GOTY 2012 Best Graphics Runner-Up: Halo 4

A console game that gives PC titles a run for their money

I’m a PC gamer at heart and that means I usually tend to unfavorably compare the current generation of home consoles to the PC when it comes to graphics quality and generally prefer to get all multiplatform launches on my home computer even if I have to wait, rather than play them on the PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360.

For Halo 4, waiting is not an option and I expected the Xbox 360 exclusive from developer 343 Industries to be a step down when compared to something like Borderlands 2 or Dishonored on the PC in terms of graphics quality.

The game surprised me right out of the gate with how good it looked. 343 Industries uses the first few hours of the game to showcase the quality of its game world, from updated Cortana and her newfound blue beauty to the new Forerunner planet and its wide expanses.

Halo 4 is head and shoulders above other Xbox 360 games, with no loss of detail for textures and no slowdowns during the single-player mode, even when multiple enemies are engaging the player at the same time.

The quality is comparable to that of shooters launched on the PC as well as home consoles, like Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 or Medal of Honor; Warfighter.

The only recent game that tends to put Halo 4 to shame in the graphics category is Far Cry 3, the open-world shooter from Ubisoft, and that’s an installment in a series which has always pushed the boundaries of what a fully powered PC can achieve.

Halo 4 is clearly the swan song of high-end graphics on the Xbox 360, a fitting tribute to what the Microsoft gaming platform can do.

Let’s hope that 343 Industries can use its technical acumen to deliver a similarly impressive experience on the next home console from Microsoft.

Here's a full review for Halo 4.

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