People like Halo. It’s already a foregone conclusion that Halo 4 would sell a trillion copies regardless of the critical consensus. If the word “Halo” is present in the title the game could be a feline dating sim and still a billion people would buy it (perhaps not a trillion) Never has a game earned such high praise- a unanimous understanding, that regardless of the foibles the sum of its parts are exemplary.
Don’t take my word for it:
Joystiq 5/5 “The developer launches the best kind of protest, which is to wave an impressive, throbbing shooter in your face. Trust me, you want this”
Destructoid 10/10 “ 343 Industries have done a remarkable job at continuing the Halo legacy.”
Ign 9.8/10 “Halo has been rebuilt. It has been redefined. And it has been reinvigorated. The Xbox’s original king has returned to his rightful place on the throne.”
The list truly does go on but one voice did decent…EGM gave the game a 7/10, a score that only a few years ago would still require a purchase or at least consideration. The reviewer even went so far as to respond to a fans disapproval of the review on a popular gaming forum:
That being said, the campaign was essentially:
1.) OMGZ!! We’re under attack/have to escape/have to stop so and so.
2.) Go blow up that shield generator/push that button/ kill a bunch of dudes!
3.) Now run back through the level and kill even more of the same 8 dudes!
Some of the indoor segments were really solid, but when playing the game in outdoor maps going through the scenarios mentioned above, it gold REALLY old REALLY quick. If you played Rage, imagine the last level of that game, on repeat, for roughly 8 hours. That is essentially the structure of Halo 4. It forces you to use way too many bullets to kill the same enemies over and over and over again for hours with little variation on how that is accomplished.
I understand some people enjoy arena shooters of that ilk, but frankly, it was a real chore for me.
With these observations in mind it’s intriguing to see artistic relevance derived from gameplay mechanics as opposed to solely on narrative dissonance (don’t make me kick you in the assonance) This individual reviewer still appreciated the fluidity of the game mechanics, the structure of the narrative and the online gameplay options but at it’s core he detested what Halo Is. In serving the great institution that is Halo, 343 Industries was able to deliver a game that felt like Halo. The issue is harkening back to a 10 year old game in more than conceptual narrative or feel, by definition, isn’t modern.
Ironically, the most commercialized game on the planet shares more with the re-imagining of classic RPG’s than it does with a game like Dishonored. In that, playing safe and running the risk of alienating their core base has stopped them from innovating the basic experience. It’s interesting that since Halo 4 was already guaranteed to be such a success, developers could make the same game seen a decade earlier without worrying about the old mantra “We Expand or We DIE!”
Like we’ve seen with the resurgence of classic RPG’s…That’s not always a bad thing, paying homage to a genre since past can still provide and exciting and immersible experience. But identifying it as “Modern and New” perhaps…would leave some disappointed. Damn though, look at those pore graphics!