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What’s Killing My Social Life This Week – Halo 4

Thanks for stopping by the Evil Lair again, Geeks.  Right now, you’re probably wondering what that funky stench emanating from the Evil Gaming Room is?  No, we weren’t hosting another “Bring a Zombie, Get In Half Price” party and the toilets are no longer backing up ever since we banned Evil Taco Night, so it’s neither of them.  That earthy, acrid, and full-bodied aroma would be Yours Truly after emerging from a week and a half-long gaming coma, just long enough to write this.  What’s been keeping me in these filth-ridden footie pajamas you ask?  Well, you may not be aware of this, but I have it on good authority that Halo 4 was just recently released on November 6th.  I’ve forgone sleep.  I’ve neglected friendships and important Evil duties.  I haven’t spoken with a human being without the use of a headset in over 8 days.  Yeah… it’s pretty safe to say I’m hooked on this game.

Oh, I’m sorry. Did I break your concentration?

Halo 4 is the first game in the series made by a developer other than Bungie Games, the originators of the franchise that made the XBox on the gaming scene.  Saying that the Halo franchise was a little bit popular, would be like saying The Beatles achieved a little bit of notoriety in the 60’s.  The game has generated billions for Microsoft, so I’m pretty sure that they’re going to do everything in their power to make sure that Halo cash well keeps them soaked in liquid assets.

The story in the campaign portion of the game, picks up several years after Master Chief set off into space at the end of Halo 3.  In the time that he’s been gone, the human race has gone from being on the brink of extinction, due to the war with The Covenant, to being one of the leading powerhouses in the galaxy.  Master Chief’s been doing his best “Captain America circa 1945-1964” impression all that time, but suddenly his ship is nearly destroyed and Cortana springs to life.  She reawakens Chief, just in time for the remnants of the ship to be attacked by a rogue group of Covenant soldiers.  After securing the situation, Chief asks Cortana if anything is wrong with her, because he has noticed that she’s been glitchy.  Cortana tells him that she has lived longer than AI’s are intended to and as a result, she is “dying”.  During Chief’s battle with the Covenant, Master Chief gets sucked into a gravity well and ends up on another world, meeting a new foe, the Prometheans.  While on this new planet, Chief ends up unleashing a big bad who ends up teaming up with the Prometheans and the Covenant soldiers to start causing hell for all of humanity.  The game play of the campaign is pretty much what you’d expect for a Halo game, I haven’t run across anything drastically new yet, but I’m admittedly not that far into it.  Let’s face it, with games like this, the campaign isn’t the reason we’re buying; with shooters, it’s all about the multiplayer.

These new Power Rangers are NOT fucking around.

Sometimes, after a long week of toiling away at the Evil Offices, for me there’s no better Friday night than grabbing a six-pack (alright, sigh…. it’s a twelve-pack) and settling in for a marathon Halo multiplayer session with the sound turned WAY up on my home theater system, lasting well into the morning hours (Screw the neighbors, this is WAR damn it!).  The Halo series has always done the best multiplayer games as far as I ‘m concerned and part 4 only improves on the success they’ve already built.  They carried over the concept of having various armor abilities, which was first introduced in Halo: Reach and have added some new one to the mix.  My favorite of the new abilities is the shield one;  you can charge an enemy with the shield up and when he stops to reload, you can clobber him!  Also carried over is the customizable armor.  There seems to be more armor variation in this one than in reach, allowing for some really cool looking combinations.  However, the thing for me that sets the Halo series  above my other favorite shooter series, Call of Duty, is the vehicles.  Manning the machine gun on the back of a warthog, while a skilled driver is taking me right into all the hotspots without getting us both blown up is what I live for!  Seriously, I’m like Rambo in that last movie where he’s mowing down dudes with a .50 cal; just racking up the Killtacular medals like they were giving them away. I’m absolutely guilty of being the guy who makes a bee-line right for the Banshee as soon as the game starts every time I play on the Ragnarök map.  The vehicles are always what made the Halo series, just that much better than the thousands of other shooters out there.  In Halo 4, we get a VERY welcome new addition to the  vehicle roster.  But C-Mart, what other incredibly cool vehicle could they possibly introduce???  Well, how does a MOTHERF#%$IN’ MECH sound?!?!?  There’s a UNSC mech type of thing that you can commandeer that is absolutely a beast on the battlefield.  It’s sluggish and slow, but it’s got a machine gun, rockets, and a melee stomp that could probably flatten a beer keg.  If you know how to use it right and stay near some cover to recharge your shields when necessary, you can go on a serious killing spree with one of these monsters.

Hmmm…you look familiar, but I can’t say that we’ve MECH before! (crickets chirping…)

It seems the new developer 343 Industries has done a more than apt job of carrying on the franchise, now that Bungie is out fo the picture.  The graphics in Halo 4 are top-notch.  I’m willing to bet that this game is pushing the outer limits of the XBox’s capabilities.  Towards the beginning of the game there is a cut scene featuring the Doctor who created Cortana and for about a minute or two I had a tough time deciphering if I was watching a scene filmed with humans or CGI (it’s computer generated, but damn does it look good!).  The controls are the same ones we’re all familiar with; they’ve been pretty much the same since the start of the series, but the familiarity is kind of nice.  It’s like you’re slipping back into a great game that you’ve been playing for years without fully beating.  I”ve had a real itch for a great action game lately and this game seems to the one I”ve been waiting for.  I’m going to be playing this one for quite a while.  Ok, I’m starting to get the withdrawal shakes, so I have to get back to the action.  Who knows Evil Geeks, maybe we’ll cross paths out there some day.  If we do, you’d better hope we’re wearing the same color armor, otherwise….well, chances are you’ll probably shoot me before I even see you there.

See you on the battlefield Evil Geeks!

All images and characters depicted are copyright of their respective owners.

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About C-Mart

A true Marvel Zombie, die-hard George Romero fan, Star Wars addict, Whovian, and life-long gamer. I make with the Tweets @CMart0979

Posted on November 16, 2012, in Geekology, Reviews, Video Games, What's Killing My Social Life This Week and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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