Metascore
87

Generally favorable reviews - based on 87 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 83 out of 87
  2. Negative: 1 out of 87
  1. Nov 14, 2012
    100
    If you're a Halo fan, you've probably already pre-ordered and purchased this game and thankfully the game more than lived up to its hype. Even if you have never played a Halo game before, it's still one of the best first person shooters on any console.
  2. Nov 12, 2012
    100
    Halo 4 is something really special. Not only is it a first-rate exclusive for the good old 360, it's also a shining example of the kind of technical excellence that's still possible on the elderly hardware. It's one of these games that justify the decision to buy this console. 343 Industries has gone ahead and obliterated my qualms about the brand's change to another developer than Bungie. Now there's only one thing I want: More.
  3. Nov 1, 2012
    100
    It's also hard to deny that Halo 4 is a hell of a visual step up for the series. Part of that comes from the art design, featuring bright, neon like colors that infuse the new world of Requiem with inorganic life. But the texture work and character models are a step above what Reach produced, and help to show that that 360 still has a trick or two up its sleeve from a power perspective.
  4. Nov 1, 2012
    100
    Unless Black Ops II or Far Cry 3 manage to revolutionize the genre in astronomical ways, Halo 4 is the clear frontrunner for best first-person shooter of 2012. Heck, it may very well be the best game you play all year.
  5. Nov 1, 2012
    100
    A truly spectacular game. Of all of the possible results that may have sprung from the circumstances that now surround the development of the Halo franchise, Halo 4 is the most welcome (and surprising) imaginable.
  6. Nov 1, 2012
    100
    The visuals have been massively overhauled to make this the best looking Halo, if not the best looking 360 game to date.
  7. Nov 1, 2012
    100
    The developer launches the best kind of protest, which is to wave an impressive, throbbing shooter in your face. Trust me, you want this.
  8. Nov 1, 2012
    100
    343 Industries have done a remarkable job at continuing the Halo legacy. They've gone all out, creating a fantastic sequel that brought forth a major focus on storytelling while upping the visual and audio direction to a level that will be tough for anyone to rival with these few remaining years of the current console generation.
  9. Nov 1, 2012
    100
    Halo 4 is an emotional rollercoaster, an amalgam of epic scenes and memorable surprises with clockwork-perfect gameplay and a stunning artistic/technical production. The Halo everyone was waiting for.
  10. Nov 1, 2012
    98
    Halo 4 is a masterstroke everyone can and should celebrate, and its two guaranteed sequels instantly make the next-generation Xbox a must-own system, with Halo 5 its most anticipated title. Halo has been rebuilt. It has been redefined. And it has been reinvigorated. The Xbox's original king has returned to his rightful place on the throne.
  11. Nov 27, 2012
    97
    This is THE best Halo game yet, and although the campaign in short, there's an abundance of content to keep Halo 4 in your disc tray.
  12. Nov 25, 2012
    97
    The new benchmark for shooters across all platforms. [Christmas 2012, p.68]
  13. Nov 1, 2012
    96
    By far their greatest success lies in a more nuanced realization of the series' main protagonist, Master Chief, and while the campaign works exceptionally well as a stand-alone narrative, it leaves our hero in a place that opens the story to exciting new possibilities in the next two installments.
  14. Nov 1, 2012
    95
    Halo 4 is a new age in Halo franchise. 343 Industries improves some elements like multiplayer options and map design, and hits a new level in visuals. It features a frantic and varied campaign, but more close combat than big battles.
  15. Nov 1, 2012
    95
    343 Industries delivers one the best Halo games ever created thus proving that this studio is perfectly capable of handling Microsoft's legendary franchise.
  16. Nov 1, 2012
    95
    Halo 4 is most like the original Halo, where the novelty and wonder of exploring something really alien and different is a key factor. While Halo 4 continues the series' tradition of iteration on its own design more successfully than any one of its predecessors, that sense of awe, of discovery, has been light since the first game, and I didn't realize how much I missed it until I played Halo 4.
  17. 95
    Beneath its sometimes bombastic layer of blockbuster-level polish, Halo 4 hides a complicated heart filled with intelligent sci-fi and a surprising amount of humanity and soul. Count us in for Chief's next outing. We'll be ready.
  18. Nov 1, 2012
    94
    A natural evolution of the series that sets the groundwork for new episodes. There are no huge innovations, but it sticks to its core development and Halo fans will love it. A great campaign and and immense multiplayer – with the promise of free weekly content – will keep us busy for a long while. A must-have without any doubt.
  19. 94
    Welcome back, Halo. It's been a long, long five years.
  20. Nov 13, 2012
    93
    Halo 4 is a great return to form for the series.
  21. 93
    The narrative that is put forth is simply amazing as it provides a new beginning with the Reclaimer Saga and the addition of the new Spartan Ops mode is simply brilliant as it adds even more story to an already great tale. Sure, some may complain the familiarity of the gameplay is a bad thing, but in the end, even though you do get a recognizable feeling when playing, the overall experience that Halo 4 provides is very enjoyable and one that you should not miss.
  22. Nov 1, 2012
    93
    Halo 4 is a thrilling adventure, and takes the science fiction franchise headlong into the future. The magic formula is intact, but the new development team isn't afraid to put its own signature features into play, assuring that Halo is on a path to growth instead of stagnation.
  23. Nov 1, 2012
    93
    Those who were worried about 343 Industries' ability to fill Bungie's Shoes can take a deep breath, since they almost completely succeeded. If they are able to innovate this formula further the new Halo trilogy will have a bright future.
  24. Nov 2, 2012
    92
    Halo 4 had the potential to be one of the best games of all time. The graphics are amazing and full of details, the soundtrack is outstanding and the story is epic and breathtaking till the last minute. The problem is that the game is just way too short. I mean it really is done in less than 10 hours. It's still worth every penny and is probably the best part of the series.
  25. Nov 1, 2012
    91
    Halo 4 stands as a particularly polished piece of fan fiction that not only deserves to be released, it carves its own way in an established universe, carefully paying homage to the tropes of what has come before, while boldly establishing its own mythology and gameplay lore.
  26. Dec 17, 2012
    90
    Halo 4 eschews esoteric delivery for a sledgehammer story with a blockbuster aesthetic. Epic, engaging and sensorially awesome. [Jan 2013, p.60]
  27. 90
    In the end, this game is still a fairly conservative and faithful to the original spirit, even with some significant changes.
  28. 90
    Brilliant start of the new trilogy. Halo 4 offers so many attractions you just don't know where to look first. Epic in every aspect. [Dec 2012]
  29. Nov 29, 2012
    90
    The only thing that this wonderful shooter lacks is some distinctive mark left by the new developer. However what they managed to create is a game you could call 'the best of Halo'. Additionally it rocks in multiplayer and pushes X360's capability in a way that probably even the console's designers find surprising. [13/2012, p.46]
  30. Nov 15, 2012
    90
    Halo 4 is perhaps the best-looking Xbox games out there. While as a first person shooter Halo 4 isn't breaking any new ground, 343 Industries has done a terrific job retaining the classic Halo gameplay. The Prometheans are a bit of a let down, but luckily the Covenant hasn't been forgotten. While I enjoyed the new Reclaimer storyline, the touchy-feely stuff between Master Chief and Cortana feels a bit forced and awkward. Unsurprisingly the multiplayer is great fun, though the matchmaking could use a little speed-up. [Nov 2012]
  31. Nov 10, 2012
    90
    It is hard not to be impressed by 343 Industries. This is their first full game, for a series as popular and well thought of as Halo and to improve upon Bungies' games in almost every way is nothing short of astounding. Let it be said, Halo 4 is another Halo game, it feels very familiar and tries very little new, but then again, there is a reason the series is as popular as it is and it isn't as though we see a new one every single year.
  32. Nov 9, 2012
    90
    It's safe to say that although there are some elements they could iron out by the time Halo 5 hits the shelves, 343 did an excellent job making Halo relevant again.
  33. 90
    Halo 4 isn't quite the revolution everybody has been waiting for, but it's on the right track. 343 Industries have done a superb job in replicating what fans love about the franchise while adding their own distinct style to it. With a meaty and well told single-player campaign, multiplayer that will keep gamers engaged for months, if not years on end, and a bustling community to engage with, Halo 4 is an immeasurable value that will not disappoint.
  34. Nov 6, 2012
    90
    343 Industries had some very big Spartan boots to fill when took over the reigns of the Halo franchise from Bungie. All things considered they've done a tremendous job. Where they come up a little short is the campaign, which feels all too familiar gameplay wise to previous Halo installments. They played it safe and it shows.
  35. Nov 6, 2012
    90
    There's no doubt that Halo 4 has been developed in a pressure cooker. With expectations sky high, 343 has delivered a game that manages to walk the line between old and new with just a few stumbles.
  36. 90
    Easily one of the 360's finest shooters, then, and we genuinely can't wait to see what 343 does next.
  37. Nov 4, 2012
    90
    At 343 Industries a fresh and new team of developers faced a disheartening task: matching the image of ex-Halo developer Bungie, as well as the quality of their games. Well, they did it. The new setting speaks volumes, the multiplayer is as addictive as ever and the Halo-universe has never looked this good. The launch of Halo 4 doesn't just provide us with an amazing game, but also with a new top-notch developer. The future of Halo is bright in their hands.
  38. Nov 1, 2012
    90
    Halo 4 marks the beginning of a beautiful friendship between fans and 343 Industries.
  39. Nov 1, 2012
    90
    A great game that comes up shy in being the ultimate Halo experience. Since this is 343's first installment in what is supposed to be a new trilogy, I think they deserve plenty of credit for making a game that may not be revolutionary but opens the doors for some major improvements in the future.
  40. Each of Halo 4's parts are thus excellently done, but when they're all put together, a fully formed, cohesive whole emerges. It's rare that visuals, sound, story and action all gel and feed off each other, but this game pulls it off in grand style.
  41. Nov 1, 2012
    90
    A titanic piece of work that embodies everything that made the Halo series legendary. The changes to the formula aren't many, and affect mostly the enormous multiplayer portion of the title, but everything is so polished and pushed to the limit that we can't help but think this will be the last "classic" Halo around.
  42. Nov 1, 2012
    90
    The question many will ask, ultimately, is how Halo 4 stacks up against its predecessors, and in truth it's hard to answer at this time. It'll take multiple runs through the campaign, hours and hours more multiplayer, and swaths of Spartan Ops mission to truly understand how good Halo 4 is. There's one answer we can say with certainty, though: this is absolutely a Halo game. And that's all that most fans would ever need to hear.
  43. Nov 1, 2012
    90
    Halo 4 is a masterpiece. The storytelling is mature and comes with a deep and perfect character design. Despite the fact that the campaign is not mind-blowing (only 6 hours in duration) 343 Industries' first iteration boosts up multiplayer, giving fans and other gamers a completely new and refined Halo experience.
  44. 343's attempts at endowing this carefully constructed husk of a protagonist with psychological depth are predictably timid.
  45. Nov 1, 2012
    90
    Halo 4 is not a breakthrough, but it's a hopeful beginning for the new Master Chief trilogy. If you loved Bungie's work with the saga, you should purchase 343 Industries' game, though is not as brilliant as its precursors.
  46. 90
    343 have jumped the first hurdle with grace: now we know they know their Halo.
  47. 90
    Halo 4 represents a bold step forward for the franchise that feels both fresh and familiar. Boasting Halo's trademark multiplayer, a gripping campaign, an experimental co-op mode and the usual gubbins, Halo 4 like all the other Halos that have come and gone, represents incredible value for money.
  48. 90
    The multiplayer for Halo 4 is something of an enigma wrapped inside an awesome plasma grenade. To say that I am in love with what 343 has done with it would be a disservice. Suffice it to say that I enjoyed the multiplayer enough to go out on a second, third, and probably fourth date.
  49. Nov 1, 2012
    90
    This is no longer Bungie's Halo, but much of what made the series such an irresistible proposition has remained intact for this new beginning. Rich, lavish and often spectacular, Halo 4 is an encouraging first effort from 343 Industries and a deserving entry into one of gaming's most beloved franchises.
  50. Nov 1, 2012
    90
    Every bit the massive shooter package that its predecessors were, and it holds the series' standard high. The thrilling and emotional return of Master Chief and Cortana is the highlight, and the campaign breaks new ground in narrative quality for the franchise. The top-notch competitive multiplayer picks up where Halo: Reach left off, infusing the action with some mainstream elements while still remaining undeniably unique.
  51. Nov 1, 2012
    90
    343 Industries' Halo 4 establishes itself not as "the next" Halo game, or "another sequel," but instead opts to be a new beginning for the franchise--one with more commitment to its characters. It's refreshing to see the series admit its shortcomings and catch up with its contemporaries without sacrificing what makes it unique, and that's just what Halo 4 does, creating a name for itself without relying on its popularity, and getting us excited to start, continue, and one day finish the fight all over again.
  52. Nov 1, 2012
    90
    Few risks are taken and most of the improvements over previous games amount to surface-level boosts to the presentation, but that also helps to make for a seamless transition from one studio to the next. As much as Halo 4 makes it clear that this is a franchise that needs to grow and evolve, 343 also gets a pass this time for playing it safe and serving the fans.
  53. Nov 1, 2012
    90
    With a satisfying solo campaign (even though it's rather short), more mature both in terms of storytelling and artistic direction, blessed by superb visuals powered by a new and rather impressive graphical engine; a richer than ever multiplayer with more dynamic and furious gameplay, and nice co-op, free, episodic content with Spartan Ops: 343 Industries is undoubtedly ready to take over, and drive the series forward into a new dawn.
  54. Nov 1, 2012
    90
    It's a formidable return to form for Master Chief. This gorgeous game offers thrills and challenges from start to finish, and provides a much more personal story for our hero than what we've seen before.
  55. Nov 1, 2012
    90
    It's unfortunate that 343 didn't stretch past the standard Halo playbook instead of falling back to so many recognizable gameplay beats (and I do wonder if that was a conscious decision meant to counter the "Will it be Halo?" doubters), but the gameplay itself offsets those issues. The level design is a precision instrument. Above and beyond that, Halo 4 expertly folds an intimate story into an epic scope, taking risks with iconic characters and sticking the landing every time.
  56. Nov 1, 2012
    90
    343 Industries succeeds in evolving the franchise and prepares it for the next generation of consoles. After Halo 4 we feel very confident about the future: the series is in good hands.
  57. 90
    Halo 4 offers more of the same, but still manages to be packed with crazy moments, a delightfully tight story and pure joy for all your senses.
  58. Nov 1, 2012
    90
    Halo 4 is a nice fresh start for a series that has lost some of its shine in later years. 343 Industries has really put everything they got into making a stunningly beautiful sequel, packed with high quality content in all kinds of shapes and forms.
  59. 89
    It is rare that a game combines such raw graphical force, such a keen sense for aesthetics, such a strongly built out background universe, and this much style and personality with all in all pretty shallow gameplay mechanics. Halo 4 has power, it has pride, it has a well-crafted personality, and above all, it has dignity. If it managed to find a bit more courage along the way now, it would be pretty close to perfection.
  60. Nov 7, 2012
    88
    Even with its challenging gameplay, spectacular atmosphere, awesome moments in the narrative, great music and voiceovers, Halo 4 doesn't make that bold step everyone's been hoping for.
User Score
6.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 2686 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Nov 6, 2012
    10
    The game is absolutely outstanding!!!! Visually maybe the best game in consoles. High quality sounds, it feels like you are in the real battlefield, excellent gameplay, jawdropping lightning effects, unbelievable music, awesome story. What else do you need? Congrats to 343!!!! Full Review »
  2. Cg1
    Nov 6, 2012
    10
    The campaign was amazing. The emotional connection between Chief and Cortana was a central highlight of the plot. The villain was something Halo needed, and he is a worthy adversary for John. Everything from sound design, graphics, gameplay, map design, was amazing! There were so many details, and the lighting was fantastic, I was blown away! The multiplayer is addicting as ever!! This game alone is a reason to own an Xbox 360. A must get game, and my choice for game of the year! You jealous, Sony and CoD fanboys? Yeah, I think you are. Full Review »
  3. Nov 6, 2012
    10
    Quick Review: Graphics: 10/10 Absolutely gorgeous. Cut scenes are better than Wars. Story: 9.5 Greg Bear definitely had a large part in this.
    Gameplay: 9.5
    Slightly repetitive but it kept me interested throughout.
    Multiplayer: 9.5
    Very, very fun, much better than Reach.
    Dialogue: 10
    Brilliant Writing.
    Soundtrack: 9.5
    Average is above 9.5, so it rounds up to 10.
    Full Review »