Master Chief is back by Nevin Cornwall

With Halo 4 the Master Chief is back again to save the human race, this time from a brand new enemy race called Prometheans.

Halo 4 is the first halo game not made by Bungi Studios. With the release of Halo: Reach Bungie sold the right opening up the Halo universe to whoever the highest bidder might be. It turned out to be Microsoft who wanted control of a franchise that launched with the original Xbox and has made over 3 billion dollars.

Microsoft’s’ 343 Studios made Halo 4 and it does not disappoint. I have played every Halo game made, including Halo Wars which was terrible, and until Halo 2 has been by far the best in the series. Now it is only marginally better than the runner up Halo 4.

The game starts with a dazzling video giving some insight into how Spartan warriors are created and the realization that the human race believes the master chief to be dead, since he has been missing since the ending of Halo 3.

Gameplay begins with a familiar scene of thawing out the coveted hero and slapping his trusty AI Cortana into his helmet and quickly running into action packed battle. The story line is decent with a enough twist to keep the gamer guessing.

More important the campaign play is as addicting as any game in the franchise. The games moves forward quickly with driving and flying segments that are intensely fun. Playing co-op on heroic, the second hardest difficulty, it took about 6 hours to beat the game. Not very long but we also breezed through without exploring or finding all the hidden extras.

To extend the game 343 Industries has included Spartan ops, an extra storyline delivered in seasons. Each season will last 10 weeks, with five missions becoming available every Monday for a total of 50 extra missions.

They can be played by yourself, co-op with two players on one Xbox, or up to four players online. Spartan ops is a side story of the master chief, where other Spartan warriors are sent on different missions with a slew of different objectives. There is no word of how many seasons will be released but gamers can expect several or why call it a season?

The best part of all Halo games is the online gaming against other players worldwide. This time around it is called War Games and is an absolute addicting pleasure to play. Most of the classic game modes are included with some upgrades of course.

The biggest change I have noticed is the scoring system. In older Halo games you received a set amount of points for killing an opponent or completing a task like capturing a flag. Now you can receive points for assisting in a kill, distracting a player while another teammate kills them, destroying vehicles, and a lot more.

The classic slayer game mode, which pits 6 players against each other with the first to 25 kills winning the match, has been tweaked and renamed regicide. In it the point leader is the king and has a bounty that grows larger the better the king plays. Whoever kills the king receives the bounty. The king always a pointer on his head so the other five players can easily focus on him, which keeps the action constant.

343 Studios has the ability to tweak and change war games modes to match what players like and change things that become unfair. In earlier Halo games certain weapons were to powerful and had too be adjusted to keep the balance of online games. The first update has already been released, last Monday, and changed the games King of the hill and oddball making them every player for themselves instead of team based.

Other great modes are big team infinity slayer an eight vs. eight death match, SWAT which is a four vs. 4 death match with no radar or armor, and the classic capture the flag which is an old Halo standard where each team tries and infiltrate an enemy base and get the flag back their home base.

Halo 4 definitely stands up to the hype. The only reason I think Halo 2 is a little bit better is load times were shorter for online matches and you could duel wield weapons. Although on capture the flag games you can hold the flag and wield a pistol, which is new to the Halo universe and a lot of fun.

Selling 220 million dollars in its first day Halo 4 is going to be around for awhile so get a copy, put on your headset, and find me online. Gamer handle kingebaneezer

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