Industries had an impossible mission with Halo 4: make a Halo game without Bungie, and most importantly, make a sequel that could follow Halo 3. Halo 4 was divisive — looking back.
There’s no way it couldn’t have been — and I remember hating it. large areas of it. And now, just over eight years after it was originally released, Halo 4 is finally coming to PC.
It is simultaneously the final release in The Master Chief Collection (343 has stated repeatedly. That they have no plans to bring Halo 5 to PC). The first and only game developed by 343 to be featured in the collection.
It’s poetic in a way: The Master Chief Collection began as 343’s love letter. To Bungie’s Halo titles and ends with the release of a 343 game they made themselves.
The Master Chief Collection itself, which launched poorly and saw its stature. Only get better over time, this release was an opportunity to reevaluate Halo 4. I’m happy to say that playing it again has changed my opinion of it for the better.
The story of Halo 4 picks up 4 years after Halo 3. The Chief and Cortana are still wandering aboard the relic of Forward Unto Dawn, which is floating near. The planet Forerunner, and we got a glimpse at the end of Halo 3’s Legendary ending. When the ship is discovered, Cortana wakes up the Chief.
Their mission is simple: escape from the planet Forerunner, and find a way home. It becomes even more urgent because Cortana is entering Rampancy.
Human Ais begin to decline after seven years, eventually thinking themselves to death in a manner akin to progressive dementia. If the boss can’t bring Cortana home soon and find a cure, she’ll die and lose parts of herself along the way.
Halo 4 is a very cool game.
It was the most beautiful game ever released on Xbox 360 and pushed this console to the limits of its capabilities. It holds up well.”
This setting easily makes for the most emotional story the franchise has ever tried to pull off so well. The Chief and Cortana talk more than ever in Halo 4, and the game does a good job of selling what these characters mean to each other.
Halo 4’s story goes beyond the standard sci-fi of previous games and manages to raise questions about morality, legacy, and what it means to be human.
The excellent narration is anchored by some really great vocal work, particularly from Jen Taylor, who easily gives her best performance as Cortana. Halo 4’s story has its drawbacks – it relies heavily on the series’ backstory.
So you’ll need to read a few books or find all of the game’s terminals to fully understand it – but it’s impressive regardless.
While the plot of Halo 4 is good, what catches your eye first is the game’s graphics. Halo 4 is a very cool game. It was the most beautiful game ever released on Xbox 360 and pushed this console to the limits of its capabilities.
It holds up remarkably well as a result. Whether you’re trekking through lush forests, exploring Forerunner architecture, or driving a chariot across open plains, the game delivers.
Part of it is due to the game’s exceptional visual design, but the rest is the result of the hard work of 343 Industries.
This is the first release in the MCC to feature in-depth graphics settings, allowing you to adjust anti-aliasing, lighting quality, shadow quality, effects quality, detail quality, and anisotropic filtering.
As well as the FOV slider, benchmark, performance, and enhanced settings that the rest of the suite comes with. These other settings also seem to have made their way into other games in the collection.
As well, though it’s hard to tell how well they perform across the board. Regardless, this is easily the best version of Halo 4 available.
“343 also saw fit to experience the series’ core gameplay.
The Sprint, half-heartedly introduced as a shield ability in Halo: Reach, returns here, as do shield abilities in general.”
The game’s sound design is also excellent. The guns are loud and powerful, the explosions and alarm messages are vivid and clear, and everything just sounds good.
This also applies to the game’s soundtrack, which was the first in the main series not to be composed by Marty O’Donnell.
Halo 4 was helmed by Neil Davidge, and while it’s hard to compare his work. To O’Donnell’s best, which remains some of the most iconic tracks in the industry, his soundtrack is very, very good, and some songs like “117” are some of the best tracks to honor the series.
Halo 4’s sound design isn’t a full-fledged home experience. The Warthog, for example, looks more like an angry lawnmower than a military vehicle, but it’s still pretty good.
343 also saw fit to sample the series’ core gameplay. Sprint, introduced half-heartedly as a shield ability in Halo: Reach, returns here, as does shield abilities in general. though nothing quite as obnoxious as Reach’s armor lock.
Whether Speed Racing belongs in Halo is still a topic of much debate, and while I’d still prefer Halo not to have it, I think 343 does a good job of balancing it around here.
Other additions, like hit tags, have made their way from other shooters, but Halo 4 still feels like a Halo game.
Part of that is due to the game’s arsenal. Nearly every weapon from the series’ past returns, from the trusty revolver – which, thankfully, resembles a CE magnum without becoming an unstoppable god weapon.
To the Reach’s DMR and iconic Battle Rifle. 343 made some additions of their own, too. My personal favorites are the SAW, which is a brutal heavy machine gun that shreds through anything, and the Railgun, which requires a short charge before firing a high-powered projectile that will ruin the day of anyone it bumps into.
The biggest additions are perhaps the Promethean weapons. For the most part, they stick to the archetypes established by previous Halo weapons — mid-range rifle, SMG, etc. — but make the best of it.
The Binary Rifle is a sniper rifle that kills in one shot no matter where it hits someone, and the Incinerator Cannon fires fragmentation before recombining into a massive blast that obliterates almost anything.
It comes into contact with. Even more traditional weapons, such as the Bolt shot, combine the single-shot efficiency of a pistol with the charged shot that essentially functions as a shotgun.
Halo 4’s art can sometimes feel a little busy and over-designed when compared to the elegant simplicity of Bungie’s art – check out the differences in Chief’s armor between 3 and 4 or the change in Forerunner hull designs.
If you need easy examples – but Halo 4’s art is very good, Even if I still prefer Bungie’s style. No matter how you feel about the art, this port works very well. I ran it at 1080p 60fps locked on an RTX 2060 and i5 6600k without any frame drops or slowdowns.
There are no bad levels here,
I might put levels like Infinity, Reclaimer, and Midnight in there with some of the best the series has to offer.
You’ll feel all the new in the campaign, and it’s rather short. There are only eight levels here, fewer than any other game in the series, but what Halo 4 lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality.
Halo 4’s levels are quite long, and while there’s nothing approaching. The highs and lows of Scarab’s fights in Halo 3, they avoid the series’ worst low points.
There are no bad levels here, and I’d put levels like Infinity, Reclaimer, and Midnight up with some. The best the series has to offer. Part of that comes from the return of the Elites. Who was absent as enemies in 3 and ODST, having been replaced by Brutals.
They’re still Halo’s best enemies, and it’s nice to have them back, but 4 also adds the Prometheans. Monitors fly around and reinforce their allies, while Creepers are small, dog-like creatures that attack in groups.
By far the most dangerous, however. The Knights, are shielded mechanical monsters that can teleport away from or toward you, and come equipped with both melees and ranged weapons.
Knights are hard to bring down, even. If you’re properly armed, Watchers can revive them, making them a high-priority target.
These new enemies and weapons — plus new vehicles like the Mantis, an experimental mech — make Halo 4’s campaign very interesting, but you can see where the hardware limitations come in.
Halo 4’s environments aren’t as grand as previous games in the series, and the enemy AI isn’t quite as good. Halo 4 feels a bit more scripted and less open than previous games, though it does capture the best parts of the Halo sandbox when it’s firing on all cylinders. Despite these shortcomings.
It’s one of Halo’s best campaigns, and like 3, ODST, and Reach, it supports four-player co-op.
If you’re looking for more of the story once the credits roll, reach for Spartan Ops, a Halo 4 take on a mission-based, co-op style. Spartan Ops Fireteam Crimson follows and takes place after the main campaign.
It’s a great idea and a fun mode, and the sheer amount of missions you have. To play means there’s plenty to keep you occupied, but it doesn’t quite reach Firefight’s heights.
However, it’s worth it at least once, and it’s fun as long as it lasts, especially. If you have a good collection to play with.
“For many, I imagine the real draw will be Halo 4’s multiplayer.”
For many, I imagine the real draw will be Halo 4’s multiplayer. The addition of sprints, customizable gear, as well as the return of shield abilities, means. Halo 4’s multiplayer was a black sheep at the time of release.
A lot of that can be turned off – for example, in Precision Slayer everyone starts with the same gear and no armor abilities – but other things stay in other playlists for whoever wants them.
However, Halo 4’s multiplayer is where the game’s flaws begin to show. The game’s maps are solid, but never reach the legendary status of the best Halo 2 and 3.
However, the most pressing issue is the game’s weapon bloat. Promethean weapons work great in the campaign, but in multiplayer they often feel like variations of the weapons already out there and don’t really add much to the experience.
That’s not much of an issue, but it, combined with the game’s solid but unspectacular map design, makes. Halo 4 feel a little less compact than Halo 2 or 3, and that’s before we get into an argument about whether Spring belongs in Halo.
This isn’t to say that Halo 4’s multiplayer is bad; He’s not, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with him. How much you like depends on whether you like to be able to run and get gear.
As well as your ideas about the game’s maps. Halo 4’s MP is still divisive, but it’s nice to play, and I’ve never had trouble finding a match. Fortunately, this patch brings cross-play to the MCC, which means you can play with your friends whether they’re on PC or console.
The game also allows you to choose whether you prefer. To play games with a controller or a mouse and keyboard and lets you configure matchmaking results based on your preferences. Full disclosure: I played on a console, though the mouse and keyboard controls work just fine.
The release of Halo 4 also means a new season of cosmetics to unlock Halo 3 and Halo 4 and challenges. To complete, including new nameplates. Visual customizations for your character, weapon skins (Halo 3 and 4), and vehicle skins (Halo 3).
There isn’t as much here as in previous seasons – just over 70 items spread across five tiers – but that makes sense given the amount of customization already available in Halo 4 and that Halo 3 already has a season of content to unlock.
As before, you can unlock the content of any level in any order. You will have to unlock an entire level before you can proceed to the next level. Fortunately, this update also allows you to customize each individual piece of your Halo 4 Spartan armor, so more customization is available to players than ever before.
Halo 4’s reboot has given me even more appreciation.
For what it did right. It features a great campaign, engaging story, solid multiplayer, fun co-op mode in Spartan Ops, and manages. To push the series in new directions while staying true to what makes Halo Halo.
There’s even more this update brings to MCC, including support for frames higher than 60. In Halo 2: Anniversary and Halo: Reach, Halo 4’s MP, new player emblems in Halo: Reach, Halo 3, and so on.
It would take too long to list everything that has been added here, but rest assured that this is a big update that makes MCC the best it has ever been on both PC and consoles. Since 343 said they plan to continue supporting the game for a long time to come,
I imagine updates will continue, and the MCC and the games in it will improve over time.
With that said, Halo 4 is the last game we’ll get into the block unless 343 changes its mind about Halo 5. Halo 4 isn’t a perfect game. Some of the story decisions 343 made remain unpopular, and multiplayer remains the black sheep of the series.
I didn’t like Halo 4 when it came out, but rebooting it gave me more appreciation for what I did right. It has a great campaign, engaging story, solid multiplayer, and fun co-op mode. In Spartan Ops, and manages to push the series in new directions while staying true to what makes Halo Halo.
Halo 4 isn’t always a great game, but it’s nothing short of a good game and 343 has done an excellent job of bringing it to PC. I went into this review thinking of Halo 4 as a black sheep.
I walked out of it thinking it was an underrated gem I can’t imagine. This port is going to change everyone’s mind the way mine did, but I can say this: Halo is still as good as ever. If The Master Chief Collection doesn’t get another title, hell has picked a game to come out. Chief, wake up. We still need you.