Halo 4 First Impressions

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#1 Posted by Nightriff (5023 posts) -

Halo 4 just launched and we all need to talk about it just like every other game, what are your impressions of the campaign and then what are your impressions of the multiplayer? Is it all that it could be? Or fail to meet your expectations? Discuss.

#2 Posted by Vinny_Says (5700 posts) -

errbody too busy playin Halo

#3 Posted by Nightriff (5023 posts) -

@Vinny_Says: Figured but I'm bored at work so just a waiting game now...

#4 Edited by bibamatt (1086 posts) -

Picked it up at midnight (UK, so nearly twelve hours ago) and put in a couple of hours before I had to go to sleep. Jumped straight into multiplayer and played one chapter of the campaign, too. I can't wait to get home to do more tonight. I can't believe the jump from Reach. The sound particularly is immense. All the new gun sounds are incredible and weapons that you've used before and know inside and out will surprise you with how brutal they sound. Also, graphically it's a huge leap. Played a few multiplayer matches and the Big Team Battles (always my favourite) stood out. I loved the level design of the stages that I played on.

EDIT! Wanted to discuss that introduction... I don't know if it's been floating around online in press stuff (I've been avoiding all things Halo 4) but it was INCREDIBLE. I'm not normally one for CG introduction videos, but it blew my socks off. Really emotive and nothing that I would've expected from Halo.

Tip for those that haven't got it yet! You need to run Disc 2 first if you want to play multiplayer. Running Disc 2 will open up an install app that installs the data to your HDD. After that you never need Disc 2. You can't run multiplayer without installing this data first and you can't do this from Disc 1. It'll just chuck you out to the dashboard when you change discs. To clarify, you need to install the Disc 2 data but then everything always runs from Disc 1. You won't need to use Disc 2 again and you can't boot the game from it.

#5 Posted by MEATBALL (3197 posts) -

Spent the afternoon playing through the campaign in its entirety with a friend and came away extremely impressed. It's very much Halo, but it might have been my favourite campaign in the series, there wasn't a single part I didn't enjoy and the pacing was outstanding. The story was much, much better than anything in the series prior and involved a lot of the sort of fiction that I used to geek out over when exploring Halo's fiction beyond the surface-level stuff in the games. Really enjoyed Chief and Cortana's story, both voice actors did a great job, particularly Cortana. Blown away by what 343 have achieved on the 360 visually. I want a Metroid that looks like this.

Online
#6 Posted by ShiftyMagician (2129 posts) -

Haven't beaten the game yet, but I am simply amazed how good the game looks and how amazingly enjoyable the first level was. I actually played Reach for the first time not too long ago and it was a blurry, frame rate choppy mess to me. Seeing this game run the entire time at a constant FPS with the detail I saw was stunning for a console game.

I did have one weird moment where frame rate went down to visibly single-digits, however I believe that was a bug I experienced. Other than that smooth sailing and a simple yet awesome storyline thus far to me.

#7 Posted by Chontamenti (153 posts) -

My first impression was "this looks fantastic!" my secont impression "no achievements popping up, WTF?"

I played through the first three chapters, so far it's great. .. but I want my achievements >_> not that I play only because of them, but in a few days my friends will say "you didn't play it 0/1000!!" =(

#8 Posted by bibamatt (1086 posts) -

@Chontamenti said:

My first impression was "this looks fantastic!" my secont impression "no achievements popping up, WTF?"

I played through the first three chapters, so far it's great. .. but I want my achievements >_> not that I play only because of them, but in a few days my friends will say "you didn't play it 0/1000!!" =(

None? I've earned 45 gamerscore so far, a mixture of multiplayer and singleplayer.

#9 Posted by Chontamenti (153 posts) -

I should get the first three for the campaign.. but i have 0 out of 1000 I'll give it a second try.. ;)

#10 Posted by Class_A_Ninja (55 posts) -

It's very punchy. I played about an hour and a half of the campaign as slow as could be. The sound seems all new and mostly great. The gunplay, movement, and melee all feel extremely tight from what I remember of the loosie goosie chief.

The warthog seems super floaty, though, and the engine noise was a bit too extreme for my tastes.

I think they did exactly what should have been done with the atmosphere of the series. Grunts cracking wise seemed out of place in every game but the first, which was an entirely different era. It seems like that has been toned down along with a more judicious use of the crayola colors.

Even if Bungie's games were full of muppets, the IQ is what really killed it for me in the previous 360 games. I bought every one of those games, and none of them held my attention beyond a month. Halo 1 seems like the oddball for the series, but it was the one that grabbed me. Maybe this one won't hold up long term either, but it's the product they should have been putting out.

#11 Posted by HistoryInRust (6293 posts) -

Just finished the campaign. Two big things irked me.

The Audio

  • So, I played different bits of the game different ways. Gaming headphones, normal headphones, through my television's native speakers, through surround sound. The audio in none of those cases ever seemed balanced. I felt like specific guns (the Battle Rifle and DMR) were way louder than all the other weapons, and that some things sounded really flat--grenade explosions most notably. Worst of all, however, I felt the music barely existed while I was playing. In cutscenes, the music was mostly great, but it was all but drowned out by the firefights in the game, which is a massive bummer, considering the audio balancing of Reach--the way the music and sound effects coalesced together--was one of the chief reasons its tone became so stark and memorable.

The Setpieces

  • Perhaps I am being too harsh here, and maybe another run through the campaign will change my mind, but I didn't feel like I came away with a lot of great memories of the singleplayer experience. Waking up and battling through the wreckage of the Forward Unto Dawn was neat, and a Death Star Trench-like sequence near the end made me especially giddy, but for the most part the campaign is a lot of tight-knit corridor combat with very little flexibility in the level design. I didn't feel like I had a lot of options from room to room, and instead got the impression too often that I was being funneled very deliberately through narrow passageways. It's a trait I associate with Halo 2, which is in my mind the weakest of the campaigns in the series.

Overall, I enjoyed myself quite a bit. The story is mostly excellent. I've yet to really dig into the multiplayer, so we'll see how that goes. But so far I'd rank Halo 4 as having a better campaign than 2, and maybe 3, but a lesser campaign than Combat Evolved, Reach, or ODST.

#12 Posted by Demoskinos (14777 posts) -

I played a ton of MP last night...er.... earlier this morning. Great stuff just woke up. Time for more!

#13 Posted by TheSouthernDandy (3859 posts) -

Man the audio on this game is pretty incredible. Weird not hearing monks anywhere but Neil Davidge did a pretty amaing job making this score stand out. Also the guns sound beefy as hell. The Assault Rifle actually sounds dangerous for the first time in the series. Only an hour or so in buy loving it so far.

#14 Posted by Demoskinos (14777 posts) -

@TheSouthernDandy: Yeah, I'm actually finding myself using the Assault more than anything right now. Crazy because I haaaaaaaaaaaaated starting with the assault before in other games.

#15 Posted by Napalm (9020 posts) -

For those who've played a good majority of the single player, how is the music? The initial concept art trailer they released had some Mass Effect synth-y stuff going on. Is the music still like that, or is it orchestral with drums and violins and shit?

#16 Posted by Demoskinos (14777 posts) -

So I didn't want to make another topic for this but I wanna ask for you who got the LE what number did you get? Mine is numbered 380942

#17 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7077 posts) -

Played a lot of MP this morning and came away extremely impressed. It's still Halo but it's more fast-paced and exciting.

#18 Posted by Phatmac (5725 posts) -

Damn you guys! Still at working being super jealous at all of you. :/

#19 Posted by big_jon (5723 posts) -

I am happy so far, game is beautiful, though I will have to play more, the only multiplayer I played was at the launch had 3 games, I was happy to have won every one of them, it was a lot of fun, tight as hell.

#20 Posted by Demoskinos (14777 posts) -

So yup... servers are getting flat out pounded. Can't do shit right now it seems.

#21 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

Everyting I've seen from Halo 4 looks amazing. It'd be right down my alley. I was so close to buying Halo 4 and a 3-month gold subscription, it has shaved the fuzz off a houndred dollar bill in my pocket.

Then I came to my senses. Microsoft will not get a dime from me for basic online functionality, such as online multilplayer - no dice.

#22 Posted by raptorsrevenge (22 posts) -

Haven't played it yet, but I can tell you that I'm not very happy about installing this multiplayer add-on. Do you have to install it? What's up with that, maybe because I'm trying to do a cloud save?

#23 Posted by bibamatt (1086 posts) -

@raptorsrevenge said:

Haven't played it yet, but I can tell you that I'm not very happy about installing this multiplayer add-on. Do you have to install it? What's up with that, maybe because I'm trying to do a cloud save?

Yeah, you have to install it. No way out of it.

#24 Posted by FirePrince (1763 posts) -

The story is mediocre and it plays it way too safe.

Am I crazy?

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#25 Posted by TheSouthernDandy (3859 posts) -

@Demoskinos said:

@TheSouthernDandy: Yeah, I'm actually finding myself using the Assault more than anything right now. Crazy because I haaaaaaaaaaaaated starting with the assault before in other games.

It's always been terrible till now, I think they've beefed it up a little but even if they didn't it SOUNDS awesome and I'm the same I love using it. Also my number is 341822. The LE is pretty rad all kinds of fancy crap in there. I'm a little disappointed, I thought it would come with Forward Unto Dawn on a dvd but you have to go through Waypoint. Still awesome package though.

#26 Posted by project343 (2818 posts) -

@Nightriff said:

@Vinny_Says: Figured but I'm bored at work so just a waiting game now...

From the 4 missions I've played thus far, it's easily my favourite opening to a Halo campaign (closely followed by CE, closely followed by Reach).

#27 Posted by Scullinator (512 posts) -

@raptorsrevenge said:

Haven't played it yet, but I can tell you that I'm not very happy about installing this multiplayer add-on. Do you have to install it? What's up with that, maybe because I'm trying to do a cloud save?

I was not happy at all about that install. Had to delete a ton of stuff, like about 4 gigs of rock band music, Super Street fighter Arcade with costumes, a ton of stuff. Old school with my 20gig hard drive I guess. Why not allow play from the disc? If its to make the game run better I can understand. But 8 gigs? that's half my hard drive!

#28 Posted by raptorsrevenge (22 posts) -

@Scullinator: Sorry to hear that. What a bummer. I have space, but I rather have room for future DLC for other games.

#29 Posted by Demoskinos (14777 posts) -

@Scullinator said:

@raptorsrevenge said:

Haven't played it yet, but I can tell you that I'm not very happy about installing this multiplayer add-on. Do you have to install it? What's up with that, maybe because I'm trying to do a cloud save?

I was not happy at all about that install. Had to delete a ton of stuff, like about 4 gigs of rock band music, Super Street fighter Arcade with costumes, a ton of stuff. Old school with my 20gig hard drive I guess. Why not allow play from the disc? If its to make the game run better I can understand. But 8 gigs? that's half my hard drive!

Its to optimize the game. And in all fairness games are just getting larger and larger don't mean to sound like a dick but really a 20GB HDD just doesn't cut it anymore. Hell, I have to regularly clean out my 250 GB HDD on my slim.

#30 Posted by RAMBO604 (137 posts) -

@Scullinator said:

@raptorsrevenge said:

Haven't played it yet, but I can tell you that I'm not very happy about installing this multiplayer add-on. Do you have to install it? What's up with that, maybe because I'm trying to do a cloud save?

I was not happy at all about that install. Had to delete a ton of stuff, like about 4 gigs of rock band music, Super Street fighter Arcade with costumes, a ton of stuff. Old school with my 20gig hard drive I guess. Why not allow play from the disc? If its to make the game run better I can understand. But 8 gigs? that's half my hard drive!

I think Microsoft has decided that people with original Xbox 360s are no longer important. Sorry to say but even if it is a dick move it is needed, the PS3 can get around a lot of it's technical limitations by taking advantage of the fact everyone has hard drive space and probably a ton of it. The 360 can do the same.

#31 Posted by PeasantAbuse (5138 posts) -

Is anyone else not able to join friends? Everyone is getting a can not connect message.

#32 Posted by Demoskinos (14777 posts) -

@PeasantAbuse: Servers have been down all day.

#33 Posted by murisan (1119 posts) -

Chapter... 7? I'm on I think...

Good lord this is the best Halo campaign yet. The lore is so damn good. And the set pieces are probably the best since Halo 3.

#34 Posted by natetodamax (19192 posts) -

I'm really liking it. Can't say much about the campaign because I've only played two missions, but the multiplayer is still great. I'm disappointed that there aren't as many large maps as Halo: Reach had. I was told today that the playlists in the game right now are "launch playlists", so hopefully Big Team Objective is added in soon.

As others have said, everything about the gameplay feels a lot tighter, and the sound design is terrific. I especially love the main menu theme and the multiplayer theme.

#35 Posted by Ravelle (1251 posts) -

I did the campaign a bit and then decided to update waypoint and now my saves are gone, I'm also having trouble installing disc 2, it aborts halfway through.

#36 Posted by murisan (1119 posts) -

@Ravelle said:

I did the campaign a bit and then decided to update waypoint and now my saves are gone, I'm also having trouble installing disc 2, it aborts halfway through.

Oh, shit.. that's very strange.. I'm not sure why Waypoint would delete saves as it's essentially a separate XBL app, isn't it? But I just updated Waypoint before I turned off my xbox a few minutes ago.. now I'm scared.

I installed disc 2 without any issues, though. Maybe try clearing your system cache and then installing the second disc? Sorry duder, that's no bueno.

#37 Posted by leftie68 (215 posts) -

It is definitely Halo (for better or worse). Albeit a prettier, sexier, version, but don't let that fool ya, it is Halo. In other words, if you like Halo, you will love Halo 4...if you have gotten tired of Halo, or were never really into Halo, it is a decent ride with high production value, but it won't blow you away. Unfortunately I fall in the latter category (used to be a huge Halo fan that has played one too many Halos).

#38 Posted by bobafettjm (1459 posts) -

I only played a couple of hours of the campaign so far, but I am super impressed. I have always enjoyed the Halo games, but until now ODST has been my favorite. I am not sure if this will take it's spot, but from what I have played so far it just might.

#39 Posted by Vonocourt (2126 posts) -

Anyone else having a disparity in quality from the cutscenes sound effects and music compared to the dialogue. While in game, everything is great, but as soon as a cutscene comes up the sound effects and music get a compressed and muffled sounding, but the dialogue stays strong and clear. I'm using a 5.1 Reciever, so it's not likely having to do with demuxing(?) the 5.1 too stereo.

Really messes up some otherwise nice sound design.

#40 Posted by TooWalrus (13173 posts) -

I've played about 4 hours now, so far, it seems like 343 is better at making Halo games than Bungie.

#41 Edited by Ravelle (1251 posts) -

@murisan said:

@Ravelle said:

I did the campaign a bit and then decided to update waypoint and now my saves are gone, I'm also having trouble installing disc 2, it aborts halfway through.

Oh, shit.. that's very strange.. I'm not sure why Waypoint would delete saves as it's essentially a separate XBL app, isn't it? But I just updated Waypoint before I turned off my xbox a few minutes ago.. now I'm scared.

I installed disc 2 without any issues, though. Maybe try clearing your system cache and then installing the second disc? Sorry duder, that's no bueno.

Yeah, thing is when you play Halo 4 without the updated Waypoint, Waypoint doesn't even register anything regarding you playing Halo 4, doesn't track anything. It gave me a prompt but I thought it just meant it it would overwrite my settings and such, but when I started a co-op campaign my friend and I had been playing for a couple of hours it started the unskippable intro cinematic and coudn't continue where we left off. I had to re-install disc 2 again too. Really weird stuff going on.

Got multiplayer working finally but we probably have to do a couple of hours over. =/

#42 Posted by JasonR86 (9658 posts) -

I've only played a little bit. I've played just past the cartographer section in mission 2. My first thought is how good the game looks and sounds. The opening CG cinematic looked really good and the in-game graphics are some of the best I've seen on a 360. The gameplay feels quicker then the other Halo games besides the addition of the sprint button. The shooting still feels good and the pacing is good and brisk. I am a little disappointed at how on-the-nose the enemies and environments are to what you would expect from a Halo game. I was ok with Covenant but the the flying, robot-fuckers that are always around the cartographer too? But besides the lack of originality in the design I really like the game so far.

#43 Posted by pweidman (2326 posts) -

@Demoskinos said:

So I didn't want to make another topic for this but I wanna ask for you who got the LE what number did you get? Mine is numbered 380942

Mine's #: 090636. And I gather the servers are slammed..to be expected, but how is the matchmaking? Curious about that especially considering it was one of Bungie's major strong suits.

#44 Posted by MegaLombax (387 posts) -

This was the Halo game I've always wanted. The guns sound appropriately powerful, the music was a sweeping epic, gorgeous graphics and smooth gameplay. The pacing of the game was great, I felt that 343 took time to tell the story of Chief and Cortana.

The art style used for this game also struck me, the environments look really grand. Its one of the few games that I actually pause to look at the scenery. Also, the introduction for each the Promethean weapons were really creative I thought. I haven't touched the MP, but as far as the single player experience goes, its one of my favorites among FPS's.

#45 Posted by JasonR86 (9658 posts) -

You know what I really like about this game? I can't understand the covenant. Especially the grunts.

#46 Posted by dgtlty (156 posts) -

I've only finished the first mission but is anyone else bothered by MC's mask vignetting the edges of the screen? Seems like a waste of real estate and pushes the HUD info closer to the centre.

#47 Edited by TheSouthernDandy (3859 posts) -

Alright I found something about this game I hate. What did they do to the Banshee?? I heard them talking about nerfing it for MP on the 343 podcast but they made it completely useless in Campaign. Controls like crap, super slow, can't aim even close to straight down, meanwhile the AI on Heroic are doing these hairpin turn plasma cannon snap shots that blow me out of the sky. They must have a newer model.

Not a huge deal but I miss the old Banshee, that thing was no joke.

Got a few MP matches in though and that's so damn fun. Feels a little faster but still totally like Halo. Ran the map on one game with the Railgun that thing is so rad.

#48 Posted by Gamer_152 (14072 posts) -

I've got to be honest, right now I'm pretty damn impressed. I expected a competently made, highly polished Halo game with a few mechanics from other popular FPS games thrown in, but basically something that stuck tightly to the formula of the last two or three Halo games. The most surprising thing about this game for me has been that despite still essentially working within the trappings of the Halo formula, 343 have managed to really make it feel like a great game in it's own right. The art style, the feel of the guns, the music, the sound effects, the UI design, the multiplayer scoring, all of that has been changed up, and it all comes together to really make it feel like a new take on the Halo formula, and a very well done one at that. The only big criticism I have for it right now is that some of the lighter areas in the game have a sort of dreamy quality to them that I don't feel really fits.

Moderator
#49 Edited by Nardak (474 posts) -

Not wanting to spoil anything so lets just say that I got into the part where there is lots of green around me. The graphics are gorgeous and the gameplay feels good.

My only gripe atm is that shooting for some reason feels a tad off from what it used to be in the earlier Halo games. Could just be my memory messing with me. Also there has been a couple of parts where I basically had to just run like crazy in order to finish the objectives. Dont remember that I had so much trouble in previous Halo games (playing on veteran setting).

Other fps games have also been pretty generous with the ability to zoom in with the wepons that i use. Halo on the other hand offers those kinds of weapons much less often.

#50 Posted by bibamatt (1086 posts) -

Found a change that I'm not so fond of (after loving EVERYTHING else!). I think that the instant respawn in multiplayer doesn't go well with King of the Hill matches. I love me some KOTH (although it always seem to be the least popular) and loved in the older Halo games that kills were really detrimental due to amount of time it'd take you to get back into the game. If you could take out half of the other team then you'd have earned some really good time to capture the hill. Likewise, you'd be trying your hardest not to die because it was a real setback. With the instant respawns you can just charge in and it doesn't really matter if you die.

Obviously I've only played a couple of matches and my opinion might change. Still, everything else I've LOVED. The multiplayer is just so intense and exciting. I honestly think that all the changes have been for the best.

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