Playing through Halo 4, I started out enjoying it to a degree. I liked a lot of the elements brought up early on (weird mystery planet, Cortana going cray, Prometheans) but I also was worried about the other aspects that seemed to be coming (Covenant, Humans).
As I'm going through the game I feel as if I'm enjoying it less and less. Halo 4 is slipping into the routine of Halo and isn't doing anything to make itself stand out. It's safe. It's a bit dull. And it's a bit boring.
It got my thinking about the split between 343/Bungie and how I see a lot of familiarity in this situation as I saw during the COD glory days. I will maintain to this day, to never play a Treyarch COD game because I feel they are a mediocre developer that couldn't design an interesting set piece if their lives depended on it. On the surface level, the IW and Treyarch COD games had a lot of similarities. However there was always something off about the Treyarch outings that I could never reconcile. The set pieces were never very well put together, the gameplay always felt off. It was like playing a bizarro world version of COD. All the elements were there except they just weren't fit together as well.
With Halo 4 I'm seeing the same scenario. Obviously we won't see another Bungie Halo game but I feel the comparison is still solid. 343 has taken all of the elements of a Bungie Halo and has given it their all trying to piece it all together. For the most part it looks solid. But I'm just not feeling this outing like I did the last. To prepare for Halo 4 I started playing Reach again and I was immediately reminded of how fun a Bungie Halo game is. There's a sense of momentum to the combat. How they design a combat scenario always felt right. Halo 4 almost gets this. It's almost an uncanny valley situation. Halo 4 gets so close to the mark but doesn't quite reach it. Because of this the problems and flaws stand out like a sore thumb.
I know I haven't really said anything specific. But I find it difficult really pinpointing specifics. I will say that I feel sorely disappointed in how Halo 4 has thrown away all the interesting elements going into this game in favor for the same ole same ole Halo. But when it comes to things like set pieces, the feel of the combat, etc as Brad Shoemaker often says, it's a nebulous concept that is hard to explain. Halo 4 just doesnt feel right to me. It feels like a copy of a copy of a copy. It feels like the B-Team is making it.