Halo 4

Did anyone get it? I know there’s a few Halo fans here…

I’m probably going to give this one a miss, for now. I’ll likely play it when the price drops. The story seems interesting.

I got the game. While I was a bit disappointed with Halo 2 and 3 (I didn’t play ODST, Reach or Anniversary), I was looking forward to Halo 4. While they didn’t really take any risks, and the storyline isn’t going to win any awards, I think it’s a good start for a new story arc. I’ll post some more thoughts later on.

ODST and Reach were more of the same and didn’t add much to the main Halo storyline, so it’s probably a good thing that you skipped them to avoid Halo burnout. I played a friend’s copy of ODST and bought Reach, thinking that it would offer something new (being a main title in the series). Besides the space battles, Reach was much the same as previous titles. I’ve also played a few levels of Anniversary, although not the whole game.

After playing through all these Halo games, I’m getting a bit tired of the franchise. So, I’m hesitant to buy into Halo 4, especially as it will require the purchase of future installments to complete the story. The franchise seems to be becoming like Call of Duty where new games are pumped out regularly (although less regularly than COD) with only incremental changes to the gameplay (compared to the leap between Halo 1 and 2).

I am surprised you didn’t like Reach. I thought the story and pacing of that game was better than previous installments. The multiplayer was solid also. I was completely burnt out of Halo after 2 and 3 but Reach kept me involved and really gave me more appreciation for the series. My thoughts were if they keep improving like that did…The reviews for Halo 4 seem to indicate an extremely polished title that has some new features.

I didn’t hate Reach, but it just felt like a game that was created to fill in the gap between Halo 3 and Bungie parting ways with the franchise. While it was a solid game, it didn’t feel necessary to me. The fact that we already knew the basic story didn’t help make it feel fresh either.

Well… I had no intention to get Halo 4 right away, and I even felt a little like yourself about Reach Solo. But as a spontaneous thing I grabbed a copy Wednesday, and as it happens managed to save my record of having played every numbered installment on (official) day one. :anjou_embarassed:

So anyway, I’ve really enjoyed it. Not sure how much it could be from a relative hiatus from gaming in general, or even just the sparkly shine of the production, but the franchise feels somewhat revitalized to me. The narrative is really heavy handed in some ways, I still miss the camp of the last gen games, but it basically does what Halo 3 attempted, only much much better; without being as blatantly superficial as so many other recent games, it’s still one of the most successfully cinematic feeling experiences I’ve ever played. Not in any revolutionary sense, at all, just a lot of well done details.

But it’s still totally Halo, and it’s all trippy alien atmosphere and surprisingly eclectic mood music, more like the first game. I think I can already say I love the soundtrack, which really surprises me, it’s good Marty moved on, it needed the fresh inspiration it seems. And honestly, there have been many moments the art and visuals make me think of what a new Panzer Dragoon adventure could or should be like. I may have spent a couple hours just admiring the style and execution of the scenery… reminiscent of looking at the grass back in the day. So what does that tell you? lol

Small disappointments of course, but it’s so well roundedly good I can only forgive. It’s no phenomenon, but if you still want to be impressed by a new Halo game, it will probably fit the bill.

Thanks for sharing your impressions, The Ancient. Are there any “wow moments” in Halo 4? Like when you first step out of the escape pod in Halo 1 or hijack a ghost in Halo 2? I felt the later instalments lacked those.

If you don’t end up buying the game I’d recommend watching the Terminal videos on youtube (if they’re up there).

I’ve watched all but two of them and they were quite interesting in lore terms. I’m not sure if the content they cover is in the books as I’ve not read any of them.

Off the top of my head I can’t recall any “wow moments”, at least not any that stood out I suppose. It didn’t have an adrenaline ending either which is usually how they end.

Overall it was an enjoyable experience that I look forward to giving another playthrough on the campaign which probably at least says something. Halo always seems to offer an excellent co-op campaign experience and is probably one of the series biggest appeals for me.

While I didn’t find any wow moments in any of the Halo sequels, Halo 4 definitely did have more than a few of those for me. In fact the game opens up with a CGI showing a close-up of Dr. Halsey, and most people honestly though they were looking at a real person in the first few seconds. Graphically the game looks like it’s running on a next-gen console if you put it next to Halo 3. In fact if I’d have to pick one moment in particular, it would be in the ending, where I thought they did something clever (I’d have to spoil it to explain).

Oh, that’s a very good point, the faces were extremely impressive. It wasn’t just the look of them either, they were spot on with tiny details like expressions and mannerisms.

I suppose I was trying to recall one amazing moment. There are definitely lots of small impressive ones. I was playing today actually and after you arrive on Requiem, there’s a shot after you come out of a tunnel into daylight that was really impressive as well. The game is very visually impressive.

EDIT: Need to get a few more "impressive"s in here. Impressive Impressive Impressive. That should do it.

It’s impossible to make direct comparisons, especially to the original Halo, that really was lightning in a bottle in an instant. Even if high end PCs were already technically more powerful, no actual games looked quite that advanced all round. So no one had seen anything like Halo before.

On the other hand, when we have clear expectations from 360 games to draw on it’s all the more impressive seeing a game stretching console standards the way Halo 4 seems to. It’s all about the main visual conceit, bloom. Relentless light bloom and ‘god rays’. Which Halo’s been doing since 2 but… it’s so consistent, so refined and seamless all the time, it’s not just an effect anymore but an integral part of the lighting. That’s like the only thing I can really put my finger on technically for why it manages to impress so much. For the rest it’s mostly just a lot of hard work and craft, oh and lots of cheesy baked reflection mapping as well.

I was vaguely disappointed to see prerendered videos used at all, but there’s only 3 as I recall. And as Draikin mentioned they are at least very impressive in their own right. And I also agree it’s more about lots of smaller wow moments… except maybe: “wow Cortana has boobs now?” But we all probably already knew that. Of course I have no problem with some T&A in and of itself, but Cortana looks nothing like Cortana now, which does bother me a little. But I haven’t really cared about the story itself since Halo 2 anyway, just a fun sci-fi spectacle anymore, which on that score it is easily better than ever.

“Welcome home, John.”