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'Halo 4' continues to shine with newest installment

343 Industries does justice to game franchise

By Jared Amdahl, social media editor
On November 14, 2012

  • The first-person shooter video game “Halo 4” was developed by 343 Industries and it is the first installment in the new trilogy under the franchise’s title. The game, released Nov. 6, follows protagonist Master Chief. Special to / The Advocate

The "Halo" series Xbox fans have loved, craved and lost countless hours of sleep for the past decade has finally seen the launch of the franchise's new installment.
On Nov. 6, "Halo 4" was released and within the first 24 hours, the game grossed $220 million worldwide, a record for the best selling series.
"Halo 4" takes place four years after the previous game and marks the beginning of a whole new trilogy starring the game's protagonist Master Chief.
Continued by game developing company 343 Industries, a division of Microsoft Game Studios, the series is no longer owned by the original creators of the franchise - Bungie.
Making the shift between developers, games tend to make gigantic changes with graphics and style of gameplay.
"Halo 4" is no different.
The graphics have made a magnificent transition into 2012 with stunning details that keep a player visually stimulated throughout the entire experience.
The effects are so life-like it is difficult to tell the difference between the animations on one's television screen compared to real life.
Nothing less is expected nowadays, though. If 343 Industries hadn't released the game with stunning graphics, it wouldn't have made $220 million on its first day.
"Halo 4" is a great game and it marks the revival of Halo fever, something gamers indulge in every few years.
With the launch of a new trilogy dubbed "The Reclaimer Trilogy," players can look forward to two more games after "Halo 4" made by the new developer.
The gameplay in the campaign feature was left virtually untouched. The only difference between the previous game's and the "Halo 4" campaign is its storyline, allowing it to feel just like before by adding to the franchise's internal plot.
By giving Master Chief and his partner Cortana an intertwined love story, players get to see a side of both characters that have never before been explored.
As the two fight their way through ancient alien technology and planets, they learn things about both themselves and each other.
The story feels somewhat thrown together in an attempt to draw in gamers who know about the Halo universe, and it barely succeeds.
The multiplayer mode, a reason why most Halo fans buy the game, however, is another story.
While it might feel the same as before, in reality, it is very different from previous versions from the franchise.
In an attempt to keep up with current video game standards and to also contend against one of the biggest titles of the year, "Call of Duty: Black Ops 2," this installment has adopted many things players have never seen before in the series.
In an ordinary slayer match, a game mode where players race each other to reach 60 kills, not only can one choose what weapons to start the game off with, it is now possible to select armor upgrades before the match starts.
"Halo Reach," the previous installment of the Halo series, tried to incorporate these concepts but it did not grasp them as extensively as "Halo 4" does.
With two more games on the way, it is easy to see that Halo fever is guaranteed to be something gamers can enjoy for the next few years to come at least.
Until then, however, grab some plasma grenades, get in a double-kill or two and make sure to get some sleep in between matches.

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