Hopes and Doubts
Halo 4, a whole new Halo game made by a whole new developer. Bungie stepped down and their prize possession was taken up by a studio who had never released a single game. A lot of us wondered what Bungie was thinking, how would Halo possibly hold up in the hands of, well, anyone but Bungie? But then 343 took over managing Reach and released Halo Anniversary as if to pay their respects to the Halo franchise. Many fans liked that, and started to hope that maybe 343 could handle this massive video game, this massive universe, that we've grown to love. Well it turns out 343 does know what their doing. Halo 4 is probably the most ambitious Halo game yet and it succeeds in almost every aspect. It's like you've moved into a new house but brought all your things with you, its all there but it just feels different. Once given some time you'll feel right at home and in many ways its a much better home.
I jumped into Halo 4's multiplayer with high expectations. Surprisingly after my first few matches I was dissapointed. It felt different. It was most definitely Halo but it just didn't seem quite right. After playing a few more games I started to take it for what it was. A new Halo game that was fundamentally tweaked. Not changed, but tweaked. 343 took it upon themselves to give us a whole new Halo experience. They took chances that Bungie was afraid to take. Things were added that just make sense. Of course no one will complain about kill cams, now you can see just how you died rather than silently raging at the "newb who's hacking". Sprinting in reach was so convenient but I wouldn't choose it over my jetpack or cloak abilities. Halo 4 lets everyone sprint, and why not? These are the things I like about Halo 4, its not afraid to try new things and for the most part it benefits from its boldness.
A New Yet Familure World
Never Going Back
Although it wasn't exactly what I expected, I do like Halo 4 quite a lot. The campaign is fantastic, it has more weapons than ever before, it pushes the graphical limitations of the Xbox, and tweaks gameplay to give a fresh new feel to the franchise. Although I'm still not quite sure I agree with some of the choices 343 made (custom load-outs and lack of friendly fire to name two) I believe the franchise I love is in good hands. Lets be honest, the next game wont feel more like a Bungie game. The path Halo was on has slightly bent in a different direction but it's still headed up hill. I might still have some reservations but I am equally excited to see what a fresh new take on Halo will bring down the road.
A Bright Future