Christmas is getting closer and the big game releases are making their play for the attention players. We’ve recently had Dishonored claim its stake while Borderlands 2 made quite a dominant warning shot to show that it was ready to take on any comers. For the sport minded we’ve had Fifa and PES battle it out so it’s arguable that the war is fully on, from all directions.
Now is the time then for one of the biggest hitters of them all to enter the war, and this is in the form of the Master Chief himself Microsoft’s biggest gaming character and most recognisable, and he’s finally making his comeback to the world of gaming with Halo 4, the much anticipated sequel to one of the most popular franchises in gaming history.
Halo 4 continues from its predecessor, with the Covenant and UNSC in a form of truce. This does not last but these are the least of your problems. Through the game you’ve had Cortana your AI companion but they seem to be having problems, known as “rampancy” as it seems that Cortana is dying.
One of your aims in this game is to return to earth so that they can be saved. While this is happening it’s almost expected that your way home is going to be blocked, which of course is the case in the form of the Forerunner military forces. Your task is to return to earth to fix your AI and battle your way through the Forerunners and the returning Convent.
The most noticeable and somewhat disappointing aspect of Halo 4 is that there is little change in the graphics between this and Halo: Reach. Of course it’s arguable that this is not really that much of a bad thing as the graphics for Reach were looking good already. The frame rate is good, the graphics are at a high standard and everything looks ok, it does though add to the argument that the current generation of consoles are starting to get dated and the hardware can only be pushed so far, it’s time to look towards the next generation of consoles, and until then the PC for the truly stunning potential in games at the moment.
Weapons and Vehicles
With new enemies comes new weaponry, on the UNSC side there are the usual weapons such as sniper rifle, battle rifle, DMR and Spartan Laser with a new railgun added to add to the destructive force. The Covenant have had their weaponry tweaked and updated to make them more of a threat too, but the new additions would be expected to come in the form of the Forerunner weaponry that is made available. This is not the case though, they tend to be similar to the weaponry of the other two factions other than a name change, which in essence is quite lazy. This is the same for vehicles too with most of the vehicles already used in previous games making a comeback.
At the heart of Halo has always been the multi-player aspect and again it seems that the view has been if it’s not broken then don’t fix it. Tweaks have been made to improve the experience and elements have been added to give a new feel, for example a few Call of Duty things have been added to add to the fun. This includes choices of weaponry as you get to choose first and second weapon choices as well as grenade options. Also ordinance packages have been added that does have a Call of Duty feel to them.
Though there is an implication that Halo is copying Call of Duty somewhat it should be realised that this is not the case. Halo is still very different than Call of Duty and it’s not as if it has a patent on ordinance packages and weaponry selection style. It’s a system that works and has worked for other games, so I’m sure there is no real issue with Halo using it too.
When players are expected to hand over their hard earned cash for the latest release of the games they love it’s often with the expectation that they are going to get vast improvements and changes to the game they are going to play. Halo 4 is a bold move in a way because 343i who now develop the game know what works and quite honestly they don’t need to improve it. With a new storyline for the campaign though and tweaks in almost all area of the game it’s arguable for fans of the Halo series this will be already pre-ordered and will be enjoyed. For people such as me though that are not obsessed with Halo it’s one that is worth a play and may win us over, but leaves us wondering what the next generation of consoles will give us when it comes to Master Chief. I guess this is something that we are going to have to wait for, but at least we do know that it’s coming.