Home Reviews Games Halo 4 – is it still Halo without Bungie?


The Chief and his relationship with companion AI Cortana is central to the space opera that revolves around the pair, weaving an objective based tale that requires Master Chief to be the hero at a number of levels is very creative.  At the macro level humanity is again in trouble, but at the micro level, so is Cortana.  Master Chief will need to balance military stoicism with his need to be part of the solider and guiding AI team that has developed over the course of Halo history.

Whilst the story is grand yet cohesive, one thing that has been lost in translation between Bungie and 343 Industries is the humour.  Where has that oh so funny Covenants Grunt-under-fire dialogue gone?  Halo 4 is as serious as Halo gets.

Visually Halo 4 is amazing, the game boasts a minimal of load times, even when cold reloading the game, and yet manages to pull off the lushest of outdoor environments and highly detailed interiors that [almost] seamlessly load throughout the game.  Transitioning from flying a Pelican to a landing platform and taking to foot to enter a structure is smooth and natural.

Little touches such as mushrooms and even rocky textures are wondrous to behold.  However, the realistic, yes, but initially distracting visor reflections take some getting used to.  The traditionally repeated interiors of a Halo game also make a return with the architecture featuring retina fusing bright neon that at times feels more like Tron than Halo.

Structured wise many of the battlefields provide multiple ways forward, loosening up the franchise from its tradition of corridor shooting, and there is a smattering of epic departures from run-and-gun foot slogging, most of which work fine.  Some however, including a particularly tedious section on a stolen Ghost, and a flying sequence in a Broadsword could have been shorter for dramatic effect.
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Enemy AI does not seem to be as difficult as previous Halo’s.  That patented Covenant dodging of grenades seems sluggish, and at times sniping of distant enemies is just too easy as enemies return to “patrol routines” at a drop of a hat.  

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Mike Bantick

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Having failed to grow up Bantick continues to pursue his childish passions for creative writing, interactive entertainment and showing-off through adulthood. In 1994 Bantick began doing radio at Melbourne’s 102.7 3RRRFM, in 1997 transferring to become a core member of the technology show Byte Into It. In 2003 he wrote briefly for the The Age newspaper’s Green Guide, providing video game reviews. In 2004 Bantick wrote the news section of PC GameZone magazine. Since 2006 Bantick has provided gaming and tech lifestyle stories for iTWire.com, including interviews and opinion in the RadioactivIT section.

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