Its November and you know what that means! Big releases in the gaming industry. We here at the Arcade were at the Irish launch of one of the most anticipated games of 2012 Halo 4 and we have first hand info of what it was like to be some of the first in the country to get our hands on the game and go head to head with some of the eager gamers at the party.
We were given an opportunity to play some of the campaign in both single player and co-op modes. The first thing that stands out is the visuals which are a huge step up from the previous Halo games. Its hard not to admire the work the team at 343 industries put into the Halo world both chief and the world have never looked better and the lighting is truly some of the most impressive I have ever seen in a game. One part I was playing in co-op had us traveling in a glass elevator with a huge laser beam in the background and the way the shadows popped off the other master chief on my screen were truly incredible. We also got a chance to play with some of the new weapons from the new Forerunner enemies that are being introduced. There is essentially a Forerunner version of every mainstay weapon in the Halo universe from the Pistol to the much loved (and hated in multiplayer) Battle Rifle. Each of these weapons handles slightly different to the covenant or UNSC version of the weapon, an example is that the Forerunner Shotgun fires much faster than the UNSC shotgun but lacks the range and stopping power that the UNSC shotty has. It allows for a lot more tactics in the campaign but most importantly Multiplayer.
Speaking of Multiplayer in Halo 4, its still Halo multiplayer and that’s a great thing. I have not played Halo multiplayer in a long time, being a long time Halo 2 and Halo 3 online vet I picked up the controller and a smile instantly shot onto my face as I landed my first plasma grenade stick and everybody behind me cheered. This was what I was hoping for, one of the best multiplayer experiences available on any platform was still intact and true to its core gameplay. That being said there are some slight changes which at first I was sceptical about but after been given the chance to actually utilize them in battle have found they are wonderful additions. The best way to describe the new additions would be “The are very COD like” this sounds worrying but rest assured they are good additions that both help to balance gameplay and make it more fast paced. We now have Weapon and Item drops which are earned from killstreaks thankfully none of these were too overpowered, dropping a shotgun or gravity hammer can give you a boost but at the same time every weapon in Halo has a weakness and when I got my gravity hammer I was burst down with a default Assault Rifle, also introduced were Killcams useful for finding sniper campers and re watching that awesome sword kill your opponent just got.
Lastly we have weapon loadouts which allow you to spawn with a variety of different weapons which are unlocked through Spartan Points which you earn through gameplay. None of the weapons you can start with are Sniper Rifles or Shotguns but different takes on Assault Rifles and Pistols. Don’t want the UNSC Assault Rifle, grab yourself a single shot DMR or the fast firing Covenant Carbine, these really allow you adapt to the battle at hand. I for one appreciate this change and it will allow for less scouting the battlefield for weapons and more getting straight into the action. I also had the chance to try some of the different game modes from Slayer to the new Flood mode which is based on an old player made game type in Halo 2 called “Infection” were one player spawns as a member of the much feared Flood and only has a Plasma Sword (Neatly fashioned as a Flood arm mutation) and has to take down all the Spartans one by one, each Spartan that gets killed respawns as a member of the flood until there is nobody left standing. Its a very fun game time that is sure to be a fan favourite.
All in all while I was already hyped for Halo 4 after getting some hands on time with the game all the Halo nostalgia came running back to me and I’m looking forward to finishing this article to jump into the Campaign mode and follow the always wonderful journeys of Master Chief and Cortana. It was great to get a chance to play against some other Halo fans as well and you could clearly see from everybody attending that the excitement for the game was high. So what are you waiting for? Halo 4 is available now for Xbox 360 so go and grab yourself a copy!
Expect a full review here soon.
Halo 4 is available for €69.99 and the Limited Edition, which includes an extended 90-minute version of the live-action digital series “Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn” and additional content, will be available for €89.99. You can also pick up the Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Halo 4” Console Bundle for €329.99 and a standalone Xbox 360 Limited Edition “Halo 4” Wireless Controller for €49.99.