Status: Single-player campaign complete
Most Intriguing Idea: That the Master Chief is a person.
Best Design Decision: The flying support Prometheans add an interesting tactical dynamic.
Worst Design Decision: Overlapping gun properties.
I’ll start with two relevant facts: (1) I am not super-invested in the Halo universe, and (2) I am not super-good at playing Halo. Not being good at Halo can actually make it quite a bit more enjoyable, as my profligate expenditures of ammo require me to swap weapons frequently. The result is that I get to experience more guns and more variety (this is probably why good Halo players are encouraged to play on Legendary difficulty). Still, I played the previous games, so Halo 4 put me off immediately when the Covenant, whom I’d spent the last trilogy defeating, kicked off the game by still being the enemy and no longer speaking English. I don’t read the novels or watch the anime or whatever it is you have to do to follow the plot in the Halo universe, so I felt put off from the start, and the game never bothered to explain what the hell was going on with the Covenant, so that feeling never went away. There are also new enemies, but only the flying one adds any tactical variety. The new guns are boring to look at and serve functions already fulfilled by existing Covenant and human weaponry. It’s a decent game, as far as it goes, but the basic sci-fi revenge story and gameplay all felt like stuff I had done before. Halo 4 just didn’t go anywhere or do anything that interested me at all.