Halo 4: Review Thread

BigTnaples

Todd Howard's Secret GAF Account


Thanks, looking forward to reading all of these and watching the vid reviews etc after I finish the game myself and seeing how they match up with my opinions. At this point I am certain I will love it.(early on I was very skeptical, until E3 really, and even up to about a week ago I was still fairly cautious..)
 
I'm kind of worried about the choice of playlist. Slayer game types have always been more popular than objective game types and yet slayer game types are outnumbered badly in the launch playlist. Seems to me the population will be large enough to support a lot of playlist at launch so splintering shouldn't be an issue.

I really enjoy Team Snipers and Swat(with no bloom). Team Snipers is what kept me coming back to Reach after the first 6 months.
 
I'm kind of worried about the choice of playlist. Slayer game types have always been more popular than objective game types and yet slayer game types are outnumbered badly in the launch playlist. Seems to me the population will be large enough to support a lot of playlist at launch so splintering shouldn't be an issue.

I really enjoy Team Snipers and Swat(with no bloom). Team Snipers is what kept me coming back to Reach after the first 6 months.
The population is gonna be heavy in Slayer regardless, I think 343 just wants us to really notice the changes made to objective games and give us more options to explore (and hopefully) enjoy them.
 
The population is gonna be heavy in Slayer regardless, I think 343 just wants us to really notice the changes made to objective games and give us more options to explore (and hopefully) enjoy them.
Yes this was the same argument for 3 and Reach. They want us to "Learn the new sandbox and game types." But I don't agree with people being forced to play certain playlist. People should be able to play what they want.

Also I'm getting a feeling from the latest bulletin and other post from 343 people that they will keep the playlist streamlined. I think a lot of people like the specialty playlist and it could hurt the population down the road.

No Snipers, doubles, rumble pit, gtiftball, multi-team... These are all traditional playlist now. I don't understand why king of the hill and oddball aren't in the same playlist. Do those two game types really need separate playlist?
 

Vire

DancingJesus
Has anyone read this review?

The author claims

Aren't other reviewers stating that story is one of the best things about the game?
Gamespot talks about the story, he seemed to like it quite a bit:

http://www.gamespot.com/halo-4/reviews/halo-4-review-6399288/

Yet for all the excitement and emotion of the main plot, the most engrossing drama of Halo 4 takes place between Master Chief and Cortana. Everyone's favorite artificial intelligence is nearing her expiration date, forcing these two all-but-invincible characters to face the prospect of death in a way they never have. This delicate, degenerative process is handled eloquently, and great voice acting, animation, and writing combine for some poignant moments. 343 Industries delivers a compelling narrative on both an intimate and a grand scale, with a satisfying conclusion that will make you excited for what's to come.
The Penny Arcade review also talks about the story:

http://penny-arcade.com/report/editorial-article/halo-4-this-isnt-bungies-halo-anymore-its-better
 
I have a feeling that the people saying the story is weak aren't finding the terminals, watching the IGN stream yesterday they made it a point to say that all terminal videos will be on there Halo 4 Wiki for anyone to view the day of release claiming that lots of it should have just been in the game instead of making the player go to Halowaypoint.

Saying it adds a lot of depth and explanation.
 
Spartan Ops is a single player story mode as well?
Can be played SP, but still requires a connection to Live and Gold.

Cannot play Spartan Ops offline or as Silver.

They like hyperbole even more. A year ago ODST's campaign was "the only one worth playing" (according to Gabe, in the Bungie history video... seriously).
ODST is still the best campaign/story experience IMHO.

Has anyone read this review?

The author claims

Aren't other reviewers stating that story is one of the best things about the game?
The story starts out strong, but falls pretty flat. I praised the Master Chief / Cortana interaction in my review, but criticized the overall story. It was one of the weakest parts of the experience for me.
 
I have a feeling that the people saying the story is weak aren't finding the terminals, watching the IGN stream yesterday they made it a point to say that all terminal videos will be on there Halo 4 Wiki for anyone to view the day of release claiming that lots of it should have just been in the game instead of making the player go to Halowaypoint.

Saying it adds a lot of depth and explanation.
That just sounds stupid then.
 

Tashi

343i Lead Esports Producer
Or co-op. It's designed primarily for the latter, but works as the former. Each episode comes with a CG fiction cinematic.
Yes, designed for multi but you can play through it as sp if you wish. Weekly episodes that push the story onward, takes place 6 months after campaign.


Beaten.
And I think Co-Op is definitely recommended unless you're going for some super challenge or some shit. I tried a little solo and quit out right away, it just didn't feel right. Co-Op was sick though!
 

Vire

DancingJesus
Can be played SP, but still requires a connection to Live and Gold.

Cannot play Spartan Ops offline or as Silver.

ODST is still the best campaign/story experience IMHO.

The story starts out strong, but falls pretty flat. I praised the Master Chief / Cortana interaction in my review, but criticized the overall story. It was one of the weakest parts of the experience for me.
Funny, I thought it was the weakest in terms of story (by far). The ODST characters are pretty terrible to be honest, all of them are stereotypes with cliche' ridden dialogue throughout. The so called romance between Buck and Dare was one of the most embarrassing moments in all of the Halo franchise. It just wasn't executed well whatsoever, and you could tell there was absolutely zero chemistry between the two actors. On top of that, little to nothing progresses in the universe after you complete the game. In the end, it left me a feeling of "what's the point".

But hey, different strokes for different folks I guess.

Reach and Halo 2 for me had the most coherent and fleshed out stories.
 
Has anyone read this review?

The author claims

"The story is uninspired and weak, but the gameplay makes up for it."

Aren't other reviewers stating that story is one of the best things about the game?
You can make an argument for most stories that they are "weak". How often does a story really surprise you? The Halo 4 story actually went to places I didn't expect and I found it very satisfying, but I'm a big fiction-head. I can see why someone who wasn't up on the fiction might not get as much from it.

The story telling is excellent though, the best in the series.

For those wondering it took me 9 hours on Heroic, I did try and explore for Terminals, but towards the end was quite focused on getting to the end of the story. I've not finished Legendary yet, but it's not crazy-hard, I reckon about 12 hours solo.
 
That just sounds stupid then.
I would say it was not smart to make the player go to halo waypoint once finding the terminal.

The content should have just been in game but a lot of it has to do with the universe they have built through the books. This is the 4 game in the series, yes it is the start of a new trilogy but one that builds off of all the fiction.
 
Funny, I thought it was the weakest in terms of story (by far). The ODST characters are pretty terrible to be honest, all of them are stereotypes with cliche' ridden dialogue throughout. The so called romance between Buck and Dare was one of the most embarrassing moments in all of the Halo franchise. It just wasn't executed well whatsoever, and you could tell there was absolutely zero chemistry between the two actors. On top of that, little to nothing progresses in the universe after you complete the game. In the end, it left me a feeling of "what's the point".

But hey, different strokes for different folks I guess.

Reach and Halo 2 for me had the most coherent and fleshed out stories.
As you say, different strokes.

I bolded that comment because Nathan Fillion and Tricia Helfer recorded their lines together, rather than separately, so neither one was just speaking into the ether. The two actors also dated at one point, so it's difficult to say that they had zero chemistry.

Perhaps part of it was Fillion's portrayal of Buck. He played the character very similarly to how he played the Mal Reynolds, standoffish, but caring deeply for his crew/team. If you didn't like the personality of the lead character, I could see disliking the overall story.

For me, the draw to ODST was the fact that we did learn a lot about the characters. We got to know their individual personalities. They weren't just postscripts to a greater arc. The fact that the universe story didn't move forward was immaterial.

With Halo 4, the weakness in the story (for me) was a combination of an unrealized threat and what felt like a contrived plot device that has been done better by others. I'll be happy to go into more specific details next week once the embargo is over, the game has launched and we have a spoiler thread open.
 

Tomat

Wanna hear a good joke? Waste your time helping me! LOL!
Haters say they are. Rational people say they aren't. Most of the reviews that score it low are trying to get hits on their site. Same as always.
It's funny because I look at this thread and think it basically boils down to fanboys and everyone else saying reviewers were payed off.
 
Outskirts is one of the most open levels in all of Halo.
That level is basically pushing you one small way the whole time while forcing scripted events like the big walker thing. Theres practically no openness to that level other than illusions of them, like putting 2 paths or doorways to reach a certain point in a already pretty small area. Non linear levels are the silent cartographer, or a lot of the Halo 3 and Reach levels. Hell, ODST. Any game other than halo2. Halo2 isnt the game you go to for "openness".
 
I really wonder how Spartan Ops will work with the story of Halo 5. Spartan Ops takes place months after the events of 4 right?

Something that also crossed my mind is that the next Xbox/ Halo will probably benefit from the same live framework as the 360. Don Mattrick said at e3 2011 that the Reclaimer trilogy will ship on the Xbox 360, but I cannot image that they don't ship on NextBox either. So separating the userbase wouldn't make sense, right? Would be cool if Xbox 360 player could play with/ against NextBox players.
 
I really wonder how Spartan Ops will work with the story of Halo 5. Spartan Ops takes place months after the events of 4 right?

Something that also crossed my mind is that the next Xbox/ Halo will probably benefit from the same live framework as the 360. Don Mattrick said at e3 2011 that the Reclaimer trilogy will ship on the Xbox 360, but I cannot image that they don't ship on NextBox either. So separating the userbase wouldn't make sense, right? Would be cool if Xbox 360 player could play with/ against NextBox players.
Don was either mistaken, lying or just wrong. Halo 5 will ship in 2015, 360 will be well and truly put to bed by then (apart from Fifa and Madden releases)
 
Well, the first "mixed" review is in (based on metacritic)
http://www.egmnow.com/articles/reviews/egm-review-halo-4/


edit, well I'm late... very very late.
Get with the times. If your post was a shooter it wouldn't even have ironsights.

Something that also crossed my mind is that the next Xbox/ Halo will probably benefit from the same live framework as the 360. Don Mattrick said at e3 2011 that the Reclaimer trilogy will ship on the Xbox 360, but I cannot image that they don't ship on NextBox either. So separating the userbase wouldn't make sense, right? Would be cool if Xbox 360 player could play with/ against NextBox players.
He called it the "Dawn of a new trilogy for Xbox 360". I don't think anyone took that as meaning all three games would be on Xbox 360, though. In fact, it could be interpreted as Halo 4 being the dawn of a new trilogy, and Halo 4 being on Xbox 360.
 
Don was either mistaken, lying or just wrong. Halo 5 will ship in 2015, 360 will be well and truly put to bed by then (apart from Fifa and Madden releases)
Could be, could not be :)

He called it the "Dawn of a new trilogy for Xbox 360". I don't think anyone took that as meaning all three games would be on Xbox 360, though. In fact, it could be interpreted as Halo 4 being the dawn of a new trilogy, and Halo 4 being on Xbox 360.
That actually sounds logical. I guess I misinterpreted.
 
Would you like to start by justifying this crap?
I can certainly explain my position, yes.

Let me start by saying that I don't think Halo 4 is a bad game by any stretch of the imagination.

It's think it looks great, I loved the multiplayer, and it's a very polished experience overall.

That being said, the campaign was essentially:

1.) OMGZ!! We're under attack/have to escape/have to stop so and so.
2.) Go blow up that shield generator/push that button/ kill a bunch of dudes!
3.) Now run back through the level and kill even more of the same 8 dudes!

Some of the indoor segments were really solid, but when playing the game in outdoor maps going through the scenarios mentioned above, it gold REALLY old REALLY quick.

If you played Rage, imagine the last level of that game, on repeat, for roughly 8 hours. That is essentially the structure of Halo 4. It forces you to use way too many bullets to kill the same enemies over and over and over again for hours with little variation on how that is accomplished.

I understand some people enjoy arena shooters of that ilk, but frankly, it was a real chore for me.

The funny thing is, the first 15 minutes was another story entirely. The intro was awesome. I honestly felt playing it that if the game kept this up for the entire run, it would have been a primary contender for GOTY and 10 on our scale.

But after that, the game quickly degenerated into the sequences outlined above, and I was left wishing it would get better, or mix it up a bit, or deliver some moments like the early stages of the game. But it didn't really manage to do so in my opinion.

Mind you, they tried to mix it up with some vehicle sequences, most of which were satisfying enough because, well, blowing shit up is fun - but on the whole, there's a lot of back-tracking, a lot of rubber-stamp environment design, and very little going on despite the size of the levels.

They do manage to pack their environment with a ton of objects, and they all look fantastic, but they never did anything spectacular with them in-game outside of the first mission, and that left the game feeling very flat and very repetitive from where I was sitting.

And since folks are so bent out of shape about my comment on iron sights, I'll elaborate a bit here, too.

The thought came to me when I noticed that there is in fact a controller option called "Fishstick" in Halo 4 that gives you the same layout and functionality as most FPS titles on the market by allowing you to swap your zoom function to the left trigger.

However, several of the key guns don't offer sight-focused views, meaning that you use your binoculars and immediately jump out to the standard viewing angle upon firing. It's very jarring, and smacks as a half-assed concession to folks who want that feature in-game.

And yeah, I know Halo fans like what they know, just like most fans of most games. A lot of people argue that a fully-implemented iron sight option would somehow pervert the purity of the game, but frankly, I think they're just afraid of change, and here's why:

At it's core, Halo is about massive, arena-style environments. Ranged combat plays a big role, and when facing key enemies, well-placed shots are critical. As such, aim is pretty fucking important. That being said, a good 50% (and I'm estimating here) of the guns have scope-based aiming components.

This means that the idea of zooming in and shooting isn't foreign to the series, and in fact, is a large part of your tactical arsenal as a player.

With that in mind, and the importance of head shots to combat, it seems like a very logical enhancement to me to offer the OPTION to make use of them. That way, you'd respect legacy folks who like they way their cake is baked, and also allow people who appreciate a higher degree of ease and realism alongside what I and many others feel is a more precise aiming to enjoy the feature.

The funny part is, the developer seems to at least acknowledge that there are some people out there who feel the same way, or the "Fishstick" option wouldn't even exist, so seeing so many call me a CoD fan boy because I believe a "proper" (or more to the point - complete) implementation of this scheme would actually be appreciated and enhance gameplay without impacting the overall design and difficulty of the game -- it just feels like fanboy knee-jerking to me.

And again, I get it. I'd be pissed if, say, Dark Souls suddenly became easy or SOCOM stopped trying to be a tactical shooter and became a Call of Du...err..ok, so that kind of happened with S4 - but anyways, I'm not suggesting that 343i get away from the roots of the series at all.

I'm suggesting that they actually build on them instead of rehashing them over and over again.

To me, Halo is about three core things:

1.) Story - People love the art, characters, and drama of this series, and understandably so. I don't think anything I've mentioned would change that one bit.

2.) Advanced AI Behaviors - The AI in Halo is amazing, and does some really crazy shit. I don't think that needs to stop, either.

3.) MP - The multiplayer in Halo is a well-respected crowd favorite, and it got a lot better with this iteration. I didn't say word one about them adopting anything from other games, though they already made that decision on their own. It didn't "kill" MP at all, and my guess is most will feel this is the best Halo MP experience yet.

Anyways, all that laid out on the table, my point is just that Halo's basic principals are still very true to the ones laid out in Combat Evolved. And sure, that's great for folks who are more in love with other areas of the game, but ultimately, if this were a sports game, we'd be calling Halo 4 a roster update with better graphics, and I think fans deserve more, even if they are afraid of it.

Based on the number of slams I've taken from people who haven't even played the game yet, it's pretty evident that people don't like anyone to talk shit about their baby. But frankly, I'm in the business I am in to make people feel like their preconceived opinion is right just because they want it to be.

I love the fiction and they clearly have a talented, passionate staff behind the wheel, but having played a good 10 campaigns this year that offered more entertainment, strategy and playability than Halo 4, I felt the way the impression I came away with was worth expressing, regardless of the anger it may incur.

I think it's important to speak with conviction. I think Halo has room to grow, and I also think if no one actually has the nuts to say it, the team is much less likely to even think it's a need.

Just my two cents.
 
I think it's important to speak with conviction. I think Halo has room to grow, and I also think if no one actually has the nuts to say it, the team is much less likely to even think it's a need.
Yeah, because Halo is really just DYING for iron-sights that impact the fluidity and speed of the combat, scripted set-pieces, unskippable cutscenes, more narrow corridors, and more QTEs. That fuckin' SOUL of CoD campaigns.