Halo 4 is instantly familiar to anyone who has previously spent time with a game in the series, which has been created by Bungie and is now being handled by 343 Industries, and that’s a good thing, considering that the main aim of the current launch is to bring it all back to the roots of the franchise.
Master Chief is back and, within one hour from starting the game, he is back to his best heroic delivering ways, single-handedly launching missiles and fighting squadrons of Covenant forces, as an even larger threat looms over him and his constant companion, Cortana.
The action in the new Halo title is solid, quick, engaging and flashy and even familiar enemies like the Elites and the Grunts have new visual identities, even if their tactics remain largely the same.
The design, at least during the first few hours, is also very similar to that used by Bungie, with a few corridor areas that then open up in large arenas that give the player a lot of freedom when it comes to tactics.
Some of the aspects that might require some time to get used to is the voice of Master Chief, which seems strangely incongruous with his overall image, and the new look for Cortana, who is on the brink of both Rampancy and close to shedding all her virtual clothes.
Halo 4 also looks great, squeezing every ounce of performance out of the Xbox 360, with a lot of detail for all the core characters and some pretty impressive vistas that no other game on the console has managed to replicate so far.
I also had no problems with logging into the game servers, something that people reported early on launch day, with the developers at 343 Industries apparently able to upgrade their infrastructure in order to deal with the huge number of players.
Worth a full Softpedia review? Yes.