Yeah, how dare me for putting the almighty, infallible Halo franchise on this list, right? Well, in all honesty, this one had a long time coming, and again, it would be wrong to consider Halo 4 a less-than-decent title. There's plenty of fun to be had with it still, but behind the black, it's all too evident that this series has become a shell of its former self, repeatedly resurrected by Microsoft as their own metaphorical fountain of youth which, in my opinion, has just about run dry.
My biggest gripe with Halo 4 is its overall scope just does not match the caliber of its predecessors in terms of, well, just about everything. The graphics are nicer, I guess, but firefights, whether it's multiplayer or the campaign, are relegated to cramped maps and combat zones that are smaller and less varied than ever before. Iconic mechanics and game modes from other games were mysteriously missing, such as dual-wielding and the horde-like Firefight game type that debuted in ODST, and several unwelcome mechanics from OTHER triple-A titles were shoehorned in, such as the custom loadout system in multiplayer, a system that Halo was known for NOT conforming to, sans cosmetics.
Then there are the story elements, which attempted to humanize Master Chief and build upon his character... which failed miserably, as his backstory was intentionally shrouded in mystery in the Bungie trilogy, leaving the new development team with not a lot to go off of. One other point - as a pop quiz of sorts, I'd like for you to name off at least 3 memorable, plot-crucial characters in Halo 4 that aren't Master Chief, Cortana, or the main villain. Go on, I dare you. I'll give you about a minute to think about it.
Come up with anything? I sure didn't. This game's supporting cast is more forgettable than the bog-standard infantry you spend half of the game fighting, and coming from a series that gave us charismatic badasses such as Sergeant Johnson and Captain Keyes, you'd think that would have been an element the development team would excel at, but nope, we're stuck with faceless soldiers with no distinct personality. This isn't even going into the flimsy excuse as to why you're suddenly fighting the Covenant again, or the ham-fisted inclusion of the Forerunners, or the obfuscating stupidity of the Ur-Didact, and the list goes on and on...
Yet, while the game was praised to high heaven and heralded as a worthy successor to the franchise, I bottled up my complaints and kept them hidden away. I've thought many times about adding this one to the list over the years, but I could never find the words to describe my disappointment, and now that I've let the broth sit for a while, I can finally vent my frustrations. I have yet to play the fifth entry, nor do I really plan on it, as from the gameplay I've seen, I'd imagine most of my complaints would match up with those of this outing. So there's that.