With the conclusion of Spartan Ops Season 1, episode 6-10, here is a combined review of all five episodes which proved that 343 can do something great with this new storyline and game mode.
Does exclusivity really matter? This question has become a hot topic over the past week when two titles that were originally exclusives on Nintendo’s Wii U console, made the move over to multi-platform.
Ninja Gaiden 3: Razors Edge was to be the ‘definitive version of Ninja Gaiden 3′, providing gamers with a slew of improvements, though only improving its Metacritic average from 58% to 69%. Providing gamers with bonus playable characters, problems from the original game being repaired, an assortment of new moves and the big change lacking from the original version, the ability to dismember your foes. Razors Edge will now be appearing on all consoles this April, the upcoming version however doesn’t affect the RE version already accessible on the Wii U system, fans still had first opportunity to play the superior version of the final product.
What I hear a lot of from people is those who don’t take the story seriously, don’t understand it, or say it’s the least important part of the game. I just can’t disagree with that anymore. It is undermined too often and I just want to give my views on why it should not. The Halo franchise is a journey, since the beginning you are venturing off to new worlds and fight off ancient threats that wish nothing more than to gain power through any means necessary. This is nothing new and goes so much deeper if you allow yourself to understand.
After weeks of deliberations, arguments, knife fighting challenges between staff. Analog Addiction is proud to announce we have put our differences aside, cuddled one another and agreed to our first Game of the Year voting.
There were so many amazing games this year, but only a select few get the prestigious platform awards and the first ever Analog Addiction Game of the Year Award. Our winners are revealed below and we would love to hear your thoughts on our winners and who you believe was your Game of the Year.
2012 comes to an end, but 2013 brings forth many more amazing gaming opportunities. We cannot wait and to quote the famous Duke Nukem, ” Who wants some?” We do sir, we do.
Welcome to the Official unveiling of Analog Addictions list of Game of the Year nominees, after weeks of discussion, heated debate and voting, oh so much voting, we have narrowed our list down to the selections below.
Analog Addiction has been going for 6 months strong and we have a great selection of professional talent, it is an honor for all of us to share our nominees for GOTY and hope these games are given the recognition they deserve.
Voting and discussion is still on-going for the official winners, but they will be late this month. But while we wait for our first Official GOTY, what are you choices? Let us know what games you think should have made the list and let us all bask in the warm glow of 2012′s best and brightest.
Who will win Analog Addiction’s first Game of the Year? Stay tuned to find out.
Jamie Briggs manages Analog Addiction where you can find all his latest reviews, interviews and features and also like them on Facebook. Also follow his daily life on Twitter @AnalogAddiction and their videos on YouTube.
During the VGA awards, the next season of Spartan Ops was announced to resume January 21, 2013. Until then, Halo 4 players will be blessed with Spartan Ops re-runs of the first season – one episode a week – until Season 1 resumes with episode 6.
Expect more info regarding Dr. Hasley’s incarceration, the artifact found in Episode 2, and more, in the next season of Spartan Ops!
To see the trailer, click here.
Jaime loves the things Halo 4 is doing, and is stoked for more episodes of Sparton Ops. He is the PS3/PSVita Editor here at Analog Addiction, you can follow him on Twitter here.
End of review that’s it I mean this is how the cool kids write blogs right?
Alright, but seriously, Halo 4, you know aliens, Master Chief, the thing everybody knows from the original Xbox. Halo 4 is no different from its predecessors in terms of overall gameplay but Halo veterans know and feel the differences once they pick up the controller and play the game (for example B to crouch!? *cough). From new enemies, to new weapons, to amazing visuals, and an unexpected story, 343 Industries does a great job taking a series many were upset Bungie to leave; integrating senior Halo players while simultaneously introducing the game to the new audience.
Story: Like all Halo’s, the game revolves around John-117 aka Master Chief and his partner/AI system Cortana and their struggle against an inevitable evil. Halo 4 continues right were Bungie left the game off at Halo 3, with Master Chief and Cortana waiting to be rescued on the ‘Forward onto Dawn’. About four year, seven months, and ten days pass* (explained below), before a disturbance on the ship causes Cortana to wake Master Chief from his slumber and thus your adventure officially begins as you step out of your sleeping pod. As you investigate the ship, wondering why the UNSC still hasn’t saved you from a distress single you’ve sent out from the end of Halo 3, you notice that Covenant (the aliens) have overrun the ship and are looking for something [oddly enough the treaty you have with the Covenant is of no help here]. Since there are new enemies to be introduced 343 takes the path of familiarity in the first two missions/levels, having Master Chief investigate a strange sound wave and try to contact a UNSC ship, while fighting off the Covenant. Because of this ‘strategy’ of 343 Industries you are left off just as confused as Master Chief and Cortana and just proceed to do what you think is correct while learning about Cortana’s condition, rampancy. The reason why there is an asterisk on the specific time passage is because due to the Chief’s long slumber, and Cortana being already alive for about four year before Halo 4, she has “lived” past her obsoleting date thus causing her to become rampant. Upon later circumstances (can’t spoil it but I’ll have you know the Covenant unify with the bad guy) you meet the new hoard of enemies replacing the Flood as the main antagonist called Prometheans, and their leader the Didact (pronounced Die dact). With this new menace a threat to the human race itself, it is up to Chief and Cortana to stop him and save our planet, while at the same time to get home to save Cortana before she becomes completely rampant and dies.
Gameplay: Halo 4 is obviously a First-person shooter and like I’ve stated before plays like its predecessors, although more towards Halo 3 rather than Bungie’s last game Halo Reach. Assassinations still exist, most of the weapons are still intact with a few new ones, and legendary is still a pain in the butt requiring you to become more patient than the Zen Master (any Laker fans out there?) There are three types of “gameplays” on Halo: The Campaign, Spartan Ops, and Multiplayer. The Campaign bit is fairly simple, choose a difficulty and fight your way through eight levels as Master Chief, aka the one man living army. Campaign is recommend for beginners because it teaches them the fundamentals of the game while at the same time teaching them about all the different guns in Halo and the different abilities.
Spartan Ops is basically multiplayer meets Campaign, without Master Chief. You play as ‘your’ Spartan (the guy you customize for online play) and work for the Infinity (an important ship in the Campaign) clearing out short missions. You can either play by yourself or with your friend, but are REQUIRED to have Internet/Live to play. Each Spartan Ops is broken up into Episodes with five Chapters; but at the same time they are about 20x shorter than any campaign mission.
Multiplayer (dubbed War Games) is…well multiplayer, nothing new and nothing old at the same time. From team slayer, to regicide, to oddball, to TONS of games; Halo multiplayer proves once again why everyone loves this game long time. New additions to multiplayer have been that off a pseudo Call of Duty loadouts (allowed a maximum of 5 loadouts), where you choose what ability you have, what your primary and secondary weapons are, and what perks you want (called Support Upgrades and Tactical Packages).
To break it down the Primary and Secondary weapons are standard issue weapons from all three sides (UNSC, Covenant, and Prometheans) so no ‘special’ weapons like shotguns or rocket launchers. Support Upgrades vary from Ammo, Awareness, Ordance Priority while Tactical Packages range from infinite sprint, faster reload, etc.
Music: Halo has always had an amazing soundtrack and Halo 4 is no different. While not as memorable as Halo 2 or Halo 3’s soundtrack, the OST in this game is something that never leaves your head while running through mission campaigns.
Graphics: The game pushes Xbox to its very limits and all I have to say is WOW. I had to play the game in standard 360p output and I was already blown back. Once I saw it in 720p I have to say Halo 4’s graphics are pretty close to just looking out the window and holding up your Xbox 360 Controller.
Replay Value: Very High. If you aren’t replaying the campaign because you were too noob to run through it the first time Legendary Solo, or you just want that one co-op achievement; I’m 100% sure you are playing Spartan Ops and War Games till 3am in the morning…oh wait that’s me.
Overall: 9.6/10 Halo 4 game out with guns blazing and I still feel like this monumental success still has room for improvements. 343 Industries has exceeded my expectations (along with many others) and has proven to us, the Halo community that they can be trusted with a series we all have come to love. Here’s to Halo 5…wait I mean 4 it isn’t even a month old yet!
Michael Troina writes features and reviews Nintendo games for Analog Addiciton. When he’s not writing or playing games or sports, he’s out at his job at the Daily Bugle taking pictures as the web-slinger we all have come to love…either that or he’s getting sandwich saving one world at a time. Find him anywhere with this flavors.me/michaeltroina
Halo Waypoint have posted their first blog for Halo 4. The blog has many stats about Halo 4′s first five days. Here are some of them:
- Over 4 million people played Halo 4 over Xbox Live
- 16 million hours were spent playing War Games (that’s multiplayer) in the first five days
- 1,116,882 people completed the Campaign in the first five days (including 6% on Legendary)
- 1,410,025,354 kills were earned in War Games in the first five days.
As well as releasing a tonne of stats, Halo Waypoint has also detailed the first multiplayer update for Halo 4. This week’s rotational game type was Swat, and it’s staying around for another week. Team Snipers is also being added to the rotational playlist on the 19th of this month (that’s next Monday).
Also in the post is information about Ordinance drops and where they have landed on maps.
It’s good to see 343 continuing to support their game after launch and continue a level of developer dedication Halo fans have come to enjoy.
You can read the full post on Halo Waypoint.
Nathan Manning is an Editor for Analog Addiction. He loves Halo, but is putting off playing Halo 4 because he knows he won’t play anything else once he starts. You can find him on Twitter or on MyIGN.