In many ways, Halo 4 isn’t that much different than 2007’s Halo 3: the characters are mostly the same, the environments appear familiar, and the first-person-shooter gameplay remains largely unchanged. But there is one big difference between the two games: the companies that made them.
To date, the Halo games have been the work of Bungie Studios, which established itself as a premier developer with the release of Halo in 2000 and Halo 2 in 2004. But Bungie has now been replaced by 343 Industries, an unproven studio. On the surface it’s a recipe for disaster, but according to early reviews the company has done an admirable job of refining Bungie’s incredibly successful product.
Although the game won’t be officially released until tomorrow, Halo 4 has already been reviewed by more than thirty websites. According to GameRankings.com, the consensus is that the game is excellent, receiving an overall score of more than 89 per cent. Of the web’s most notable gaming sites, IGN scores Halo 4 a 9.8/10, Gamespot gives it a 9/10, and Giant Bomb scores it a 4/5.
Halo 4’s lowest score came from Electronic Gaming Monthly, or EGM, which gave the game a 7/10. EGM’s Brandon Justice suggested that the game suffers from a somewhat stale story and repetitive gameplay. It’s “the same old formula we’ve played for years,” Justice noted.
But right now EGM’s score appears to be the exception to the rule. At the opposite end of the spectrum is IGN’s Ryan McCaffrey, who suggested that Halo 4 is the best Halo game to date. “Halo 4 is not only a success, but a bar-raising triumph for the entire first-person shooter genre,” McCaffrey wrote.
As mentioned, the game will officially be released tomorrow: November 6, 2012. I’ll be picking it up — will you?