Halo 4 Mini-Review

Yeah, Halo 4 came out nearly a month ago, there have been several reviews about it even before it released, blah blah blah. I haven’t said my piece about it, and I ended up leaving Gaming Angels before I could write a “proper” review, so sit down and bear with me. Or go read something else. (No, please stay…what I have to say is mind-blowing, I promise.)

I haven’t had the OHMYGODHALO4INEEDTHISGAMENOWIVEMISSEDHALOSOMUCH like so many other fans of the Halo series have had. As I’ve said countless times, I got into the series late, and I didn’t play a single Halo game until Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary released this time last year. I’ve been nearly a rabid fangirl ever since. Podcast cohort and occasional SGR writer Blake Grundman was so delighted that I found some love for his favorite game series that he gave me Halo 2, 3, and ODST for Christmas last year. This year, I have played Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo: Reach, and parts of Halo 3: ODST. So when Halo 4 came into being, I didn’t exactly have this sense of longing to play another Halo game. Halo 4 is my fifth Halo game to play this year, in fact. So in many ways, this kind of tarnished my experience, because the gameplay rang of “here we go again.”

I simply felt like I had done all of this before, and in many ways I had, rather recently. This time, however, there was no Flood (THANK GOD), which was instead replaced with the Prometheans, who were often so difficult, I found myself wondering if the Flood really was so bad (answer is yes, they were).

This in no way means that I did not like Halo 4. Quite the contrary, I loved Halo 4. I loved how it fit in with the Halo novels I am reading, the story kept me interested, and well, as much as the gameplay felt old hat to me, it was still a ton of fun. In fact, I want to form a team of four to play the game again on Legendary, as soon as I find some reasonable time to do so as well as a willing and committed party. Even the Spartan Ops co-op missions are so much fun, I’ve told several friends that I would play those episodes again with them if they needed a partner.

Also, again, despite my personal feelings of repetitiveness, I could honestly find no flaws to the game. Nothing felt padded, I didn’t notice any glitches, no plot holes were readily apparent, and the game itself looks amazing. Holy cow it looks amazing, almost Uncharted 2 levels of amazing, and the visual quality never dropped between cut scenes and battles.

If I were to pick out flaws, it would be with some of the new weaponry 343 introduced along with the Prometheans, but that’s just because I didn’t like most of the new weapons. At the same time, it’s not like I’ve loved all of the human and Covenant weapons either. I do really want to know why we’re just now getting a human weapon as awesome as the Sticky Detonator. Do you have any idea how great that would have been against Hunters four or even five games ago?

Most likely, you’ve already picked up Halo 4 and played it at least once by the time I’m writing this, especially if you were already a fan of Halo. If you’ve never played a Halo game before, I have a hard time recommending that you play this one because you may be lost when it comes to the story. But if story means very little to you and you just like a good first-person shooter that lets you kill lots of aliens with weapons of mass destruction, then Halo 4 will not disappoint. Halo 4 is not my game of the year (old hat feelings really got in the way of this), but it’s definitely in the top 5, and it’s with goo-oood company.

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