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. 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]
  2. 90
    In the end, this game is still a fairly conservative and faithful to the original spirit, even with some significant changes.
  3. 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.
  4. 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]
  5. 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]
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Nov 25, 2012
    97
    The new benchmark for shooters across all platforms. [Christmas 2012, p.68]
  9. 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]
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Nov 13, 2012
    93
    Halo 4 is a great return to form for the series.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Nov 9, 2012
    78
    Halo 4 may be utterly derivative, but it is the best Halo so far.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Nov 7, 2012
    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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 90
    Easily one of the 360's finest shooters, then, and we genuinely can't wait to see what 343 does next.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
User Score
6.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 2837 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 »