Halo 4 review

Halo 4 was released last week.  I picked up my copy and got to playing as soon as I could.  I haven’t gotten through the whole thing, so these are my first impressions.  I don’t want to spoil the story for anyone that hasn’t played it yet, so I’ll describe how the game looks and plays instead. 

The limited edition has bonus items including:  a book on the Infinity battle cruiser; cool console additions for your Xbox avatar; and the Forward unto Dawn live action series. A prequel to Halo 4, it is awesome!  Also included are letters describing mission details.  I got the collector’s edition game guide – an amazing book that describes the mission, characters, enemies, and game details.  The whole package cost $135.00. 

The game starts after Forward unto Dawn – a UNSC battle cruiser is cut in half during a portal collapse at the end of Halo 3.  In the first scene, you see large metal scraps, rocks, and debris floating in space.  We’re on a cavernous, rocky and mountainous planet made by an advanced race called Forerunners.   There is a forest with unbeaten paths that make it interesting to explore, but watch out for bad guys!  Once again, we players are Spartans.  We still fight Covenant, but there are new enemies.  Promethians come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and levels of ugliness.  These bad guys are tough and harder to kill than the Covenant. 

While Halo 3 looked good, Halo 4 looks awesome – sharper images, intense imagery, and insane special effects with lots of explosions.  The cut scenes are realistic.

The vehicles in Halo 4 are updated.  You get to pilot four new ones (so far): a Mantis (a giant walker), two different kinds of Pelicans, and a broadsword (fighter ship) – but I’ve just gotten started, so I have to play with them more to get familiar with the controls and features. 

The weapons are updated from Halo 3 and Halo Reach.   Most of the weapons – both UNSC and Covenant – have the same names as previous Halo versions, but they look and work better.  They’re more accurate, and the sights, HUD’s and user interfaces are upgraded.  The Promethians also bring powerful weaponry – so far I’ve seen deadly firearms and grenades.   

Impressions so far?   There are good lighting, enhanced effects, and more dramatic action.  Characters are realistic, and they have great personalities.  Commander Thomas Lasky is smart and has pretty good strategies, and he is a good leader. The games features interesting dialog that helps you understand the storyline.  You’ll feel an emotional attachment to the characters such as Cortana, who is an AI (artificial intelligence).  As you play the game, you get drawn into the story.   I can’t wait to get back into it!

The game lives up to what Halo fans were expecting!  Halo 4 is the most epic game of the Halo series!

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