Halo 4 deserves to be on anyone’s game of the year list for one reason alone; 343 Industries was able to take a franchise, one that was created and maintained by another studio for more than a decade, that has been the pillar upon which the Xbox has rested for two console generations, and not just make another one, but make it their own.
There were plenty of jokes about ‘finishing the fight’, but the way 343 finally incorporated elements of the series’ surprisingly deep and enjoyable expanded universe into a much meatier story than previous installments, nobody should come out of that game lacking the will to fight. More than ever before, this is the story of Master Chief and Cortana, rather than a story in which they’re simply characters.
343 also brought Halo a little more up to speed with most other console shooters on the market by adding customizable loadouts and killstreak rewards. The loadouts allow players to jump into matches with equipment their comfortable with, and eliminate the need to worry about getting cross-mapped with a Battle Rifle after spawning with a magnum. The killstreaks, which give players the choice between power weapons or abilities, provide a satisfying reward for doing well without making things unbalanced.
343, remarkably, was able to make Halo 4 an exceptional entry in the venerable series, adding their flair while maintaining that Halo magic.
Read our review of Halo 4 here: Halo 4 Review