Campaign - A triumph for storytelling in a first-person shooter, eclipsing any other attempt by the genre. Yes, I’m dethroning Portal and Half-Life, Halo 4 has brought characters and story to life in a way many RPGs fail to match. I can’t state enough, the story is a perhaps Halo 4’s biggest claim to fame, locking it in as the best single campaign entry in the Halo series and first-person shooters. I can’t get over just how gripping Chief and Cortana were, while staying completely away from any hint of melodrama. Just… WOW. Flawless character expansion. I’m so in love with this universe because of these two. Add in the terminals to paint an unforgettable villain in the Didact, with one of the greatest final confrontations of all time, I’m just blown away. Kudos on a monumental success to 343.
Music - I’ve seen a lot of negativity towards Neil Davidge and his Halo score. I’ll just say that yes, it’s quite different from Marty’s music, but it’s also better for telling a story. Marty was all about in-your-face, heart-pounding music, driven by drums, sharp violins, and the occasional shredding guitar. Neil takes a different path. It’s not in your face, it’s slithering and sneaky. It doesn’t make your heart pound, it gets inside and makes your heart ache. It plays the backround, getting inside you without your even knowing it, tugging at your heart and strengthening the emotion of every scenario it graces. Marty’s music pushed you, but Neil’s pulls you. It’s an incredibly emotional score that never disappoints. For the role it plays, nobody could’ve done this score better.
Multiplayer - Flawless integration of mainstream mechanics into the Halo formula. It says to other shooters, “We can do what you do even better when coupled with our own formula.” It’s not copying other games, it’s one-upping all of them. The balance, the pace, it’s all perfect. I can’t get over how awesome everything feels and plays. I’ve got no idea what people are talking about when they say the DMR is OP. If anything, the BR is OP, because nothing beats it in the hands of a skilled player. DMR has got advantage over extreme distance, but honestly, who’s going to fire it out at that range? The experienced player bides his time, gets closer, and pwns at medium range. Every gun plays its part in a way that makes you think when you engage any opponent. For me, I play for the sheer thrill, not a meaningless number rank. I couldn’t care less, I’m too busy pwning. And when I’m not pwning, I resolve to play support at the very least. I’m never unsatisfied with multiplayer. It’s just plain awesome.
Spartan Ops - This is Firefight with objectives tossed in the mix. By default, I call that a step up. Scoring would definitely help, but again, those are just numbers that add to the experience, and the lack of them takes nothing away for me. I just can’t get over the smooth experience. And to have a story every week to engage me in playing the new scenarios- wow! What a great idea! I’m so in love with the set-up 343 has got here. If the the occasional lag could be done away with, this would be flawless.
Overall - The only downside is that everything is so perfect, it’s hard to figure out what to spend your time doing. No game has ever demanded that I sacrifice my real life quite like Halo 4 has. And I’ve played Skyrim. On every front, in every mode, from every track of music down to every shot fired, every heart pounding moment, this is by far the best Halo ever, hands down, no area is topped by any previous entry. And yeah, I’ve been playing since the beginning. Halo 4 is inescapably, undeniably, absolutely a freaking masterpiece. 343, I couldn’t be more thrilled with this entry in the Halo saga, nor could I be more optimistic about the future of this series in your hands.