It’s no secret that I’m a Halo fan, some people (even other members of this site) would go as far as to say I’m a Halo Fanboy – even I say I’m a bit of a Halo fanboy so how could I possibly turn down the opportunity to play 343 Studios continuation of one of the greatest and most successful first person shooters on consoles when I visited the Eurogamer Expo 2012 in London.
Only being privy to the multiplayer aspect of the game during my playtime – I sat down to enjoy the new aspects of the game, the possibility of new weapons, new items, new graphics – it was all very exciting. Then, in a brief moment, waves of doubt clouded my mind, the stories I’d read about 343 Industries changing the multiplayer and including killstreak bonuses and additional ‘non-Halo’ aspects made my heart sink. It took all my strength to ready my AR5 and run wildly into the fray of battle in front of me.
For those of you worried that Halo will never again be Halo after 343 have grafted their own tweaks onto the game modes, fear not! Yes there are some aspects of the multiplayer which feel less like Halo and more like other established shooters (namely CoD) and 343 have also seemingly changed every single sound effect in the game to sound more bass-y and (dare I say it) realistic but once you whip out a Needler and start spraying purple clouds of death across the battlefield – you’ll sink back into that comfortable Halo groove!
In an ever changing world of video games, sometimes it’s a necessary to add elements to an established mix to try and bring that mix forward into its next iteration of life – this is especially true with first person shooters – stay the same and people complain that every title is the same – change something and people will hate you for changing what they love. The changes are simple though in Halo 4 – during my playthrough – if I managed to get more than a three kill streak I could use my directional buttons to summon ‘ordinance’ in the form of weapons that would be teleported into the battlefield near my position. This offered a completely new aspect of the game and one I was personally not used to.
Halo 4 multiplayer remains classically Halo, with its colourful landscapes, frantic arcade-y action and sometimes grotesquely overpowered weapons (yes Spartan Laser, I’m looking at you!) and these subtle changes to the core game mechanic don’t take anything away from the classic Halo experience – they’re a refined addition and one that feels right for the franchise as it moves forward. Halo is a franchise that some of us have grown up with – I know I have – and it’s a franchise that is growing up with us as it moves forward.
Halo 4 is due for release November 6th (holy cow that’s close!) on Xbox 360