Before Halo 4 was launched, the development team at 343 Industries talked a lot about the new Spartan Ops mode which was introduced under the Infinity section of the game, designed to replace the Firefight that Bungie created for previous installments in the series.
The idea behind it is to create an episode-based experience that delivers a lot of interesting gameplay situations, while also dropping bits of narrative for those who have fallen in love with the Halo universe.
I’ve played Spartan Ops and, while the concept might have potential, the execution as it currently stands is a little bit of a letdown, because it relies too much on enemies and situation that the player already knows from the single player.
The enemies are the same, although they drop in bigger numbers and they seem to be a little smarter about tactics, the weapons don’t change and even the levels are inspired by areas that Master Chief has already explored and fought on.
There’s a little bit of novelty in the fact that two players work together at the same time, but it quickly wears off and makes the new mode feel rather empty.
The biggest fun I have had with the Spartan Mode happened when my partner and I decided to simply ignore the objectives and set our own goals, trying to tackle different groups of enemies in various ways, something that Halo 4 itself could have done for us.
Spartan Ops also lacks any sort of quality as a training ground for the redesigned multiplayer of Halo 4 and that means that it sits at a weird cross point, with the multiplayer-dedicated crowd actively ignoring it, while the single-player focused fans already know almost everything it has to offer.
Let’s hope that 343 Industries will be able to change this with coming episodes.