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About the product
- The Master Chief returns to battle an ancient evil bent on vengeance and annihilation. Humanity and the universe will never be the same again.
- The Reclaimer Saga Begins: Experience the dawn of an epic new Halo adventure, solo or split screen with up to three friends
- Go Beyond the Story: Halo 4's Infinity Multiplayer features a vastly expanded suite of multiplayer modes, weapons, vehicles, armor abilities, a new loadout and Spartan-IV player progression system.
- Edge-of-your-seat Entertainment: Immerse yourself in Halo 4's graphics, sound and epic game play including a mysterious and deadly new class of enemies*
- *Online multiplayer and Spartan Ops missions require Xbox LIVE Gold membership (sold separately).
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Halo 4 - Xbox 360 (Standard Game)
From the Manufacturer
The Master Chief returns to battle an ancient evil bent on vengeance and annihilation. Shipwrecked on a mysterious world, faced with new enemies and deadly technology, the universe will never be the same. Enlist aboard the Infinity to experience Halo’s original multiplayer and Spartan Ops - episodic fiction-based co-op missionsKey Features
The Reclaimer Saga Begins: Experience the dawn of an epic new Halo adventure, solo or split screen with up to three friends
Go Beyond the Story: Halo 4’s Infinity Multiplayer features a vastly expanded suite of multiplayer modes, weapons, vehicles, armor abilities, a new loadout and Spartan-IV player progression system.
• Spartan Ops: Extend your campaign experience in a massive-scale adventure that builds upon the “Halo 4” Campaign. Receive a weekly series of cinematic episodes on Xbox LIVE followed by new game play missions, played solo or cooperatively with up to three friends – effectively delivering two campaign experiences in one game!*
• War Games: Battle the competition in fresh, immersive new game modes and strategies.
• Track your groups, stats and scores on HaloWaypoint.com
Edge-of-your-seat Entertainment: Immerse yourself in Halo 4’s graphics, sound and epic game play including a mysterious and deadly new class of enemies*
*Online multiplayer and Spartan Ops missions require Xbox LIVE Gold membership (sold separately). System requirements forthcoming. See www.halo4.com
Top customer reviews
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The halo games were some of the first FPS games I ever played, and some of the best as well. I own every Halo game including a sealed Legendary Edition H3 and LE Halo 2. I also own a Reach edition console. So, you could consider me a halo fanboy.
When I saw that Halo 4 was coming out, I was a bit perplexed though. How could Master Chief magically get new armor, a jetpack, the ability to use powerups, and a new HUD while he was asleep? Halo 4 never clearly explains any of this other than just saying Cortana rewrote the HUD while he was asleep.
I picked the game up anyway though. To be honest I wasn't expecting much from a non-bungie developer, so my expectations were low. I wanted the game to be good though, with a passion, I wanted this Halo game to be amazing!
The problem though is that I've found ever since Halo 3, each game has been getting progressively worse. Unfortunately, Halo 4 is no exception.
I'll try and keep this as spoiler free as possible, but keep in mind many things later on in the review deal with the campaign. First of all, I have to say that the graphics for the game are amazing. Even better than reach. Although it wasn't like 343 had to do much other than make the models and textures, they were handed one of the best Xbox 360 engines out there from Reach.
Now, you don't really fight too many enemies at the beginning, instead you watch a cutscene with some very poor writing. There's a man interrogating Halsey, and if you pay attention, he contradicts himself in reference to Master chief. At first, he says "John is dead," only to go on to say "Spartans never die" in the next breath.
When that cutscene is over, you begin by walking around the ship, when you come across an elite. This leads me into one of the biggest complaints I have for halo 4 and that is that 343 simply made the game too much like Call of duty to be called a halo game any more. You have to react quickly by pressing a melee button in order to kill the elite, just like many of those surprise attacks in COD. Oh, and did I mention that you just got done climbing up an elevator shaft? The climbing reminded me way too much of MW2 when you're scaling the glaciers to feel like something original and creative that Halo should be doing.
Later on in the level, you discover something else that frustrates me as well. All the guns seem to have lost most of their power to kill enemies with. Must have been because they were sitting on the ship so long right? NO! Not only did they reduce the amount of ammo you can carry in the game by 50,%, but the guns are also a lot weaker. Get ready to read "out of ammo, scavenge new weapons from the battlefield" a whole lot more now.
Next complaint: The story is short! Only 8 missions! And in these short 8 missions, there is a new type of enemy that you must fight. I won't say how this enemy surfaces, but it's really pretty dumb how it happens. Not only do they never really explain what the enemies are, but they don't do a good job explaining the motives of the enemies either. Not something I usually say about a Halo game. Usually they do a great job explaining the enemies... Not here.
Additionally, let's just say Master Chief gets to "meet" a forerunner. Although the game never explains if it's a real forerunner or not, the whole cutscene is very vague and lacking in story, The whole concept behind the cutscene is TERRIBLE. Just wait until you get there to see what I mean.
The last complaint I'd like to say is about the ending. It has to be the 2nd worst ending I've ever had the displeasure of experiencing next to Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2. Everything about the ending just completely sucks. End of story.
Oh, and remember that great halo 3 multiplayer they destroyed in halo reach? It's even worse now, with custom classes and killstreaks, just like good ol' call of duty!
Overall, I'd give this game a 6.5/10. Rent it if you want to see how bad 343 massacred the Halo series, but don't consider this a serious competitor for game of the year. Save your money, or you could just light however much money you were going to waste on this game on fire and get more entertainment out of it than this game.
To start, I'll explain the background of the title of my review. When Halo 4 was first announced at E3, my immediate thought was "Wow, they must just be milking the franchise for more money." The fact that Bungie was done with Halo and would not be a part of Halo 4 set off some serious red flags for me at that point, and I honestly gave no thought to buying Halo 4 and didn't get hyped about it or anything until about a month ago. At that point, I started to watch the Forward Unto Dawn mini-series (which was really well-made by the way), and that kindled my hope that Halo 4 might actually be a Halo game.
Upon receiving and playing the game, however, my hopes were quickly diminished. In short, Halo 4 does not look, sound, feel, or play like a true Halo game. I think this comes primarily from the fact that 343 Industries made it and had to rebuild a lot of the assets from scratch (such as weapon models, sound effects, etc.), but I think they fell far short of the work done by Bungie. I played Halo and Halo 2 a lot with friends, and the primary reason I purchased an Xbox 360 was for Halo 3. I know a lot of people hate on Reach, but I actually really enjoyed Reach and I think that it truly was the pinnacle of the Halo series (I know the gameplay was different than the first three, but I think the changes actually added a good amount of depth and didn't change the core experience... for the most traditional Halo fans, 3 was definitely the pinnacle, and I can respect that). Anyway, I'll go through each main aspect of my critique below:
A lot of people have praised Halo 4 for "amazing" and "superb" graphics. I'm a bit confused by this... not that the game has poor graphics, but I don't think the graphics are anything special compared to other recent games (Skyrim, Mass Effect 3, etc.), and honestly I think Reach had better visuals overall. Character models seem pretty good, but from the first level of the campaign and a few games of matchmaking, I felt like there were a lot of low-res textures in the environment that didn't look good at all. And the part in the first mission when the missile hits the Covenant ship and then three to four seconds later the ship just falls apart in chunks -- not exactly a stunning visual experience to me. Also, explosions of things such as plasma grenades seem very weak when compared to Halo 3 or Reach.
The music sounds like it would fit better in the Mass Effect universe than in Halo to me, and that might be because they're going for the whole Forerunner/Reclaimer Saga new feel, but I think that the original series' and Reach's scores were much higher quality and better-sounding, and I think they should've tried to replicate it to make Halo 4 actually feel like a Halo game. More than the music, though, are the sound effects. Weapon sound effects are completely different from the previous Halo games (especially the AR and BR), and as a whole they seem a lot emptier and not very Halo-esque.
Gameplay in matchmaking felt chaotic and much too fast-paced for any Halo game, which I think is mainly due to the new loadout system and ordinance drops. While the original Halo series featured identical starting loadouts with power weapons placed at key points around the maps, Halo 4 brings in heavily COD-influenced custom loadouts with killstreak-inspired ordinance drops, making for less strategic, more hectic gameplay. Even Reach's multiplayer and loadout system, which many people complained about, feels extremely well-balanced compared to Halo 4's. When playing the campaign, weapons felt very underpowered, and you end up having to use far too much ammo to take down what should be an easy group of grunts. Regular elites don't even die with one plasma stick, and they actually behave similarly to rampaging brutes when stuck, running straight towards you to try to take you down with them. This is a minor thing, but for me, there's no good control scheme since they added sprint as a default ability.
Sorry for rambling on and on, and I know this isn't the most well-written review, but I just have a few final, random thoughts... I think that the big reviewers (Gamespot, IGN, etc.) either gave this game great reviews because they're convinced it should be good since it's a big-name AAA title, or they were paid off by Microsoft to do so. This game doesn't even come close to the previous Halo games, which is a shame because I really wanted it to. Also, there are plenty of people giving the game great reviews as well, and I think many of them simply aren't old enough to have played the other Halo games, so they don't have a basis of comparison.
You might have noticed a common thread through many of the things I said above -- basically, Halo 4 just doesn't feel like a Halo game because it wasn't made by Bungie. The level of detail that Bungie added into their games just doesn't show up in Halo 4, and this detracts from the experience. More than that, though, the game just doesn't seem like it's very high quality, it feels like it was rushed and not polished very well, and it feels mostly like a poor cross between a Call of Duty and a Battlefield game with an attempt to throw some Halo elements in -- the fact that the game is called "Halo 4" doesn't make it a Halo game, and it doesn't make it a good game.
Edit: I am getting some heat from fanboys so I'll list a few reasons here why the game sucks:
-killcam is either glitched, or the game's hitbox is completely wrong. The killcam shows your killer shooting at walls and clearly missing you during kills.
-vehicle animations seem unfinished. Watch a Wraith blow up... just wow.
-AI intelligence is at an all time low. Throughout the campaign I had the easist time running down enemies. They don't even move sometimes. The elites will jump into a banshee and then just fly into a wall, stuck there until you kill them. This is pathetic.
-343 messed with the spartan shields. Like I stated above, it only takes 3 hits to die from a DMR. Anybody trying to argue this doesn't know how to count. Aim for the heads, noobs.
-The servers are always screwed up. People's ranks, emblems, colors, and armors keep changing and reverting back to stuff they didn't pick. I don't think I've been in a game yet where a player wasn't saying WTF happened to my spartan.
I could go on and on, but I just don't care enough about this game to keep going. What an embarassing time to be a Halo fan. I can only hope 343 learns from their mistakes and does right with Halo 5. I'll be renting that one, not buying.