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on October 15, 2014
Let me just clear this up first, this game is not a Call of Duty clone. It feels and plays like Halo but 343 made improvements to what would've been a dated formula had they had made the game like older Halo's. If you like Halo and have an open mind for change, you will enjoy this game. One thing I've never understood is how Call of Duty is bashed for being the same thing every title yet when a game has massive changes (like Halo 4) then it sucks and isn't a "real Halo." Pure hypocrisy. Now that I've cleared up the basics I'll get on with it. My impression of the Campaign is it actually has a very entertaining story. Fun and fresh missions are met with that great Halo pacing and story. Even better if you play it cooperatively. Spartan Ops (basically that "third mode" that most shooters have) is actually pretty medicore. Missions are boring, dull, and lack that excitement and fun factor they should have. Spartan Ops is basically a side collection of missions that have their own story, only that story kind of sucks. Then there's the heavily debated multiplayer. I really enjoy it, feels fresh and I can stay on it for 2+ hours without being bored. Very happy with the multiplayer, my only desire is that they bring back the ranking system Halo 3 had instead of the standard level-up system most shooters have. (Here's hoping they bring it back in Halo 5.) Overall years later, this game is still fun. If you haven't purchased it yet then get it, it's very cheap now and with a great campaign and online play, this is a very solid package.
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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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on December 12, 2015
As the Halo series progresses, they are definitely not averse to change. The first halo was great, had a phenomenal plot and action was good. The second was good. The third was okay, though multiplayer was a bit like 2 v 1 always beats the 1.

Pros: same good ole science fiction shoot em up. The plot is engaging, and the action is good.

Cons: In Halo 4, the graphics style was updated. I miss the more cartoony look of the elites and grunts in the previous versions of the game. As is now, the enemies are harder to distinguish a push over from a super elite. The weapons have less ammo / seem to be under powered. vehicles seem to be more fragile and the vehicle weapons now overheat? Cortana is creepy. They took the whole female image way too far. and not even in a good way.
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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.
STORY SPOILERS
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.
MAJOR ENDING SPOILERS. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.
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 May 11, 2017
Some may argue that halo 4 didn't have the best story and indeed there are some merits to that but in my opinion the story is still very solid and mechanically Halo 4 is a leap ahead of its predecessor and it brings the franchise into the modern era.
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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.

Graphics
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.

Sound
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.

Campaign
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.

Multiplayer
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 December 20, 2012
Halo 4 is a much advanced Halo experience.
For those fans of the franchise you will certainly see and feel the difference between the Bungie Halo experience and this new 343 Industries experience.

Master Chief has many new abilities and the story seems to be much more personal this time around. 343 Industries takes our hero and makes him feel much more human and emotional. I personally disliked that, but your feelings may vary from mine.

The online game play is an all new experience in itself. Be prepared for a COD / Crysis feel to the interface. 343 has introduced weapon loadouts to allow players to pre-select their weapon combinations. Similar to Call of Duty, the more you play the more weapons and armor abilities you unlock. This was a major downfall for me. One of the reasons I've enjoyed Halo so much throughout the years is because all players despite experience or rank had access to the same weapons. This is no longer the case and the battlefield is not kind to those players that do not dedicate all their free time to playing the game. The scoring system has been revamped to a points system instead of kill count again similar to Call of Duty. The overall feel for online multi-player game play is a much faster and action packed.

If you're looking for a updated Halo experience this is your game. If you're looking for the traditional Halo experience ... well you may not find it, but this is still worth adding to your collection.
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on June 3, 2013
I've spent more time than I'd like to admit playing Halo titles over the years, but I felt that the most recent installations were falling short of the curve in terms of innovation. I enjoyed Halo Reach, but it didn't make me want to run out and buy Halo 4 when it hit the shelves. When I finally got around to playing this I was just blown away by it's graphical capabilities. The graphics, game play and music in this game are absolutely incredible (and make up for it's few short-comings)! I spent a fair amount of time in the campaign just examining the transforming structures, lush terrain, etc. So, there is a lot of re-playability just in the fact that it's like playing Halo with enhanced ambiance.

I've played the campaign through and just started some of the multiplayer games. I'm loving it so far, but there are a few things that I found disappointing. There is a new race to fight and they are interesting and provide some new weapons, but there really should've been more uniqueness added to them. The 3 different races provide their own versions of most weapons, so a lot of the weapons you use hold few notable changes other than looks and ammo capacity.

The Prometheon race itself could've used a few more variations too (essentially hounds, knights, turrets, and drones). It would've been nice if they added a hunter-like creature that required some unique tactics to dispatch, for example.

There was also no real boss fights. The game amps up your confrontation with the Didact, a superior forerunner being, throughout the campaign. I won't go into any details, but that "boss fight" is VERY short.

There is also a point in the game where you receive a biological enhancement from the forerunners. I was really excited to see if it would enable me to jump higher, run faster, punch harder etc. But, it ended up being an advancement important only to the story and doesn't effect game play at all.

Overall, I'd say 343 has definitely earned their place in the Halo franchise. Aside from a few places where the game could've been a little better, it's a large step forward and one of the best games available right now, in my opinion. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that 343 held back a little intentionally with some ideas to make an even bigger impact with the next release (new console?).
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on August 7, 2014
I began playing this game about two weeks ago with my brother online. I swore off the halo series after the garbage Halo Reach they put out. With a new studio in control, for the price, I decided to give it a shot. I really enjoyed Halo 3 and this game has more of the Halo feel to it. There's still equipment and running like Halo Reach had which still takes some adjusting too but I love the fact that the battle rifle and the DMR is in it. The only thing keeping this from getting a 5 star is that yet again, when you're going through the game, there is a SERIOUS lack of weaponry available. You always feel like you're running out of ammo. In these types of games, if you think about it, who would send someone into battle without essentially unlimited ammo to take care of the job? If someone can find me a game with that, let me know and I'll switch to that. It gets super frustrating with waves of enemies coming at you and you have no response with weapons. Overall though, pretty dang good game.
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on January 1, 2013
I had my doubts this many sequels into the Halo series, but this is a really solid game.

Pros:
- Fun campaign, albeit a little short
- Multiplayer is as addictive as ever
- New weapons really fit and old ones just feel more powerful
- The cinematics in this game are gorgeous

Cons:
- I guess they removed forge?
- Some weird design decisions, for example I don't think "loadouts" really fit Halo that well (especially painful if you're on splitscreen and your friend can't use the ones you made)
- Spartan Opps mode is fun at first, but gets repetitive pretty quickly
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