Yes... the ending was sadly CoD esque.
Well, I had fun with it. My biggest issue with it is with the finale, where you kill the Big Bad with a fucking quick time event.
Rule #2 of my future game design handbook - NEVER kill a major villain with a quick time event. Ever. Sure, you can use them occasionally - as repulsive as they are, they allow players to kinda participate in your super-expensive cutscene. But finishing off what's supposed to be a major villain in one of those quasi cutscenes is terrible, it's lazy, it's repulsive, it's enough to make me severely disappointed in a game.
We've all been playing video games for sometime. watching movies, and reading books. As a culture, we've experienced the best of what our humanity has had to offer, both visually and audibly, through all the ways we as humans can express ourselves. Through all the ways we're physically able to express ourselves. Video games are the newest way we do this, and probably the last created form of expression humans will ever create. And, while I understand that Halo is just a video game, with a complex plot, with countless books, game iterations, and even the blundering stumbles into feature film stories, Halo 4 is a great disappointment beyond merely capturing the gameplay and controls of the Halo games, which it did well. It's a shame, and it's of my opinion, that no one else may hold or care to read, but I had to vent why I wish for something more... and a call for something great.
After playing the game, through laughable story points, acting blunders (both voice and animation), it's a real shame that Halo 4 is a mere shell of the greatness of what Bungie had created. I could go through point after point about what could change or why it should change, but my opinion about it isn't important. The graphics are great. The lighting is great. But... the story is empty. Breaking rules pre-constructed by previous games, and using Master Chief as our main character only to be bastardized as a tool to move the Halo story forward. Using tools like a Sentry which is birthed from God knows where, only to destroy enemies faster than Master Chief himself. Many, many head scratching opportunities, and an ending that is just pure absurdity, silver lined by the excellent post-credit CG short which over-shadowed the entire game (barring the intro CG).
I don't even care about Halo anymore, only having bought it to play multiplayer with friends, but secretly hoping that the campaign would remind me why I love the Halo universe, and why Master Chief has become such an icon. But, it only stood to further isolate me from the brilliance of Halo:CE, the Fall of Reach, and few subsequent iterations. But, it's an action game after all, and many don't care that it's anything but that. For some reason though... and I don't really know why... I have a feeling of attachment that isn't reciprocated by the collective artistry behind Halo 4.
Thanks for letting me vent, GB.