Halo 4 is right around the corner and from what I've seen, it looks like I'll be playing Halo for another 4-5 years. Gah. Right when I started to feel completely Halo'd out, they pull this on me. For those of you, I dunno, born on some other planet, Halo is the game that truly launched the Xbox into stardom. And years later, it's still going the strong with millions of fans all over the world. I think it's fair to say the majority of us were a bit apprehensive when we learned that 343 would be taking over the next trilogy of Halo. In fact, I thought Halo Reach was going to be the last Halo we'd see for a while, not counting spin-offs and non FPS Halo adaptations, such as Halo Wars. But I have you say, from what I've seen, it looks like there's hope yet for the Halo franchise. In this preview, I'll be discussing what I saw in the new trailers and gameplay. And judging from what I've seen, most Halo fans will want to buy this game too .
Halo 4: Graphics
Halo 4 looks like it's seen an improvement over Halo Reach as far as graphics are concerned. The level of detail is outstanding and I feel the lighting in this game is and will be exquisite. The very first 3-5 seconds of actual gameplay from the E3 demo was a visual treat. The set looks stunning. The environment looks lush and almost tranquil but with a surprising air of realism. In many games, the picturesque environments are just that, picturesque; so perfect and ideal looking you just don't get the sense that it's a real place, everything looks too perfect and that stays in the back of your mind. Halo 4 seems to have reached a fine balance between the pristine and the realistic.
Halo 4: Armor Abilities
The HUD has seen some improvements and looks even more like an actual helmet during gameplay with slight transparent colors contorting and curving in the shape of the visor. And the Battle Rifle is back. For better or worse? I don't know yet. But it's back. Thank goodness. I for one didn't care for it's replacement in Halo Reach. Players will be able to sprint in Halo 4 just like in Halo Reach. But this time around, it's an actual ability Master Chief has throughout the game. Developers found that most players online opted for the Sprint ability far more than any other offered in Halo Reach. So it seems in Halo 4 Chief can sprint at any time as well as utilize one of the cool abilities from the previous games. We'll have to see which ones are available. There's many multiplayer previews on youtube already, so be sure to check them out and see what there is to see. What might stand out the most is this new "Promethean Vision" a.k.a. "Forerunner Vision" which looks like it acts as this sort of infrared x-ray type of vision similar to what many of you may have experienced with Call of Duty and Battlefield. This looks like a game changer, especially on multiplayer maps. And something players will actually use often. I can't wait to see what the other armor abilities are.
Halo 4: New Enemies
The enemies in Halo 4 seem to be leftover Forerunner technology,perhaps used to maintain and protect the world. I've read that the world was used as a sort of fortress to protect the Forerunners from the Halo Rings. Where the Forerunners are still remains a mystery. In any case, the enemy AI seems to work in a similar way as the Covenant, with minor synthetics providing the bulk of what you're destroy and then some more challenging foes similar to Elites and Brutes. What's striking about the enemies is that they each seem to have their own special abilities other than simply shooting and throwing grenades at you like Elites and Brutes. Some enemies are seen to slash at you like an Elite and rush at you in an almost teleporting sort of way with fast dashes and maneuvers. They also work well together as one AI seems to provide protection to another AI that attacks you by repelling Mast Chief's attacks.
Halo 4: Weapons
The new weapons look interesting, but I was actually a bit disappointed. I kept thinking, if it really is Forerunner technology, why does it function almost exactly the same way as the weapons Master Chief starts out with? Yes, they morph, expand, and retract and the animation for that is really nice looking and all, but you'd think with such superior technology, these guns would be something subtle, yet devastating. Think of The Spanish conquering the New World. Guns vs Obsidian weapons. I imagine the Old World technology was hard to even comprehend to the natives of the New World at first. These Forerunner weapons just seem too similar to the technology of the Human Race. And of course, I understand that in the Halo universe there are ties between the Forerunners and humans. Even so, their tech should be something almost inconceivable by us, a relatively primitive race compared to them. But that's my opinion.
Halo 4: Final Thoughts (For Now)
The whole experience looks polished and promises just as much action as the previous installments, if not more so. Check out youtube as developers comment and talk about the new features to multiplayer. Halo 4 may not be at the very top of my wishlist but it's definitely earned its spot within the top ten or so games I'm looking forward to.
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