Halo 4 The Return of Xbox’s Lead Franchise

“And we’re doing this on Legendary at level 1 because?” My brother’s idea of fun must have recently changed. For me however, this still fell into the category of masochism.

“It’s not that hard, plus there’s not really a penalty for respawning. I mean come on it’d be something different if you didn’t know what weapons did, or even how to sprint.” He seemed to be forgetting a major point.

“Yeah, remember this is the first Halo game I’ve ever bought. So no, I don’t know how to sprint I don’t know what a BDM or whatever you called it is, and why the hell can’t I just have a shotgun!?”

The Halo series is one that I’ve consistently, and until last week, did an excellent job of avoiding. In 2011 during E3 when I heard that Halo 4 was in the works, I groaned. I couldn’t believe that a series that had spanned spanned over a decade, and had received mix reviews from its latest titles (ODST, Reach and the dreaded Halo Wars), was getting another set of games. So it’s obvious enough to say, I’m not to big of fan of the game series (Though, I think you’ll forgive me with Halo Wars, I don’t think anyone liked that game).

So what brings me to finally begin running along side of Master Chief and loading up my Xbox Live account to shoot my fellow gamers online? Simple, Bungie are no longer the developers.

As you may or may not know the original trilogy was developed by Bungie Studios. Bungie is no longer doing Halo games, and the torch has been passed to 343 Industries. For those of you know don’t know 343 Industries, has some very impressive people working there. After Pandemic Studios was liquidated in 2009, over a dozen of their key developers headed over to 343 Industries. Needless to say, I’ve played Star Wars Battlefront and Star Wars Battlefront 2, for too many hours. If the same people were working on Halo 4, it was at least worth giving a look at.

While I haven’t had much time to run around as the big man himself, I’ve been spending the majority of my time doing Spartan-Ops as well as battling it online with other players. Multiplayer seems to be the huge focus around Halo 4 (I hear the single player campaign isn’t too shabby either), and they seem to be doing everything right. Today we’ll be looking at both modes and seeing if Halo 4 can actually hold my attention.

The official title of Halo 4 multiplayer is, Infinity Multiplayer. The new multiplayer system revolves around players creating and building their own Spartan, From weapon load outs, to armor abilities, players are able to customize their Spartan’s abilities on the battlefield. In addition players are also able to change how their Spartan looks to differentiate themselves from other players (Though on team matches your color swatches will be switched to red and blue respectively).  Depending on your playstyle and what your team needs you may find different load outs more handy than others. For example Prometheus Vision grants the player the ability to use thermal sensoring to look past walls and see players obscured by the architecture.
I don’t mention it because it’s the first armor skill you unlock,and I’m some evil hypocrite writing this because Microsoft is paying me to do so (Or am I?), it’s because it’s the one I enjoy running around with my buddies online. I’m able to scout for my friends while they flank and pick off the poor guys not paying attention.

Obviously the more and more you play the more load outs and customization you’ll have. The awesome part about it is though you can use these loadouts for Multiplayer as well as Spartan-Ops.

Moving forward, Spartan-Ops are a new type of game mode where players play through scenarios designed for multiple players. Consider them additional campaign missions that doesn’t revolve around Master Chief, but instead a bunch of Spartans that you create and do battle with. Goals are similar to the storyline (Kill these guys, flip that switch, run over there before time runs out, ect) however the enemies seem to be a lot more relentless and seemed to consistently be a handful. However you can deploy hit and run maneuvers and tactics to trick the AI. Spartan-Ops I believe is a much better alternative to previous games where we simply had multi-player campaign. There’s finally a good reason why there’s another player running along side of you, and helping you shoot the Elites and other Covenant bad guys until the cows come home. Completing Spartan-Ops does help you level up your character as well for online play. So if you need a change a pace from fragging other players, you can swap over to some Spartan-Ops to help level up. Or hey, maybe you enjoy Spartan-Ops more than killing other players.
While there are some qualms about Halo 4, such as not being able to play as an elite, and being completely lost in the storyline for newcomers, Halo 4 does a magnificent job of recreating the series. I mean, hey I wrote this much and I’ve actively avoided Halo in the past! That, or ya know paid off by Microsoft. Regardless if you get the time and have the cash, do yourself a favor and go pick up Halo 4, you won’t regret it.

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One response to “Halo 4 The Return of Xbox’s Lead Franchise

  1. the lack of iron sights in the series always bothered me. It is my only gripe with my love of Left 4 dead series. Glad they pulled ahead of peoples expectations on this one.

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