Halo 4 packs great story, graphics

By Roy Herrera

“Wake up, Chief. I need you.”

Those are the words Halo fans all around the world have been waiting to hear. Master Chief has returned from his slumber and he is ready to get back into action. The last time we saw Master Chief, he was stranded in the Forward Unto Dawn ship with Cortana.

It is important to note that Bungie, the company that brought Halo to our consoles, did not work on Halo 4. Microsoft-owned company 343 Industries developed the game from start to finish. With a new studio working on the game, some people may be debating whether or not it’s worth purchasing.

I’m here to tell you it is.

Before I talk about the campaign and multiplayer, I have to address a couple of things. First of all, the game looks amazing. The artwork is great and there are various moments in which the scenery made my jaw drop. The sound effects of the guns sound very realistic. The assault rifle sounds like an actual automatic rifle, which has not been the case in previous Halo games. The soundtrack is one of the best, as always.

Since the game is really big, some issues may pop up. For example, I experienced a couple of instances in which the graphics took some time to load up, but this didn’t disrupt the game at all.

Halo is known for great story campaigns, and that notoriety continues with Halo 4. This time, the main focus is on the relationship between Master Chief and Cortana.

Cortana is falling into rampancy, which is a condition that most United Nation Space Command A.I’s go through after seven years of service. As Master Chief is trying to save Cortana, he encounters a new enemy called the Forerunners who are trying to eliminate humanity from the universe. Master Chief has to fight the enemy on his own since he gets no military help, and Cortana has to fight for her own life. The campaign is roughly six to eight hours long depending on the difficulty. If you are playing the game on heroic or legendary, I recommend you take your time. Trying to rush in and kill the enemy is ineffective. You are only going to get killed time after time. Finding the hidden terminals is a key component because it tells the backstory for some major characters in the campaign.

The multiplayer in the game is the same multiplayer we know and love. I do have to warn you that in order to play any of the multiplayer features there is a mandatory installation. The installation requires at least 4GB of hard drive space. There aren’t many changes, but Firefight is not available anymore. In its place is a new mode called Spartan Ops. In this co-operative mode you take control of Spartan-IVs and use them to complete objectives.

Overall, 343 Industries did a great job with Halo 4. The visuals are spectacular and the sound effects are some of the best. The campaign is fun, but the plot is not new or innovative. Also, I think playing the game with the normal difficulty offers a better pace than playing it in the harder difficulties. The harder diffulties just test how long you can fight wave after wave of enemies, which can drag the game out and make it boring.

The required installation of the multiplayer mode is a downfall because some people don’t have the bigger hard drives necessary to install the game. Other than that I had fun playing Halo, and I truly believe that if you are a fan of the series this is a must-buy. If you are a casual player or are debating whether or not to purchase the game, keep in mind that the game will give you a lot of content.

While I do agree that Halo 4 does not bring anything new or innovative to the first-person shooter genre, I still think it is worth purchasing because it brings hours of fun and competitive gameplay.

If you want to pick up the game, you have three options. According to Gamestop.com you can get the standard edition for $59.99, the limited edition for $99.99 and the Xbox 360 320GB Limited Edition Halo 4 Console for $349.99.