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HALO 4 - XBOX 360 ????? PS49.99 IT'S a new dawn for the Halo series. With Bungie, the creative team who conjured up the series, working on new projects, the pressure of continuing one of gaming's most popular franchises falls to 343 Industries.

And they've done a superb job. Putting iconic hero the Master Chief front and centre, Halo 4 is a grand sci-fi shooting adventure, delving further into the emotions and motivations of its characters more than the series has ever dared before.

Though out to save humanity from the scum of the universe again, it's the Master Chief's relationship with his failing AI companion Cortana that, ironically, provides the game with its humanity.

Out on the battlefield, Halo 4 fuses new first-person standards, established by the likes of Modern Warfare, with Halo series staples.

The Master Chief feels suitably more weighty than ever before, iron-sights aiming has been introduced and a smattering of in-the-moment, immersing QTE events punctuate blockbusting action scenes.

Multiplayer, too, moves with the times. It retains Halo's fun-over-fury competitive approach but there's now the introduction of kill streaks, as well as perk and weapon load-out rewards for experienced players. There's even a Special Ops-style co-op mission mode called Spartan Ops, offering a series of short challenges to conquer.

Despite these new influences, it's still very much a Halo game. Locations are wondrously other-worldly, enemies far more cunning than Call of Duty's fish in a barrel, and multiplayer more gleeful than angry.

And when 343 Industries do flex their creative muscles, it's usually successful. There are excellent new weapons to play with, while the new Promethean foes are powerful and frightening. Though not the revolution some had hoped for (and some had indeed feared), Halo 4 sits proudly near the top of the series pile so far.

Bungie may have moved on, but the Master Chief is in safe hands with 343 Industries.


BIG TEST Enemies are more cunning in Halo 4

The latest TANKS AND TOYS n game introduces some impressive new weapons to play with HERO 3 The Master Chief is out to save humanity again
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Nov 9, 2012
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