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 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Nov 25, 2012
    97
    The new benchmark for shooters across all platforms. [Christmas 2012, p.68]
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Nov 13, 2012
    93
    Halo 4 is a great return to form for the series.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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]
  30. 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.
User Score
6.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 2839 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 »