Throwback Review: Halo 4
The Spartan, the hero to Mankind against the Convenient, Flood and many other oppositions fighting for the USNC. It came down to one lone Spartan, a survivor of the Fall of Reach known as Spartan 117 or Master Chief, but known as John to Dr. Halsey. Damn, that legacy was a great adventure and Kuma has been part of that game adventure since the beginning on the original Xbox. But, when Bungie left Microsoft 343 Studios took over and I was okay with it at first. Then I started hearing the sorrows of my fellow halo gamers. Now thanks to my friend Mr. Kimmelman for gifting me with a fixable Xbox One. I picked up the Master Chief Collection and teamed with Unlovedhomie, was gifted a journey through Halo 4. Let’s check it out.
Once again chief is in Stasis after the events of Halo 3 where Cortana has to wake you up because you are under attack. Things take an interesting twist with a new enemy Didacts. Long story short Didact is resurrected ready to kill all humanity and now it is up to you and a glitched Cortana to stop this from happening.
I dig the idea of Dr. Halsey getting confronted about her Spartan program and the moral choices she took in the process. All of her Spartans were kidnapped kids that were replaced with short-lived clones to give the parents reason not to suspect anything. It was messed up and unethical to do that. She is being held in custody being questioned. The thing is we never go anywhere else with that story.
Visually Halo 4 is stunning, especially on the Xbox One. Going through the environments and looking at the world with new venues was amazing. Some of the Didact weaponry are fun to use and even though they pretty much hold the same properties as the human guns. I did enjoy the animation of their assembly.
Now my co-op buddy Unlovedhomie said something to me that has stuck with me since we beat the game. “They Jumped the Shark” which honestly I forgot about that term entirely. Simply put the game was ridiculous, bit too ridiculous for me to enjoy it.
The first problem I have is 343 Studios had a chance of making Halo their own game and since it was released in 2012 and then re-released on the Xbox One in 2014. After watching Halo Legends The Package and then the cutscenes in Halo 4 where Master Chief does a flash kick (back somersault) on an enemy which you can’t do in the game at all bothers me. It has been a bother for the longest time after reading the books as well, so there was a bit of hope that maybe 343 would bring something better, but no. You are a super soldier that is not really super. In terms of sprinting in the campaign, you lose momentum after running for a few seconds. I have played Battlefield 1 in World War 1 and they sprint forever.
Sound effects for certain things felt a bit bland. If you’ve ever played the previous titles all the way up to reach you can tell a difference in the sound effects in the guns and vehicles. Halo 4 seems like they clocked the sound effects down to 3 and they have no weight or depth to any item. If you use one of the mounted turrets and then disengage it for mobile use it will give you a nice sound, but Halo 4 sounds like you ripping velcro apart. Even the guns don’t have that same flair.
Finally, we come to the battle of the boss Didact who showed off that he had force abilities in which he could have killed us at any moment. There was even a situation where he held us in the air with our power after Cortana used the hard light bridge to capture him, but for some reason, we manage to get close enough to detonate a small bomb.
The moment when we, “Jumped the Shark” happens as we have the nuke and ready to sacrifice ourselves to save the world which took way longer than it should have. As we smack the nuke to detonate, Cortana miraculously shields us from the explosion. I kid you not, there was no way in all the Game Sharks and Game Genie codes for it to be possible for her to shield Chief in the time of the explosion. It would have made the perfect end to this hero in my opinion.
The only saving grace with Halo 4 was that I got to play a campaign co-op game with my fellow gamer buddy which turned into a comedy show of Mystery Science theater 3000. So many things that were wrong with the story and an unstoppable enemy that was stoppable made me question the writing path of this game. I know the Librarian did something to the chief to make him invulnerable to that blast, but everything else that Didact was using should have killed him. I revisited this game and now I have to go into Halo 5 to just complete the story, but maybe I will see you all for that throwback review.
In that Happy New Year and I will see you in our next post. -Beast Out-