I would like to take this time to put some of my views out there regarding the newest addition to the Halo franchise. Words cannot simply describe the excitement I felt coming up to the release of Halo 4, as I’m sure a-lot of people would agree with me. The feeling of walking into the midnight release and picking up the copy after such a long time of waiting was bliss. I immediately rushed home and and just couldn’t wait to get back into the feet of The Master Chief. I played the first mission of the campaign and I must admit, I was blown away. However, I think that this was just my over-excitement putting my into some sort of numb state where I couldn’t actually judge if the game was good or not. This is where it all goes downhill.
I’m going to start by saying how I, and some of my friends felt. Then, I will begin the ‘oh-so’ long list of problems I find with the game.
I have been a dedicated Halo player. I have every game right from CE. It was ‘the’ game of my childhood. It made me feel like nothing else had ever before, it took you on a journey that ‘you’ were a part of. To say I didn’t get that feeling with the Halo 4 campaign, would be an understatement. The sheer feeling of utter disappointment not only with how the campaign played, but also the actual story. What I first noticed was that If you had not read the Halo books, you were completely lost. This is very poor on 343’s front. They cannot expect people to read a book on the universe of the game, when all that person wants to do is actually play it. I know I’m not the only one who was disappointed with the ending. No spoilers, don’t worry but to be honest it’s almost better having it spoiled rather than being crushed and left with an awful cliff-hanger. I have walked away from every Halo game feeling some-what ‘epic’, if that is the best word to describe it. I did not get that at all with this game. Instead of a great and powerful feeling you get from the end of Bungie’s games, all you feel from the end of Halo 4 is depression and sadness.
Here are a list of problems I, and my friends found with the campaign:
The Soundtrack - Now, I have to admit, I think that 343 have an absolutely amazing game soundtrack. However, you simply cannot compare it to the likes of the Halo 2 and Halo 3 soundtrack (The latter being my personal favorite.) One of the main problems with the soundtrack with this game is that it sounded too electric. The use of synthesizers etc. Now, maybe I’m being a little too harsh, because even through all of the flaws, I did enjoy the soundtrack. This is my biggest problem, did you ever notice that when playing the campaign you would would have to turn you TV up really loud? That’s because the soundtrack was just too quiet. It acted as back-round music when It should have been as loud as the gunfire. It completely destroys the atmosphere when the music is too soft. It needs to be loud and almost ‘in-your face’ about it, it has to take you on a journey like a wave just like how it was with previous Halo Titles.
Repetitive Game-play - The Halo 4 campaign was not an experience you would remember. The campaign was essentially running from USB port to USB port there was no challenge for the gamer as you could easily just speed run every single level. (Excluding the Broadsword mission.) Long parts of missions were also just running back and forth and shooting people on the way. To put it bluntly, the campaign was just boring.
In conclusion, the Halo 4 campaign experience was a major let down, the only the the campaign really had going for it was some of the cut-scenes and the graffix but to be honest, people play the campaign for the story not how it looks, I mean come on we’re not Call Of Duty here are we?
Oh wait, that’s exactly what has happened. When developing the game 343 had a look at what was popular, what made the most money and what attracted most fans. Take a guess what game they looked at. 343 ruined the classic Halo online multiplayer experience. There are an alarming number of ways in which 343 attempted to build a successful game by mimicking COD.
- Grenade indicators
- Ordinance drops, comparable to kill-streaks
- Point system, instead of kill number
- Spartan Ops, comparable to Spec Ops
These are, but to name a few of the ways in which 343 ruined Halo 4 multiplayer and If you don’t believe that they copied COD then you are just delusional. The game doesn’t even feel like Halo anymore. Halo used to be the one FPS that was different from the others. It stood out among the likes of “Battlefield”,“COD” and “Medal Of Honor”. It has now fallen into the same category as these games and is merely using the same ‘copy and paste’ formula that these games use. The multiplayer is way too fast-paced. In previous Halo titles you use to be able to have a plan and use strategy to out-wit your opponents. Now however, it is just a ‘run and gun’ game, no plan, no thought.Among all of these problems there are even more. The armor is dreadful and with all of the detail they tried putting in they made all of the armor look ridiculous and cartoon-like. I know I’m not alone when I say that I’m annoyed that there is no human aerial vehicles. The only reason they don’t have them in the game is just so that they actually have something to put into Halo 5. Basically, its like given candy to a child taking it away from them so they want it even more and then give it back to them. It is almost like 343 don’t even care about their fans. On the opening week there were constant server crashes. The file-browser still continues not to work to this day and they have basically spat on both the racing and competitive community by not having any race gametype and no ranked playlists what-so-ever. It doesn’t matter if they say that they are going to fix this because this is stuff that should have been there from day 1. Flood mode, although a wonderful idea is a complete let-down. The lunge is absolutely ridiculous and the thruster pack for Flood online is way too OP. Also, things which we could do regarding gametype editing in previous Halo titles have now been removed. Why? Because 343 just need something to give us in Halo 5 because they can’t think of anything new.
Although I enjoy the story of Spartan Ops, there is no doubt that it is not only a complete copy from the “Call Of Duty” ‘Spec Ops’ but it is a bad replacement for firefight. Spartan Ops completely lacks replay ability and is to be quite honest, boring as it offers no real challenge for the player.
The maps are awful also, its no wonder that when you go into ‘Big Team’ people always vote for Ragnarock. Its because 343 didn’t even design the map!
In conclusion, 343 have been handed a series which we all know and love and they have let us down. We put our trust in them and they let us down. They’ve taken what was once the best series of games for a console and flushed it down the toilet. Now, you’re going to have people saying that “You have to move on” and “Get with the times”. This is immature and childish. You don’t just take a franchise that people have played and loved for over 10 years and just change it because you wont your own name on it. That is exactly what 343 have done and I can say I feel nothing but disappointment and a sense of shame that we have gone so low.