Review: Halo 4 Diminishes The Aura Surrounding Master Chief
It’s been five years since we last saw Master Chief save Earth by ending the Covenant war, but much has changed since then. Halo is no longer the most played game on the Xbox 360, as Call of Duty has become the most played series on Xbox Live. On the development side, Bungie is no longer behind the Halo brand. In charge is 343 Industries, a first time developer that has been handed the reins of one of the most popular video game franchises. Did 343 meet expectations? Lets go find out …
Halo 4 marks the beginning of a new trilogy that takes place right after the events of Halo 3. It’s been four years since Master Chief went into cryo sleep and since then much has changed impersonally in the franchise’s iconic characters. Cortana, Master Chief's artificial intelligence partner, has now reached a point in her programming where she is thinking herself into insanity. Her situation down the line is actually what gets Master Chief in trouble, and it’s your job to keep Cortana from going insane and safe. This dynamic is overly metaphoric throughout the course of the story, and you will not be fooled where the story is going.
For this reason, the story isn’t centered on Master Chief. The emotional undertone of Halo 4 is delivered on Jen Taylor’s reprisal as Cortana and it’s her performance that allows the story to shine. Her character development is what keeps the story from feeling dull as you’re slowing seeing the rails come off.
Halo 4 introduces a new foray of deadlier enemies that you have to face. Prometheans, an ancient threat that has awakened, are not an easy enemy to defeat. There’re three different Promethean types: dogs, warriors and healers. Depending on the situation you’re in, warriors and healers will frequently work together to attack you, causing you rethink how your strategy.
Facial animations during cutscenes rival the work featured in Rockstar’s L.A Noire. All of the cutscenes in the game have incorporated motion capture software, allowing for the actor’s voice and performance to shine through to the player. The game’s visual quality doesn’t diminish one bit when the game transitions into gameplay.