So after five long years, it’s once again time to step into the gangrenous boots and strap on the dandruff-coated helmet of Master Chief. 12 years he’s been at this whole “saving the world” nonsense and he’s never even bothered to change. Must smell awful. Anyways, four years after concluding whatever was going in Halo 3, Master Chief and his lady friend are floating aimlessly through space when they are attacked by the Covenant. To which Chief replies, “I thought we had a truce with the Covenant”. Seven and a half hours later, I’m still wondering the same thing. The main problem that I noticed in this game is that nothing is adequately explained. No reasons are ever given for the Covenant breaking the truce, or as a matter of fact, how they managed to find Chief’s ship in the first place. This whole incident also happens to be taking place just outside an uncharted alien world that is drawing Chief and Cortana ever closer. But the nonsense doesn’t stop there. It also happens that Cortana has put her big-AI panties on and revealed her true age to Chief along with the fact that her AI is deteriorating, put her in a constant switch between Mopey McDreary and premenstrual syndrome. Again, how convenient. Upon learning this fact, Chief replies, “That means we need to find Halsey.” Oh right, because we’re stranded on the middle of an undiscovered alien world, we can obviously just go FIND Halsey. And it only gets worse from there. Next thing we know, more of the UNSC shows somehow and the objective suddenly becomes to send a transmission. Thus ensues a boring and repetitive trek through the alien of multiple canonized words. Forerunner, Promethean, Covenant, even the word Arbiter is thrown around a few times. And the arrival of the new antagonist thing only serves to make matters even more confusing. When Chief and Cortanavi (see) magically assume that the enormous alien sphere before is some kind of interspace walkie-talkie. Surprise surprise, it fails and unleashes the Didact, a very bland and unthreatening individual. But what really bit my balls about that whole scene is when Cortana nonchalantly comes to the realization that Chief’s garbled transmission was reworded by the Didact to release himself as if she knew that was going to happen. Well if it was so obvious to you, smartass, why did you tell me to send the damn transmission? All that remains is a convoluted arrangement of sequential events relying heavily on convenience to drive the plot. It exasperates me to go on like this, so I’ll just sum up my basic feelings on it. Essentially, Halo 4 is to the previous Halo games, even 3, what Bioshock 2 is to the first Bioshock, excessive, meaningless story extension. The franchise was finished, maybe not cleanly, but without too many loose ends as to warrant another full game. It doesn’t even feel like its own story. It feels like parts of different Halo stories taken apart and rearranged with an extra touch of fan fiction. I would dismiss it and call it by Halo fans for Halo fans, but I can’t even go that far. It’s the kind of story that only makes sense to the person who created it and because of that, it’s impossible for me to feel any form of involvement in it. As for the gameplay, what is there to say? It’s Halo. It has its own formula. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. There’s nothing to complain about, but there’s nothing particularly to praise either. I can say with certainty that the vehicle controls are as unintuitive as they always have been so at least we can respect Halo Fans Inc. for keeping in touch with tradition no matter how stupid the tradition may be. Oh and there’s also multiplayer. Final Score: 80/100 Next Week on DownPlay Reviews: DMC: Devil May Cry Sincerely, DownPlay Reviews