Finish the story? Lets talk about it. (Spoilers obviously)

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#1 Posted by Warihay (480 posts) -

If you couldn't tell by the title, stop reading here if you haven't finished the story yet.

So I just finished the game for the first time in one sitting. Overall, I think the game starts off very strong but I started to lose the thread of what was going on when the Librarian approaches you and the game shows the flashback cinematic. I initially did not understand what the composer was but that became more clear as the game went on. But the main question I still have is the motives of Diadact for wanting to destroy humanity. I must have missed something in the cinematic because I have no idea why he was doing what he was doing throughout the game. So if someone could clear that up for me or at least how you interpreted it, I would greatly appreciate it.

I am really not sure what to think about where they took the Chief and Cortana story. I'm sure they are going to explore it more in the next two games cause I don't believe for one second that she won't be back in the next game.

Finally, however Cortana managed to save Chief from not evaporating after setting off a nuclear bomb right in front of him is beyond me. I feel like that they did not make that very clear how she did that. As for the ending itself, they left it pretty open and I imagined they would leave it on a bit more of a cliffhanger but we'll see. Other than that, I thought the music was fantastic and some of the best in the series. I think the pacing was pretty good and I never got bored and for the first time, there wasn't a "Cortana" or "Library" level in a Halo game that was just unbearable to play.

So what'd you think?

#2 Posted by Make_Me_Mad (3015 posts) -

As far as I could tell, the Diadact was just really, really bitter over whatever encounter they had with Humans in the past, and liked the idea of using the Composer to turn them into weird half-digital robo soldiers so much that he decided they needed to use it on the entire species, to create a perfect anti-flood fighting force.

Space-fairy mini Cortanas shooting up and tying the boss down so you could finish him off, and then... something... happens and Chief gets saved from a nuke that he literally set off in his hands. They maybe should have made it a bit more clear what exactly was happening there. I assume it had something to do with the light-bridge thing she was controlling at the time?

#3 Posted by Rodin (162 posts) -

I think they did a great job with the game, i really enjoyed the music and sound design, solid combat, but the new weapons seemed kinda pointless. The grunts kinda look like small krogans, but that's just me, and i'm glad they don't have high pitched voices.

I think they squandered a lot of stuff, like the cortana rampancy thing since she "dies" at the end, although i highly doubt she really died. I also don't really understand the point of the composer, does it turn people into knights and shit? or just data. And i'm guessing by the epilogue, that the diadact survived, but i cant think how, and however he did i guess that's how cortana conceivably survived, and assuming she is a alive, i'd wager on her getting a body.

Also chief survives because video games. that or magic.

#4 Posted by HistoryInRust (6274 posts) -

So. Hold up. What the fuck, guys.

Humans had evolved to the point of spacecraft once before? And were at war with the Forerunners?

Is this common knowledge to the characters in the Halo universe? Why wasn't the Master Chief all like, "Whoa, we ain't never got no beef with y'all"?

#5 Edited by Make_Me_Mad (3015 posts) -

@HistoryInRust: Yeah, I had no idea what the fuck that was all about. Apparently humans got in some shit with the Flood, fled planet-to-planet, and ended up in a fight with the Forerunners, who Tron'd them and made them into crazy robo knights to fight the Flood... and no one even blinked an eye at it.

@Rodin: The Composer was what the Forerunners were planning to use to imprison humans after they apparently had some kind of ancient war with each other- see my above statement on that shit making very little sense- and the idea was that they turned the humans into digital information (see Tron) and stored their minds inside the big digital landscape of the Composer (see The Matrix, also Tron). The problem was that the thing didn't do a perfect transfer and made all the humans they used it on super crazy and not good for much but murdering stuff, so they decided it was immoral to use it and tried to come up with something else. The Diadact didn't think they needed to worry about whether it was moral or not because Humans were dicks and it gave them a way to take out the Flood, so the other Forerunners locked him up.

Also, the Composer's whole schtick being to turn people into data and data into physical forms, there's like a 99 percent chance that the same technology is going to end up giving Cortana (or a copy or whatever they end up doing) a body.

#6 Posted by punkxblaze (2955 posts) -

Halo 4 is basically Mass Effect.

Online
#7 Posted by HistoryInRust (6274 posts) -

@punkxblaze said:

Halo 4 is basically Mass Effect.

Pretty much.

#8 Posted by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -

@Make_Me_Mad said:

@HistoryInRust: Yeah, I had no idea what the fuck that was all about. Apparently humans got in some shit with the Flood, fled planet-to-planet, and ended up in a fight with the Forerunners, who Tron'd them and made them into crazy robo knights to fight the Flood... and no one even blinked an eye at it.

@Rodin: The Composer was what the Forerunners were planning to use to imprison humans after they apparently had some kind of ancient war with each other- see my above statement on that shit making very little sense- and the idea was that they turned the humans into digital information (see Tron) and stored their minds inside the big digital landscape of the Composer (see The Matrix, also Tron). The problem was that the thing didn't do a perfect transfer and made all the humans they used it on super crazy and not good for much but murdering stuff, so they decided it was immoral to use it and tried to come up with something else. The Diadact didn't think they needed to worry about whether it was moral or not because Humans were dicks and it gave them a way to take out the Flood, so the other Forerunners locked him up.

Also, the Composer's whole schtick being to turn people into data and data into physical forms, there's like a 99 percent chance that the same technology is going to end up giving Cortana (or a copy or whatever they end up doing) a body.

For all the big talk 343 does about what talented people they have on their team, they somehow came up with the most predictable, schlocky Halo story to tell when Bungie gave them the most fertile ground to start with of any game in the history of games, in my opinion.

Jeff Canatta, on the Weekend Confirmed Podcast made the comment about GTA vs. Saints Row, that Rockstar threw out all the old used game mechanics of GTA 3 in the trash to make exciting new content, and then Volition was like "Look at all the great stuff we found in this trash!!!"

I can't help but feel like that's so apt to describe 343 and Bungie. Bungie was like "alright, you can have our universe, but we're setting it on fire first so you can't just do the boring thing of churning out a bland predictable sequel" and 343 was like "challenge accepted!"

#9 Posted by Make_Me_Mad (3015 posts) -

@JazGalaxy said:

@Make_Me_Mad said:

@HistoryInRust: Yeah, I had no idea what the fuck that was all about. Apparently humans got in some shit with the Flood, fled planet-to-planet, and ended up in a fight with the Forerunners, who Tron'd them and made them into crazy robo knights to fight the Flood... and no one even blinked an eye at it.

@Rodin: The Composer was what the Forerunners were planning to use to imprison humans after they apparently had some kind of ancient war with each other- see my above statement on that shit making very little sense- and the idea was that they turned the humans into digital information (see Tron) and stored their minds inside the big digital landscape of the Composer (see The Matrix, also Tron). The problem was that the thing didn't do a perfect transfer and made all the humans they used it on super crazy and not good for much but murdering stuff, so they decided it was immoral to use it and tried to come up with something else. The Diadact didn't think they needed to worry about whether it was moral or not because Humans were dicks and it gave them a way to take out the Flood, so the other Forerunners locked him up.

Also, the Composer's whole schtick being to turn people into data and data into physical forms, there's like a 99 percent chance that the same technology is going to end up giving Cortana (or a copy or whatever they end up doing) a body.

For all the big talk 343 does about what talented people they have on their team, they somehow came up with the most predictable, schlocky Halo story to tell when Bungie gave them the most fertile ground to start with of any game in the history of games, in my opinion.

Jeff Canatta, on the Weekend Confirmed Podcast made the comment about GTA vs. Saints Row, that Rockstar threw out all the old used game mechanics of GTA 3 in the trash to make exciting new content, and then Volition was like "Look at all the great stuff we found in this trash!!!"

I can't help but feel like that's so apt to describe 343 and Bungie. Bungie was like "alright, you can have our universe, but we're setting it on fire first so you can't just do the boring thing of churning out a bland predictable sequel" and 343 was like "challenge accepted!"

I wouldn't go that far with it. There are still some really cool things in it, even with the missteps that were made (and I mostly agree with the ones cited in Jeff's review; those new Promethean weapons were a huge letdown) and there's no real reason that fans of Halo wouldn't at least enjoy the gameplay in this one. Story-wise, yeah, there's some definite weirdness, but if you're going to criticize the story in Halo you're going to get told to go screw yourself by a good 95 percent of the people who play Halo.

#10 Posted by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -

@Make_Me_Mad said:

@JazGalaxy said:

@Make_Me_Mad said:

@HistoryInRust: Yeah, I had no idea what the fuck that was all about. Apparently humans got in some shit with the Flood, fled planet-to-planet, and ended up in a fight with the Forerunners, who Tron'd them and made them into crazy robo knights to fight the Flood... and no one even blinked an eye at it.

@Rodin: The Composer was what the Forerunners were planning to use to imprison humans after they apparently had some kind of ancient war with each other- see my above statement on that shit making very little sense- and the idea was that they turned the humans into digital information (see Tron) and stored their minds inside the big digital landscape of the Composer (see The Matrix, also Tron). The problem was that the thing didn't do a perfect transfer and made all the humans they used it on super crazy and not good for much but murdering stuff, so they decided it was immoral to use it and tried to come up with something else. The Diadact didn't think they needed to worry about whether it was moral or not because Humans were dicks and it gave them a way to take out the Flood, so the other Forerunners locked him up.

Also, the Composer's whole schtick being to turn people into data and data into physical forms, there's like a 99 percent chance that the same technology is going to end up giving Cortana (or a copy or whatever they end up doing) a body.

For all the big talk 343 does about what talented people they have on their team, they somehow came up with the most predictable, schlocky Halo story to tell when Bungie gave them the most fertile ground to start with of any game in the history of games, in my opinion.

Jeff Canatta, on the Weekend Confirmed Podcast made the comment about GTA vs. Saints Row, that Rockstar threw out all the old used game mechanics of GTA 3 in the trash to make exciting new content, and then Volition was like "Look at all the great stuff we found in this trash!!!"

I can't help but feel like that's so apt to describe 343 and Bungie. Bungie was like "alright, you can have our universe, but we're setting it on fire first so you can't just do the boring thing of churning out a bland predictable sequel" and 343 was like "challenge accepted!"

I wouldn't go that far with it. There are still some really cool things in it, even with the missteps that were made (and I mostly agree with the ones cited in Jeff's review; those new Promethean weapons were a huge letdown) and there's no real reason that fans of Halo wouldn't at least enjoy the gameplay in this one. Story-wise, yeah, there's some definite weirdness, but if you're going to criticize the story in Halo you're going to get told to go screw yourself by a good 95 percent of the people who play Halo.

It's not that the game is poor, it's just that its' such a waste of potential. It's like a kid with a super high IQ, grade point average and test scores going off to join the army. It's not that you're not exceedingly proud of him, it's just that you mourn the misuse of potenital.

A poor analogy, sure, but Halo could have been done with the Flood, The Covenant, and all the overused content of the past 10 years. It could have been a brave new world. It could have been Super Mario Brothers 2 or Castlevania 2 (love them or hate them, those games heavily influenced and redefined the franchises for the rest of time). Instead it was... just another game.

#11 Posted by Dunchad (471 posts) -

End was depressing as shit. What do people have against happy endings these days? Stop making me cry manly tears of masculinity.

#12 Edited by CrossTheAtlantic (1145 posts) -

@HistoryInRust said:

So. Hold up. What the fuck, guys.

Humans had evolved to the point of spacecraft once before? And were at war with the Forerunners?

Is this common knowledge to the characters in the Halo universe? Why wasn't the Master Chief all like, "Whoa, we ain't never got no beef with y'all"?

I was reading about some of the Halo books a month or so ago (because I didn't realize there were so many and was wondering what they were about) and, yeah, apparently this is a thing that happened. We started a war and then they blew us back to the stone age--literally--and we forgot I guess. Seemed like a really weird progression of the universe to me especially since that' such a major thing, but only gets mentioned in the books.

So the thing the Librarian said humans were running from were the Flood? And the Flood was maybe made by the Precursors? Who are basically the Reapers?

I didn't actually play the game (probably won't since I'd have to buy another 360), but I wanted to know where the story went, so I've been trying to watch/read what I can.

@JazGalaxy: I think they've just done a similar thing to what George Lucas did to Star Wars with the prequels--narratively, not in terms of quality--in that they took a potentially giant universe and shrunk it down by making everything interconnected.

#13 Posted by RE_Player1 (7549 posts) -

@Dunchad said:

End was depressing as shit. What do people have against happy endings these days? Stop making me cry manly tears of masculinity.

I watched my friend play through 90% of the story, missed a couple bits from the middle, and didn't find it depressing at all. If anything I felt it was trying to tug at the heart strings and failed.

#14 Edited by Dunchad (471 posts) -

@msavo said:

@Dunchad said:

End was depressing as shit. What do people have against happy endings these days? Stop making me cry manly tears of masculinity.

I watched my friend play through 90% of the story, missed a couple bits from the middle, and didn't find it depressing at all. If anything I felt it was trying to tug at the heart strings and failed.

I'm not big into Halo lore and haven't played all the games, but to me MC is rather lonely character and Cortana is pretty much his only companion. Losing her is a very raw deal for him. And you could see it in the ending cinematics - he wasn't taking it very well. And because of who and what MC is, it's not like he can go around making new friends or connect with people just like that - Cortana might've been the only one who he could feel close to.

Now she is gone. And all that is left for MC is to kill more bad guys and this time, he'll have to do it alone. If that isn't depressing, then I have no idea what is.

But then again, I'm a sucker when it comes to love stories and romance, so maybe my perspective is skewed.

#15 Posted by CrossTheAtlantic (1145 posts) -

@Dunchad: Hopefully they use it as a way to delve further into MC's character. The prologue definitely makes it seem like that'll be a priority in this trilogy.

@HistoryInRust: By the way, read this if you want to have your perspective of the first three Halo games crazy changed : http://www.halopedia.org/Flood#Origins

The Flood were a punishment and a test. What a jerk test.

#16 Posted by Captain_Felafel (1552 posts) -

Did anyone get a real Evangelion vibe off of the whole mini Cortana's rising out of the light bridge?

#17 Edited by reportspam (2 posts) -

@Captain_Felafel said:

Did anyone get a real Evangelion vibe off of the whole mini Cortana's rising out of the light bridge?

This was posted on 4chan a couple weeks ago in a Halo 4 stream thread when the game was leaked.

#18 Posted by Make_Me_Mad (3015 posts) -

@Captain_Felafel: My first thought was the end of Fern Gully, when the fairies tied down Tim Curry and turned him into a tree. Mini-flying space fairy Cortana copies... that ending went places, all right.

#19 Edited by Hamz (6846 posts) -

I'm one of those oddballs that has never actually sat down and played every Halo game or even read the EU Books/Novels for the series but I am a dab hand at using Google and Wikipedia and have come the following conclusion...

Humanity once evolved to a state that rivalled the Forerunners and managed to make them sweat a little during the Human/Forerunner War. The Forerunners viewed Humanity as just another violent race looking to expand aggressively across the Universe and after taking a few beatings from us they finally went all Alpha Male and almost wiped us out. However they realised too late that we were fleeing from the Flood and that is when The Librarian kickstarted the Human race again on Earth, in secret, until the Didact found out but at that point the Flood were pretty much ripping the Forerunners a new one. Now my guestimation here is that the Didact would have rather enslaved what remained of Humanity to use as fodder against the Flood instead of using the Halo Arrays but the rest of the Forerunners disagreed and imprisoned him.

Basically it seems the entire theme for the game is to not be a heartless killing machine but to show some compassion. We literally see Chief disobeying orders, getting more than a little attached to Cortana and then (I assume) get a little teary eyed at the end as he stares out the window before the credits roll.

#20 Edited by Branwulf (397 posts) -

I'm surprised that the Didact was actually beaten at the end, unless he returns in some manner i'm interested to see where they go next enemy wise other than the anti-human Covenant.

The only real surprise for me, as i read the books is that they seem to have done away with Cortana.

#21 Posted by Make_Me_Mad (3015 posts) -

@Branwulf: She 'died', but considering she was fractured into a ton of different personalities, all of them in the main computer of a superweapon/ship combo that could turn data into bodies and vice versa, as well as having explicitly stated not much earlier that Chief would probably be issued a stable copy of her when he got back to earth, they left themselves plenty of outs as to how she might make a miraculous return. A.I.s in the Marathon/Halo-verse are pretty resilient and hard to totally get rid of, after all.

#22 Posted by big_jon (5709 posts) -

The ending was really sad, I have never been as emotionally impacted as that by a game, 11 years of Cortana, and now she's no more...

It was sad for Chief, because really, he has no one left, he thinks all his Spartans are dead, Cortana is gone... He felt pretty bad for him, Spartans lead really hard lives, they deserve something more for all the shit they do to protect.

#23 Posted by csl316 (8083 posts) -

So post credits, people were turned into dust? What gives?

#24 Posted by project343 (2812 posts) -

It was the best Halo campaign. But it was still a Halo campaign: filled with poor storytelling.

I actually think this one had the strongest narrative in the series (mostly due to the Master Chief / Cortana thing). But that bar is pretty fucking low. We'll see if I completely forget all this shit for Halo 5. Because I probably will.

#25 Posted by Whitestripes09 (399 posts) -

I actually enjoyed the story of this one far more then any of the other halo games. I felt like 343 really gave a nod toward the hard core fans that read the books, watch the movies/anime, etc. Especially after reading Glasslands and part of Thursday War. I feel like it was almost mandatory to read those books before playing halo 4 because they explain so much that many people are starting to go "huh?" about in Halo 4. I think that probably in Halo 5 we could probably see a replacement Cortana, maybe bring the Arbiter back and really dig deep into chief's life post death of the "real" Cortana.

#26 Posted by Vonocourt (2116 posts) -

I thought the actual story arc wasn't that great, what with the entire middle of the game being nonsense if you haven't gone deep into Halo Lore. But for MC and Cortana's relationship, I thought it was done as well as they could without breaking one of Halo's major rules. Kind of relies more on legacy than actual craft, I mean there's pretty much no way to make that end scene with Cortana and never-nude Chief not goofy, but I'd be lying if I said it didn't resonate a bit.

#27 Posted by Schatzy23 (159 posts) -

I enjoyed playing through the campaign. I think they crew said it best in the bombcast this week. It seems the game leaned slightly more to giving the nod to the people who've read the books and background lore this time instead of keeping that balanced. I had really no clue what the Diact(main bad guy, forgive the spelling) was so upset with and what he was really trying to do. I became more invested in wanting to just finish the fight to "save" Cortana from the rampancy she was suffering. 343 did pretty much what I kind of figured this game would be. They made a Halo game to show the fans that they can do these games and left themselves some room to expand outward in the next few games they do. Interesting to find out if Cortana is really gone or if she'll return somehow in the later games.

#28 Posted by Rodin (162 posts) -

@Whitestripes09 said:

I actually enjoyed the story of this one far more then any of the other halo games. I felt like 343 really gave a nod toward the hard core fans that read the books, watch the movies/anime, etc. Especially after reading Glasslands and part of Thursday War. I feel like it was almost mandatory to read those books before playing halo 4 because they explain so much that many people are starting to go "huh?" about in Halo 4. I think that probably in Halo 5 we could probably see a replacement Cortana, maybe bring the Arbiter back and really dig deep into chief's life post death of the "real" Cortana.

While its cool that they put in all the extended fiction in, like they said on the bomcast, not everyone has consumed those things, which is why people go "huh?" to alot of plot points in the game and it gets kinda annoying going "what the hell are they talking about, when was this explained?". Its easy to understand the confusion and a poor job was done to address it.

#29 Posted by big_jon (5709 posts) -

@csl316 said:

So post credits, people were turned into dust? What gives?

Turned into machines by the Didact's device, forget what it's called.

#30 Edited by Willin (1279 posts) -

I have so many questions that were never answered:

  • Why is the Covenant at war with humanity again?
  • Where is the Arbiter? Surely he would of made SOME appearance.
  • Where is Lord Hood? He survived in Halo 3. I assume he is still part of the UNSC.
  • When Master Chief made contact with humanity for the first time why did no one give a fuck? Sole savior of the galaxy, lost for over 4 years and the best we get is a 'Good to see ya'. No questions asked.
  • Who was the Spartan lady? Why did she only have 3 lines of dialogue?
  • Why did the Covenant allied themselves with The Didact?
  • Who was talking to the lady at the very beginning of the game.
  • Where is the Flood? Did Gravemind survive Halo 3?
  • Why is nothing from ODST referenced at all? Those floating things? The underground Forerunner structure on the Legendary ending? Was that game retcon'd without me noticing?
  • Where are the Brutes? Are they not part of the Covenant anymore? If so where did that Gravity Hammer at the end of the game come from?

If I can get some answers without reading a half dozen books or scouring a wiki I would be thankful.

#31 Posted by csl316 (8083 posts) -
@big_jon

@csl316 said:

So post credits, people were turned into dust? What gives?

Turned into machines by the Didact's device, forget what it's called.

The Composer. I thought you stop it at the end. Maybe it still took a city out. Maybe it took everyone out? Who knows.
#32 Edited by project343 (2812 posts) -

@Willin said:

  • Why did the Covenant allied themselves with The Didact?

A lot of your questions are covered in the non-Halo 4 content. The waypoint stuff, the comic stuff, the novel series, etc.. This question, however, was answered in Halo 2 and continued to be relevant to the storytelling throughout the Halo series. The Forerunners were always held as gods/religious dieties by the Covenant. Even though there was a lot of religious conflict, imagine seeing Jesus appear in the modern day: regardless of your religious standing, that would probably affect you in some meaningful ways. I barely pay attention to Halo lore, but this was an obvious dynamic.

You are visually 'told' about this dynamic when you see all the elites kneel with the Didact's reemergence.

@Willin said:

  • Who was the Spartan lady? Why did she only have 3 lines of dialogue?

You're talking about Jennifer Hale? She appears to be one of the most integral characters to the Spartan Ops stuff. Go play that content to see more of her.

@Willin said:

  • Who was talking to the lady at the very beginning of the game.

I get the distinct impression that this was left unclear for narrative reasons. We don't know and it is supposed to be a mystery.

@Willin said:

  • Where are the Brutes? Are they not part of the Covenant anymore? If so where did that Gravity Hammer at the end of the game come from?

The Covenant had that whole civil war thing that spanned the length of two entire games? That room was clearly not an armory. It was a museum of technologies that they either helped to create, created, or are trying to understand. The Forerunner technology influenced a lot of the Covenant weaponry and I imagine they want to understand how it has evolved.

#33 Posted by punkxblaze (2955 posts) -

The entire time after the Librarian talked to chief and was like TURN DIGITAL STUFF INTO REAL STUFF AND STUFF I was like oh man oh man Cortana's totally gonna get a real body! And the rest of the time I was like OH MAN IS THIS WHERE HE TAKES HIS HELMET OFF?

I was half right on both counts.

Online
#34 Posted by AckbarTheGreat (419 posts) -

They weren't really the Covenant, just a super religious sect that refused the peace treaty with humanity.

@Willin said:

  • Why is the Covenant at war with humanity again?
  • Where is the Arbiter? Surely he would of made SOME appearance.

They weren't really the Covenant, just a super religious sect that refused the peace treaty with humanity, and the Arbiter is the leader of the Elites back on his home planet trying to stop this sect from taking control of Elite government.

@Willin said:

  • When Master Chief made contact with humanity for the first time why did no one give a fuck? Sole savior of the galaxy, lost for over 4 years and the best we get is a 'Good to see ya'. No questions asked.

I think that was just poor writing on 343's part.

@Willin said:

  • Who was talking to the lady at the very beginning of the game?

That was Dr. Catherine Halsey. She was the person in charge of the Spartan II program and Master Chief's mother figure. She is also the mind and body Cortana is based off of.

@Willin said:

  • Where is the Flood? Did Gravemind survive Halo 3?

The Flood and Gravemind did not survive Halo 3. So we will thankfully never have to fight them again.

#35 Posted by Wheatley117 (17 posts) -

Well, i just finished the Game today, and I have to say, i am really impressed by 343's work. There were just some things i didn't get. What is the Point of Halsey in the Opening? She does not appear again at all. I was expecting some more insights into the mind of a Spartan and maybe a Conflict between the Chief and his creator (Halsey). Well, maybe in Halo 5/6. The other thing: How the **** did the Chief survived a nuclear explosion? I know that the shields of the MJOLNIR Armor are pretty strong, but withtstanding an nuclear explosion? If someone has a plausible answer, please let me know.

This is my first post in this forum btw. Hi Guys :D

#36 Posted by Nhoj_Sllew (173 posts) -

Speculation:

The Librarian altered both the Chief AND Cortana when she "snatched" them.

Hence Cortana could now interact with physical objects, perhaps sacrificing part of herself to shield the Chief from the bomb.

you know, sci-fi magic.

#37 Edited by NTM (7263 posts) -

Maybe it's because I just beat it on splitscreen co-op, but the entire experience didn't feel up to snuff with the rest of Halo. I do think if you're a fan even beyond just the games (which I feel I am somewhat) it may help since you'll get more context as to what's happening, and since it just switched all of a sudden from what occurred in the first trilogy to this, I found it really hard to care a lot for what was going on, and I think I could easily guess what will happen in the next Halo game so what does happen doesn't really feel meaningful, like Cortana's "death".

I think I'll be taking that back a little once I play it on Legendary on my own, but it just didn't feel very significant like I feel a Halo should. I'm saying this like I hated it, but I think it was a good game. The biggest problem is just the fact that if you've only come to the games to get the Halo story, you're going to be disappointed because you'll probably feel the need to go read beyond it to find meaning in what you've just done. I've done this in the past, but not enough to make things in this game meaningful to me.

Furthermore, maybe it's because I didn't really explore the setting, but it really felt repetitive. Run here, shoot some guys, press a button, and do that all over again. Now, maybe you can argue that the past Halo's did this as well, but it sure didn't feel like you did the same thing so often. And I think it's because of playing on co-op that I didn't get the best out of the sound, because it was hard to appreciate the sound to its fullest extent with two people. The music was mostly buried underneath the sound effects. I think the whole thing is just that it didn't feel very significant. I hope I'm wrong on this when I go through it again myself.

I absolutely hate what I just said, because I want to say I love the game, and I know I can. I don't think I've even come off with the "Wow, I'm disappointed" feeling, it's more like "Uhhhh. Alright. What was that?... Mmm. Yeahhhhhhh." Like, it was a good game, but it's not very special, certainly not compared to the past Halo games. There were a lot of times when I asked my brother "So, what exactly are we doing?" or "Wait, why are we doing this? Why is this happening?" But again, this may have had to do with the fact that I was playing co-op and it might have made it harder to focus. When I play it on my own, I'll try to come back here and say my feelings towards it then.

Did anyone else feel like some of the story bits, that is if you didn't read the books and stuff, kind of felt underdeveloped? The whole "Forerunners biggest enemy were humans!" It was like, they say it and move on. It just seemed like there was a lot of stuff that they brisked through. Were there humans before us, and we fought them? It also seemed a little bit like Assassin's Creed stuff too with Minerva and crap. Maybe I shouldn't complain about it too much, because I may not end up caring, but it also seemed like this was a lot less realistic than the first trilogy. I mean sure, you can't really consider Halo realistic, but still, in some spots this seemed more fantasy than the past games.

Edit - Alright, I take it back. While I'm not so sure about some of the story aspects since I was somewhat disappointed in it after I beat it, I'm absolutely loving the game play, the visuals are great, and the sound overall is fantastic. The music is something that the gameplay doesn't really do, sets it apart from the rest of the Halo series. It really gives it a different tone, and I'm loving that, but that's not to say I dislike the past Halo's one bit, I still love those. I'm not sure about anyone else, but if you play somewhat tactical and are focused a bit, Legendary is easily manageable on your own. I think the Elites for sure are far easier than they were in Reach.

#38 Edited by stenchlord (228 posts) -

I wrote up my thoughts on the game in my review. Overall I still think it's the best from the Halo franchise but I can't help but feel that so much potential was lost due to fear of reprisal from Halo fanboys who were just looking for more stock standard Halo.

I'm still very interested to see what 343i can do with the series though.

http://www.giantbomb.com/halo-4/61-35533/user-reviews/?review_id=24456

#39 Posted by jillsandwich (762 posts) -

So, I haven't played the game, but I'm alright with reading spoilers since it's only the first in a trilogy and all.

Wasn't it always implied that humans were direct descendants of Forerunners, since Tartarus had to force Miranda Keyes to use the index thing at the end of Halo 2, because he couldn't? That's always what I interpreted it as, anyway.

#40 Posted by Marshall109 (23 posts) -

I just found the story in general to be pretty flat. There were no real high points except maybe the trench run in the broadsword fighter, which I thought was pretty dang awesome. Aside from that I just found the pacing way too fast and the story lacking supporting characters. Seriously, there's practically no one in this game. Sure Lasky and Del Rio talk a fair amount, but I never cared for them or thought much of them.

Playing this really reminded me of why I enjoyed Reach so much. The slow build up in the beginning and characters that I thought weren't entirely disposable (although I know plenty of people who would disagree with that, and I see where they're coming from.)

But yeah, I thought the game played extremely well, there just seemed to be a lot of missed opportunities. Also, 343 really likes Mass Effect apparently.

#41 Posted by DeathByWaffle (629 posts) -

Just beat the game a couple minutes ago, and I really enjoyed it. I think it started out a little slow for the first hour and a half, but after that I really got into it. I used to be incredibly into Halo back in the day (having read a lot of the books), but I didn't play much of ODST or Reach.

I initially was a little lost with the whole Librarian thing, but I enjoyed the whole dynamic with Master Chief and Cortana. I enjoyed the game more than I thought I would, even though there were missteps.

#42 Posted by mrfluke (5088 posts) -

i think the lack of exposition for stuff in this game really hurts it, you really need to read the books to fully appreciate the story

but dammit if the pacing isnt the best in the series, had no dull spots imo.

some of the story beats that they were hinting at were kinda hokey, and some were interesting.

#43 Posted by JeanLuc (3571 posts) -

I really liked the story. I'm shocked they killed off Cortana since her and Master Chief are the two main characters I mean I had a feeling she may die, but I was thinking it would be in Halo 5 or 6. Killing her at the beginning of a new trilogy seems weird.

I do think they should have explained a bit more. Like why the fuck did his armor look different? Did they ever explain that?

Also why do people keep saying its like Mass Effect? I'm not seeing it.

#44 Posted by Tylea002 (2295 posts) -

The story is fucking abysmal. It's terrible! It's literally the worst. The covenant are back and then some forerunner stuff that meant you were the chosen one after all and making people computer armies? THAT WAS A LOAD OF BULL AND WE ALL KNOW IT. The character work however, was great. Cortana and Chief had their best and most developed relationship ever, so I'm going to say killing her off was a bad idea, because there was more room in that story for growth. The Cortana/Chief story was completely unrelated to the main "plot," though, I wish they'd tied the character work and story together.

The one interesting thing they seem to be hinting more at with their mainline plot, and also the place Chief is at the end of this game is that it looks like they may pursue some kind of anti-war Humans are the baddies type of thing. You get this crazy monologue about the state of the galaxy at the end, set to just all the miliatary stuff expanding, humanity is now dominant, and celebrating that fact, celebrating that no one can touch them and they are the most powerful force in the galaxy. In classic storytelling terms, I think that's setting them up for a fall. Now it may just be that the forerunners come back and they're not equipped to deal with them, but the way that scene went down, I felt some really interesting thematic foreshadowing about the real consequences of war, of removing the humanity from soldiers, and of this dominance they strived for and achieved. Now it may just be me projecting a deeper quality onto something that wasn't that great, but it could be something special.

Though they really should not have killed off Cortana though, she is the character in these games. Chief is a dry super soldier who she humanised; and shall now be even more dry, super and soldier without her.

#45 Posted by mrfluke (5088 posts) -

my biggest gripe is could they really not find the time to explain in the game why the covenant are fighting you?

i feel this sets up convolution for halo 5 as arbiter and the whole covenant hierarchy storyline will most definitely come back into play, and not to mention the flood, as those enemies will most certainly come back into play as well as the precursors, cause if they are gonna be so beholden to the books then it is hinted at those enemies will be back

also, i will say as much as i like the game a lot even though the story stumbles quite disappointingly, 343 overrated the hell out of this game,

#46 Posted by Gargantuan (1881 posts) -

The beginning and ending were very strong but it lost some momentum in the middle. Overall it was a great campaign.

#47 Posted by CrossTheAtlantic (1145 posts) -

@JeanLuc said:

Also why do people keep saying its like Mass Effect? I'm not seeing it.

Between the Forerunners and Precursers (who sent the Flood as means to wipe out the Forerunners for getting too strong for their own good), they're playing with a lot of the similar sci fi concepts Mass Effect ultimately did. Certainly echoes of the Prometheans and the Reapers in that conflict. I think people also see echoes of the Didact/Saren--who both think their ultimately doing what's in the universe's best interest.

#48 Posted by Sjupp (1910 posts) -

There's so much that annoyed me during this campaign though I liked it overall. The fact that everyone knows who "The Didact" is but if you haven't read the books or browsed the halo wiki you have no idea who the hell he is. I also thought that the Cortana moment at the end was pretty weak.

I doubt this will be the last time we see Cortana though. The Dr. Hasley thing wasn't even addressed in the end. Corana said that most of her would be "left here". I could definitely see Chief going back there at some point.

#49 Posted by Jackel2072 (2236 posts) -

I just finished the game. The thing that's really sticking with me was the vary end when master chief finally takes off his armor. I'm hoping in the next game master chief will struggle too find a reason to fight. It would seem any humanity he had left died with Cortana. It could be a really great story direction, that if done would could be awesome.

#50 Edited by AngriGhandi (754 posts) -

I second everyone on Earth's confusion with all of that Librarian shit.

I also agree that the latter half of the game has some really cool moments, such as the Broadsword trench run, and more importantly, finally flying the MOTHERFUCKING PELICAN. (!!!)

And the two CG cutscenes before and after the credits were amazing, if only for giving us a super-rare glimpse of humans in the Halo universe actually having a moment to reflect on the crazy-ass stuff that keeps happening to them, as opposed to just getting blown up all the time.

But structurally and gameplay-wise? I can't help but feel like more risks should have been taken.

Nothing too crazy-- I'm just saying maybe I don't necessarily need to be one-shotting a line of grunts with a battle rifle to get through a linear campaign in the next Halo game.

...Consider changing at least one of those things.

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