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The Shelf Life Test: Halo 4

By 12.19.12

Spartan Ops: A New Way To Co-op…or not?

In case you haven’t heard, Spartan Ops is essentially a separate cooperative mode where up to four players play as part of Fireteam Crimson: completing skirmishes on Requiem over a narrative relative to the main campaign. You and your ragtag bunch of Spartan 4′s act in “Seasons” of episodes each broken down into five chapters. The cut-scenes add to the mode’s back story while offering a more developed experience than Halo Reach‘s Firefight. Yet the adventure doesn’t feel like it’s own fleshed out story rather than some quick mini-levels wrapped in some nice CG packaging.

Spartan Ops has been consistent with its output by offering five episodes since launch with another on the way in January 2013. Each episode will run at least an hour long on the first try and yields plenty of XP. There’s not enough meat in it to give Halo 4 a “two games in one” distinction but it’s a worthwhile avenue for those who can’t get into or need a break from Infinity.

So, does Halo 4 pass the month long test?

Halo 4 packs plenty of pretty imagery and is easily the best looking game of the franchise. Its campaign stumbles somewhat but should provide an enjoyable ride for old fans and new heads as well. The dissent will come with the multiplayer offerings since the game changed so much to emulate rivals like COD and BF3. Hardcore fans who swear by Halo 2 and 3 like scoundrels probably won’t gravitate to Infinity’s radically different gameplay: rendering Halo 4 as a Redbox or Gamefly rental for said discerning tastes. Those new to Halo might see the changes as a plus since they never played any of the main games before or didn’t like how they played. So, with that said, Halo 4‘s a definite try before you buy kind of outing: especially since you have to have at least 4 gigs of hard drive space to play online.

However, if you take a liking to the game during your trial period, 343 Industries first crack at the respected Halo holds enough content and potentially exciting moments online to keep you glued past a month. Plus, if you’re the pro-DLC type, upcoming map packs and Spartan Ops seasons ought to keep the good times rolling well into the new year. Halo 4 ultimately aims to expand to a new audience even further than Reach did. However, the decisions made in the game’s design will once again split fans and newcomers alike.


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TAGSGamingHALOHalo 4Microsoft Xbox 360Microsoft Xbox Live

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