Giant Bomb Review

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Halo 4 Review

4
  • X360

The new developers behind the Halo franchise successfully emulate the style of their predecessors as a new trilogy begins with Halo 4.

Armor customization is merely cosmetic, but there are some cool helmets and stuff to unlock.

Did the new team at 343 Industries break Halo? No, not at all. Taking over the franchise from its creators at Bungie and creating a new, numbered sequel starring the Master Chief seems like the sort of daunting task that could have blown up the entire franchise if it had gone poorly. But the developers have executed quite well, developing a Halo game that gets that Halo feel down nicely while also playing around with the periphery of the experience in an attempt to modernize things a bit. Some of those new ideas work better than others, but if there's any actual issue with Halo 4 it's that the game plays it a little too safe. Master Chief starts the game surrounded by mystery, but it relies too heavily on the use of existing enemies and weapons, and by the end of the campaign it sort of feels like the Master Chief is right back in the middle of the same conflict and theater of war he seemingly left behind at the end of Halo 3.

The action opens with the Master Chief being woken out of his stasis only to find danger. Covenant forces have boarded his ripped-up ship and this whole mess is headed for a Forerunner planet called Requiem. Before too long a human ship called the Infinity joins the fray, giving you the standard factions of a Halo game. Mixed into this conflict is a new batch of enemies called the Prometheans. And tying it all together is a central bad guy known as the Didact. The story starts to head in some interesting directions. Your ever-present AI pal Cortana, for example, is falling apart due to being "alive" for more than seven years. As she breaks down, it's harder for her to maintain focus and help the Chief complete his tasks. It's also really interesting to put a face to the antagonists in a Halo game, rather than larger species or concepts like "the Covenant." That said, however, you sure do spend a lot of time fighting old enemies.

The most dramatic change you'll see on the enemy front is a floating Promethean Watcher that hovers above its allies, emitting beams that shield the Knights and Crawlers below. It'll also snatch any grenades you toss in their direction and fling it right back in your direction, which is sort of a jerk move if you ask me. But it also does a mean Doom II Arch-Vile impression by resurrecting some enemies after you take them down. In short, shoot the Watchers first. The other Promethean enemies aren't dramatically different from the types of enemies you've been facing in previous games. Crawlers can crawl down from the walls and the bipedal Knights can teleport, allowing them to warp away from the business end of your battle rifle and reappear behind you.

These mechs pop up in multiplayer and campaign.

But you'll also face a lot of Covenant opposition, including Grunts, Elites, Jackals, and Hunters. Fighting these guys feels the same way it always has, for better or worse. The Grunts are total chumps, the Elites are fun to bash in the face, the Jackals are never left-handed, and the Hunters are large and slow. As before, the game mixes up your various enemies to serve them up in different configurations. On the normal difficulty, this doesn't make much difference, as you can just plow through the opposition the way a big, armored dude like the Master Chief should. On higher settings, the action gets a little more tactical, forcing you to poke out, do some damage, and hang back to let your shields recharge. Again, this shouldn't sound like much of a surprise to people who have played a Halo game before, but it's just another example of the ways that this new development team made a game that feels very similar to Bungie's work on the previous games. That said, the promise of landing on a new planet and the potential for new experiences and encounters that the change of setting could have allowed for makes the notion of spending what feels like most of the game fighting enemies from old Halo games a little unfortunate.

You'll pick up some new weapons along the way, and the Chief himself has been given some additional abilities. Most of the new weapons drop from the new Promethean enemies. They look great, and the first time you pick one up you'll see it sort of form together into a gun. It's a nice introductory animation that, thankfully, doesn't play out every time you pick up a weapon. While the new weapons look nice, most of them just plug right into the existing Halo archetypes. You'll see a shotgun, a pistol, a fully-automatic rifle, a single-shot rifle that fires three slugs at once (though one sniper-like megaslug if you're zoomed in), a new grenade type, and so on. The new weapons are disappointing for that reason. They don't feel like they fill any real need or plug into any gaps in the existing Halo arsenal. They're just more ways to do the same thing. The game also offers you the chance to pilot a large mech suit in a couple of spots, but taking a large, slow-moving armored guy like the Master Chief and slapping another larger, slower layer of armor around him for a couple of shooting gallery-like sequences isn't exactly my idea of a good time.

Thankfully, the Chief has some more movement options to keep the game running at a solid pace. You can sprint at will now by clicking in the left stick. This does a lot to speed up the pace of the game, as you might expect. But in addition to that, there's also an equipment slot that lets you use armor abilities, similar to the style of Halo: Reach. These include things like Promethean Vision, which lets you see through walls, or Active Camouflage, which gives you a Predator-style invisibility that the AI seems to be able to see right through most of the time. You can also equip abilities that let you deploy auto-sentries, use a large shield, and so on. Being able to sprint without having to equip that as your armor ability is terrific.

This shield is one of the armor abilities you can equip.

Overall, the Halo 4 campaign is pretty good. It looks fantastic in some spots and it takes you to a lot of different-looking places along the way. It sets up a few story elements that won't pay off until later on in this new trilogy of games, but a lot of the story plays things very safe. At the opening of the game it feels like Master Chief and Cortana could be set off onto some great new mystery in a mysterious place where everything could be different. Instead you spend a lot of time fighting old Halo enemies and, by the conclusion of Halo 4's story, I felt like much of the promise inherent to this potentially new setting had been squandered. Maybe that's on me for wanting Halo to be something other than Halo, but without getting into the specifics of the characters and their fates, where things are left at the end of the game feels like a stopping point that sets you up for more of the same enemies and settings in the future.

The multiplayer side of Halo 4 brings in those new weapons and movement changes, so you can sprint there, as well. There are also additional armor abilities to play with and, overall, it feels like the team sat down with a recent Call of Duty game and found ways to plug some of those concepts into Halo. Some of them are cosmetic. Any points you earn during a match pop up right in the center of the screen. When you die, you get a killcam feed of the person that took you out. But some of them are more dramatic, like more customizable loadouts that let you pick your primary and secondary weapons, a starting grenade type, and a few perks, like shields that recharge more quickly, infinite sprint, the ability to scavenge grenades from fallen Spartans, and so on. As you play, you'll earn experience points that give you unlock points, but some items also have a level requirement before they can even be unlocked. So you'll have to play for a bit before you can start out with plasma grenades, and you'll have to play a little longer before you can equip things in all of your perk slots. Halo has done loadouts before, but this is a deeper, and ultimately, more interesting set of options. As before, you'll also unlock various armor pieces as you play, gain levels, or complete challenges. New helmets, shoulders, chest pieces, and so on are also available for you to play around with.

These portals teleport you around the planet in the campaign.

The modes you'll play when playing with the public are your typical sort of Halo modes, but with some changes here and there. Team Slayer (as well as some of the other modes) now allows you to call in ordnance after a set number of kills. Don't start freaking out, you're not calling in air strikes or UAVs or anything that dramatic. And it doesn't require you to earn all those kills in a streak. But when you fill an on-screen meter, it gives you the option to call in one of three different things. They might be weapons, like the SAW, a very rugged light machine gun. Or you might have the option to get an overshield, a temporary speed or damage boost, and so on. One time I got the gravity hammer, but was immediately killed before I got to run around and smash people with it. It's a cool little addition. Other modes include Regicide, which is a standard deathmatch mode but the lead player gets marked by an on-screen indicator and also has an additional bounty on his head. Killing the king gets you that bounty, but doesn't automatically make you the king--you need to be in the lead to wear the crown.

You can also get in and build your own custom matches with a variety of rules settings, and the Forge mode that allows you to alter the placement of items in the multiplayer maps (along with a set of Forge-only maps) also returns with some additional options, like the ability to fuse items together. And, as before, you can take your custom games, screenshots, and so on and share them with other players.

There's no wave-based survival mode in Halo 4. In addition to the campaign, the game also has a cooperative mode called Spartan Ops. This is an episodic series that follows a team of Spartans that work out of the Infinity, a large ship that shows up in the campaign. These episodes are going to be released for free on a regular basis as downloadable updates and will contain video clips that help set them up. The first such episode is included alongside the launching game, and as such that's the only one I can really review at this point. The story opens with a video showing Spartans reporting for duty on-board the Infinity. From there, you're tossed into a set of five missions. The locations are ripped from other parts of the game and are extremely combat heavy. And once you're past that initial cutscene, any additional dialogue is delivered via radio chatter. If you're into the combat of Halo and like playing with others against occasionally overwhelming batches of enemies, the missions are passable. But don't go in thinking that this is some sort of elaborate and unique segment of the game that's going to give you a campaign-level experience. It's a set of co-op missions with a loose story wrapper around it, nothing more, nothing less. You can bring in your custom Spartan from the other multiplayer modes and earn experience points by playing Spartan Ops, and there are mode-specific challenges to complete here, as well.

Shoot the flying dudes first.

The presentation end of Halo 4 is quite nice. The music is outstanding, breaking away from the franchise's past a bit by updating the sound and getting away from some of the overt monk chanting that one still tends to associate with Halo. It helps make Halo 4 sound like its own thing, and that goes a long way. Visually, Halo 4 has some terrific moments that really stand out, but it also holds up well on the technical end with a good frame rate, great lighting, and, for the most part, sharp texture quality. Again, these things help to make Halo 4 look and feel different from its predecessors, probably more than the gameplay does.

From the moment I saw Master Chief put himself back to sleep at the end of Halo 3, all I could think about was how his next adventure--if he would even have a next adventure--should be something dramatically different from the adventures we had already seen. Moving him out into the middle of nowhere and cutting him off from his allies is an idea with huge potential. So that's why I find the storytelling side of Halo 4 to be fairly disappointing. Within the first few hours you've fought enemies that go all the way back to the first game in the franchise and you've reconnected with the human race. That's not to say that the entire story is a bust--and it does set up some potentially interesting things for the next couple of games to address--but it's good that the developers have backed this story up with sharp, time-tested gameplay that gets enhanced in meaningful ways across all modes.

Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
413 Comments
Posted by Rawrz

Halo being more Halo sounds fantastic, especially since nowadays every other franchiss seems to try to be Call of Duty so hearing Halo kept its identity is great news.

Posted by mhd420

@AHappyPanda said:

I'll leave this here http://www.gamespot.com/halo-3/reviews/halo-3-review-6179646/

Jeff does a decent job of leaving any disingenuous hyperbole out his reviews. If he does, he often says it in a funny, light-hearted way; "This game is really amazing...but really stupid" or he makes his "bias" known; "I'm a big -insert game genre here- guy so if you are too, you're gonna have a hell of a time playing this."

Sure thing, idiot. As someone who hasn't played this game I know it deserves 5 stars, and anyone who disagrees with me is wrong and biased. If this game doesn't get 5 stars then my life is meaningless. In conclusion, Jeff is like Hitler, and if you took Hitler's face in Photoshop and dragged it over Jeff's face it would look identical. QED.

Posted by MormonWarrior

I'm pretty sure I'm done with Halo until there's a more drastic change. I'd be interested in seeing a third-person spinoff of some sort (my favorite stuff in Halo has always been the vehicle and turret-carrying stuff) with a very different focus. I thought this was going to be much more revolutionary than it is. Too bad. Cool that it's solid and all, but I'm skipping this one.

Posted by spazmaster666

Finally a game to make me dust off my 360 and start playing it again. I haven't even updated it to the most recent firmware. I'm definitely looking forward to this though. Less than a week away now!

Posted by KaneRobot

Four stars is literally the WORST SCORE POSSIBLE

Posted by Nephrahim

Review sounds about what I expected, for better or worse. I never played Reach so I guess I'm not a Halo mega-fan, but I'm still looking foward to this.

Posted by Nephrahim

@Aoi said:

Your critical opinions let someone down Jeff. You let them down...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEpdWpFjTEU

Oh man, what a blast from the past, I remember listening to this when it came out.

Posted by AHappyPanda

@mhd420 said:

@AHappyPanda said:

I'll leave this here http://www.gamespot.com/halo-3/reviews/halo-3-review-6179646/

Jeff does a decent job of leaving any disingenuous hyperbole out his reviews. If he does, he often says it in a funny, light-hearted way; "This game is really amazing...but really stupid" or he makes his "bias" known; "I'm a big -insert game genre here- guy so if you are too, you're gonna have a hell of a time playing this."

Sure thing, idiot. As someone who hasn't played this game I know it deserves 5 stars, and anyone who disagrees with me is wrong and biased. If this game doesn't get 5 stars then my life is meaningless. In conclusion, Jeff is like Hitler, and if you took Hitler's face in Photoshop and dragged it over Jeff's face it would look identical. QED.

Took me a second to catch the sarcasm...too busy reading IGN's review, which I find hilarious. Some gems:

"Amazingly, Halo 4 is not only a success, but a bar-raising triumph for the entire first-person shooter genre."

"It starts with a mesmerizing CG cutscene that flat-out knocks you on your ass."

"Perhaps equal to Halo 4’s monitor-melting visuals is its bar-none,"

"If you think you’ve heard Halo, check your ears and listen again. Nary a gunshot, MJOLNIR boot clank, or Covenant Elite’s “Wort wort wort” passes through your speakers without a significant, authoritative overhaul that lends an aggressive, testosterone-inducing punch to Halo 4’s combat."

Posted by Nekroskop

Look at all the mad leprecons.

Posted by Nekroskop

@Tarsier said:

@Mystyr_E said:

heh, it's funny: Gamespot, IGN, Destructoid, Game informer, they're like WOW dude! holy crap!

here it's like "ya know, it's good"

its because jeff is biased and always has been and he sucks at the multiplayer so it hinders his enjoyment levels. hes a racing game / fighting game guy not a FPS player he should stick to what his taste is and not give un fair reviews to other games. OF COURSE i am not assuming this is the case in this review. for all i know he could be right in not giving it 5 stars. but the past has shown that he is probly not.

he should have let drew or vinny review this game imo

Jeff was playing Quake MP when you were shitting your breeches. Have some respect.

Posted by Deusoma

Good to hear that it meets up with expectations, though we all suspected they would be playing it safe when we heard the Covenant were going to be in it again. I was hoping to hear conclusively whether or not the campaign still features local co-op, I was really looking forward to having my brother over and taking on the universe together, like we used to. I guess I'll just have to wait until launch day, then.

Posted by MormonWarrior

@Mystyr_E said:

heh, it's funny: Gamespot, IGN, Destructoid, Game informer, they're like WOW dude! holy crap!

here it's like "ya know, it's good"

In all fairness all those other sites also were SUPER hyped about Halo 2 and gave it near perfect/perfect scores and in retrospect they all realize that while the online was really solid, the overall package was kinda crappy for the series. I actually think I trust Jeff's review the most out of anyone's this time around. I learned that the hard way with Reach - he said it was good but not amazing, unlike most other major review sites I looked at. This game would've had to be a real revelation to get five stars and it's too bad it wasn't that.

Posted by Cybexx

Too bad that they took it in such a tried and true direction, that is probably why Ryan Payton left. Sounds like they replaced the Flood with the new race (or at least I pray the Flood is not in this) so that they had their 3-way conflict but it does feel kind of contrived that the Covenant have conveniently got back together.

My stance on this game since it was announced is that I'm not really excited for it but I'll play through it anyways, its kind of a comfort food thing I guess.

Posted by Tarsier

@Nadril said:

Kind of disappointing that it's just "more halo". Not like I care, I don't even have a 360 and I've not played Halo since the 2nd one, but some of the early footage looked to be a bit different from the original trilogy which was interesting.

Good news is if you're a Halo fan you'll probably love it. 4/5 makes a lot of sense overall.

i can see that its more than just 'more halo' by watching trailers and gameplay videos. jeff didnt piss on the new mortal kombat game for just being 'more mortal kombat'.. and i would say that game was much more of the same than halo 4 is. there is a massive amount of evolution in this game.

Posted by Jugg4n4ut

@mems1224 said:

@mhd420: WHAT?!?! Thats just blasphemy. U-God sucks.

iknorite? its all about that ol' durty bastard

Posted by Cramsy

Hyped for this. nice review Jeff

Posted by RPGee

Well isn't that something. Certainly doesn't seem like the 9.8 of IGN, where 343 "out-Bungie's Bungie".

I don't need to really point out any other problems with other sites' reviews, which seem filled to the brim with hyperbole, but they frustrate me somewhat. It makes it hard to really tell what is genuine or not, since it all sounds like something said by an excited 9-year-old in places. I suppose it makes sense, if it really is more Halo plus a bit more, since I think Halo still holds up. But that just means I'm going to play the Halo games I already have.

Anyway, I enjoyed reading this, it didn't come across as unhinged.

Edited by GalacticPunt

@AHappyPanda said:

@mhd420 said:

@AHappyPanda said:

I'll leave this here http://www.gamespot.com/halo-3/reviews/halo-3-review-6179646/

Jeff does a decent job of leaving any disingenuous hyperbole out his reviews. If he does, he often says it in a funny, light-hearted way; "This game is really amazing...but really stupid" or he makes his "bias" known; "I'm a big -insert game genre here- guy so if you are too, you're gonna have a hell of a time playing this."

Sure thing, idiot. As someone who hasn't played this game I know it deserves 5 stars, and anyone who disagrees with me is wrong and biased. If this game doesn't get 5 stars then my life is meaningless. In conclusion, Jeff is like Hitler, and if you took Hitler's face in Photoshop and dragged it over Jeff's face it would look identical. QED.

Took me a second to catch the sarcasm...too busy reading IGN's review, which I find hilarious. Some gems:

"Amazingly, Halo 4 is not only a success, but a bar-raising triumph for the entire first-person shooter genre."

"It starts with a mesmerizing CG cutscene that flat-out knocks you on your ass."

"Perhaps equal to Halo 4’s monitor-melting visuals is its bar-none,"

"If you think you’ve heard Halo, check your ears and listen again. Nary a gunshot, MJOLNIR boot clank, or Covenant Elite’s “Wort wort wort” passes through your speakers without a significant, authoritative overhaul that lends an aggressive, testosterone-inducing punch to Halo 4’s combat."

You can smell the Doritos on that reviewer's breath... This industry can be so sleazy and pandering at times.

Don't cry for me. I'm already dead. Dead-set on chugging this Dew, that is!
Posted by Jugg4n4ut

@GalacticPunt said:

@AHappyPanda said:

@mhd420 said:

@AHappyPanda said:

I'll leave this here http://www.gamespot.com/halo-3/reviews/halo-3-review-6179646/

Jeff does a decent job of leaving any disingenuous hyperbole out his reviews. If he does, he often says it in a funny, light-hearted way; "This game is really amazing...but really stupid" or he makes his "bias" known; "I'm a big -insert game genre here- guy so if you are too, you're gonna have a hell of a time playing this."

Sure thing, idiot. As someone who hasn't played this game I know it deserves 5 stars, and anyone who disagrees with me is wrong and biased. If this game doesn't get 5 stars then my life is meaningless. In conclusion, Jeff is like Hitler, and if you took Hitler's face in Photoshop and dragged it over Jeff's face it would look identical. QED.

Took me a second to catch the sarcasm...too busy reading IGN's review, which I find hilarious. Some gems:

"Amazingly, Halo 4 is not only a success, but a bar-raising triumph for the entire first-person shooter genre."

"It starts with a mesmerizing CG cutscene that flat-out knocks you on your ass."

"Perhaps equal to Halo 4’s monitor-melting visuals is its bar-none,"

"If you think you’ve heard Halo, check your ears and listen again. Nary a gunshot, MJOLNIR boot clank, or Covenant Elite’s “Wort wort wort” passes through your speakers without a significant, authoritative overhaul that lends an aggressive, testosterone-inducing punch to Halo 4’s combat."

You can smell the Doritos on the reviewer's breath... This industry can be so sleazy and pandering at times.

Don't cry for me. I'm already dead.

he gave this game a DO THE DEW/10

Posted by Slax

@volcane2004 said:

To me, the review read more like a 4.5/5 than a four. Guess Jeff decided to round down. Still a great score and I can't wait for Tuesday to come!

You know that isn't how they do reviews right?

Posted by mrsmiley

i don't have time to read/respond to all the fanboy/hater comments on this review, so I'm just going to say: Jeff, I think this was a very well written and well thought-out review. I've been a fan of the series, and even involved with Bungie (halo babies, betas, etc) over the years. Your review matches what I expected form the series, which doesn't make me any less excited to play it. I think 4 stars sounds very fair. Perhaps 4.5 could have been an option if that was in the GB scale, but 4 is just fine in my book. I was expecting 343 to work their hardest to make this game feel like Bungie's Halo, but with some nice new visual flair and a few twists here and there. It sounds like they pulled that off, so I hope future sequels take more of a risk!

Posted by SpudBud

More Halo sounds good to me. Tuesday should be fun.

Edited by NTM

Over at IGN the guy's jizzing on the game, that's how good he makes it seem. I don't doubt this'll be fantastic, and I'm really excited for it. From a presentation standpoint alone this game makes me excited. Oh, and great review (as in, well written and true to the game aside from the opinions stated).

@Nadril: It makes sense for Jeff. If he weren't disappointed in the campaigns story like the majority of the people that have reviewed it so far that loved it, he probably (probably) would have gave the game a five. Personally, I feel like I already know who's opinions I'm siding with. I'm glad Jeff put the "Maybe that's on me for wanting Halo to be something other than Halo]" because it tells that that's not how I'll feel when I play the game, and for it I know I won't be disappointed, or at least as disappointed.

Posted by Delta_Ass

I'm disappointed, Jeff.

I was expecting three stars.

Posted by AHappyPanda

@Jugg4n4ut said:

@GalacticPunt said:

@AHappyPanda said:

@mhd420 said:

@AHappyPanda said:

I'll leave this here http://www.gamespot.com/halo-3/reviews/halo-3-review-6179646/

Jeff does a decent job of leaving any disingenuous hyperbole out his reviews. If he does, he often says it in a funny, light-hearted way; "This game is really amazing...but really stupid" or he makes his "bias" known; "I'm a big -insert game genre here- guy so if you are too, you're gonna have a hell of a time playing this."

Sure thing, idiot. As someone who hasn't played this game I know it deserves 5 stars, and anyone who disagrees with me is wrong and biased. If this game doesn't get 5 stars then my life is meaningless. In conclusion, Jeff is like Hitler, and if you took Hitler's face in Photoshop and dragged it over Jeff's face it would look identical. QED.

Took me a second to catch the sarcasm...too busy reading IGN's review, which I find hilarious. Some gems:

"Amazingly, Halo 4 is not only a success, but a bar-raising triumph for the entire first-person shooter genre."

"It starts with a mesmerizing CG cutscene that flat-out knocks you on your ass."

"Perhaps equal to Halo 4’s monitor-melting visuals is its bar-none,"

"If you think you’ve heard Halo, check your ears and listen again. Nary a gunshot, MJOLNIR boot clank, or Covenant Elite’s “Wort wort wort” passes through your speakers without a significant, authoritative overhaul that lends an aggressive, testosterone-inducing punch to Halo 4’s combat."

You can smell the Doritos on the reviewer's breath... This industry can be so sleazy and pandering at times.

Don't cry for me. I'm already dead.

he gave this game a DO THE DEW/10

I'm not claiming bribes or anything, stuff like that is NEVER that direct. But earlier I responded to another poster that GB's reviews are mostly hyperbole free or hyperbole lite. Other, much larger sites are not always like that, they have to play to a larger audience and I feel almost have to include ridiculous statements like Halo 4's sound is "testosterone-inducing" solely because of how large they are; statements like that are box-quotable and thus garner more attention down the road.

Pandering? Very much so. Doritos on the reviewer's breath? Maybe...but it's probably Doritos eaten through free-will not via Double XP Halo 4 bags.

Posted by TheMasterDS

As I read this review I find myself thinking "Raiders was a fantastic film. That asshole thief guy was great at making you hate his guts." I don't know why. It's a bit strange.

Posted by tourgen

can I finally change the sound mix in a halo game? music to 10% please..

Posted by captainanderson

@Tarsier said:

@Nadril said:

Kind of disappointing that it's just "more halo". Not like I care, I don't even have a 360 and I've not played Halo since the 2nd one, but some of the early footage looked to be a bit different from the original trilogy which was interesting.

Good news is if you're a Halo fan you'll probably love it. 4/5 makes a lot of sense overall.

i can see that its more than just 'more halo' by watching trailers and gameplay videos. jeff didnt piss on the new mortal kombat game for just being 'more mortal kombat'.. and i would say that game was much more of the same than halo 4 is. there is a massive amount of evolution in this game.

Sure sounds like you know your stuff, having obviously played the game yourself. I mean, it's not like it doesn't come out for another five days or anything.

Posted by WolfHazard

Fantastic, this was already a solid buy for me and now I'm even more excited, the only competitive FPS I play :D

Edited by Tarsier

@captainanderson said:

@Tarsier said:

@Nadril said:

Kind of disappointing that it's just "more halo". Not like I care, I don't even have a 360 and I've not played Halo since the 2nd one, but some of the early footage looked to be a bit different from the original trilogy which was interesting.

Good news is if you're a Halo fan you'll probably love it. 4/5 makes a lot of sense overall.

i can see that its more than just 'more halo' by watching trailers and gameplay videos. jeff didnt piss on the new mortal kombat game for just being 'more mortal kombat'.. and i would say that game was much more of the same than halo 4 is. there is a massive amount of evolution in this game.

Sure sounds like you know your stuff, having obviously played the game yourself. I mean, it's not like it doesn't come out for another five days or anything.

its a good thing you read my posts and understood that nothing i said was dependent in any way on whether or not i played the game. they were comments on jeffs reviewing style, and his reviewing style of the past, and the way he thinks about certain games and approaches them compared to others. reviewers have 'taste'. this is similar to ryan reviewing star craft 2. he is not a starcraft player. he doesnt get the online, and he has no interest in investing himself into it to figure out how to play. this would color his opinion of the game and his review would be effected by that. whereas if brad reviewed starcraft 2, someone who understands the gameplay and what starcraft is and how to play it, he would do it fairly and i would trust his opinion.

drew or vinny should have reviewed this game.

PS like i said earlier , jeff could be completely right, and these other review sites could be wrong. this is my assumption based on the consistency of the past .

Posted by Death_Burnout

The more I read that header, the more I'm weirded out by it.

Posted by MEATBALL

I've always been a little disappointed that the game didn't look like a significant departure. That said what changes they have made still excite me and the game looks and sounds like it's a pretty good Halo, it's just a shame it's not something a little more.

Posted by laserbolts

This is pretty much what I expected. Any gameplay of Halo 4 ive seen just looks like more Halo. Might pick it up but I am sort of Haloed out at this point.

Edited by CptBedlam

I heard IGN gave this a 11/10 ... fuck you Jeff! DOn't you hate on my favorite game of all time that I didn't play yet!

Seriously, nice review, good score. :)

Posted by Balex1908

Everything that has HALO in the name gets at least 1 or 2 points more in the reviews. ODST and that joke that was Halo Wars have an average of 83...on metacritic. Thats just how it is. Everything gets smashed if it does not change enough : AC, Uncharted, FF, CoD pick your franchise, everything except HALO. At least Jeff asked for more changes.

It does not really matter though by now you know if you like HALO games or not.

Posted by NTM

@Tarsier said:

@captainanderson said:

@Tarsier said:

@Nadril said:

Kind of disappointing that it's just "more halo". Not like I care, I don't even have a 360 and I've not played Halo since the 2nd one, but some of the early footage looked to be a bit different from the original trilogy which was interesting.

Good news is if you're a Halo fan you'll probably love it. 4/5 makes a lot of sense overall.

i can see that its more than just 'more halo' by watching trailers and gameplay videos. jeff didnt piss on the new mortal kombat game for just being 'more mortal kombat'.. and i would say that game was much more of the same than halo 4 is. there is a massive amount of evolution in this game.

Sure sounds like you know your stuff, having obviously played the game yourself. I mean, it's not like it doesn't come out for another five days or anything.

its a good thing you read my posts and understood that nothing i said was dependent in any way on whether or not i played the game. they were comments on jeffs reviewing style, and his reviewing style of the past, and the way he thinks about certain games and approaches them compared to others. reviewers have 'taste'. this is similar to ryan reviewing star craft 2. he is not a starcraft player. he doesnt get the online, and he has no interest in investing himself into it to figure out how to play. this would color his opinion of the game and his review would be effected by that. whereas if brad reviewed starcraft 2, someone who understands the gameplay and what starcraft is and how to play it, he would do it fairly and i would trust his opinion.

drew or vinny should have reviewed this game.

PS like i said earlier , jeff could be completely right, and these other review sites could be wrong. this is my assumption based on the consistency of the past .

To be honest, it seems like most people don't think about it that way, which is unfortunate. This just goes back to having the right to review and score a game the way you want, but it won't make it "right" for everyone. I think that's what Giantbomb is about though, the staff reviewing the game and readers playing the game to give their opinion as well. I remember Jeff said that in an interview once; that he likes the varying opinions, and possible debates over a game, whether that's true or not, I don't know, but if I remember correctly, that's what he once said. Which is somewhat ironic since most people go to the reviews for purchasing needs. Oh, now I'm rambling.

What I meant to originally say was that I don't think most people care to think about the opinion of another than the final say of the review until long after the fact. For instance, if a game were to get a low score from the reviewer, but the rest of the staff loved it, the reader would see that review and it'd probably deter them from getting it, or vice versa. As I've mentioned, I believe Jeff would have probably gave this game a five out of five if he had enjoyed the story like others are saying they have, and I believe a lot of people will as well, so with that said, in a way, Jeff's review is "flawed", but only to a respective person. Sorry, I know what you were talking about, but I feel my comment bears little meaning to what you had to say. I said it though, and don't feel like erasing it.

Posted by Imsorrymsjackson

Nice review. A lot of people need to just shut up. Jeff liked it 4 stars so he gave it 4 stars, if you are a Halo fanboy and picking a fight, why bother? You would buy the game regardless of score.

Posted by Lazyaza

I've felt the same way about every Halo game past the original, they've all been just more of the same with minor changes. The only games I would say does even less innovation is the CoD series.

That said for whatever reason I've found myself buying and playing Halo's 2, 3, Reach and probably 4 eventually. A well made shooter is a well made shooter but yeah I certainly would be more compelled if they fucking tried new things for once.

Posted by adam1808

As expected. But damn this game looks good. Some of the best pre-rendered cutscenes I've seen since Diablo 3 and the game looks super sharp. They can milk Halo as much as they like as far as I'm concerned, I'm always down for more.

Posted by Lozz
@Tarsier

@Mystyr_E said:

heh, it's funny: Gamespot, IGN, Destructoid, Game informer, they're like WOW dude! holy crap!

here it's like "ya know, it's good"

its because jeff is biased and always has been and he sucks at the multiplayer so it hinders his enjoyment levels. hes a racing game / fighting game guy not a FPS player he should stick to what his taste is and not give un fair reviews to other games. OF COURSE i am not assuming this is the case in this review. for all i know he could be right in not giving it 5 stars. but the past has shown that he is probly not.

he should have let drew or vinny review this game imo

Jeff is just critical which is one of the reasons I enjoy his reviews. He can take a step back out of all the fan boy hype and say, how good is this game. 4 stars is a great game.

I'd also like to point out, Jeff was a COD 4 fanatic and while he may not be pro he's certainly not bad. He plays and reviews tons of FPS's, look at his gamerscore.
Edited by Scotto

People understand that 4/5 is still a good score, right? Have we gotten to the point where anything less than 5/5 with a five hour erection afterward is the same as utter failure?

Jeff has been vocal in saying that he wanted the new Halo trilogy to be more of a departure from the same factions and enemies you fought for the previous five games. To that end, the fact that the game starts with you fighting a ship of Covenant raised my Spockian eyebrow right away. And you're fighting the goddamned Elites again??

I will still buy and play this game, and like Jeff, I will still probably enjoy the experience overall. A new Halo story arc intrigues me, even if the specter of fighting Covenant for several more hours doesn't. And it sounds like they did right by the multiplayer.

Posted by dicnose

@Tarsier said:

@captainanderson said:

@Tarsier said:

@Nadril said:

Kind of disappointing that it's just "more halo". Not like I care, I don't even have a 360 and I've not played Halo since the 2nd one, but some of the early footage looked to be a bit different from the original trilogy which was interesting.

Good news is if you're a Halo fan you'll probably love it. 4/5 makes a lot of sense overall.

i can see that its more than just 'more halo' by watching trailers and gameplay videos. jeff didnt piss on the new mortal kombat game for just being 'more mortal kombat'.. and i would say that game was much more of the same than halo 4 is. there is a massive amount of evolution in this game.

Sure sounds like you know your stuff, having obviously played the game yourself. I mean, it's not like it doesn't come out for another five days or anything.

its a good thing you read my posts and understood that nothing i said was dependent in any way on whether or not i played the game. they were comments on jeffs reviewing style, and his reviewing style of the past, and the way he thinks about certain games and approaches them compared to others. reviewers have 'taste'. this is similar to ryan reviewing star craft 2. he is not a starcraft player. he doesnt get the online, and he has no interest in investing himself into it to figure out how to play. this would color his opinion of the game and his review would be effected by that. whereas if brad reviewed starcraft 2, someone who understands the gameplay and what starcraft is and how to play it, he would do it fairly and i would trust his opinion.

drew or vinny should have reviewed this game.

PS like i said earlier , jeff could be completely right, and these other review sites could be wrong. this is my assumption based on the consistency of the past .

youre the idiot hell fucker judging a game based on trailers

Edited by Brighty

Nice review Jeff, I saw all of the 100s and 98s on Metacritic and cautiously waited until I saw the GB review before making my decision. Good to know its a solid game, sounds like I'll be picking this up on Amazon after all.

EDIT: Why all the butthurt in the comments? 4 stars on GB is a great score, calm down fanboys.

Posted by Scotto

@Lozz said:

@Tarsier

@Mystyr_E said:

heh, it's funny: Gamespot, IGN, Destructoid, Game informer, they're like WOW dude! holy crap!

here it's like "ya know, it's good"

its because jeff is biased and always has been and he sucks at the multiplayer so it hinders his enjoyment levels. hes a racing game / fighting game guy not a FPS player he should stick to what his taste is and not give un fair reviews to other games. OF COURSE i am not assuming this is the case in this review. for all i know he could be right in not giving it 5 stars. but the past has shown that he is probly not.

he should have let drew or vinny review this game imo

Jeff is just critical which is one of the reasons I enjoy his reviews. He can take a step back out of all the fan boy hype and say, how good is this game. 4 stars is a great game. I'd also like to point out, Jeff was a COD 4 fanatic and while he may not be pro he's certainly not bad. He plays and reviews tons of FPS's, look at his gamerscore.

Saying Jeff is only a "racing and fighting game guy" is just about the dumbest shit ever.

Posted by Balex1908

@Tarsier: You do know that Jeff reviewed HALO 3 and gave it a 9.5 right?

Posted by Nomin

Jeff nice job only if you'd stay away from Netherrealm games then you'd be my go to guy for reviews.

Edited by Dan_CiTi

Didn't finish the last two (but ODST was awesome in how it got back to some Halo 1 elements and I loved the UI and atmosphere) so I think I will pick this up, even though this years Call of Duty might serve a similar itch since I didn't really touch that last two CoDs either. Multiplayer and co-op seem fantastic, so I think this one's for me. And yeah, Halo 1 was/is awesome.

Posted by Eyz

Looks and sounds like a great improvement/update to the series.

Good thing, it was starting to feel like the same game over and over again..

Posted by GioVANNI

@Tarsier: Have you actually played Halo 4? Maybe you should write a review about why you think it's awesome

Posted by Tarsier

@GioVANNI said:

@Tarsier: Have you actually played Halo 4? Maybe you should write a review about why you think it's awesome

thanks trolls