23 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars
Halo 4 Campaign ultimately unsatisfying, 14 Nov 2012
= Fun:3.0 out of 5 stars
I'm a fan of Halo since its first release on the XBox1. What defined the Halo experience for me were the dynamic fights in a beautiful huge environment. It got chaotic sometimes which created tension. You could also walk through the environment and enjoy its landscape and awe inspiring architecture. Halo had a lot in common with the Unreal*1* game that the experience walking around was an important element of its atmosphere.
Halo 4 is *nothing* about these elements. There are no fights there where I ever got this chaotic tension feeling I got in all Halos before and when I managed a big fight I would feel satisfied. There were maybe 2-3 bigger fight experiences but nothing which really stays in mind.
The "special" race sequence was different, not really bad but also not that satisfying. It needed to be bigger, more active weapons and less speed and it would have been a great 3d homage to old space shooters. I had a lot problems with the depth perception in the level though. Maybe an eye sight problem or 720p Plasma TV issue. Not really sure.
Another problem is that weapons aren't easily to identify, sometimes even not visible at all on the ground. Which is a major annoyance and design flaw. There are areas where you can tear off a machine gun, use it, then walk back and tear off the same one again. A bug. Weapons vanish after a time somehow too. REALLY bad. It's one strategic element. The forerunner weapons were somehow underwhelming. I see the weapon balance problem but I can't see much functional or impact difference. I expected more from forerunner weapons than just nifty building animations. No dual wielding either.
The early architecture and the jungle surely looked nice but due to the blooming and low contrast shading depth perception was a problem. Some reflections made it difficult to grasp the actual structure.
The levels felt far too limited and small to me but maybe that was a bad design compromise to allow the look on the old console.
I wasn't such a fan about Halo Reach but its campaign was far more entertaining than this here. Unfortunately.
What was truly impressing were the video sequences. The level of detail of the characters especially and acting showed real emotions. But then again it was a break to the Halo engine concept where videos were animation using the graphics engine of the game to feel like a natural part of the game.
The campaign is ridiculous short too. If I hear again how "outdated" long campaigns are again from any game studio spindoctors in the future, they can bite me. The huge money they make with these key franchises these days shouldn't justify such lack luster efforts there.
I'm all for an evolution of the Halo universe but you should be able to identify the strength of the foundation and build up on that. I don't get that the new people in charge had fully understood what made the Halo experience so great. Sure, they introduced new enemy types but there was no real thrill fighting them. They felt lifeless to me. Just remember the start to the Halo 1 flood level where you had to walk through some little dark forest and suddenly all hell breaks loose. Or the beach level/bunker in Halo 3 with all the mass scale fighting and impacts. Dramaturgy is a real problem of the game level design.
If they don't work on the whole gameplay fight experience in Halo5 for the 720 I fear they endanger the Halo franchise. I don't want it to end like Call Of Duty in space.