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
    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.
  2. Nov 1, 2012
    95
    343 Industries delivers one the best Halo games ever created thus proving that this studio is perfectly capable of handling Microsoft's legendary franchise.
  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 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 90
    343 have jumped the first hurdle with grace: now we know they know their Halo.
  9. Nov 25, 2012
    97
    The new benchmark for shooters across all platforms. [Christmas 2012, p.68]
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Nov 1, 2012
    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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  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 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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]
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. Nov 2, 2012
    80
    Fresh enough to be relevant, traditional enough to remain nostalgic.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
User Score
6.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 2887 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 »