Knee-Jerk Reaction: Halo 4

It's been a while since I've done a Knee-Jerk Reaction blog, mainly because there haven't really been any games that I felt deserved to have one written. However, upon plugging in Halo 4...oh, there is definitely a Knee-Jerk Reaction in this.

HOURS PLAYED: about 20 minutes of multiplayer (War Games, Infinity Slayer)

THE GOOD

  • The presentation of the game all around is much prettier, but it's also more helpful than previous Halo games. The HUD for your Spartan is far more useful and immersive (thanks in part to the curvature added to look like a Spartan-IV visor that you look through).
  • SPRINTING IS FINALLY A THING! It's about time also. I mean, I understand that Spartans are wearing a literal ton or two of armor...but for fuck's sake, they are also genetically engineered SUPER SOLDIERS! They should be able to goddamn sprint whenever they want.
  • It feels like Halo in most ways: the jumping is right, the guns sound good, the announcer is still there, etc.

THE BAD

  • Welcome to Halo of Duty. The puzzle of the multiplayer combat (weapons on the maps, etc) is gone and replaced with Loadouts like Call of Duty. New weapons and such are unlocked through ranking up. NOT a fan of that. This was the one thing that kept Halo different from everything else: you relied on knowledge of the maps and knowledge of the weapons. Now, you just need to rely on knowledge of what level your Spartan is.
  • There doesn't seem to be a clear indication once your shield has been taken down of how many shots you can take before you are dead, or particularly how much life you happen to have available to you. This was something conveyed much better in Halo: Reach.
  • The maps are overly elaborate and don't seem to have a very good flow so far. I've only played on one or two maps (left my first match because you still deal with people leaving a match because they are getting stomped).
  • Slayer is determined by points now instead of overall kills, and there are multiple different things that give you "points", such as being a distraction while someone else pops a kill, getting assists, etc. This is a highly unbalanced way of letting people win a match, as it will promote stat hacking far more than something like Call of Duty.
  • 8GB REQUIRED INSTALL TO PLAY MULTIPLAYER! This information is conveyed to you in VEEEEERY small print on the back of the box. Luckily, you can install that 8GB to a flash drive and still be able to play. Unfortunately, it shows just how little they thought about the people on 4GB Xbox 360 consoles...
  • As far as I've seen, no more guests on Xbox Live accounts. If this is different, then let me know. I haven't been able to find it in the game...and it's not like this game came with an instruction manual. By the way...
  • ...the game doesn't have an instruction manual. It has some bullshit from Mountain Dew and a 14 day XBL trial card. THANKS, GUYS!

All in all, within 20 minutes, I don't think I honestly WANT to play more of Halo 4. The initial impression is a shellshock. I'm all about change in games, but this is a franchise that benefitted from not changing that much. I'm going to give it some more play time just to see if all this changes, but honestly...I think I'll just wait for Black Ops 2. = /

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