It’s been a while since my last review. Mostly because there hasn’t been a lot of games coming out that have really grabbed my attention as I’m way too focused on how epic GTAV looks, but with games such as Tomb Raider and Bioshock Infinite just coming out I’m sure there is plenty to come to keep me busy over the coming months. I’ve gone back a few months and started playing Halo 4. Released on the back end of last year to continue the Halo craze, Halo 4 has been developed by a new company. The series was originally in the hands of Bungie but has been passed onto 343 Industries so it will be interesting to see where they take this already successful series.

Now I’m no Halo fan, never have been that keen on it since the beginning. I played the first one when I was younger and at the time the game seemed really cool and fun to play as it was a new concept. But I never got hooked on the series and haven’t followed the story at all. I didn’t play Halo 2 but I did buy Halo 3 and completed it, but again, it never really appealed to me too much. Upon first putting Halo 4 into my console I was blown away at how good the graphics were! 343i have done an amazing job on this element of the game! But everything just gets worse from this point...

I begin with the campaign to familiarise myself with the controls and all that jazz, I set the difficult to a moderate medium. The story starts 4 years after Halo 3 with Master Chief being awoken from a cryonic sleep by Cortana. The ship then comes under attack, as you would expect. Later you find out that Cortana is past the usual operating period of an AI and is becoming rampant, basically AIs slowly think themselves to death after around 7 years. So Chief decides he wants to track down Cortana’s creator, Doctor Catherine Halsey, on earth to try and stop this robot thing from dying. To be honest, it’s kind of stupid, trying to pull on the player’s heart stings over a robot which could be easily remade with its original memory. Really 343i? That’s the best you can do?

So like I said before, I decided to try the game on medium. I like to this I’m reasonably good at FPS games, I know how to play them and I like a challenge. But Halo is just ridiculous, pretty much every enemy you come up against has a built in shield so you have to use a round of ammo just to get rid of that before you can even kill them. The best way to really do damage is to just whack them full on with your gun but trying to do this just gets you killed because you’re always surrounded by a swarm of enemies and is just you vs. everyone else. And I thought Call of Duty was bad for bombarding you with enemies...

So I decided to go and try out the online modes. I get the option to create a class right from the start but I only have the choice of one item for each sections. You can also change the gender of your Spartan and also, more importantly, the colour which is a really cool feature which allows you to mix and match to create a unique appearance. On top of this you can customize your emblem later on once you’ve unlocked the various designs. So I’d set my Spartan up and I was ready to enter into battle, I clicked “War Games” and was automatically prompted to install the second disk or download it from Xbox Live. However, because the hard drive on the console at work is only 20 gigabytes and is pretty much full, I was unable to download the 8 gigabytes of data for the online game modes. 8 gig that you have to install onto your hard drive just to play the game online, that’s ridiculous in my opinion. I’ve never experienced something so ludicrous on a game! You have to use 8 gig of space just to kill someone online. I did manage to check the online mode out online and it was basicially Call of Duty in space, similar game modes and the same objectives but with less gravity and aliens weapons. Forge is back from Halo 3 in which you can create your own maps which is pretty cool.

Overall, 343 Industries haven’t done a bad job for Halo fans. If you’re a Halo fan then you will love this but if you’re not a Halo fan then it won’t really appeal to you. The series just seems to be bleeding on and nothing has really changed other than be polished a bit. I’d like to see 343i make something else but still on a large scale because the graphics look amazing and the soundtrack that was produced for the game is really good also. Although I feel the series is at end and is far past its best, when you have such a massive following for a game you will always get another title because money talks.

Halo 4 is available now on Xbox 360.

Review in association with Subsonic Gaming Accessories, which are available from Amazon, and Review by Thomas Thompsett, White Room Games.