343 Industries' cover art for Halo 4.

Image: 343 Industries/Microsoft

It’s a law of nature that eventually every long-running game franchise will have a special entry to go too far from what made it so much fun in the first place. Yours Super Mario Sunshine, your Dragon Age IIAssassin’s Creed III, and so on. Regardless of whether that opinion changes to a more positive one over time, the initial negative ghost will haunt him forever. Microsoft’s Hello it is not an exception, it is not an exception that negative ghosts roam not over a specific game, but over an entire studio.

Halo 4 It was released on November 6, 2012 for the Xbox 360 and was the first full entry from developer 343 Industries. After Bungie folded, the studio became the official stewards of the franchise Halo Reach In 2010 and before halo 4, did reach lead development on map packs and the 2011 remake Halo: Combat Evolved. As the beginning of what would become known as the Reclaimer Saga, 343 wanted to focus more on the narrative than Bungie’s games, and did so by foregrounding the deeper Forerunner lore present in the series. previous games, but not a big center.

For a franchise whose previous entries can best be summed up as “guy in a helmet kills aliens,” and with the gaming industry starting to focus more on characters in its single-player offerings, you can see why 343 followed suit. With that in mind, one can understand why Halo 4 He chooses to combine his efforts to return to Earth between the arrival of the Advanced Didact, who wants to transform humans into robotic Promethean warriors under his rule to conquer the galaxy, and Master Chief and Cortana’s deteriorating mental state and subsequent death. If there is such a thing Hello would be suitable for, it would be a deeper exploration of the character and whether or not one chooses to watch The dynamics of Head and Cortana There are like platonic or romantic anything it made their adventures worth following over the years. While the campaign tries its best, the end result is kind of a mess.

Image for the article Halo's Identity Trouble Begins With Admirable Confusion for article titled alt=”Halo’s identity crisis began with admirable confusion”

Image: 343 Industries/Microsoft

There are certainly highlights here: the opening, in which the Chief and Cortana try to escape the ship they’ve spent years in cryo-sleep in while being invaded by the Covenant, is chaotic and dizzying, and descends into the world of the pair’s crash-landing moment. Requiem and Chief look up at soaring skyscrapers, bringing a sense of grandeur and awe similar to when they stepped onto the Halo ring in the original game. Likewise, the penultimate mission, which is basically a Death Star escape, can’t help but feel great thanks to the co-composer’s strong musical backing. Kazuma Jinnouchi.

But the biggest problem Halo 4 campaign, and the Reclaimer Saga as a whole is that it too easily oversteps the already established mythology of the series, or simply piles on new lore without doing a decent enough job of establishing why it’s different from its predecessors. Amidst the Chief-Cortana story, which features some of the series’ best writing for characters, the Forerunner of Them All starts to feel like it’s too bogged down in terminology to be accessible to anyone not already waist-deep in expanded media. And it’s a shame to say that because Halo 4 One of the most interesting additions to the series and even defining the future games of 343 Hello TV series.

Halo 4 In addition to introducing a new mode called Spartan Ops. Following the events of the game’s campaign, up to four players with their own customizable Spartans will take part in missions with their own story hooks and weekly release schedules. This mode didn’t last much longer than the first season and evolved into monthly comics that served to tie together story events and campaigns that were previously intended for future seasons. Halo 4 and Halo 5. But his spirit lives on in the sequel to episode 343: Hello 5 co-op puts players in the shoes of three Spartans in the respective teams of Master Chief and Jameson Locke. Halo Infinite, While it followed in the footsteps of other live service games by featuring narrative events in its seasonal model, it wouldn’t have gotten there without this game. Spartan Ops laying the groundwork for the franchise to explode.

Image for the article Halo's Identity Trouble Begins With Admirable Confusion for article titled alt=”Halo’s identity crisis began with admirable confusion”

Image: 343 Industries/Microsoft

Among the Pantheon Hello According to the developers, 343’s tenure has not been without problems and controversies, both general and specific to certain entries. As stated in the jump, this is the bane of any long-running franchise: the idea of ​​what it is is so firmly held by fans that anything that deviates from it is considered a gross betrayal. In this case, it will be the peak of the franchise Halo 3, it was so big that it attracted players who had never given the series a glance at the time. At best, anything that comes after can only hope to finish second can be depending on the rating of a particular game, it can be considered a fairly close tie.

343 for, his Hello the games feel very close to perfection. Halo 4, 5, and Endless have their strengths and weaknesses, and each feels like they capture a certain part of what makes the franchise so beloved and why it deserves to stick around. But every time the developers try to fix what didn’t work in the previous entry, the cracks in the franchise’s identity begin to show, and it gets to the point where they either have to get a whole new armor or go on a new journey. .

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