I rarely agree with Jeff but I have to say that he is pretty spot on with his comments that this is just more Halo. Most sites were raving about this game so I rented it and played the campaign. It was pretty boring. Halo always succeeded because of its great combat scenarios. Those scenarios only worked because the AI was so damn impressive. My problem with Halo 4 was that the overall AI seemed worse with enemies walking into walls, shooting at the sky, and standing in place while I was shooting them. Even when the AI was working, though, it didn't seem very intelligent, especially the new Promethean enemies. The dog things were just cannon fodder. They never were a threat unless they were in massive packs. The Knights were just kind of okay. They rarely ran for cover when injured and didn't move about as much as the Elites from previous games. Elites themselves were in pretty short supply so it was hard to judge how they were behaving. Overall, though, the enemy AI just wasn't very interesting to fight. And note I'm not saying it was easy. I'm saying the new enemies didn't require many new strategies to defeat.
In addition to the poor AI, I felt like the new weapons provided nothing new. They were just weaker versions of the human weapons. And there were no new vehicles to drive. Also the story was pretty confusing. I am told a lot of backstory is filled in with the terminals in the game, on Halo Waypoint, and in Halo CE AE. That's fine but I shouldn't need to read terminals to understand the story. Nowhere did it explain what a Promethean was. Am I just supposed to know that? And why was the Didact trying to kill humans? He keeps saying they are a threat but never explains why. The only good part of the story was the interplay between Cortana and the Master Chief. I really like the idea of getting under the suit of Master Chief and turning him into something more than an avatar. And Cortana's story was actually pretty powerful. All the stuff around that I could have done without though.
Finally the presentation. On the audio side I thought the weapon sounds were again among the best in the business. The music was mostly forgettable. I can't see myself listening to the soundtrack in my free time. And then there are the graphics. The lighting was really nice and all but I'm just not impressed by low resolution textures and aliased edges anymore. All the people saying this was one of the best looking games of last year definitely haven't played any modern PC games. Yea, this was a good looking 360 game, but it doesn't hold a candle to most any decent PC port. And personally I think the PS3 has just pulled too far ahead graphically. Uncharted 3 looked better than any game released this year on consoles. And I wouldn't doubt that The Last Of Us will look better than that. And maybe I'm just crazy but I'm pretty sure the God of War Ascension beta is running at 60 fps which simply puts any game on current generation consoles to shame. Yea this is the best looking Halo game, and outside of Gears of War 3 probably the best looking 360 game. But in 2013 that doesn't mean all that much.
What did you guys think of the game? Note that I am broke so I don't have Gold right now so I couldn't try the MP side of things. They wouldn't even let me play Spartan Ops locally without a Gold subscription. So I played what I could and I thought it was just decent.