Halo provides impressive game play, graphics

The first installment in the Halo series by 343 Industries is a raving success.

Halo 4’s campaign is very good. The storyline is engaging, although somewhat predictable, and the level design is mostly an improvement over earlier games in the series.

The storyline is short, however, and a full playthrough only takes six or seven hours.

Many parts of the story also seem to hint at other games, although this could just be a coincidence.

The opening cutscene has a hint of a Mass Effect feel to it, and other small things, such as a star map that looks similar to the star maps in Knights of the Old Republic, also appear.

The ending to the campaign is probably the best ending of any Halo game to date.

Even when it is somewhat expected, the ending still invokes an emotional response.

But while Halo 4’s campaign is a very solid mode on its own, multiplayer is where the game really shines.

Halo 4’s multiplayer is a vast improvement over Halo: Reach. Online play is much smoother and has very few lag issues, even
when playing with a full game of 16 players.

Connection speed also seems to play less of a role as it did in Reach.

The addition to loadouts scared some by making it appear to be a type of Call of Duty clone, but armor abilities are extremely balanced.

There is no one ability that is dominant over the others as in the Call of Duty series, and each gun has a spot where it is the best available option while also having a weakness.

The one weakness to multiplayer on Halo 4 are the maps.

As players are given the option to pick one of three maps before every game, it seems that the majority of games are being played on the same maps.

It can lead to a feeling of repetitiveness when playing four straight games of Dominion on Longbow or five games of Big Team Slayer on Ragnarok.

There is a reason that certain maps are dominating in voting, though.

Halo 4 does not have a great variety of good maps.

Complex might be the worst map ever in a Halo game.

Solace is a pretty weak map as well.

But 343 Industries has three map packs planned for Halo 4, and hopefully these additional maps will improve the available choices.

Halo 4 also introduces Spartan Ops, which is a weekly campaignstyle game type.

Each week, a new episode of 5 chapters is released, and is a continuous story.

Through two weeks, it appears that the maps used will cycle with new parts opening up each week and used parts being closed off, with some overlap.

Spartan Ops is a combination of campaign and multiplayer.

Players can play Spartan Ops solo, but it is designed more in the mold of being played in co-op mode.

So far, Spartan Ops has been impressive and well worth the time to play.

The story isn’t very intriguing yet, but the playthroughs have been quite fun with the occasional challenge.

Halo 4 is by far an improvement over Halo 3 and Halo: Reach. Will it come to surpass Halo 2 for multiplayer? Possibly.

I give Halo 4 a 10/10, and is a must buy for everyone who is a fan of the shooter genre, and especially if any Halo game was enjoyed previously.