Game Room: October Roundup

Halo 4
Photo: Microsoft

Halo 4

Publisher: Microsoft
Systems: Xbox 360

The Halo franchise has long been a pillar of the Xbox, but a change in developers from Bungie to 343 begged the question: Would the quality remain? The answer is a resounding "yes," as Master Chief returns for another epic sci-fi adventure that introduces a new enemy and features a storyline that smartly focuses on Chief's AI companion, Cortana. Combat is the heart of Halo 4, and it's fantastic. New vehicles and well-designed set pieces fuel intense action, whether running-and-gunning on foot, flying around on a jetpack or manning land and air vehicles (including a new mech suit, the Mantis). The game also features new weapons to wield, plus some subtle changes to existing standards like the Battle Rifle Magnum and DMR. Each weapon is ideal for a specific attacking distance and a specific enemy, and learning this intricate game of rock-paper-scissors is both intuitive and rewarding. What's more, Halo 4's stunning indoor and outdoor environments work seamlessly to create an immersive gaming experience, which is further enhanced by an ethereal score and a raw tonnage of spectacular audio effects. Enemy AI is strong, though you'll need to step up to the Heroic and Legendary difficulty settings to appreciate it. The single-player campaign alone is worth the price of admission, but when you factor in the co-op campaign and numerous multiplayer options, Halo 4 becomes not only a must-buy for Xbox owners, but also a system seller for folks who don't have one.

Score: 10 out of 10

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