughout and graphically speaking, there are moments that are guaranteed to take your breath away. Multiplayer is as good and solid as ever and Spartan Ops, the new, episodic content that lets you perform missions either solo or with your friends is pretty sweet, especially as you progress further into the missions. The controls are classic Halo so jumping right back in should come as second nature to any seasoned Halo player. Savvy players will notice a few differences here and there such as loadouts and changes to the character customization component but they're changes that only improve the game, not hamper it.

If you're a Halo fan, this one is a no-brainer. If you're not, this one comes easily recommended and you don't have to be a Halo geek to enjoy this, you can easily jump right in this one and get whatever background story you don't get from the game from the wikis or the books. The best thing I can say is that any fears of the Halo series being handed off to another developer have been assuaged. Bungie of course will be missed but 343i obviously have a deep love for the franchise and have done remarkable things with it.
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on January 7, 2013
I've been playing games since 1987 when I got my 1st NES for Xmas. I started really playing Halo in 2008 when I got my 1st Xbox. I had, of course, played multiplayer Halo on other friends' Xboxes in college and grad school and enjoyed it but had never tried the campaigns. When I finally got an Xbox (because I couldn't resist Mass Effect), I decided it was a good opportunity to give Halo a try. I picked up the original trilogy off E-bay and got to work.

Fast forward 5 years and Halo has become one of my favorite game series of all time. Halo 4 is the near-perfect evolution of everything Bungie built over the last decade. The campaign completely blew away my expectations vis-a-vis the continuation of Master Chief and Cortana's story. If you were a fan of the original trilogy, you'll find an action-packed, emotionally-gripping tale complimented by eye-popping visuals (possibly the best graphics of any console game) and a crushingly good score. Forget any reservations about 343 taking over development (From Bungie) and Neil Davidge taking over music (for Martin O'Donnell). If you're a Halo fan, this is the game you hoped it would be.

If you like multiplayer, you are going to find a range of options and unlockables here to keep you busy for a long time. I don't typically play a lot of multiplayer. I'll play a games campaign, spend a week or so playing multiplayer and move on to another game. I've been playing Halo 4 MP for 2 months now while my game backlog builds because I just don't want to play anything else. There are modes for every taste and a growing community that'll thrive until the release of Halo 5 and beyond.

My only personal complaint is the lack of campaign matchmaking. It'd be nice if you could pop online and get matched up with someone who wanted to play the same campaign mission as you did. You have to settle for playing the campaign with LIVE friends (Halo: Reach did add this feature after the games release, so we might hold out hope). If you were in big fan of Firefight, in previous games, it has been replaced here by Spartan Ops, an episodic, story-based Co-op mode (which I personally prefer but others do not). Also I've heard some complaints online, from Halo fans, about the additions of Sprinting and Loadouts (too Casualized, too much like Call of Duty), but for my money they only serve to greatly enhance the multiplayer experience. Finally, if you don't have a Xbox LIVE Gold Account (an extra expense), you will be greatly limited in the amount of content you can enjoy (Including videos unlocked during the campaign that must be viewed through the Halo Waypoint, a Gold-required Application).

Very minor annoyances aside, all in all this game has pretty much everything a fan of First Person Shooters could want. Story, Music, Visuals, Vs Multiplayer and Co-op all blend together to create the best game of 2012 and one of the best First Person Shooters of all time. Buy this game, you won't regret it.
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on December 24, 2012
When I first heard that bungie was no longer doing halo games it gave me many doubts that 343i's games would not live up to the rest of the series.

First off, the campaign: the graphics in this game are absolutley gorgeous. Smooth textures and animations. The new motion capture was perfect. The story didn't feel so much as a continuation of the previous story but more of a new beginning for a new series. Excellent voice acting and outstanding music. They seem to be setting it up to go more deeply into master chief's personality. I would easily give this 5 out of 5 stars.

Next up, spartan ops: this is a fun little mode set up kind of like a tv show with a new episode each week containing 5 levels each. It doesn't really take the place of firefight (which I never really was a big fan of firefight) but more a second campaign in some ways. All the maps are either a chunk of the campaign or just a plain multiplayer map but adding aliens adds some more dynamics to the maps made for multiplayer. This mode is much better on co-op with a few friends. I would give this part 4 out of 5 stars.

Now onto the multiplayer: this has to be the best part of the entire game. It is worth buying xbox live just for its multiplayer. to start off the loadout system has evolved to something much like modern warfare but it actually fits halo quite well and everything is very balanced. The pace of the multiplayer has been increased to be a bit faster than that of halo reach. The weapons feel like they have all been beefed up quite a bit and the new armour abilities are amazing bringing many new strategies and dynamics to the gameplay. I would give this section 6 out of 5 if I could.

There are many other things I could add to this review but to see just how amazing this game is buy it yourself and play it. If you even have the slightest interest in sci-fi, action, or fps game then you are sure to find this game a masterpiece. This game is definately the best halo yet and definately the best fps and definately my personal favorite so far. I am now anticipating halo 5.
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on December 6, 2012
I will start by saying that I’m a causal Halo fan, I’m hardcore with RPG’s like Skyrim and Mass Effect, but with Halo I’ve always played about once all the way through on normal mode, and sometimes on Heroic on Co-op.
That being said, I enjoyed the game-play best in Halo 4. The action and timing was smooth, enemies were tough but not impossible, the graphics were a huge improvement over Halo 3, voice acting was spectacular (Hello Jennifer Hale!) and the new weapons, abilities and stages where a fun new challenge to master. Some of the new vehicles were also a blast to play through. (SPOILERS ‘the second to last level was reminiscent to Star Fox 64 for me. END SPOILERS)

However, if you’re looking for a great continuation on the Halo story, you might not to take this game too seriously. A lot of elements didn't add up for me, and bits of the story that connected each act were missing, it’s possible that these are/will be explained in Comics, books, or some other media, but in all honesty, I’d rather it was just addressed straight up in-game. It’s also possible that these inconsistencies are explained by miss-able sound bites on computer terminals or other such thing, like the voice recordings in Halo 3:ODST, it’s still not a good tactic in any case.
The biggest detail that I was continually left confused on was why I was fighting the Covenant, AGAIN.
Remember, I’m a casual Halo fan, so I might have missed something, but it never seemed to be mentioned in-game, and none of the characters addressed it. After the way Halo 3 ended, this part of the game jarred me quite a bit, and I’m still confused. I also take issue with the redesign of Chief’s armor and Cortana, mostly because it’s physically impossible for Chief’s armor to have changed the way it did while he was in status and total lock down, I don’t care how good Cortana is, she couldn't have upgraded that much. Speaking of Cortana, she looked downright weird, and I know they used a body model this time, but I think they would have been better off just sprucing up the Halo 3 model.
The most major turn off for me in this game is that you utterly fail to do the thing you originally set out to do, and Cortana dies. It’s a sacrifice she makes for chief and the last scene between them is touching and heart breaking, but it’s still a shot to the gut. Granted, I saw it coming, but I’m still not pleased, there is no Halo without Cortana, and unless the next games are about bringing her back, I don’t think I’ll be shelling out the money for the next round.

End Spoilers
So overall.
+Fun Game play
+Fun Mechanics
+Great shooter

-Confusing and poorly executed story
-Design changes that weren't necessary and didn't make sense
-Unpleasant twists that die hard Bungie fans will not appreciate.
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on November 16, 2012
I was nervous about the hype on this game, mainly because most of the hype was negative. '343i is going to ruin Halo.', 'Halo is reaching out to CoD players in that it is trying to be more like CoD to outsell them.', etc. Everything that 343i was releasing in terms of videos made it seem like the rumors were true, that is, when they were announcing things like weapon loadouts, armor abilities and the like. Being an avid Halo fan, I pre-ordered the game, figuring that it was at least worth the play through. Closer and closer to the release date, Halo 4 became more intriguing by the day, and I ended up getting the regular edition of the game (gave it to my brother) and the Halo 4 console bundle, which is really awesome by the way.

My first impressions after getting home from picking that game up was "Shit, this really is like Call of Duty." But after playing a few matches, I was realizing that it wasn't. Though it still feels like a lot of it was modeled after CoD, Halo 4 is still Halo. My basic feelings on it are that what 343i (which is mostly people from Bungie, by the way) tried to close the gap on many differences that players didn't like going from Halo 3 to Halo: Reach. Halo 4 has the high-pace feeling of Halo 3 and the amazing graphics of Reach - improved even. The new abilities and loadout options are there to keep it fresh and different, which has basically always been a constant in Halo. They also got rid of bloom, so there's no way it can be just like Call of Duty! ;)

The campaign was fun. It wasn't same-old-same-old, but was also fresh and it pulled you in. As I said before, the graphics are amazing. The cutscenes are immaculate. I couldn't believe how real the people look - and when I hopped in a Warthog for the first time in Campaign, the sound of it made me smile.

As far as multiplayer goes, I was pissed that the initial playlists were so limited. However, it's now about 10 days after launch and they've already added SWAT, which is showing me that 343i does intend to add different gametypes and listen to the players. I can't wait for new maps and the such. It's all very exciting. The only thing that I don't like is the new ranking system. You can easily rank by not being a good Halo player, and it makes me feel like multiplayer rank is meaningless now.

I still haven't played any of the Spartan Ops missions, but I've heard nothing but good about them and I can't wait to get around to it.

All in all, if I hadn't already bought this game twice, I'd buy it again. It's fantastic and I highly recommend it!
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on November 12, 2012
As a fan of Halo since Combat Evolved, I was worried like most fans about Bungie not participating in the development of Halo 4, but after playing it, I can put all concerns to rest. The first three Halos were fantastic achievements that made the Xbox a major console. Halo: Reach was as okay game to me as I strongly disliked the armor abilities and load outs, but still gave it plenty of attention. Halo 4 takes what Reach did, and balances it to a point where at times it may be a bit distant, but still feels like Halo. Halo 4 makes nearly every aspect of Reach better and then adds some. Now I may not be the most organized writer, but I feel I can summarize these aspects pretty well.

The moment you pop Halo 4 in your Xbox, your eyes are treated to stunning visuals. The moment when you step out of the tunnel and see the massive Forerunner architecture on the 2nd level will give anyone goosebumps. The game is superbly designed, with smooth textures and the best facial animation on any game to date; still not perfect, but it certainly shows promise. Weapons look very nice as well, when the Promethean weapons assemble in your hand it is just stunning. Anyone who says the graphics are poor are just looking for a reason to complain.

The sounds of Halo 4 are crisp and clean. All weapon sounds have been redone. The assault rifle sounds so badass, compared to before when it sounded like an automatic stapler, in Halo 4 it sounds like an actual gun. All of the guns sound great with the exception of the Battle Rifle. No big deal since it is only one gun. Vehicles also got a major overhaul and sound more like legit engines. I had fun just revving up my engines the first time I drove a warthog. There is even an extreme detail to sound when you hear Master Chief's armor clunking around every so slightly. 343 did a nice job here.

Honestly, I wasn't a huge fan of the campaign. It was the first thing I did when I got the game, and I was slightly dissapointed. The storyline was very well done, focusing more on Master Chief and Cortana's relationship as well as stopping some bad guys, but there were some issues. Only three enemies were introduced being the Promethean knights, watchers, and crawlers. That's all. Throughout the whole game you simply fight covenant and those three enemies. The whole campaign seems like one big quest to push as many buttons as possible while gunning down tons of baddies on your way. Most of the objectives were literally push this button, then that button. Got pretty old quickly, but it was saved by excellent story telling and a few missions with some diversity like flying a pelican and a broadsword. Overall, worth playing, but not much replay value here.

Oh boy, here we go. The source of all controversy surrounding the game. Personally, I love it. The game has kept armor abilities from Halo: Reach; however, they play a much smaller role. In Reach things like armor-lock were game changing, but in Halo 4 the armor abilities play very small parts in the whole match. None are too overpowered, and all of them are still useful. A Call of Duty style perk system was also added; however, there are only two perk slots and again they are very minor and do not cause any major changes. The big changes are the choice of weapon when spawning, and the ordinance drops. In Halo 4 players can choose from a multitude of weapons to spawn with, but they all are either short-medium range or medium-long range so the player can pick their role and no weapon stands out too greatly. The ordinance drops are also Call of Duty style, being the kill-streaks, but they are not chosen before the game. Halo 4 gives you three choices for your ordinance and you simply pick one. They are not a bad addition as being in a situation when the enemy has all vehicles and power weapons can be very frustrating, and a rocket launcher falling from the sky may turn the tide of the match. Ordinance and sprinting lead to faster paced matches than some Halo fans may be used to, but if there is no change, why make a new game? The multiplayer is extremely addicting and fun, and all of the changes suit Halo 4 just fine.

Overall the game is fantastic, and any fans of the previous Halos who may be let down need to stop living in the past. All things change, video games are no exception. The game has a definitive polish on it that separates it from the previous Halos while still keeping it faithful. 343 did a wonderful job designing Halo 4, and it makes the wait for Halo 5 on a next-gen console so much harder.
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on November 12, 2012
Halo 4 is outstanding and its really gives me a good feeling to say that halo is finally back.

I have not finished the campaign yet but I have done a few levels. Even though the chief gained his identity as being a faceless robotic badass that doesn't talk, he is transformed to a more human character. Don't worry, he is still the badass chief that we all know. The campaign is paced well and the return of the once known covenant gives a familiar feel to it, but mixing it with the new prometheans gives it a refreshing feel too. Since I haven't finished I can't tell you how it all summed up but my friend who finished, said that it was his favorite out of the series.

As an SR 26 I have done quite a lot of playing time and I will tell you that the multiplayer is top notch. There are sometimes a few setbacks like the glitchy killcams or a little lag but the overall experience is great. You rank up through playing many games and depending on your score, it gives you points for that as well. The guns are all fairly balanced except for the SAW which could use some tweaking. War games has many new exciting modes like infinity slayer or flood and gives the old school players a classy type which is team slayer pro. The armor is unique yet awesome and your classes are always balanced. VEHICLE ORIENTATION!!! one of the worst things about Reach was the lack of vehicles. In halo 4 in almost every map there are vehicles like the banshee, ghost, warthog, mongoose and the epicness which is known as the mantis. Overall, with the great maps with beautiful scenery, great balance (besides SAW), cool looking armor, and tons of modes, the multiplayer is the way to go.

I didn't go over spartan ops or forge but the overall main aspects of the game are unbelievable.
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