When I first heard that 343 Industries was making this game I was extremely skeptical and decided to see as little as possible about the game so that I would not get excited for it. I am really happy that I did that because the let down wasn't as big. Don't get me wrong, As a gamer I think it is a great game, as a huge Halo fan, I weep. When I play Halo 4 I don't have that good feeling of playing a Halo game like I did with every other game. (Even a bit with ODST)
I am really happy that they are continuing the story of Master Chief, I just wish they did a better job of it. The story of the game feels just as rushed and immemorable as some of the recent books. After beating it the first time through I only remember the key parts instead of like past Halo games where I remembered every detail that happened because Bungie made it matter. The entire short campaign I just felt like I was moving toward the end of the game instead of moving through a story and experiencing everything that happens to the Master Chief. The last problem I had with the story was that it seemed like it made way too many references to the books and made it seem like the person experiencing the story should know what they are referencing which would make it extremely confusing to people who have only played the games.
When it comes to the gameplay itself I have absolutely no problems with it. I didn't run into any glitches and everything went smoothly and played just as perfectly as the past games.
In Halo 4 they introduced the Spartan ops which is basically dumbed down version of Call of Duty's Spec Ops but with story thrown in. I call it dumbed down because you basically do nothing but kill an endless swarm of enemies as you move through the same levels over and over and over and... ok you get the idea. Hey at least they break the monotony every now and then by having you hit a button! Oh, wait, they only put that button there to make you run into more enemies. They split up the Spartan ops 5 levels per episode and each episode coming out every Monday. The first few levels I played them on normal difficulty and decided I'll just do every one on Legendary. I didn't play the campaign on legendary yet so I don't know if the same thing applies but it seems that the only way 343 knows how to make the spartan ops more difficult is to send more enemies at you and if they are covenant, give just about all of them fuel rod cannons. Just before writing this I finished Episode 5 and I was happy to see fewer fuel rod cannons this time around. I just wish they made it more creative. I basically only play it for the last bit of story I can get out of the game.
The multiplayer is so obviously the highlight of the game that its saddening. Of course they are going to put a lot of work into the multiplayer, but I think they put way too much work into it and neglected the other aspects of the game. I love every map and every gametype, I just wish there were more game types and variants for each map like there was in Halo 3 and Reach. They have been adding more game types every week (1) but the fact that they keep mentioning the fact that Team SWAT is still there worries me that they will be removing it. I like the loadout creation that they made and have yet to have a problem with it. I also like that they kept the challenges. I just feel that they catered too much to Call of Duty fans and a bit to Battlefield fans to bring them in instead of catering to the huge amount of fans they already have. With how far each franchise has been going I highly doubt that a few changes are going to make an exclusively CoD playing gamer come to Halo. Everyone is still going to stick to the franchises that they love until mistakes are made by the developers.
If you have played the past Halo games and liked them then I recommend you get it, just don't be expecting much from the campaign. If you have never played a Halo game I still recommend it to you, just don't feel bad if the story confuses you completely.
After beating Halo 4 on Legendary I'll write a second impression on the campaign.