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Veteran Member - Level 13
*edit: Pictures now included*
Halo 4 is a remarkable experience, one that I've loved every second of. Upon acquiring Halo 4, I figured that I would be drawn into the Multiplayer, and experience the Campaign later. In fact, quite the opposite happened. I've played, and enjoyed the new Infinity Multiplayer, but the Campaign and story have sucked me into Halo more than any other shooter before, including all of the Halo games. Never has a story and a mission compelled me so much. I find myself playing 2 or 3 missions at a time, staying up way later than I should just to play another mission. So what's so different about this Halo Campaign? It's not the Gameplay, there is nothing drastically different about it, it's not the return of Chief, Halo Reach was my favorite until Halo 4, so what is it...?
Simple, The Prometheans.
I know what your thinking... How can any new enemy be your favorite? How can any enemy be better than the Flood or the Covenant? The Flood are parasitic enemies that pose a threat to all of life itself. They are the very pinnacle of parasitic creatures. The Covenant are even grander. They are a religious group, united under prophets, only to praise and serve the Forerunners. Their military, their religion, their government, and everything about them is just interesting and compelling.
Yet I like the Prometheans even more, story and gameplay wise. Halo 4 does something I never felt in the other games. This may just be because I didn't quite understand the mythos, but Halo 4 makes me feel liked I have a central enemy. That enemy...
*Potential Minor Spoilers for Halo 4*
The Didact is an interesting and compelling villain, but moreso for me, he is a central villain, the one villain that you want to hate. Everything from his look, to his voice, to his actions make him the central villain of this campaign. The Didact is an ancient forerunner exiled to Requim. I won't spoil the Campaign, but he leads the Prometheans and is after an ancient forerunner device known as the Composer. I won't reveal what this does or how it affects the story, but basically the way in which he uses this and acts throughout the Campaign makes him an a**hole.
It's hard to explain why I like the Prometheans without spoiling the story, so I'll leave it to you to find out, from a story perspective. They are really interesting though, and even though they aren't intellectual beings like the Covenant, they are very interesting. They have a pretty deep history as being warriors for the Forerunners and being led by the Didact, but the new Prometheans, the ones you fight in Halo 4, those are the ones that make me enjoy their existence.
The greatest thing about the Prometheans is that they change combat, and literally bring it to a different level. 343 kept the Covenant around, but made the Prometheans the clear central enemy. This provides for new gameplay experiences all around. First off, the Prometheans come in a lot of variety, moreso than any other enemy.
What's so different? Well you have several different types of enemies. And they are all different than what you fight when fighting the Covenant. The knights are large formidable foes, similar to elites, but they can also teleport around the stage as well as summon watchers. Watchers can attack, but are primarily centered on support. Whenever a knight goes down, they can resurrect them. This makes fighting a squad of Prometheans a puzzle. Eliminate the watcher, and the knight can die. But the crawlers, enemies that move quickly and sporadically while firing, can decimate your shields. This variety in enemy combat makes it infinitely more interesting.
The new weapons also add a lot to the gameplay. I was a little disappointed that the weapons are essentially the exact same as the human weapons, just differently colored. There is a sniper rifle, an assault rifle (suppressor), a shotgun (scattershot), and more. It's a bit repetitive to always find the same weapon, just a different color, but they have slight variety to the original human weapons. The scattershot's bullets disperse upon firing. The suppressor fires faster than the standard assault rifle. This little bit of variety makes the gameplay that much more diverse and enjoyable.
In the end, Halo 4 presents a lot of new stuff in the campaign. It presents a deeper relationship for Chief and Cortana, one that is very compelling and makes you care about an AI just as much as the Human characters in the game, and even more. It also presents a lot of exciting gameplay opportunities, but most importantly, it shows off the importance of a good villain/group of villains and how they can change the gameplay and the story of a game, just with their inclusion. Good day, hope you enjoyed.
I think the Prometheans were not good enemies... they were all grey and orange and distinguishing the different classes was a chore. I could not differentiate them the way I could the Elites in Halo Reach, the Brutes in Halo 3, etc.
I really like the way Jul M'Dama was set up in Halo: The Thursday War. He will make a great temp villain for years to come.