New game developer delivers with Halo 4

Posted By Horizon Staff November 15th, 2012 in Arts & Entertainment : 0 COMMENTS

Sammy Bennett
Guest Writer

Halo 4 was arguably the most anticipated video game of 2012. Its predecessors set a high standard for the game’s new developer 343 Industries, and they sure rose to the occasion.
The game begins with a beautiful CG cinematic. From here, you are reunited with Master Chief as Cortana wakes him from cryo-sleep reminiscent of the first Halo game.  And thus Master Chief is called upon to save the galaxy again, but this is not his greatest challenge. His companion, the AI Cortana, is slipping into rampancy, a condition that plagues AI’s where they, quite literally, think themselves to death.
It is here that the true heart of the game lies. In Master Chief’s drive to save Cortana, the game delves into both his and –ironically— her humanity, and their relationship.
Right from the start, you are thrown back into battle with Covenant forces, bringing you into one of the game’s strongest element: the combat. Halo 4’s combat is near perfect, and at times brutal on the higher levels. The enemies are smart, retreating, taking cover and aiding each other, forcing you to make tactical decisions about which to take out first and where to concentrate your firepower.
Visually, everything about this game is gorgeous, enhanced by the numerous cut scenes and cinematics. Accompanying the graphics are amazingly realistic sound effects. The developers at 343 Industries took everything into account when crafting the sounds — from your boots on the ground, to the shots that barely miss your head.
One area that was lacking, however, was the music. The iconic chants and heart pounding rhythms found in the previous games are completely gone. Halo 4’s music serves the roll of setting a mood, rather than elevating the action on screen. It really wasn’t until the end of the game that I even really noticed the music at all.
Halo 4’s main faults, though, are found within its strongest elements, the story.  There are several loose ends and questions that remain unresolved. While these faults do not derail the game, they do detract from the overall experience.
Halo 4’s multiplayer aspect equals, or even surpasses its predecessors. All the details and game-play options that made the other Halo multiplayer experiences a hallmark of the game series are still there, and then some. Something new that Halo 4 brings to the table is the Spartan-Ops, a co-op game mode in which up to four players can play through missions loosely related to the main campaign of the game.
The game’s successes vastly outweigh any faults. Whether you want to save the galaxy in the campaign, or you want to take on friends and strangers alike, the game that originally put the Xbox on the map, is back and better than before.

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