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Halo 4 Single Player Review

Halo 4 for the Xbox 360 came out this week putting you in control of Master Chief (John-117) and his AI companion Cortana to fight once again in the year 2557. After Halo 3 you were left on a damaged ship the UNSC Forward Unto Dawn after saving the human race once again. The game gives you first thing a back story and new information on where the SPARTON power armor super soldiers come from. And at this point you are trying to survive before getting sucked on the Forerunner world Requiem. Now to find out the rest of the story you will have to play the game. But I’ll give you some understanding of what you will get into.

First thing I would like to say for the first time that 343 Industry’s, the game developer who took the story that originated from Bungie who made the first three Halo games for Microsoft and the Xbox and Xbox 360, they did a good job at keeping things feeling as they are just a continuation of the series with updated technology and story. While I would like to see the original developers able to continue their game things happen and this game turned out to be a money printer for Microsoft.

For me it only took me about 8 hours to play though the single player campaign on easy. This took place for a few hours after getting it to rent from RedBox (one day after the release at midnight might I add) and then playing though the next day while taking care of kids now and then. There were times when it was not so hard but frustrating to get past an area not so much being killed by any enemy but by getting pushed off an edge or just falling off in a strange way into a place you expected to have more room to walk.

As for how the game looked, I would like to say they did an excellent job on the almost 1 hour of cut scenes. People and environments in those videos looked almost real and while the game engine looked good the scenes looked as if they were in the same place so you didn’t get ripped out of the reality you were in because they did so well on the video. Also like I said the game engine made large areas look good an natural including a jungle area that helped you keep moving in the right way but seemed like you were just wondering for a while to what you thought was the right way. There was also times when I though JJ Abrams came in with a few too many lenses flairs or bright washouts of your screen. And the persistent overlay of the HUD seemed to annoy me when I would see a blue outline that should not be covering the screen were no information was being displayed such as around the top bottom and all four corners. But you can get use to some of these things.

The game play was good for a console game, I like PC games that use a mouse and keyboard for better control but things worked out good enough. I did have some problems with in a big fight ending up crouched and not being able to run, I don’t think they needed to have a button right by the switch weapon that put you in a crouch mode, I never used it once in the game. As before the only major time I had problems with dying was falling off ledges or being shoved off when some enemy gets too close, they could have put more railings and such.

Story wise, it was short but took you though what was fun to play. It kind of plays out like this without giving anything away; find yourself having to fight for your life, you try and save some people, meet some new enemies, get some new stuff, try and save more people from enemies, save the world, game ends. Ok that’s about it for story without giving anything away. I would have liked a longer story with more game play, but you did get a mix of different landscapes, enemies, and even fight types including a fast passed flight simulator. But as I finished this up I was glad I rented this, I know most people will play hours and hours of multiplayer but that’s only half the game, and they don’t even rent that to you. I don’t play much of the multiplayer on console because it’s limiting so the single player being so short would not make this worth the $59.99 price tag.

From messages on the starting load screen and at the end after the credits and final video they make mention of more to come from 343, I would like to see the quality that they put into this game, but increase the content for when they most likely put out Halo 5 with the new Xbox whenever it comes out.

I would say if you like shooters, have an Xbox 360, and like single player games, rent this game it will be fun and you should at least experience every Halo game once. If you like the multiplayer and all things Halo you should buy the game, or ask for it these holidays. As for a rating I would give this a 4.5/5 based on it being a quality game, good videos and graphics, but had problems with short game play and some frustrating points, but I would recommend this to anyone with an Xbox 360.

PlayStation Store Update Coming October 23rd

Sony announced an update to the PlayStation store for PlayStation 3 coming October 23rd 2012. This update is said to improve the user interface, better search, and more content discovery. They also included some numbers on the number of games, and DLC that the store has at more than 20,000 and 100,000 movies and TV shows. The date of October 23rd is the US release date and no information was listed on other countries. Check out some shots of the new store they have included.

 

Steam Now Sells Software

Steam is a game distribution and sales platform by Valve Software, that most PC gamers get their games from. Until now they only sold games and updated them, along with providing a community and achievement system, but they announced that you can start buying non-game software. The selection of titles is small but is more focused on creative users. The list includes the following

The titles also integrate with the Steam Cloud to save your files to. Also GameMake Studio lets you upload to the Steam Workshop that let other users on steam play the games you make in the software.

Also from October 2nd to 9th you can get 10% off of all these titles as a promotion of the new Software.

Lighter and Smaller PS3

Sony announced an update to their Play Station 3 that is slimmer and small at the Tokyo Game Show. They claim that the new model is 25 % smaller and 20% lighter than the previous version. This move is most likely done to help keep the console looking new and reduce the size like Microsoft did with the Xbox 360 in previous years. Other than the weight and size they also are putting in bigger hard drives to store more games, DLC and content, with 250GB and 500GB models being made available in both black and white colors.

They also are putting out some limited edition bundles for Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception in a 250GB model that includes DUST 514 DLC content voucher for $30 and is available September 25th 2012 for $269.99. But the one to wait for is the Assassin’s Creed III bundle that comes with a 500GB PS3 and the game; it will be available October 30th 2012 when Assassin’s Creed III comes out for an unannounced price.

Black Mesa Half-Life 2 Mod

Good news for all you PC games out there, the rebuild of the classic game Half-Life using the Half-Life 2 engine called Source is set to release the first part of Black Mesa that they have finished. After 8 years of working on this project the community developed re-envisioning will be out to play September 14 2012, with what they say to be 8 to 10 hours of game play. While they don’t have all of the levels done in the later part of the story they wanted to release this much of the game so people could play and experience what they have made so far.

Half-Life the game was release November 19 1998, and was about a secret government researcher who was put into the middle of an alien outbreak that the military is just trying to cover up but with the help of fellow scientists they do what it takes to stop the aliens from invading earth. Half-Life 2 was released November 16 2004, and brings back the hero Gordon Freeman to find earth had been taken over by aliens. At the same time Half-Life 2 came out Valve the makers of Half-Life release a recompiled version of the original Half-Life but did no updates to the game. That’s where Black Mesa came in to rebuild the original story in modern mapping and game play.

The original sound track made by Joel Nielson is available to download with a donation selector on the download page. They also have a mock “Offer of Employment” letter to Dr. Freeman that adds some fun to the release. From the screen shots and videos I look forward to getting to play though the game that they have so far. I was one that enjoyed the original game and played though it many times. Half-Life was also responsible for a good portion of my gaming including mods such as Team-Fortress Classic, Natural-Selection, and some Counter-Strike, all who now have newer versions such as Team-Fortress 2, Natural-Selection 2, and Counter-Strike: Global Offence.

Look forward to a game review of Black Mesa coming after the release September 14 2012!

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