Halo 4: Looking back

The original Halo was a masterpiece. Gamers quickly embraced the game, eager to jump into the shoes of the iconic ‘Master Chief’ as he explored a mysterious ring like planet while fighting off alien foes called the Covenant. Critics embraced Halo, too, awarding it a number of ‘game of the year’ awards. Bungie, the developers of the Halo series, soon released additional titles in the series, each better than the ones before it. But, following the release of ‘Halo Reach’, developers Bungie decided to leave the Halo series behind to start work on other projects. To build the next Halo, Microsoft created a dream team video game development studio called 343 industries. They took some of the best game designers, programmers and graphics artists and set them to work on Halo 4 to make it the best game it could possibly be.

Halo 4’s story takes place four years after the events of Halo 3. Following the defeat of the Covenant, the Master Chief and Cortana, the Chief’s AI assistant, have spent four years drifting through the
emptiness of space upon the derelict ship ‘Forward Unto Dawn’. Cortana wakes the Chief from his slumber when a Covenant boarding party boards the ship. What follows is an epic adventure that takes the Chief and Cortana to the planet ‘Requiem’ where the pair must do battle with the Covenant and a new enemy known as the ‘Prometheans’. Halo 4’s campaign is well written and engaging. Stellar voice acting also allows for a greater connection with the characters in the game. At a length of 8 hours, the campaign is neither too long nor too short.

Halo 4 doesn’t reinvent the wheel when it comes to gameplay. 343 industries took Bungie’s work in the earlier Halo games and refined it, creating the best playing Halo yet. The campaign still features the grand environments that the series is famous for and the enemy AI is smarter than ever. New weapons and toys are also available for the Chief to play with. Multiplayer has been refined, too, with a new Call of Duty-esque levelling system that sees players unlocking weapons, perks and abilities. New multplayer gameplay modes and new maps will be sure to delight.

At 7 years old, the Xbox 360 is an old piece of technology. Still, 343 industries have managed to find some extra juice in the machine, producing the most gorgeous game on the system yet. Environments are impressive and character models are impeccably detailed – Halo 4 is a truly beautiful game. Halo 4’s soundtrack is also one of the best in videogame history. Neil Davidge, the composer who replaced series veteran Marty O’Donnell, has created an iconic score that will stick with players for years to come.

Halo 4 is the best entry in the Halo series yet. The graphics are gorgeous, the gameplay is fluid and refined, and the campaign is engaging and perfectly paced. Videogame fans should make sure to
purchase the Halo 4 for Xbox 360 available at Tesco.