While I've been working my way through the Halo series on MCC, and trying to 100% it with one of my friends, we've played through Halo 4 semi-recently and after some time to play it several times to get any achievements that may be tied to the game. Over all I've enjoyed all of the games, but anything in this game felt like a complete slog.
The aesthetic of this game was my least favorite of all the games, I didn't care much for reach before this, but the Covenant in this game are ugly AF. It doesn't feel like I'm fighting the same enemies. I feel as though it's like they tried reinventing them completely and it doesn't feel the same. While the Covenant are the largest offender, but far from the only one. The new, shiny look for fore-runner buildings just didn't sit with me. It feels like a departure from the forerunner buildings in Halo CE, 2, and 3. Finally, while I don't mind most of the UNSC look, something about the new spartan armor (especially in multiplayer) just looks like shit.
I never thought I cared too much for this aspect in games. There were a couple games where I was impressed with how sound was handled, but I have never been so disappointed in the sound design as I was in this game. I liked the music of Halo. I never was a person to fawn over it, but I enjoyed it. I remember reaching a point on my first play through, on the very last level, and I stopped and realized. I hated the music. It just wasn't Halo. I don't think of myself as a music snob, but this just wasn't Halo's music. I think they were going for a synthetic sound added to the Halo music, but it just felt... generic?
The sound of the guns was overall fine, nothing to write home about. I can't even say the guns sounded bad.
This is really where I think the game hit's its low point. While I mentioned the sound of the guns was fine, I felt the feel of the guns was trash. The game had 3 guns that may as well of been the same, the BR, DMR, and Light Rifle. I don't see how they're really different. The Covenant weapons don't feel great. The carbine doesn't feel great, but is one of the better ones along with the plasma pistol. That said the loss of the plasma rifle sucks. The Promethean weapons are amazingly unsatisfying, the few that are just feel like they could have been another gun. The light rifle is an interesting concept, however I feel like I may as well be using the BR. The scattershot doesn't feel impactful, the repeater feels less than useless, and the boltshot doesn't stand out even with it's secondary fire. The only one that felt enjoyable was the binary rifle. Did I mention they ruined my tank!?
The Prometheans felt off. The crawlers were fine, but the knights just felt like sponges. They weren't a large challenge, but they were bullet sponges. Not only were they bullet sponges but they didn't flinch. It just felt like I wasn't doing anything. The watchers were a unique idea. Playing the roll of an enemy support class, but god were they annoying. Taking 4 DMR shots and flying away before you can finish it off. Just nothing about them felt satisfying.
Quick time events felt out of place and just broke the flow of the game. I don't have much to say about this.
Finally, the abilities. None of them felt satisfying. auto turret and hologram were somewhat useful on legendary, but the thrust ability and the hard shield felt useless. Jet pack was fine I guess in the two places you can use it. If I didn't find myself with auto turret or hologram, I don't think I ever found myself using them.
This is by far the most disappointing campaign in the series. The Cortana story felt interesting and gripping, but the Diadact felt like a B plot that wasn't interesting at all. I understand they couldn't just have the story be about getting Cortana to earth, (or maybe they could have, IDK. I'm just an internet person and this is a Wendy's.) but the Diadact never felt like a real threat, and definitely didn't feel satisfying to beat. It's not that I feel that the Diadact shouldn't have been a character, but I feel it could have been handled better. Fighting the Covenant again didn't make sense. Talking to my friend this is different Covenant, but this seems like a cop out.
The levels seem fine, but I still don't quite get why this jackass is trying to kill me and has a hate boner for humanity. There's not any time where I felt a shit ton of emotion. Not every game needs to end with a warthog run, but damn even the attempt at one in this game wasn't great. I just never found myself attached to more than just saving Cortana, but more than that, I just never found myself having fun.
Not much to say here, but I'd like to touch on this but combined with all Prometheans feeling like bullet sponges and fighting off waves of them. Trying to get the achievement for playing through the same 5 maps by fighting off different waves of enemies. I can't help but feel it was just tacked on so it had more combat. When I had first heard of this I had initially thought it would be similar to the spec ops missions in CoD:MW. But there wasn't anything really unique. Missions didn't stand out. It was just kill x in this map, and maybe you have vehicles this time, maybe you don't.
The final thing I would like to touch on is multiplayer. While I haven't been the largest multiplayer player for a few years, I will say I enjoyed this one, at least the MCC version. My first exposure to the MP was when it first came out playing local multiplayer on my friends Xbox at a debate tournament. I hated it, it felt like CoD multiplayer. While maybe I just had a bad first impression of it initially, I believe that this game actually improved a lot here. The H4 Squad battle is some of my favorite multiplayer competitively and when it comes to swat, H4 is my favorite gameplay. While I don't care for the maps, it's definitely not the worst experience.
Aesthetic - Awful
Sound Design - Not great
Game Play - Doesn't feel impactful, everything is a sponge, the weapons are bad and should feel bad.
Campaign - Not particularly gripping, never feels impactful.
Spartan Ops - Missed opportunity, fine if you just want to shoot waves of enemies.
Multiplayer - Award for most improvement. It's fine. Maybe good.
I mean...you’re not wrong. If you’re used to playing through the other Halo games first, there isn’t much new with this one. It also heads in a weird direction that most casual fans won’t understand, the didact, humanity’s past, all the stuff. If you hadn’t heard about it before, then this being the prometheans’ first appearance won’t stand out to most as more than an allegory/equivalent for the enemies the covenant had for the 10 years prior.
Personally I didn’t like the promethean design, they’re too weird looking. The whole “weapons made of floaty bits” I always found like a cheap way of saying “oh look we’re so super advanced we made weapons that would be impossible to fix in the field if they broke.” Considering the covies had based their weapons on promethean/forerunner tech, all the light weapons just seem out of place. Same for all the floaty bits.
The attachments I also don’t like in how they’re lying around all over the place. Especially on that scientific research station. That would be the last place Spartans would be. The attachment idea as a whole is cool, but they’re used to advance plot or place implausibly in places they wouldn’t be to help make a pre-built scenario difficult. Doesn’t feel natural.
The characters...all suck except for Lasky. And that’s because he’s barely present in a meaningful way. He’s set dressing carried over from “Forward Unto Dawn.” Palmer and the big nose captain (can’t remember his name) are jackasses. Considering the legend of Spartan IIs and Master Chief’s own role in saving their asses, humanity’s collective ass and along with the entirety of the galaxy they approach him like they’re somehow his equal or better. Like “Bitch, his ass was getting kidnapped, genetically modified and thrown against an insurrection and galaxy destroying aliens and body snatching horrors by the time both of you had barely figured out how to put on your own uniforms.” Slight exaggeration but you get the point.
What honestly kept me on board was the relationship between Chief and Cortana. Such a good bit. Really sucks with what they did to Cortana in Halo 5 (and lazy AF to boot).
Idk. I’d go so far as to lump Halo 4 in with the whole “reboot/recycle” crap that’s been going on with the last decade of media. But I’d also say Halo 4 is...tolerable. 5? Nah.ID: gq1v3g8
Yikes, sounds like it's a good thing 5 is still exclusive to Xbox and I can't play it. I had the exact same feelings for 4 as you mentioned. Cortana and Chief's relationship being the primary.. probably only driver keeping me totally engaged. If they fuck with that formula in 5 then there isn't really much reason for me to ever check it out and I will just pretend Cortana's sacrifice was noble and Chief lives happily ever after.ID: gq24zx0
Hell I liked 5 more than 4. Both aren’t great, but 4 was so forgettable. I played it through once and never touched it again. 5 i played through a whopping 2 times lol.
Hopefully infinite is better. I’ll be giving it a go once it’s out.ID: gq33986
Thing is about the story and "casual fans" is you shouldn't have to read a book to understand or enjoy the next mainline entry in a series, it's just poor storytelling.
Halo CE, Halo 2, and Halo 3 hold such a strong place in my heart that I feel it's best to pretend Halo 4 and Halo 5 don't exist. The first 3 games have all the story I need from the Master Chief.
However I did very much enjoy my experience playing Halo Reach and Halo ODST.
I guess we will have to see what Halo 6 brings to the table. I want to be optimistic!ID: gq1ssu2
Halo CE, Halo 2, and Halo 3 hold such a strong place in my heart that I feel it's best to pretend Halo 4 and Halo 5 don't exist. The first 3 games have all the story I need from the Master Chief.
Preach, my friend PREACH!
I'll add that there was a silver lining to being let down by later games and writing off a franchise I once loved as now being irrelevant to me: My happiness was no longer tied to a work of fiction.
I'm not saying letting go of Halo was life-changing, but my God, it purged so much stress and empty-headed hype from my life. There's so much more to life than getting worked up over changes from one piece of media to the next!ID: gq281b0
I'm on that same page man. Grew up with CE 2 and 3, and even enjoyed ODST. I never got to play Reach but, I consider all of those to be the same pip on the Halo timeline. It all just works and flows well together. Halo 4+ truly felt like a new endeavorID: gq2dacf
I love Halo 4! It's up there with Halo 3 as my favorite game in the series. I do kind of agree with you on Halo 5 though but that's mostly because I really dislike the story. I do think Halo 5 has some of the best gameplay in the series.ID: gq30h5y
It didn't have a special place in my heart as i only finished the series recently but i still feels like whatever comes after 3(except the spinoff, it's still good) is best forgotten. Do hope the next game wouldn't disappoint.ID: gq2mtp0
I'm playing halo reach for the first time and I'm hating it.ID: gq2tt83
I never really get the hate. Halo 4 and 5 weren’t made by bungie if i recall but by 343, and they did something a bit different. Some things worked, some didn’t work that well.
But if you take halo 4 and 5 and just look at them like games, they were good games imho.
But I don’t understand the 100%-ing of games either. Sounds more like a job or a chore than actually having fun.
Btw, the next halo isn’t called halo 6. It’s called Halo Infinite.
This is by far the most disappointing campaign in the series.
I'm assuming you haven't played 5 yetID: gq2ccwa
Nope, only have a PC. But I've heard bad.ID: gq3u5pm
Honestly 4 is probably my favorite and I hate 5. I've played through the campaign at least twice, and possibly a 3rd time and I still can't really tell you what happened. It's like the Age of Ultron for Halo. Lots of big fights and explosions but just completely forgettable and a letdown.
Also I've gotten to play couch co-op with my spouse on all the other main-line Halo games EXCEPT 5.
I enjoyed Halo 4, though not as much as every Halo before it. It was Halo 5 that soured me to the franchise. What an awful, awful campaign.
Halo 4 isn’t great, but it’s a goddamn masterpiece compared to 5. I tolerated 4 when it came out, I even had some fun with the campaign, but 5 was a goddamn embarrassment. That’s the game that completely killed any faith I had in 343 making worthwhile new Halo games.ID: gq2efu2
Yeah, I've heard about 5 and my friend is offering to let me borrow their Xbox to conplete the campaign, but I'm questioning if it's worth it.ID: gq2p7o2
Halo 5’s multiplayer was amazing though.ID: gq4801e
And don't forget that 5 was an AAA, exclusive with tons of money backing development while shouldering the burden of both continuing a beloved franchise and trying to boost the Xbox One platform.
5 had every reason to succeed and they just dropped the ball so hard. 5 is was definitely Microsoft's StarFox: Zero.
Hey man I worked on this game from about 50% thru the development cycle all the way to the end. I was on the multiplayer department.
I would agree with your assessment, minus the aesthetic. I thought it looked pretty good considering the entire world was built from the ground up as H1-3 were all done by Bungie.
I'm kind of jogging my memory now as the only game I've ever worked on and then played (while not being payed) was PGR4. I haven't touched Halo 4 since it released. So I might use some wierd terms as its all from memory of what.. gotta be 8 years ago now?
The areas I feel most agreeable with as how you rated them:
Sound Design (it just sounds ... cheap)
Game Play - The weapons. Dear god, those freaking weapons. By the way in case you are curious DMR is the best in the right hands, there is no comparison. This is something I never really liked about HALO and I was hoping they would fix in this itineration but didn't - maybe have some guns accel in certain situations over other? Nope. Battle rifle is just a cut rate DMR, assault rifle sucks, etc.
Also ... I wish they had that cool mech in more parts of the game, which ties into:
Yeah! Multiplayer was great. This was also my departent. The maps, although not plentiful at launch, were in my opinion all really well done. (please don't talk about how shit it ran on split screen, we know that, that was a design decision from higher ups we had no control over). But that's just big business. I mean really Microsoft is no different than some accounting firm - big boys make the decision with us underlings executing it.
That one map with the giant... mountains i think? and a river? was a green map, blue sky. Well anyways the one where you can play as THE MECH. Man that was fun. Loved being the mech. Didn't care if I got blown up or whatever, that giant mech suit was amazing and so much fun and there were lots of other vehicles on that map. Just a part.
And then 343 is owned by Microsoft so they parade as an independent studio - but who makes the decisions? Same guys @ microsoft who decide that split screen should be near non-functional in multiplayer lol.
Okay less rants back on track...
SPARTAN OPS! YES! SUCH A LET DOWN!
That shit was literally tossed in shortly before launch. SUCH A GREAT IDEA! SO HORRIBLY EXECUTED! I left the project shortly after launch, so it sounds like it never got fixed.
I remember when they briefed us on Spartan Ops its sounded AMAZING. And then you hop in and it looks like some guy spent 15 minutes in a level developer and just dragged unit clones all over in certain areas. SUCH A LET DOWN.
Ya I felt the same way. But honestly... 4th set in the series. Kind of hard to do much with the same masked-crusader. That's just my opinion.
Also one of the things i disliked about this was how much the multiplayer pulled from COD with the loadouts and stuff.
In multiplayer FPS's at the time you kind of had a few different genres - and the two big ones were "COD Clones" and then HALO. And HALO was it's own thing, and then you had COD clones running around.
Then they blurred the line by implementing a lot of COD-style things like loadouts. Which I thought kind of dampened the ... almost elementary enjoyment of HALO.
ENJOY MY INSIDER KNOWLEDGE
Read thru some other comments. Guess they nerfed the DMR and made the BR the best weapon. all of my knowledge and perspective comes from the game during development and at launchID: gq2vo4g
Thank you for the insider insight. And for what it's worth, I bear you and everybody else who worked on this game no ill-will. And I did enjoy the multiplayer in Halo 4 probably better than any other element, so good job on that!
But like you said in your assessment of the campaign, it really is the 4th in the series. And Halo 3 and Reach ended on such high notes with so many amazing new features (Forge, Theater was revolutionary, the Bungie.net integration) I don't see how the bar could have been raised much higher. Hell, Halo 5's main new idea was Warzone and that was just ... yuck.
One question, if you're willing to share: Regardless of the shoddy decisions of the higher-ups with the overall direction of the game, were you treated well as an employee and a designer? I don't know whether you were brought in as a contractor or what, but I read so much about the crunch developers go through in AAA development, so how would you rate Microsoft/343i compared to other places? Would you work for them again?
Bear in mind, this was after the franchise was handed over from Bungie to 343 .ID: gq12ixn
Yeah, I figure that's where a lot of it comes from. I understand it was a different studio developing, however it feels like there are a lot of missteps than could be chocked up to first time development.
That video is heavily cherry-picked though. He often compares something an art director said to something a gameplay designer said, making it seem much worse than it actually is.ID: gq29m6p
Get the fuck out of here. That's not a real person. But yeah fucking yikes. Halo Infinite's gonna be dog shit isn't it?ID: gq26uhn
The game had 3 guns that may as well of been the same, the BR, DMR, and Light Rifle. I don't see how they're really different.
So true! In fact, I'd go as far as to say that applies to every weapon in the game. It's like the designers took different weapon archetypes (pistol, semi-auto rifle, LMG, sniper, shotgun, etc.) and gave one to the Prometheans, Covenant, and UNSC, and gave each their own "flavor" of that archetype.
Sure, it packs the game with a lot more weapons and "toys in the toybox" but so many of them fill similar roles a lot feel redundant ... and it suggests that all these factions come from similar origins (they're not!) given how similar their weapons are.
I also wanted to add the thing that ruined this game for me more than anything else was how the story and setting relentlessly referenced stuff from the books or comics or expanded lore. There I was in 2012 after playing every Halo game up to that point, and the story was near incomprehensible. Why should the onus be on me to already know who Palmer or the Didact or the Prometheans are? Was playing 5 Halo games over a full decade not enough dedication to a franchise? It just felt insulting.ID: gq2p3xi
“It felt insulting” you felt insulted because a game had a messy plot? Jesus
The Halo campaigns have always been good by virtue of being good action movies, but I feel like Halo 4 dropped the ball. Where was Halo 4's Giving the Covenant Back their Bomb?ID: gq2gw7f
"It just keeps repeating: 'Regret. Regret. Regret.'"
"'Dear Humanity, we regret comin' to Earth. We regret bein' alien bastards. And we most certainly regret that the Corps just blew up our ragedy-ass fleet!'"ID: gq20a08
You didn’t like the power ranger tv show vibe they were going for.....?
Edit-or wait was that 5? They were both bad and run together for me
As a PC player, I thought the same thing as you... but for Halo 3. I really liked Halo 4 and was MASSIVELY disappointed with Halo 3,regarding the campaigns that is
I feel like I’ve been transported back to 2012. I remember being hyped for this game and finally making enough money that I bought the legendary edition of H4. To say it’s disappointing compared to the Bungie games is an understatement. I’m actually glad people still realize how much this game changed the landscape of halo after reach.
The original Halo and Reach will be at the top for me. I played them all as they came out and never even loved the games. But those 2 were the most memorable
343 completely fucked it up. i remember first getting Halo 4 and completing the legendary campaign on co-op with my college buddy in just 5 hours...the story was shallow, I felt no emotion towards what was happening. The game's main focus shifted towards a more Call of Duty style multiplayer. I gave up on any future Halo releases after the 4th installment.
edit: didn't even bother using any of the new guns that the enemy used because they seemed so ineffective in combat. I would say the only one that was useful was the scatter shotgun, but that's it.
My only disagreements here are on the abilities and spartan ops. As far as the abilities went, I found most of them useful if you kept them in mind, and I in particular really enjoyed the hard light shield, as it complimented my very aggressive playstyle well. Obviously in MP, it's pretty easy to flank the shield (though I still found it somewhat useful), but it really shone in PvE imo. As for the spartan ops, I don't think they were masterpieces or anything, but I still remember enjoying them quite a bit.
just making sure, did you watch the cinematics for spartan ops? for some reason they dont auto play at the beginning of each chapter on the mcc. when i first started playing spartan ops i found it to be pretty boring, after i remembered there was cinematics i starting liking it a lot more. the gameplay didnt change but i was suddenly invested in the story because there actually was a story.
Love the title. 🙂
I played Halo 1 and 2 remasters.
They were good games, a lot of padding through. I started Halo 3 and kinda just lost interest. I've heard pretty terrible things about 4 =/ Sort of glad I moved on.
In terms of campaign, it should be pointed out that the Didact was meant to serve as a catalyst more than an antagonist. Simply a thing that got events moving and gave the plot direction. The main point of the story was about Chief protecting Cortana abs also the internal conflict of whether he's a man or a machine. It's was about fleshing out the psychological damage that he endured during the war and his push towards being a few - thinking individual rather than just a weapon for the UNSC.
It was only the beginning of a new Saga of games that were going to continue to explore both Chief and the Didact as broken individuals, but after the backlash towards Halo 4 and its Iack of 'Pew Pew dudebro shooter motifs', they decided to change directions halfway through Halo 5's development. What we got was an awful pew pew dudebro shooter fused with Power Rangers instead. It was a much less meaningful and impactful story than Halo 4 in every way and is really only saved by having the best gameplay in the series.
For me, personally, the writing for the games rank as: Halo 2 > Halo 4 > Halo CE > ODST > Halo 3 > Halo 5 > Reach
As a longtime Halo fan...
I personally enjoyed it heavily. I liked the chemistry between chief and cortana, I liked the desperation in trying to keep her alive, prometheans were a bit more fun to fight than flood imo. The gun sounds are the best of the series, I love how meaty they feel.
It's my 2nd favorite campaign next to Halo 2. I think these two games are the most effective at conveying a fantastic journey with the smallest amount of repeated environments.
Halo 5 ruined the emotional impact, but that one isn't canon for me.ID: gq35rwt
As a new Halo fan I enjoyed it a tonne as well. For context, before the MCC on Steam I'd only played a handful of times, and only knew bits and pieces about the universe. I don't care in the slightest about any multiplayer, I purely got it to enjoy all the campaigns solo/co-op. Which I've certainly done, almost 400 hours on Steam now without touching any game's multiplayer.
I definitely enjoyed all the titles in the MCC, though Reach is my favorite and 4 is second favorite. With 4 I loved the story and interaction between Cortana and Chief, and loved the theme throughout the game on soldiers and humanity.
It felt suitable that Chief is much more talkative here than in other games. In the other games Cortana could do the talking and/or Chief didn't need to talk, just kick ass. But here Cortana is "slowly thinking herself to death", and she's one of the few Chief could call a friend. They were supposed to look out for each other. Near the end of the level Composer, as the Didact steals it and Cortana is struggling to keep it together, and Chief just says "look, don't think about everything else, just focus on finding me Tilson." Followed by the way he says "Thank you, Cortana" after. One of the most human things we see from Chief, and it's in him trying to help his friend. In the end her sacrifice feels so fitting to me. I don't see any romantic subtext there, I know some people complain about that. They were friends doing their best to look out for each other in the face of what was almost humanity's extinction, multiple times.
Now Chief's story is finally done, we see his armor being removed for the first time, and that's it, he's finished the fight. Just pretend Halo 5 didn't happen and completely fuck up what I think was a perfect place to end Chief's/Cortana's journey.
Gameplay-wise of course I loved it too. One of my favorite things about all of the games is enemy shielding. That unlike other FPS's, you can't just slowly chip away at the enemy's health until they're dead, you have to make moves before their shields regenerate. I hate that the brutes in 3 get shitty shields that don't regenerate. I love that the promethean knights have shields that feel like they regenerate even quicker than elites. To take it even further I love the watchers too. I know some people hate them, especially how they try to hide when you start hitting them, but I love it. It was also cool to fight something that's not flood or Covenant.
Didn't like the dedicated sprint though, I can agree with the haters on this one. Would prefer no sprint period for Halo, but I'd take Reach's armor ability if I had to compromise.
With all that said though, to each their own, I'm not gonna say anyone is wrong for hating 4 or anything. I just wanted to rant about why I love it.ID: gq2xcr2
Same, Halo 4 is definetly on my top three halo campaings.
I never finished campaings for Reach, ODST or 3, but I had good time in 4. Fun but manageble challenge on legendary.
So, this is a very controversial game, partly because the aesthetic changes happened at the same time as the change of hands (which AFAIK wasn't really that much of a thing, many devs in bungie doing Halo came along, and the ones that stayed were on Destiny probably since ODST).
The thing is that there are important lore reasons why some stuff is different. Covenant are a separate, extremist group, and specially the elites were specifically a different "race" (same species, think Vulkans and Romulans). Forerunner stuff was different because this was not a Builder installation, it's made by Warrior-Servants (forerunners had a strong caste system).
Aside: one of the reasons Infinite's demo was very interesting is because different grunt races were seen at the same space. Hopefully more varied phenotypes will be seen for the rest.
As usual, the games fail tremendously at explaining a lot (a very big lot) of stuff that's clear on other media (books, mainly). Didact had been in a lot of stuff and really a very interesting dude, even in Halo 3 terminals I think. Cryptum+Primordium+Silentium explain a lot of the Forerunner stuff, and Glasslands+Thursday War+Mortal Dictata explains the present side (humans and wortworts).
The art style definitely changed: everyone got buff, and apparently a bloom effect does a lot of heavy lifting (the game can be modded to disable it and it looks much closer to classic). Music changed similarly, but they stated they wanted to signal the context is very different. These are more "meta" changes though.
In the end, I think this game lost a lot of people because it skipped explaining a whole lot of stuff which is jarring to see changed.
On a different note: dangit the weapons in this game trigger me. They initially made it so all the initial weapons had the same TTK, which is both great and terrible: on one hand, yay for starter weapon variance on MP; on the other, they indeed aren't much different. They they buffed the BR and everything has sucked ever since.
Subjectively, I avoid the BR out of spite. I like the DMR specifically for big maps, and I actually love how the lightrifle feels (fun fact: the BR was at some point supposed to behave like the LR baxk in Halo 2). If the LR wasn't there I'd be using the carbine though. The plasma rifle is traditionally one of my favourite weapons (unless it's dual-wieldable, then it sucks) and in this game in particular I'm frequently using it successfully over distances beyond reason. The AR is effective at even longer ranges, and the supressor kind of feels like the Halo CE AR: shredding anything at close range, useless for anything else. And omfg the boltshot feels dirty and OP well used. However, all of this I comment about MP, because ammo in campaign is so stupidly limited that I didn't really have a choice 😛
This is not my favourite Halo, but it does receive a lot of criticism for somewhat unfaireasons (stuff looks different) and somewhat subjective reasons alike, and I felt like I needed to balance that a bit. I hope I could add some sorely needed context, or at least hints on where to look for the interested.
I agree with you. Halo 4 campaign is just really sub-par. There's no stage in it where it ever measured up to prior entries.
Multiplayer - Award for most improvement. It's fine. Maybe good.
The thing is I never played Halo 4 before recently and went right to Halo 5 which has a terrible single player but excellent multiplayer. So the long running opinion I'd seen among people was "Halo 4 at least has a good single player but terrible multiplayer".
And after playing H4 MP I can say those people are snorting some really bad glue. Halo 4's MP is actually genuinely good. It definitely has the weakest standard small DM maps, no question about that and the loudout/weapon redundancies as well as the "drops" de-fang the battles for power weapons. However in spite of that Halo 4's BTB is actually good and it has a good amount of variety.
I personally believe BTB to be Halo's "meat & potatoes" for multiplayer enough that I personally think Halo 3's BTB variety to be actually pretty lacking to all the others (Seriously Rat's Nest & Longshore aren't very good. Standoff BTB is fun at first for the pure chaos but that charm runs out quick. And I've never seen a well designed map on Sandbox. Half of H3's BTB isn't great)ID: gq2oh3s
And after playing H4 MP I can say those people are snorting some really bad glue. Halo 4's MP is actually genuinely good.
I guess most people in the Halo community are snorting glue then, because 4 is the most disliked multiplayer. It had a massive population drop off just weeks after the game released. Halo 5 is still quite popular on Xbox One even with the much smaller console install base.
The Halo 4 multuplayer in MCC has a lot of options to basically play without Halo 4s actual mechanics. The loadouts and ordinance drops were what made fans hate Halo 4 mp. So without them it is alright. But they just destroy the entire concept of Halo, where everyone starts on equal footing and fights over power weapons, which are basically objectives.
Lol I’m pretty sure I’ve played this but I can’t remember a single thing about it even with you describing it. So I guess I agree.
The first level was awesome... that was it.
It sucks so much that the best parts of the story with Cortana and Master Chief just ended up being undone in Halo 5.
Playing it once on legendary was enough
For me Halo 4 is all about Cortana. She is one of my favorite characters and I really enjoyed that part.
Hard agree. I played it again, for the first time since it's release on 360, when it released on the MCC on pc. I was trying to keep an open mind, as it's been a long time. I've heard a lot of people on the halo sub like the story especially and the first time I played it I'd been playing halo 3, one of my all time favourite games, for years.
I want too, but I just can't enjoy it. Not only is most of the story (especially the new villain) bland and forgettable. As you point out the gameplay isn't even fun. The Prometheans are so boring and unsatisfying to fight especially.
As a long time Halo fan I feel vindicated. Halo 4 has always been a heavily debated installment in the fanbase so to have an outside perspective of the game is great.
For example, a lot of lorefans have argued to death that you DON'T need to read external media to understand the story in Halo 4 but clearly you've proven that wrong.
Basically, Didact hate humanity because like thousands of years ago Forerunners and ancient Humans were at war and some stuff happened (I dropped out of Halo lore when it got messy so I don't really know all of it)
Didact went hardcore on destroying humanity while his wife (who's also in Halo 4), the Librarian wanted to save them so they locked Didact up and now that he's back he wants to finish what he started because he's blinded by hatred
Chief was also made some kind of chosen one by Librarian, she gave him some special genes as the next evolution in humanity which is why he can survive the composer
Halo 4 is just overall messy and kind of trips over itself with all the weird lore
I enjoy the story and look of halo 4. The multiplayer was also pretty fun back in the day.
Otherwise I'm tempted to mostly agree with you. Back when it first came out, spartan ops was an episodic release and every single episode they managed to disappoint me and my buddies. When I replayed Halo maybe 2 years ago, I still enjoyed the campaign of four, but I ended up dropping Spartan ops and just watching cutscenes on YouTube because it was such a slog. And then the storyline from Spartan ops gets dropped At the end of the first mission of Halo 5
I feel like halo lost it’s way with 343. I’m all for trying to innovate with the games, but it feels like their innovations are to try and copy aspects of call of duty and not in keeping with the feel of halo.
The biggest thing I can say about playing halo 4, is that the experience made me not even bother picking up halo 5 - and I grew up sinking countless hours into all the other halo games.
Yeah, my opinion will no doubt be controversial but I feel Halo 5 campaign is so much better than this one. I remember back then everyone was okay with 4 (that I hated) and would shit on 5. Now, the disastrous ad campaign for 5 is probably what killed it on launch. But if you try to play it with an open mind, I really like most of the level design, it's much better than 4, there is a sandbox aspect to it back (still not as good as OG games), the story... Isn't that great but honestly isn't that bad either. I like the part on Meridian, or with the Arbiter and his war. I also like where it's headed next. Anyway.
If you play it, you probably won't like quite a few stuff - that's fair, but the gameplay itself is def a lot more enjoyable than 4.
Let's talk about the Didact first. The way that you feel is absolutely intentional because the antagonist of the game is NOT the Didact as it would lead you to believe. The antagonist is Cortana's Rampancy, it is not a story of the interplanetary politics or genocidal aliens attempting to eradicate humanity, it is a personal story between John and Cortana and everything else is world building and semantics.
Also, I would like to make it clear that the reason the Didact hates humanity is because of his arrogance, which was the fall of the Forerunners. They thought themselves higher than everyone and they suffered for it. The Didact believes, even after being told humanity was trying to help the Forerunners, that humanity is responsible for the ruin of the universe, the ruin of the Forerunners. It is his arrogance and his delusion that leads him to believe that humanity is a blight on the universe.
I have absolutely nothing to say to you in regards to the soundtrack. It sounds exactly like Halo, specifically this one should. In fact, I would argue that this has the best soundtrack and sound design out of any Halo game as of yet, period. The soundtrack is the perfect compliment to the story and if you can't realize that then I can't say anything to you.
Halo 4 is absolutely my favorite Halo game and I like pretty much everything about it. Everything that you have listed you do not like I love about the game and perhaps that is simply our difference of opinion.
I agree with the majority of your points as Halo 4 was also my least favorite Halo game before Halo 5 (shudder) was released.
Focusing on the campaign story, if MC was found after a few decades instead of just 4 years, enough time would have passed to make some serious changes to the story that would allow for a good, clean setup for a new campaign plot.Beginning of what is essentially fan fiction.
While playing through Halo 4 again to get all of the achievements on PC with a couple of friends we kicked around ideas and came up with an altered story that put MC being found and awoken 35ish years after the events of Halo 3. In our imagined version of the game, the covenant is given time to undergo what is essentially a civil war with multiple splinter groups forming. One of the splinter groups - which will for simplicity's sake be referred to as the Neocovenant from here out - led by fanatical elites or brutes sets up on a forerunner shield world shortly after the fall of the covenant and learn the locations of other shield worlds including Requiem which they decide to make a pilgrimage to.
After finding Requiem and actually finding a way inside, the Neocovenant learns of the Didact and what his plans to fight the flood originally were. Since the Neocovenant is still fanatical, upon learning of Prometheans and the Composer, they set to work on composing their members to "become higher beings". The splinter group locates and obtains The Composer and begins to compose and transform their own number into "prometheans" which are established as the new major enemy type. Right around the time MC is finally rediscovered and awoken, the fanatical splinter group set out to accomplish what the Didact originally had in mind for humanity and even other life in the galaxy.
I also had the idea that the Didact's digitized mind would have still been found on Requiem having sat in isolation for tens of thousands of years and finding that he could forgive humanity and eventually came to regret what he had done as he slowly pieced the sanity he had lost back together. In this imagined version of Halo, instead of the Didact still having a physical body, he'd have managed to turn himself into a "perfect" AI similar to Cortana but without the penchant for rampancy while he was attempting to find a way to overcome the Flood. The Didact would have believed that the only way to beat the Flood would be digitization and control of inorganic bodies which he planned to force the Forerunners to undergo. To avoid the logic plague that the Flood used to manipulate advanced AI, safeguards would be set in place to keep newly digitized minds from processing too much information by basing them on limited organic forms of computation. In other words, organic brain = resistant to logic plague compared to typical advanced AI, so the Didact just turns himself into an AI limited to abilities similar to his organic brain's processing power. As for humanity and other intelligent lifeforms, the Didact, fanatically believing in the supremacy of the Forerunner, planned instead for them to serve as mindless Promethean automatons after he forcefully composed them. The Librarian of course would manage to stop him before he managed to do this and decides to set off the Halo rings.
We figured that one of the leaders of the Neocovenant would eventually make contact with the Didact and would at first believe him to be similar to 343 Guilty Spark or other "oracles" but instead quickly learn the Didact to be much more. Instead of allowing themselves to be disillusioned by the Didact's explanations, or perhaps for some other reason such as megalomania, the leader of the splinter Covenant group figures out how to further lock the Didact out of Requiem's control structure and keeps him silent in order to push forward their own agenda: mainly that of composing everything to make more Prometheans. I can imagine this leader would preach to the splinter group of Covenant that the Forerunner disappeared because they had indeed become higher beings as the Prophets originally foretold, but not by activated the Halo rings, instead they had composed themselves into higher beings. The proof could be a twisting of the history of the Didact and his own recorded thoughts, and bam, you've got yourself a fanatical religious group with zealots ready to do anything and everything to further their agenda. The Didact could then only sit and watch in horror as the original plans he had come to regret are suddenly put into motion due to circumstances he had never imagined. I suppose this act by the Neocovenant could also cause more conflict in the Didact's mind
Also changed in this imagined alternate story: Cortana was built better than other AI flash clones because she had Dr. Halsey's DNA and lasted much longer than the expected 7ish years that she was supposed remain sane, but after a few decades she's barely holding together and clearly showing obvious signs of rampancy. After MC is found and awoken (we didn't come up with how this would happen, but we all thought MC just happening upon Requiem was too unbelievable), he learns of the Neocovenant with forerunner technology that has arisen and gets right on that with Cortana in his brain box. MC would have the same conversation with Cortana that would lead them to want to seek out Dr. Halsey, but she's been missing or dead for years and the current threat is too big to ignore. Humanity and the Sanheili have had time to rebuild and stabilize over at least one of the past few decades, but are still unable to face the new "promethean" covenant threat without relying heavily on each other.
Moving things along, the Neocovenant begin attacking either human worlds, the Sangheili, or both. The Composer is still an unknown to everyone but the Neocovenant, so the reason for the attack is not well understood and is assumed to be due to a fanatical revenge plot. In any case, MC and Cortana kick ass as usual and make their way to Requiem (with the help of the Sangheili and the older Arbiter who MC eventually gets to meet again during the campaign) where they discover the existence of the Didact's digitized mind and are unknowingly manipulated into freeing him while fighting through the Neocovenant and perhaps even the Promethean knights we see in Halo 4 that are under the control of the Neocovenant. Once the Didact "AI" is freed, he regains control of his Promethean knights and begins to fight off the Neocovenant forces on Requiem while taking the time to explain to MC and the increasingly rampant Cortana who he is and what the Neocovenant are planning to do. Oopsies, it looks like the attack that the Neocovenant launched was a distraction meant to draw forces away from the world or worlds they attacked so that The Composer could be used to begin composing living beings on whatever chosen planet with the bulk of the actual Neocovenant forces protecting The Composer as it fired. Cortana is really breaking up here however, so MC asks if the Didact knows some way of maintaining her sanity and undoing the rampancy she is experiencing consider he turned himself into an AI using his own organic form as a baseline similar to Cortana. The Didact confirms that he may know a way of fixing her, but time is too short to attempt doing so at the moment as MC needs to bring the Didact's digitized mind to the Composer in order to stop it from composing whatever planet it is aimed at. So instead, the Didact recommends that MC says his goodbyes to Cortana for now and they'll lock her away in the same containment that the Didact prisoner in as a temporary way to keep her somewhat maintained. This could be a big emotional moment as MC and Cortana are unsure if they'll be able to fix her mind. The game could either end here as a cliff hanger, or MC and his new Didact AI could stop The Composer from destroying the life on whatever planet it is aimed at as the last part of Halo 4's campaign.
After this, you can still have a rampant Cortana taking control of forerunner technology while she is believed to be contained to get the story to a similar place as Halo 5 but with MC having a new "AI" Didact in his head to replace the lost Cortana, or you can go in a different direction with the story since the timeline is decades in the future. I think a rampant Cortana overthinking herself into believing that MC finally abandoned her for being broken might be more gripping to players and could serve as another reason for her to attempt some sort of AI coup. To be honest though, the misunderstood betrayal angle might be a little to cliched.End of what is essentially fan fiction.
Apologies if the above was boring or even cringe-worthy, I just really wanted to get that out after being so disappointed with the campaign story we were left with.
As for the aesthetics, yeah, I agree, everything Covenant-wise was ugly and everything Forerunner-wise was... Generically sci-fi? I don't really know how to describe it.
I agree with you completely on your other points about weapon design, sound design, and music.
I do have to disagree with your multiplayer thoughts, however. Halo 4 (next to the awful Halo 5) is my least favorite multiplayer experience mostly due to the horrid idea to include sprint and ledge-climb into multiplayer maps without redesigning them to accommodate for that. All of the smaller maps are far too small and any semblance of balance was totally destroyed which was very obvious in how unpopular Halo 4 was as an e-sport in comparison to previous titles.
Big team battle and larger maps are a different experience altogether, but still, I personally preferred all previous Halo titles in terms of multiplayer (excluding Halo CE as it shows its age).
Thanks for the write-up OP, I do enjoy reading others thoughts on games I was once heavily invested in. Another great post on /.
I honestly hated the story so much.... Like the others were cool and like oh Master Chief saves the day. This was like some farm boy trope taken beyond the max. Like the special genes and it being unlocked? Like wtf is this garbage. Cortana degrading as an AI was actually ok, but it went nowhere other than to remind us rampancy bad. And so she leaves to save master chief?? I guess?? God I agree with OP so much. I was so happy when I was done with the campaign.
I have Halo 4 on Xbox 360. Unlike the other games, guns despawn after 30 seconds or so. If you're playing on harder difficulties, you are forced to either just pick up random guns or melee your way through a level, because you don't have the reserves of guns in cleared rooms. Really a massive oversight. Just felt like the game didn't have a lot of love in it.
This is by far the most disappointing campaign in the series.
You poor bastard... just wait until you play Halo 5.
Agree, Halo 4 felt like a soulless tribute to the series
To each their own. As a fan of science fiction in general I really enjoyed the direction Halo 4 took the franchise. Sure the Promethians aren’t the best enemies but I still thought the game was fun to play and I was interested in the story. Add to that an amazing soundtrack and Halo 4 is one of my favorite games in the franchise.
4 isn’t just a bad Halo game, I think it’s a poor game altogether. You hit the nail on the head with these criticisms, the gameplay was the biggest letdown. It’s funny how so many seemingly tiny things can come together and completely ruin a game. On paper, Halo 4 sounds incredible. But the end result was insulting. It soured me on the series so badly I skipped 5 entirely. I hope Infinite is a return to glory but I don’t trust anything from 343 to have much hope for it.ID: gq2p9ne
“End result was insulting” y’all are a bunch of hyperbolic drama queens I swear
Aside getting into specifics, this is about what my partner said on Halo 4 versus the rest. She didn't like how the covenant were reworked, and it felt very flat overall.
I played and took in Halo 4 for the first time very recently, especially compared to the other Halo games. I played all the FPS's except 5 at this point, and I've been playing Halo 1 (physical) and Halo 2 via Project Cartographer since before the MCC was announced for pc. I've played and taken in every other game, especially odst, but it was definitely my first time seriously playing 4.
It was alright.
It was a bit emotional for me at the end, and honestly I liked the story of characters between John and Cortana, but knowing the events of Halo 5 and how that completely botches the ending, it feels bad in a post Halo 5 universe.
If you want to play a good halo game again try halo wars 2. It's actually really good on quality of spin offs like reach or odst. Story ad world is amazing gives me some how they might turn it around in next one.
I don't understand why everyone hates on 4. While yes the art style is different it isn't terrible, there is a change, you gradually accept it, the old style while charming was held back by the technology.
I absolutely hated the old forerunner style, the pallets where fine but it felt like a brutalist landscape, the new style feels advanced, it feels alive like how the sentinels where, the promethean enemies where pretty bad but the dog and drone variant felt truly forerunner.
The design shift for the jackle, grunts, and hunters where appreciated, giving them more of a distinctive yet thick enough profile, the elites where unreasonably changed.
While the UNSC change was distinct It felt reasonable for it to happen when technology progresses, and halo 4 was kinda just a nice middle game with graphical quality that was appreciated.
Story of 4 was better than 5, Cortana's corruption was a nice plot point and she was actually feeling like a real character (totally not because I crushed on her when I played it) MC was felt well adjusted and the few humans we met made an interesting premise for the game
Besides that I played it first time on hard, so the gameplay was engaging, I broke the map bounds alot, and the AI was pretty good, not completely BS but a fair if weighed fight
I hate Halo 4. It's the worst game in the series. Everything you talked about and then some, because Halo 4 is full of retcons as well. The Didact was a good guy in H3 who was the one that fired the rings, and now suddenly he was a bad guy in H4? The storyline didn't make sense whatsoever, so they had to make this convoluted "Forerunners have people take their personalities and sort of become them but also kind of not really, so there's two Didacts and shit"
It was whack. Also the Cortana stuff was garbage. That's not how Rampancy worked at all before H4. They treated her like a human character who was developing a mental illness, not an artificial construct. Not to mention, the vague sexual tension between her and Chief at the end was weird. She's never expressed a desire to have a physical form, now suddenly she's always wanted to touch him?
Halo 5 isn't real and can't hurt me.
My friend gifted me the Master Chief Collection on Steam and I absolutely loved playing the trilogy in co-op.
When Halo 4 got added I thought "I know this will be nowhere near the Bungie games, but as long as they copy pasted the gameplay loop it can't be that bad"
Boy was I wrong! Forced myself through the first mission but couldn't take it anymore in the second mussion. The quality drop is astronomical, instantly uninstalled it lol.
I'm honestly having more fun with Homefront Revolution I bought on sale for 4 bucks and that is a bland, mediocre empty-openworld military FPS.
This is why I don't get the hype around Infinite - it's made by the same people that made Halo 4 and misunderstood everything that makes Halo good.
I remember reaching a point on my first play through, on the very last level, and I stopped and realized. I hated the music.
Halo 4's OST was definitely different but I don't think it was bad at all. It had a more electronic synth feel. It felt alien and unique in its own way. I thought it was appropriate for fighting a highly advanced alien species.
These are a few of my favorite tracks.Solace Haven 117 Green and Blue Legacy Arrival Revival Requiem Wreckage Halo 4's version of "Never Forget".
Fighting the Covenant again didn't make sense.
To me, this made perfect sense. The Covenant was composed of many individuals with their own thoughts and beliefs. Of course they're not all going to agree with each other. It's no surprise that a lot of the Elites, Grunts, and Jackels aren't going to suddenly want to become friends with humans after billions of their friends were killed by humans.ID: gq2hzma
Halo 4 still get a lot of hate. Is not perfect but in this review the game is bad just because he didn't like it.
Graphically is beautiful, story is dramatic but great and make sense as you say. And music is great even if O'Donnell did not make it, 117 and arrival are amazing tracks. It's true that gameplay is not as good as others.
Yeah halo 4 is universally disliked by pretty much everyone who’s played the good onesID: gq2y0cr
After recently played through the entire MCC, Halo 4 and 2:A really stand out to me, as a long time fan. I loved 3, and I've played it the most growing up, but now? It feels sluggish, and the some of the issues are still there that can be had with the newer games. Battle rifle is still king. The assault rifle sounds like trash, and it, among others, feel underpowered. Obviously, it's a beautiful game. I love the art style. The campaign is entertaining, but there are a few holes.
Halo 4 feels like a solid update, minus the loadout system. The maps aren't my favorite.
Halo 2:A feels like a good mix of the classic game and the new updates. It's currently my favorite.ID: gq2ixy1
you’d be surprised how many people actually like it over the originalsID: gq3415w
I just played the whole series for the first time over the last around a year. And after a bit over 2,000 hours, I can absolutely say 4 is my favorite of the bunch with ODST not far behind. Not in every way, but in enough to say it is by far my favorite. In campaign, and multiplayer. Same for the few people I've been playing it with along the way, and others in this thread. There certainly are those who prefer it.
Yeah, my issue with the watchers may stem more from playing on legendary and LASO. But it was more that they took 5 shots to kill with the BR, DMR, and LR. It made it so they just felt annoying, but I felt like with a bit less health they could have been interesting.
I agree with you that the story was really lacking here. Right at the beginning when the protagonist kills a Sangheli in a quicktime event before even talking to it, it feels like they just threw out the whole hard-won peace/alliance storyline in a kind of off-putting way, and the campaign after that was pretty meh.
The best part of halo 4 has been the good level design as usual, but the story felt uniquely pointless.
Halo 4 is up there with ODST as the next SP in the series for me. 2 and 5 at the bottom and my problems with them were all story choices.
I was with you all the way up until the talk about the BR, DMR, and Light Rifle all being the same. As someone who was involved in the competetive scene for Halo 4 I can't really agree with this. Especially for SWAT the DMR and BR provided completely different niches if you wanted to create your own advantage over the enemy.
Agree with basically everything else though. I can't even remember the campaign despite having completed it at least 20 different times for those weekly missions
4 was a massive step back from Reach and I think it tried to be more like Call of Duty this time.
I don't entirely disagree with your main points, but I'm fundamentally bothered by negative commentary of one of my favorite series.ID: gq11kcs
Don't get me wrong, I love Halo. I wouldn't be trying to 100% it otherwise, but damn did I feel disappointed in this one. Didn't mean to come off as negative to the entire series.