First look: Halo 4 (Xbox 360)

We play test the latest addition to Microsoft’s landmark FPS series

With the departure of original developer, Bungie, there has been a lot of expectation riding on Microsoft to keep existing fans happy while at the same time invigorating the decade old franchise. Much has been said about Halo 4 being Microsoft’s most expensive game, and after having played the single player campaign from beginning to end, I can say that the investment was worth it.

The graphics have been significantly overhauled over Halo 3, making Halo 4 one of the most visually impressive games to come out on the console this year. This immaculate presentation extends cut scenes, which were visually impressive enough to stop me from skipping them.

The fight continues

There are many things that I liked about Halo 4, such as the satisfying gun play, the voice acting, and the removal of the babyish noises the Grunt enemies used to make. No doubt taking inspiration from EA’s Mass Effect series, Halo 4 introduces a lot of character and environment design elements that cumulate into a more “hard sci-fi” experience, which is a good thing in my book.

The only issue I had was with the story, which I had trouble following due to my overall lack of knowledge of the Halo franchise. Overall, Halo 4 impresses and does a good job of continuing the franchise. The multiplayer aspect of Halo 4 was not reviewed, though it should keep players entertained once the single player campaign ends.

Pros

- Fun single player campaign consisting of well designed levels and balanced enemies.

- Halo 4 is a nice looking game that runs at a great frame rate. The cut scenes also pack impressive visual detail.

- The orchestral score adds to the sci-fi atmosphere of the game. The voice acting is well done and the sound effects are also appropriate.

Cons

- Gun play has been adjusted to make it more hard hitting during fire fights, though getting used to some of the more unusual weapons takes some time.

- Halo 4 has a short single player campaign that can be completed in a few hours, but it will be an enjoyable experience while it lasts.

- Story was somewhat hard to follow.

Bottom Line

The departure of Bungie is probably the best thing that ever happened to the Halo franchise.

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Patrick Budmar

Patrick Budmar

PC World
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