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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
User Score
6.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 2815 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 »