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 26, 2012
    85
    Halo 4 is a game with two sides. On the one hand 343 Studios hasn't managed to create a single player experience with a great story. And on top of that the musical presentation isn't what you'd expect it to be. The true magic of the game is to be found in the multiplayer mode. Through subtle changes, constant rewards through the Ordnance system and new gear, the multiplayer keeps you enthralled throughout. And should you be done with it, then there's still Spartan Ops.
  2. Nov 6, 2012
    85
    Although it shows some flaws the Halo 4 campaign is one of the best within the series. And on top of that 343 proves that their enhancements of the multiplayer formula add some depth to the dynamic firefights.
  3. Nov 4, 2012
    85
    Levels are broader and more varied, small alterations have been made to force the player to put more thought into how they craft their experiences, and there's some genuine emotional content being experimented with. The whole enterprise does end up feeling a bit too earnest, a bit too forced, a bit too cornball. Despite that, though, there's a maturity of vision to Halo 4, one that manifests itself, in small ways, in the narrative and in the ways you interact with that narrative.
  4. Nov 1, 2012
    85
    Instead of innovating, 343 has played it safe in just about every aspect. Halo 4 competes favorably with Halo: Reach, but it doesn't exceed Bungie's final installment.
  5. Nov 1, 2012
    85
    Halo 4 is Halo in every sense of the word. This is the classic Master Chief-oriented Halo that fans love and have been missing for years. Robust multiplayer and a heart-pounding campaign that can easily be played multiple times over; plus, you know that the game is going to get extended support post launch which will keep you playing for months, if not years. Some old problems that have haunted the series in the past rear their head once again, but they aren't gamebreakers.
  6. 85
    Yes – the campaign is probably the weakest element of the game on balance, and one needs to look towards future Spartan Ops episodes to see what will become of that mode, but taken as a package this is a game that Halo fans, including this Halo fan, can seriously enjoy. Plus, it looks amazing.
  7. Nov 15, 2012
    80
    You're getting a short yet solid single-player mode that demands a love for the 'combat evolved' formula – it's a first-person shooter that is linear to the core, though we hope to see this change in future instalments. The story could have used some tweaking, but fans will still find an enjoyable experience with challenging gameplay and vicious enemies.
  8. Nov 7, 2012
    80
    Halo 4 is brilliant. If you've never played an entry in this series, this is as good a place to start as any and if you're a fan, rejoice; with 343 Industries Halo is in safe hands.
  9. Nov 6, 2012
    80
    For those who love Halo and mostly play online, all I can say is that you should pick up Halo 4 as soon as possible, because it's got everything that makes this series' online play so entertaining. For the rest, I wouldn't worry about rushing out to pick it up on release day, but do check it out when it's convenient.
  10. Nov 5, 2012
    80
    Rather than re-inventing the series in their image, 343 has treated Halo 4 with kid gloves, settling for familiarity and mimicry of what has gone before. A reassurance to long-term fans, rather than a battle cry that one of gaming's biggest blockbusters is there for the re-crafting.
  11. Nov 3, 2012
    80
    With Halo 4, 343 Industries had the difficult duty to satisfy the fans of the IP, and to answer some of the questions that remained from the previous episode. Without revolutionizing the saga, the studio keeps everything that made Halo so successful but cleverly introduces a new species called the Forerunners. Globally, Halo 4 is like a super-Halo Reach, with a new graphics engine and brings enough innovations to be a good sequel.
  12. Nov 3, 2012
    80
    Master Chief along with Cortana have returned in all their splendor proving all doubters have been wrong. The Halo series is stepping into a new era showing its great potential in single-player and multiplayer games. From a narration point of view this is not a masterpiece; however, the intensive game content makes it up to you. A pity there is not more of it in the single-player game.
  13. Nov 2, 2012
    80
    The new Halo from 343 Industries is a big step in the right direction. There's no revolution to talk about, but there is some fresh air being pumped into this series. There aren't enough unique new things to bow down to the developers, but Halo 4 provides loads of fun. If you're an old fan, you'll be very pleased. If you're against Halo - it's a great opportunity to give the series another chance. Halo 4 is not the best installment in the franchise, but definitely is the most atmospheric and varied one.
  14. Nov 2, 2012
    80
    Fresh enough to be relevant, traditional enough to remain nostalgic.
  15. Nov 1, 2012
    80
    Halo 4 is another Halo game in every sense. It's a technically spectacular achievement that in isolation is a product to make the industry proud. Series fatigue is inevitable after six full-length titles and this prevents it from being genuinely essential. For many that decision will have already been made.
  16. Nov 1, 2012
    80
    At the core remains the solid, steady hand of Halo, but those hoping Halo 4 would roll back Reach's intricacies and deliver an alternative to the current wave of console shooters will be disappointed.
  17. Nov 1, 2012
    80
    Halo 4's combination of modes offers a very impressive package. The campaign offers a familiar but genuinely captivating ride, while Spartan Ops and War Games both take multiplayer in some welcome directions that'll undoubtedly hold your interest in the coming months.
  18. 80
    As familiar as the system may seem there's no denying its addictive qualities, or the increased freedom it gives you to customise the play styles. But there is an unavoidable price to be paid in terms of Halo 4's sense of individuality.
  19. Nov 1, 2012
    80
    It's going to feel a little off with a new studio taking over the franchise, and Bungie left a big mark on gaming with Halo. While 343i shouldn't just try to make a Bungie game, the single player isn't up to the series' standard. Halo 4 does balance that with a robust amount of content across the various gameplay modes.
  20. Nov 1, 2012
    80
    Halo 4 is authentic, and assures 343's role is more than a mere tribute act. Their delicate yet sprawling work may be more continuation than true expansion - and perhaps the true test comes in the next step - but for now, Halo returns with a bang, not a whimper.
  21. Nov 1, 2012
    80
    It's good that the developers have backed this story up with sharp, time-tested gameplay that gets enhanced in meaningful ways across all modes.
  22. Nov 9, 2012
    78
    Halo 4 may be utterly derivative, but it is the best Halo so far.
  23. Dec 3, 2012
    75
    The narrative is outstanding, even in spite of a few plot-point missteps, and the character evolution of Master Chief and Cortana deserves to be further explored with these wonderful storytellers (well, maybe one of them can't happen, but I'll avoid spoilers). However, the gameplay feels jilted, awkward and unrefined, three unforgivable sins in a landscape populated with other quite-capable FPS franchises. As a result, I'm going to average everything out: great story plus bad gameplay equals an average experience. And in this overcrowded FPS genre, "average" is isn't something I'd recommend buying.
  24. Nov 1, 2012
    70
    It's been an impressive run, but after a decade of the same basic experience, I can't escape the feeling that Halo needs to try a bit harder. Fans of the game will have a blast here, and the multiplayer is something special, but if you expected Halo 4 to keep up with the Joneses, you might be disappointed.
  25. Nov 10, 2012
    55
    After playing through the single-player on Normal difficulty, I'd be more inclined to attempt the campaign on a higher difficulty if I wanted to experience the story. Maybe there's some dramatic linchpin that I missed! But I was unsuccessful in keeping my brain from thinking about the problems and inconsistencies I see with the story and the relationship between Cortana and Master Chief the first time around, why would the second time be any different? Halo 4 has its moments, but not enough of them to make me forget about this stuff.
  26. 55
    The combat overall leaves much to be desired. Halo is so rigid in its linearity that the player is forced to learn gunfight sequences by rote - remember where the snipers are, make sure you find the Watcher quickly to put him down, memorise where extra ammo is.
  27. Nov 4, 2012
    20
    A shiny old dog without any new tricks. I got more out of the Halo 1 remake, which at least had the appeal of nostalgia. Playing through an updated version of the original Halo was at times tired or tedious. But it was also a reminder of the raw genius that launched the series. There is none of that in Halo 4, which is a drawn-out retread without any fresh perspective or energy, and furthermore missing a lot of what I need to pull me through a Halo game. Halo 4 demonstrates that if there's one thing worse than more of the same, it's less of the same.
User Score
6.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 2834 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 »