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
    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.
  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 9, 2012
    78
    Halo 4 may be utterly derivative, but it is the best Halo so far.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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]
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  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 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.
  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. 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.
  19. 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.
  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 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 90
    In the end, this game is still a fairly conservative and faithful to the original spirit, even with some significant changes.
  24. Nov 1, 2012
    90
    Halo 4 marks the beginning of a beautiful friendship between fans and 343 Industries.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
User Score
6.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 2885 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 realThe 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 somethingThe 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
    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 »