This time, I’m reviewing the last game in the Halo series to come out on the Xbox 360, and the start of the new arc for the Halo franchise.

General Information

Title: Halo 4
Developer: 343 Industries
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Release Date: 11/6/2012
Genre: First-person shooter
Platform: Xbox 360

Available from Amazon.com

The Premise

Following the events of Halo 3, Master Chief has been in cryo-sleep on-board the wreck of the UNSC ship Forward Unto Dawn. When the ship makes contact with a Forerunner Dyson Sphere, and the new UNSC Flagship, the Infinity, Master Chief will find himself facing another evil that will threaten the whole galaxy.

High Points

This is the first Halo game to have a heavily character-focused story. We get a lot more character development for Master Chief than we’ve gotten from the last 3 Halo games combined.

Low Points

Unfortuantely, while the characterization is good, the rest of the story suffers. So, wait? Humanity had been around at the same time as the Forerunners? The Flood had made contact with humanity before they made contact with the Forerunners? The Forerunners regressed humanity evolutionarily, which is why humanity wasn’t wiped out by the Halo Array?[/spoiler

First, evolution doesn’t work that way! Second, if it did, there would be evidence in the fossil record to show that this had happened. Third, this undermines the Forerunners defeat by the flood, in addition to undermining humanity’s victory over the flood. Fourth, this serves no purpose for the plot. That entire element of the plot could be removed entirely, and the story would still be coherent, and it would probably be better then the existing narrative, as it wouldn’t have this “chariots of the gods” crap getting in the way.

Scores

Originality: This game is a sequel, and one which takes the universe in some unoriginal directions. 3/6

Story: See the Low Point. 3/6

Graphics: This is probably one of the best looking games on the Xbox 360, and a game which, frankly, makes a case for why the next console generation could have been pushed off a little bit longer. 6/6

Sound: The sound design for this game is great, and is really engrossing. 5/6

Playability: Well, the game plays like a Halo game, with the difference of the two flight-simmy segments, one which plays like the fighter combat sections of Halo: Reach, and another that plays like Rebel Assault. 4/6

Immersion: The game redesigns the HUD, so it looks like it’s Master Chief’s own HUD. This does a good job of providing the player with all the information that they’re accustomed to from earlier games, while also enhancing immersion. 6/6

Overall: A solid game, with some serious issues in the story. 4/6.

In total, Halo 4 gets 31/42.