Halo has always been a solid science fiction themed FPS with impressive enemy AI, beautifully designed environments, well developed characters, a musical score that immerses you into the game in the same way a big budget Hollywood movie would and tells one of the best stories in videogames history – and after taking over the handling of Master Chief’s duties from Bungie, 343 Studios have thankfully managed to continue this legacy with Halo 4.
Halo 4 immediately looks stunning, the graphics easily being the best in the series, and on playing the game, veterans will instantly recognise this as classic Halo. Playing Halo 4 for the first time is like welcoming back an old friend, the controls are familiar but have been improved by a sprint button and the music does an excellent job of rousing your inner chief as you rush into your first skirmish, with the sounds of your Magnum and Assault Rifle sounding reassuringly familiar but with a deeper, more satisfying sound.
Essentially, this is Halo at it’s best so fans need not worry and anyone not familiar with the series should give this a try as it is one of the best FPS games on the market, although the story continues from the previous instalments so it may confuse newcomers.
More importantly, in this day and age, there is a huge multiplayer for you to sink hours of your life into which is different and good enough when compared to the market favourite Call Of Duty to justify buying the game for the multiplayer alone.
There are the standard Deathmatch type modes as well as objective based such as, my personal favourite, Capture The Flag and a selection of vehicles from the 3 man turret mounted favourite the Warthog Jeep to flying Banshees and brand new AT-ST / ED 209 hybrid, the Mantis. There is also the option to create your own levels or game types by customising options on the included maps or you can build your own from scratch using the comprehensive Forge.
Each multiplayer round can be played back using Theatre mode and XP earned during a match will upgrade your level, enabling you to unlock or buy extra armour abilities or different weapons. Halo seems to focus more on armour customisation unlocks than weapon upgrades as there aren’t as many weapon types as in COD games but what there are manage to impress with their imaginative ingenuity, such as the secondary fire mode on the Plasma Pistol which for a short time kills the power to any vehicle it hits, giving you chance to throw grenades at it while immobilised or if you’re close enough, to remove it’s driver and commandeer the vehicle for yourself!
Halo 4 is an excellent package, a first class campaign that can be played solo or co-operatively, huge multiplayer and the promise of further content in the shape of extra story missions which can be played alone or with friends, the first levels being available already via the multiplayer menu.
– by Paul T