Here’s something I’ll probably get flamed for on the internet – I’ve never really been into the Halo games. That’s partially down to being spoiled by PC FPSs before they become acceptable things to play on a console but now I’ve fully adapted to using a controller to move and strafe so hopefully all is forgiven. In fact, the only Halo game I’ve played in full is Halo Reach – Bungie’s last game, and what we thought was the end of the franchise.
Well, now it’s time for 343 Industries to take the mantle and they’ve actually done a stellar job. In fact, the first cut-scene that deals with why the Spartans were created in the first place is breath-taking in the facial detail. I’d go as far to say it’s the best I’ve seen. Of course in-game graphics don’t quite match up to that quality but nevertheless the game runs incredibly smoothly and also looks gorgeous as well when it comes to environments, textures, lighting and the enemies you’ll face.
Halo 4 actually feels like Combat Evolved when you first get awoken on board a ship that’s under attack by The Covenant. Using the left trigger to throw grenades instead of looking through the sights comes a a bit of a shock but you soon get used to it and you’ll be firing your assault rifle, picking up a Plasma Pistol or Needler and ducking behind cover to let your shield recharge just like you did way back when.
You soon end up on a distant planet and face new enemy the Prometheans who have a whole new set of weapons to play with that all have a lovely orangey glow about them. The variety of weaponry is actually a delight and you’ll constantly be picking new ones up on the battlefield as your tactics change from wide open battles with long range sniping and hopping on Ghosts to deal some damage to more close-quarters combat with shotguns in tight spaces. You even get to pilot a mech at one point and stamp on stuff!
Just like in Halo Reach, the eight campaign missions can be played solo or co-op and there’s a massive multiplayer offering as well that’s all set up as virtual training missions on board the UNSC Infinity. Spartan Ops lets you play through a tonne of co-op missions and War Games presents the usual batch of deathmatches and CTF games.
Although the world of Halo still doesn’t really grab me there’s no denying that Halo 4 is a superb first-person shooter. It feels, looks and sounds fantastic, has a great range of gameplay and the multiplayer modes will keep you amused long after you’re done with the campaign. Hail to the Chief – Halo 4 gets 9 out of 10.
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