Halo 4 PC Review: A Near-Perfect Ending

Eight years ago, Halo 4 was released on Xbox 360. Besides the fact it was the next mainline title, the game was notable because Bungie had left the series and 343 Industries took over. Now, Halo 4 is available for all to play on PC as part of The Master Chief Collection. To put it simply, the PC port of Halo 4 is excellent.

Halo 4’s gameplay is identical to its predecessors. You play from a first-person perspective, utilizing two different weapons that can be switched in an instant. Of course, vehicles come into play as well, from the Pelican to the Covenant Ghost. Typically, the goal is to defeat all the enemy forces or destroy certain objects.

It has been four years since the events of Halo 3. Master Chief is awakened from cryonic sleep by Cortana. The ship is being attacked by a Covenant force, which results in it crashing on a planet called Requiem. Here, an ancient alien called the Didact is released, saying, “The forerunners have returned.” Meanwhile, Cortana is going through an AI condition called rampancy. The only hope she has at getting better is returning to Earth.

Tight first-person shooting is what Halo is about. Weapon play here is fantastic. Your health can deplete quickly if you’re not careful, of course. One enemy can even kill you with one slash. Very little has changed from Halo 3 to Halo 4. However, the gameplay additions feel like an organic evolution of what has come before. The Mantis is an example. This slow-moving mech feels right at home.

Halo 4 also introduces more of the Armor Abilities seen in Halo: Reach. Abilities like Promethean Vision and Autosentry add even more fun strategy. One more thing of note is the use of the Broadsword. In the game’s final gameplay mission, you have to avoid getting hit by enemy fire and the closing structures as you pilot the airship. This Star Fox-like sequence was supremely satisfying. Satisfaction is a running feeling in Halo 4. As it was in previous games, shooting down large Covenant ships is an epic experience.

Halo 4 introduces new enemies along with the new weapons. This is good because they add more variety to the usual Covenant foes. Overall, Halo 4’s gameplay is excellent. The PC port comes with no issues for a seamless experience. Prepare for plenty of intense sequences accompanied by a strong soundtrack. The PC port of Halo 4 also comes with Squad Battle for some team action.

When I reviewed Halo 2 on PC, I said first-timers may be surprised by how cinematic the story was. Halo: Combat Evolved began the saga, but it was Halo 2 that fleshed out the characters and lore. Halo 4 continues this, but with an emotional touch. A big part of the focus is on the dialogue between Master Chief and the ailing Cortana.

Cortana has been with the Chief since day one, providing invaluable assistance. More than just an AI, Cortana is a friend full of personality. Halo 4 further fleshes out their relationship, and in doing so, gives the Spartan a little emotion. What Halo 4 manages to accomplish in furthering the storyline is outstanding. One thing to note is that with ten missions (really just nine since the final one is the epilogue), Halo 4’s campaign doesn’t last too long. It’s not criminally short, but you’ll be able to get through it relatively quickly. At least, all ten episodes of Spartan Ops are included.

If this is your first time playing Halo 4, prepare for a treat. Gameplay remains identical to previous installments, but with some additions enhancing the experience. The story is also a big highlight. With this game, it’s hard not to consider Master Chief and Cortana as gaming’s greatest duo. Halo 4 caps off The Master Chief Collection on PC nearly perfectly.

A PC copy of Halo: The Master Chief Collection was purchased by TheGamer for this review. Halo 4 is available for PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

NEXT: Halo: The Master Chief Collection Needs To Fix Split Screen

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Daniel has been writing video game news, features, and reviews at TheGamer for some time now. He also contributes to ScreenRant. In the past, he’s written for ComicBookMovie, Unleash the Fanboy, and 411 Mania. He resides in Old Bridge, New Jersey, and graduated from Thomas Edison State University with a B.A. in Communications. His favorite video game company is Nintendo, and once you get him talking about Mario or Smash Bros., he won’t stop. He has also enjoyed many PlayStation exclusives, such as The Last of Us and Horizon: Zero Dawn. The only other entertainment he enjoys more than gaming is watching a Godzilla movie.

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