Halo 4 review - the great comeback of the Master Chief

Date: 2012-11-01 08:00:00
The review was based on the X360 version.

Master Chief has long left the Halo series. The Bungie team abandoned the legendary hero after the third part of the game and devoted themselves to developing other threads in the following episodes: ODST and Reach . In addition to the main character, the artistic concept followed by the series until 2007 was changed. The next installments of the well-known series were more and more dark, pessimistic and - according to malicious ones - less kitsch. Halo 4 , created by the 343 Industries studio, follows the path laid out a few years ago, while restoring the brave Spartan to the rank of the most important figure.

The fourth game in the Halo series was a great unknown from the beginning, thanks to a new developer. The current producer - Bungie - parted ways with Microsoft after the completion of work on Reach , leaving the legacy of people from 343 Industries. The new team trained hard on the remake of Halo: Combat Evolved , then jumped into the deep water and prepared the "four". Against the legend, the American studio managed to come out unscathed - Halo 4 does not differ in quality from what we have got used to over the years.

Halo 4 is a direct continuation of the "three". The Master Chief and Cortana find a mysterious planet, where they meet the no less mysterious race of Precursors and the sinister Dydakta. The latter is very perfidious and like any nasty character he wants to take over the world. Our brave Spartan cannot let that happen, of course, so traditionally he tries to stop him. It will not be easy, because if all this was not enough, Cortana begins to break down and go crazy.

The infantile plot, unfortunately, does not impress, but to be honest, Halo 4 did not make a big surprise in this matter - the subsequent episodes of the saga never told any fascinating stories, the "four" maintains a similar level. In fact, only the Precursors save the story and from the very beginning of the struggle you can see that the authors had an idea for them. The whole game is full of themes related to this mysterious race and it is nice, because for the first time in years we get something really new.

Halo 4 is by far the prettiest, most epic, monumental and atmospheric installment in the series. The artistic concept chosen by 343 Industries turned out to be a bull's eye here. The studio continues the trend started in ODST , i.e. giving up the excess of bright colors, and it is compensated for by a subdued, often dark setting, mixed with dark-orange accents of the Precursors. The locations we visit are absolutely beautiful. A jungle shrouded in mist, wide, burnt steppes, powerful space stations, illuminated industrial complexes. Exactly - illuminated. It is mainly due to light that we owe this amazing atmosphere, the skillful use of reflections, reflections and sunlight has done wonders. Most importantly, despite all these visual fireworks, we will experience here the old, often heavily criticized kitsch. Without a doubt, 343 Industries has created the most beautiful Halo in the history of the series, making exploring the location one of its greatest attractions.

The Precursors themselves were also brilliantly designed, leaving the Alliance far behind in terms of artistry. It is a pity that the new enemies can be counted on the fingers of one hand: in fact, we only meet dog-like, fast-running creatures and tall armored beasts wielding high-class lethal toys. The latter are perfidious because they usually come with a flying drone that can heal them, shield them, and even resurrect them. The fight with a few such funs can be really hard.

In Halo 4 , there are also new guns that look really great . The light rifle quickly became my favorite - perfect for long ranges, with high fire rate and high damage. Binary weapons, in turn, are the equivalent of a powerful sniper rifle, capable of taking out even the toughest man with two accurate shots. Of course, four cartridges in the magazine are a trinket for it, so you have to take into account the permanent shortage of ammunition. A huge cannon that releases a beam of grenades is also a powerful means of extermination. When such a load hits the target directly, there is too much to collect. If he misses, then nothing is lost - after hitting the ground or a wall, the projectile launches a burst of splatter to the sides. We also have more standard weapons, such as pistol, machine gun and shotgun. At close and medium ranges, the latter is particularly pleasant, as it deals a lot of damage and has a lot of ammo.

It is worth mentioning that the entire arsenal of Precursors has been designed in a very interesting way. It consists of separate "tiles" that levitate next to each other when reloaded, and then return to their place. These guns blend very well with the mysterious breed, and shooting them is extremely fun and satisfying.

On the positive side, the single player campaign is definitely one of them. It is true that you can complete it in the cooperation mode with friends, but due to the extremely successful atmosphere, I suggest you complete the first pass yourself. The missions are varied, although in some places you can notice a typical routine of the series - there is mandatory tank driving, flying a plane and fighting with a Warthog. Thanks to the Precursors, the new interior architecture and the premiere types of weapons, the game can surprise and for a large part of the adventure we experience an irresistible feeling of discovering interesting elements. These include, for example, the improvements proposed by the authors. Master Chief has the opportunity to use a special view mode that exposes enemies in the area, summon his own flying drone for help, or shield himself with an energy shield. Some old improvements, such as the jetpack and the hologram, also return.

Unfortunately, Halo 4 has a terrible problem with the endings, which is the grand finale - another thing is that most games in the series also suffer from this disease. The last missions are boring, not very varied, sometimes even frustrating. We go through dozens of similar corridors and fight the same types of enemies all the time. Towards the end, the small number of Precursor units also makes its toll. Something that was fun and a breath of fresh air at first gets really tiring as you get closer to the final fight. It is a pity that there was no attempt to diversify the enemies more - the game would certainly benefit from it, and a lot.

Many people will surely be interested in the fact that Halo 4 is available in our full Polish language version. Microsoft is clearly changing its strategy and more and more often decides to support games released on our market, a good example of which has recently been Forza Horizon . Unfortunately, while the location of Forzy was on a really good level, Halo 4 did not do well in this respect. Cortana's voice is especially irritating. It is weak - both in terms of acting and character of the character. The going crazy and falling into psychosis artificial intelligence clearly exceeded the localization possibilities of our team. Interestingly, Master Chief's voice is pretty good, or at least not irritating.

The campaign on the normal difficulty level can be completed very quickly, a skilled player will "run" it calmly in about five hours. However, I recommend - as the series tradition dictates - to raise the bar right away. Only then does the game show its claws, forces frequent changes of weapons, the opponents do not turn out to be so blunt cannon fodder, and the fight is a lot of fun and satisfaction. In this case, the gameplay can extend up to about 8 hours, serving much greater emotions at the same time. Especially when we can be shot with one accurate shot from a sniper rifle or a larger gun.

For dessert, the authors also prepared a mode called Spartan Ops related to the animated series, the episodes of which will be periodically broadcast and ready to be launched in the game menu. It has a separate story, the action of which takes place on the planet Rekwiem six months after the events of the main part of the campaign. Our task, alone or in cooperation with three other people, is to successfully complete several missions that mostly involve the extermination of more and more demanding enemies. In a very simplified way, this mode could be compared to the standard Horde, but it wouldn't be entirely fair. Spartan Ops allows for a lot of freedom in completing each mission, offering something like a not too large sandbox. It is definitely a few hours of extra fun and fun with friends, provided that we decide to complete the whole thing on the Legendary level.

What about the classic multiplayer? In Halo 4, the multiplayer mode is now hidden in the menu under an entry called Infinity, which represents the largest ship humanity has ever built. It is used to simulate skirmishes known as War Games. This is a fairly standard set of options that allows you to choose several traditional game modes, known from previous parts of the series, on ten maps of different sizes. 343, however, did not fall asleep pears in the ashes preparing new attractions.

The first surprise is a mode called Domination, which has replaced the popular Invasion. Its main assumptions are quite similar, so the main goal is still taking over enemy bases, but with some modifications similar to the method of capturing points in the Battlefield series. The mode called Kingsicide is also very interesting, in which one of the players, visible to all opponents by displaying his position on their visors, becomes the target of hunting. The person who kills the selected enemy automatically becomes the king himself, and killing him gives you more points. Which brings us to the next, most serious change related to the new Halo .