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Sat Nov 10, 2012, 04:23 PM

Halo 4, my own review

First my relationship with HALO:
I love FPSs and RPGs with Halo being my all time favorite storyline and game to play. The Elder Scrolls comes in second for me. Btw it has been a yearlong fantasy of mine to combine the two universes along with combining their utterly different gameplay.

I have played all of the prior Halo games, beating each on legendary. I prefer any replay on legendary. Storming the beech on legendary, looking for the Silent Cartographer in Halo 1 with the music turned up loud enough to annoy my neighbors is still a huge thrill for me. I do not play any games co-op or online. I am more the specialist-solo Halo geek so I can not comment on co-op gameplay.

I purchased the game on the 6th at its release date and completed it 4 days later on normal difficulty with tons of hours spent watching and listening to all of the election and retarded amounts of post election coverage. Yeah, the game was that short!

My first impression is one of sadness for the trajectory the Halo storyline has taken. No spoilers here, Halo's twists and turns in it's story arc worked fine for me until now. This new trajectory feels too predictable, I sorta 'knew' what was about to happen at most stages of the game and found myself disappointed as my predictions came to pass. This was not the case for me in prior games.

Visually the game is much improved in some areas and remains the same in others. The gritty unpolished faces are now gone but all too often I felt like I was in areas designed by the designers of the movie 'Tron', a complaint I have had with two of the earlier games.

I thoroughly enjoyed learning the new weaponry and discovering how best to kill the new bad guys. I was forced into new tactics of combat if I wanted to go toe to toe with these new badguys, this I thoroughly enjoyed. Testing out the old weapons on them was equally cool.

I am a big fan of the revised Battlestar Gallactica. It's opening theme music poignant and fitting. The Halo themesong is definitely my favorite earworm for any game. I missed that themesong this time around but enjoyed the Battlestar Gallactica-esc new theme.

Unfortunately, unlike music from earlier games, this time around for me the chapter music got in the way of gameplay, ranging from tedious to outright annoying!

From best to worst my personal ranking of this game in the overall scheme of the Halo games:
Halo 1
Halo Reach
Halo 2
Halo 3 and 4 tie for last place and truth be told, I am not too sure which of those two will be on the bottom of my list yet.

Unlike all of the Halo games of the past, after my first run through on normal difficulty I am in no great rush to dive back into it on Legendary difficulty.
(edited to add: a mere two weeks after release and with plenty of time off to watch the elections and aftermath, I beat Halo 4 on Legendary. No, I am not THAT good, the game is just THAT easy. Considering that it took over two months for me to beat Halo 2 on Legendary, I feel safe in saying that this game was too short and too easy).

Where gameplay for Halo 4 is as good as ever, (my thanks to 343 industries for that), the plot was so disturbing to me I have been left feeling this one is tied with Halo 3 as the weakest of the six. I suspect I will not be alone among Halo geeks with my review.

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