Halo 4 Review
"Wake up Chief, I need you…"
The story so far…
Re-awakened after four years of cryo-sleep by Cortana, Master Chief finds himself amidst a Covenant invasion upon the remnants of his ship. After thwarting their efforts, Spartan 117 is pulled into a Forerunner planet construct known as Requiem. After battling the opposing force on the surface of Requiem, Master Chief and Cortana piece together a mysterious puzzle, while hailing the UNSC Infinity: a highly classified special op ship that has wandered into Requiem's orbit.
Master Chief delves further into the mystery of the Forerunner construct known as Requiem, unwittingly unearthing an ancient intergalactic evil in the process, unleashing it onto the universe. This foe has the power to unite both the Prometheans and the Covenant–who initially fight one another in a series of petty skirmishes–to spearhead a war effort against humanity.
Spartan 117 must unite with the remnants of the UNSC Infinity–helmed by Captain Del Rio, Commander Lasky, and Commander Palmer with her contigent of Spartan IV warriors–to battle the terrifying new race known as the Prometheans as well as the last Forerunner in the entire universe…
Halo 4's campaign stretches across eight missions and chronicles Master Chief's personal struggle to prevent Cortana from going Rampant, as well as battling the Covenant and the Prometheans in a brand new galactic war. The story arc itself is full of plot twists, intrigue, and builds upon Halo's standard plot elements while adding original content to the mix, delivering something that is both familiar and delightfully surprising at the same time.
The campaign takes players throughout every area of the game: from the cold, starry void of space to the high-tech corridors of the heart of Requiem and everywhere in between. The story crosses over just about every type of terrain and environment and makes every mission unique and picturesque.
A new race of enemies is introduced throughout the episodic campaign, an indomitable foe known as the Prometheans. Ranging from the agile Crawlers that pounce and swarm over the walls and ceilings to the deadly Promethean Knights, who's menacing blade arm and incessant teleportation makes for a match for any Spartan warrior.
Halo 4's campaign is filled with a multitude of entertaining moments and is filled to the brim with intriguing plot twists, engaging story mechanics, and intense action that will put a smile on any Halo fan. The eight levels may seem short, but each level is divided up into many segments with different objectives and mission parameters for each, providing for an impressively lengthy gaming experience. Legendary is back in full force, marking a considerable challenge for hardcore gamers–especially those that beat the game solo on Legendary mode.
Every single level has its own distinct and signature moments, painting a memorable experience with every play through. The campaign mission Forerunner, for example, features a high-stakes race at the very end where Master Chief must use a Ghost with infinite Boost to navigate through a planet that is literally crumbling under him. The experience is somewhat like an sci-fi version of an Indiana Jones movie, where the walls and ceilings are slowly coming down and players have to quickly slide through to escape.
The many levels of the campaign add many new details to the Halo franchise, expanding upon the canon universe with an in-depth backstory at the history of the Forerunners and how they faced the onslaught of The Flood. Halo 4's story arc is rich with illuminating details about the game's mythos and the origins of the Reclaimers, and who Didact was and why he was imprisoned. Now that Didact is loose, he seeks the Forerunner AI known as the Composer, who can convert biological lifeforms into digital data.
The Composer was the ultimate response to the Flood, since the virus was only contracted through living tissue. Yet before the Forerunners could become immortalized in digital form, they had to unleash the infinite fury of the Halos in order to wipe out the menace of The Flood.
As the game sheds light on the mysteries of the Forerunners, players get a true sense of the story's epic scale and the game takes on a new tone, one that's resonant with both curiosity for the unknown and anticipation for what's yet to come.
The campaign also allows gamers to experience the game's fantastic new vehicles, like the Mantis, a massive mobile mechsuit with unlimited rockets and machine gun ammo, all three versions of the classic Warthog, and of course the classic Covenant Banshee and Ghost. Many of the missions take part in amazing open-world areas, showing off the game's incredible graphics and photorealistic environments, making for the perfect battlegrounds to make use of the game's vehicles.
Overall Halo 4's campaign is exciting and truly is a fantastic experience for any gamer, offering dozens of hours of replayable missions that only seem to get better each time you play them. Whether you play solo or with friends over Xbox LIVE, on Heroic or Legendary, Halo 4's expansive campaign is sure to please and takes an in-depth look at the inner workings of the Halo universe, shedding some light on the cryptic Forerunners.
The campaign truly makes players feel as if they are embarking on a legendary sci-fi adventure and adequately portrays the paradigm shift from the end of the Human Covenant war onto a brand new age of warfare against an indomitable foe. It introduces an array of new features while keeping true to the signature Halo experience, bringing a new dynamic age of the Halo universe that's rife with potential.
Halo 4 is a monumental title and 343i has proven that they are more than capable at revitalizing the franchise and creating new chapters for gamers to enjoy in the years to come.