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Retrospective Review on the Blockbluster,
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This review is from: Halo 4 - Xbox 360 (Standard Game) (Video Game)
As an avid fan of the franchise, I had no worries about the quality of Halo 4 upon it's release. The original studio, Bungie, had handed down their baby to 343 Industries and I honestly can say that they did one damn good job.
When you first play this game, you'll notice it is graphically beautiful. Although it is not necessarily a necessity for a good game to have amazing graphics, they definitely did help to the experience.
Right off the bat, you'll also notice how different and yet similar the game feels. The game heavily implements tools placed in a previous Halo installment, Halo Reach, and uses them as new mechanics. The game, itself, still returns to it's roots by feeling like a Halo game but it also creates an entirely new experience as well.
The singleplayer storyline is rather action-packed and a fulfilling experience. The ending (no spoilers) might confuse you a bit but when you think about, it's a science fiction shooter so don't be too surprised. Masterchief is a little more talkative in this game (which is unusual) but it's nothing too jarring. Cortana returns as her lovable self and players really delve into her character and struggles. The difficulties are similar to previous Halo games and each one adheres to each playing style.
As for multiplayer, Halo emphasizes strongly on versus multiplayer as much as it always has. It plays rather well and combat is essentially balanced. Players have been arguing and crying out over the superior power of the DMR (a rifle) but the game is highly based on player preference in play style.
The game modes range all over the place from silly to classical game types on maps that are either came with the disc, DLC, or were made using the forge feature in the game. In the beginning, there were complaints about a lack of diversity in gametypes but 343 Industries is really stepping it up. My only complaint is that I miss an old gametype from Halo: Reach called Invasion. It was Elites (alien race) vs. the Spartans (aka many Chiefs). They also changed the zombies gametype to Flood, which makes sense, but it's a uneasy transition for silly fans like me.
There is also the hallmark to the new Halo installment called Spartan Ops. It's a cooperative online experience that is released episodically focusing on a story surrounding the Chief and what was going on with the other Spartans during his epic journey. Each episode starts with a five minute cutscene and then allows players to play through the five missions in the episode. Some of the missions can feel rather irrelevant but others really push the story forward. It's a great experience and all of it was free right on release day.
Regarding DLC, so far there have only been map packs. They implemented a free DLC map called Forge Island. The name speaks for itself but it's essentially a map made for players to create anything they want on. The other maps have their features and aspects but they are just maps and don't necessarily enhance your gaming experience.
All in all, if you're a fan of first person shooters, science fiction, or the Halo franchise, I highly suggest you pick up this bad boy as it is a good deal of fun. It definitely sets 343 Industries as a driving company for the Halo universe and really instills faith back in to the gamers. Some may disagree but I'll be upfront and say that they did a damn good job. It certainly isn't perfectly but it's definitely worth a look.