Video game review: “Halo 4”

 

In “Halo 4,” you play again as Master Chief, a super soldier drifting away on a destroyed spaceship after saving Earth. The game begins with him waking up nearly five years after the events of “Halo 3.”

If you’re tired of stories involving the hero taking out the morally corrupt enemy that wants to destroy the world, you’re in luck. “Halo 4’s” side story involves Master Chief trying to save Cortana from fading out of existence. It’s a refreshing, emotional look at a human element not often seen in first-person shooters.

Aside from the original “Halo 4,” Spartan Ops places you and three friends in the boots of the Crimson team, a group of Spartans that cleans up the Covenant and Promethean forces on Earth. A new episode is released each week for free and includes five chapters to play, along with a cutscene to continue the story. This is sure to entice fans to keep returning to “Halo” to play the weekly iterations of Spartan Ops.

“Halo” has a history of fantastic multiplayer, and 343 Industries definitely know how to keep that tradition going. The multiplayer maps in “Halo 4” are welldesigned and seem more tactical now that you can spend points to unlock new weapons and armor abilities for your load outs and use orbital drops, similar to “Call of Duty’s” kill streak rewards, during matches.

The one criticism I have is the fact that each mission  has the same objectives: go here, kill these guys, press this button to open the next area, repeat. It’s unoriginal and trivial.

However, no one area, in any level, is a huge chokepoint or gives anyone a significant advantage, meaning the game-play stays fair.

A major change is the randomness of weapon spawns on each level, meaning players will no longer rush to a power weapon and battle over a gun every game, which is a nice change of pace.

The action is as fast-paced as ever, but you are no longer at a huge disadvantage when going up against a Scorpion tank or the Covenant flying vehicle, the Banshee. Vehicles are slower, weaker, and their attacks are not nearly as strong.

As a result, the playing field is a lot more level than it has been before.

Sound effects and the feel of weapons are unique compared to previous installments, but what makes fans love “Halo” so much is still at the heart of 343’s first take on the series.

Although the story seems lackluster at times, the gameplay is as solid is ever, and I know that 343 Industries will only improve on what they’ve created. I’m excited to see what this developer has in store for “Halo 5.”

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