Halo 4 | Gameguide Halo 4 – Gameguide

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Ask me to review any Halo game and I’m going to have a hard time doing it.  This is because of one thing and one thing only.  I hate Halo.  Yes, I know, I’ve just upset about a bajillion Halo fanboys, but that’s just how I roll.  My hatred of Halo began when Microsoft stole it from Apple, the then developers platform of choice.  But that was really only an abstract hatred of the game.  Soon I became an XBox convert and eventually found my self playing Halo.  One thing I was glad of after playing the first Halo, was that I hadn’t been released on Apple.

But anyway, skip many years forward and Halo has a new developer and a new trilogy and I’m faced with reviewing 343 Industries first go at recreating the Halo experience.  For any fanboys out there who haven’t yet jumped in – though if you’re a fanboy you should have really been at the midnight release – I can let you know that 343 have nailed it.

The opening visuals make the bets case yet for why we don’t need another generation of consoles yet.  Drop dead gorgeous.

The first level has you being woken up from you hiatus by some near nude digital chick who only has bad news for you, everybody seems to be dead and those pesky aliens are about to board the ship.  Lock and load, it’s time to get back into the fight.

For a non-Halo fan like myself, it’s pretty mundane stuff.  But it looks good, feels right and its a definitive Halo experience.  So 343 get points for that.

You think the opening visuals are nice, just wait till your spaceship crash-lands on the planet below and you get out into this lush forested planet and stare out over the valley below.

Only one word describes the experience: stunning.

But then it’s back to killing the same old, same old aliens, before the path down towards the valley floor leads you to a warthog.  Of course the only thing to do when you find a warthog is to jump in and drive the rest of the way.  And it’s here that the Halo experience falls apart.

Walk up to warthog, press button to hop in. Find that you’re sitting in the passenger seat.  Ok, so this may work for multiplayer setting, where your whole team might want a ride, but on a single player campaign, every other game that I’ve played would automatically put you in the drivers seat.  And based on the fact that pretty much only Americans and the French drive on the wrong side of the road, this is an experience that many other players are going to experience.  Looking like a dumb ass because you picked the wrong side of the warthog to get in.

So I hop out and run around to the other side and jump in, hit the accelerate trigger and just sit there.  A microsecond later my brain figures out that 343 haven’t bothered to fix the driving mechanics of the warthog.

Off I drive using the thumbsticks weaving like a drunk, hating the experience as much as I have every other time I jump into a ‘hog.  The beautiful visuals, the solid game-play all disappears when I first drive a warthog.

It’s a shame really, because Warfighter only just proved that you can be a shooter and have really good driving mechanics.  I’m guessing however that either 343 were told not to change certain game mechanics or they were too scared of the fanboy backlash.

So essentially, Halo fans can rejoice.  Halo is back, and mostly better than ever.  It has a new twist in the storyline, some great visuals, and the same Halo combat that you’ve come to love and enjoy.

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