It has been 5 Years since Halo 3 came out, 2 since Halo Reach. Bungie are no longer taking care of the Halo franchise and the new studio from Microsoft 343 Industries have taken over. Everyone was wondering how good or terrible the game would be now that the new studio was in charge of it. I’ve just finished the campaign of Halo 4 and I’m ready to have my verdict.
First of all, the first thing I’ve noticed is how short the campaign was, or I should rather say, how fast I went through it. I don’t think the campaign was any shorter in term of story telling, action and events, but I went through the campaign in a mere 5 hour and 30 minutes. This was done at Heroic setting; I didn’t want to try the game at Legendary on my first try because I was scared to be stuck too long on every encounters like I was in previous Halo games, I was expecting to be stuck a couple times each level by playing the game at Heroic setting, yet I barely died in most levels. I died the most when it was time to pilot the Broadsword, I wanted to go through the whole thing with the booster On and it gave me quite the trouble at some sharp turns.
Some people might think the that shortness of the campaign is only because 343 rushed the story to focus on the multiplayer, but I believe this to be really harsh and wrong. The cut scene of the campaign were amazing, the emotions conveyed by the characters were much better than in any previous Halo game. To be honest, this is the first game of Halo in which I feel some emotion other than pure desperation. The reason the campaign is so short is because of how easy the game is. We just met the Promethean, I hardly understand yet half of their abilities and I managed to beat the crap out of them. It is not that they are not formidable enemies, but it just seems that everything in the game is so easy to kill and the AI isn’t a good as I remembered from previous Halos.
We now have a permanent sprint available and we get to easily kill all enemies in only a couple rounds, it makes the pace of the game a lot different than previous versions. You can now clear pact of enemies 2 times faster and you can run in between the pacts. If you remove the permanent sprint alone, the game would have been 8 or 9 hours I’m certain of it.
Yet the sprint and the easiness of the game are not even the only reason the campaign is so short, there were a lot of levels in the game which involved vehicles. We got to drive warthogs across impressive scenery boost with ghost when the world is about to be destroyed, ride a Mammoth to destroy AA guns and we flew both Pelican and Broadsword. The action is a lot more condensed when you are riding and, while it is way shorter to play than to go through endless similar corridors like in Halo CE, it was a great load of fun.
I’m an Halo fan, I’ve read all the books, played all the game and I know most of the lore. I was really curious how the “new enemy” that was mentioned would be brought up into the game, especially since the covenant elite force were enemies once again. Lore wise this made little to no sense, but the game explained everything very well. I’m still not sure I’m completely buying the whole “those covenants are just a small rebel faction” thing, but it would actually make sense since most elite still hate human’s guts.
I’ll leave my short campaign review at that for the moment, I’ll be sure to have a more in depth review of the game soon.