These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
YMMV: Halo 4
Abridged Arena Array: For Big Team Battles in multiplayer, the average playthrough will leave you believing that only Ragnarok and Exile are the only maps in the playlist. For standard Infinity Slayer, the same is true for Complex and Abandon.
With the OST now online, Haven is a truly marvelous experience.
There's also Davidge's version of Never Forget, which is as majestic and touching as O'Donnell's version, if not more - it helps that it plays in the credits following Cortana's death.
Alternative Character Interpretation: This may pull a few heartstrings but Cortana's rampancy is very similar to an actual human condition. Cortana's processors are eating themselves up until there's nothing left, while her closest friend seeks a solution that may or may not work. Essentially, Cortana has cancer for A.I. Or Alzheimers.
Also Parg Vol, a Covenant leader and main villain of Spartan Ops Episode 3, is nothing more than an Elite Warrior armed with a Fuel Rod Gun when you meet him.
Base Breaker: Sarah Palmer. Her fans love her for being a tough-as-nails leader and being voiced by Jennifer Hale. Her haters dislike her for constantly being rude to Halsey (or seemingly everybody) and say she's a Faux Action Girl, since until Episode 7 she wasn't seen in a fight. Then when she was seen in a fight, complaints arose about her being overpowered due to her headshotting Promethean Knights with a single pistol shot each.
Fireteam Majestic is also gradually getting less and less liked, except for Gabriel Thorne. Arguably, this is the point.
Best Level Ever: Midnight opens on epic, with the player piloting a Broadsword through the Didact's ship while he battles the fleet around Earth. This level is where you feel like a hero.
Episode 3, Chapter 4 of Spartan Ops. Holding off flight after flight of Banshees and Phantoms in Ragnarok with 4 respawning Mantis's with friends in an endless stream of bullets and explosions, culminating in the destruction of a Covenant Cruiser high above you? Yes please.
Broken Base: Noting all the fandom's complaining about Halo 4 , Bungie's only response to 343 has been "we're sure glad we don't have to be in your spot anymore." Below's why.
For the first time in the series history there will be an unlock and level progression system that affects the performance of individual players. Before hand any unlock was aesthetic in nature, and the players' equipment load-outs were determined by the individual gametype, meaning that everyone could expect to have have equal access to equipment in matchmaking, and that it was up to them to make the most of it, and that players could easily create specific load outs for their custom games.
Master Chief's new armor. Complaints about 343 messing with the canon with Halo Legends had only just died down by its reveal, but the new images merely forced them up again.
After some race-wide Character Development across two games, the Elites have been shoehorned back into being the bad guys.
However, it's been revealed that what the UNSC are facing are an Elite splinter faction which still follows the Prophets' version of the religion and have broken from the rest of the Sangheili, the majority of whom are at peace with Humanity.
Go to Halo Waypoint and you'll see threads decrying armor abilities (jetpack and Promethean Vision most often), bloom, and how the game is "ripping off Call of Duty". It seems as if just as many people will defend the criticisms as will attack them (at least on Waypoint). One of the main arguments is how the "competitive players" will hate it, with the players analyzing every minute pro and con (but mostly con) of every new feature shown.
These are mostly continuations of the broken base the series has suffered repeatedly about changing things since Halo 2.
Now that 343 has released all the Specializations to the general public, this has thankfully died down.
343 has recently announced that it will have a zero tolerance policy against sexism and discriminatory comments in matchmaking, permanently banning all violators. Reactions have been, to say the least, mixed.
Complacent Gaming Syndrome: Good luck finding anyone using anything other than the DMR or Battle Rifle in multiplayer. Even then, the Battle Rifle appears to be losing popularity, with the DMR appearing in people's hands much more often.
Creator's Pet: Sarah Palmer. Despite the fan reaction to her being mostly negative, she's gone on to receive her own game (Halo: Spartan Assault) and comic series (Halo: Initiation).
Demonic Spiders: In addition to old "favorites" such as Stealth Elites and Jackal Snipers (now with the damage output of their Halo 2 version,) this installment brings the Promethean Knights. They possess an astounding array of abilities including mini-turret deployment, (with help) a damage proof shield, teleportation, (including a Desperation Attack where they Teleport Spam to your location and skewer you) and have access to all of the best Forerunner weapons, including the Binary Rifle, Scattershot and Incinerator. On Heroic and Legendary, they always come in groups of 2-3 or more, often with a diverse combination of weapons that ensures you can be killed in one shot at any range. The strong shields and fatal melee (endemic to those difficulties) are just another slap in the face.
Elite Zealots. They have much stronger shields in this game, and especially since they prefer Fuel Rod Cannons.
Enemies in campaign can now create needler supercombines (something they couldn't do since Halo: Combat Evolved). Be very careful when fighting Grunts or Jackals wielding the weapon - as soon as you get shot with seven needles, you will explode violently.
Fridge Brilliance: Despite the Flood not making an actual appearance in game, astute fans should know that the Forerunners spent a long time fighting them. Every one of the Forerunner weapons would be excellent against the Flood - even the nightmarish Carrier Forms (and just about anything, really) would be perfectly countered by the delayed secondary explosions of the Incinerator Cannon. Even the Prometheans are a perfect counter to every known Flood form - a small squad of them could have walked through The Library like it was nothing.
Episode 5 showed that the Requiem artifact was apparently on Earth, something that was an in-universe Headscratcher for Thorne. Episode 10 reveals that the artifact isn't one-of-a-kind, so the artifact shown in Episode 5 is most likely a different one.
Although when you realize the only other fate for them would be to serve as robotic slaves to the Didact, forced to capture or kill even more humans, it's more of a Mercy Kill.
Actually it's not. Spartan Ops reveals that the memories of composed individuals from at least New Phoenix are on Requiem.
Aboard the Didact's ship, Cortana comments that her solution to de-powering the energy shield is one she knows John won't like: splitting herself into fragments that will destabilize the shield. Later, she is unable to leave with John because she left too much of herself inside that ship, which had been destroyed. She knew John wouldn't like the decision because she predicted it would kill her.
Gamebreaker: You wouldn't really think that the Faster Reload tactical pack would be this, but it is. We can expect a nerf at some point in the near future.
The Incinerator Cannon. It's a Forerunner Rocket Launcher, but with a much bigger splash radius thanks to the fireballs that spread from it.
The Boltshot. Another Forerunner weapon, this time a rapid-fire pistol that would be relatively harmless, if it didn't have a charge attack that can kill an enemy in one shot from an impressive distance. Though it has been nerfed in a patch (with its effective range being halved), it's still very powerful.
Goddamned Bats: Watchers, flying mooks which can pull up shields for their teammates and revive them (Including those Promethean Knights you just killed)at an alarming rate. To make things worse, when you shoot them, they tend to fly away, which can make killing them much more difficult if you're using a slow firing weapon, or firing at them from far away while probably also getting shot at by other baddies.
On the level Shutdown, it turns out one can simply bypass the first two towers and just fly straight to the third one. It makes the level a breeze even on Legendary.
He Really Can Act: Although no one doubted Steve Downes' competence as a voice actor, the Master Chief's dialogue, though still stoic, betrays subtle but more significant emotion than in the previous games.
It Gets Better/Growing the Beard: The Spartan Ops were created to bridge the gap between the story of campaign and the action of multiplayer. Unfortunately, critics were quick to point out that it was too sparse and slow for the story-focused players, while too story heavy for the gameplay-focused players, pleasing neither. However, as the season progresses the production value and story pacing have gradually gotten more interesting and enjoyable, partly because 343 Industries had more resources to devote to them after the game was released and partly out of them learning what worked and what did not and playing to their strengths.
The Office of Naval Intelligence never really had any morality to speak of, but it could at least say its morally ambiguous actions were done in the name of humanity's survival. However, ONI crosses the Moral Event Horizon from Well Intentioned Extremists to Evil Is Petty when you learn that ONI deliberately withheld information of John-117's survival from Catherine Halsey. When you see her reaction in Spartan Ops, there is no denying that they crossed a line.
Halsey:John's alive! He was here, on this ship. Nobody told me he was alive!
Pre-release, many jokes were made about Master Chief's apparent lack of codpiece. (It was added later.)
Narm: The Icon for Legendary Difficulty◊ replaces the Elite Skull of the Prior Games (and Human Skull from ODST), with a Promethean Knight's. At least in the achievement icon, it looks pretty goofy.
Near the end of the game, the Didact destroys the terminal Cortana was on. Master Chief screams, "Cortana!" but his voice kind of died out there on the scene.
Also, near the end of the game, the Didact gets swarmed by a whole bunch of mini-Cortanas. It's just as silly as it sounds.
Additionally, as Didact punches Chief off and re-chokes him, a strange "pop!" just like Facebook's old "new message" sound occurs.
Thorne and Gek fight each other in a brutal fistfight but during it get in an... awkward position. Slash art will ensue.
Narm Charm: When Captain Del Rio is yelling at the Chief to surrender Cortana and then at the Infinity crew to arrest the Chief, he looks really silly and like a total buffoon. However, since the point of the scene was to highlight Del Rio's incompetency, it manages to work out very well.
Nightmare Fuel: The effects of the Composer on Ivanoff Station. You're "treated" to a close look at its effects on Doctor Sandra Tillson.
Only The Creator Does It Right: Without getting into it too much, this seems to be a sentiment held by a certain fraction of the Halo series' Broken Base regarding Halo 4. This is really more of a technicality though, as being a company means Bungie isn't a single organism but prone to rotating through employees as any other company. Most of the 343 Industries major players are Bungie alumni with Halo franchise experience.
Player Punch: Cortana slowly succumbing to rampancy and her death.
Squick: Halsey's arm appears to have been very messily amputated.
It's possible the tied-up sleeve just looks this way, though; the actual point of amputation is not seen.
The effects of the Composer. We see them up close. Have fun watching skin and muscle melt off of bones.
Tear Jerker: Cortana's rampancy and death. The massacre at Ivanoff Station.
They Changed It, Now It Sucks: See above re: the Call of Duty-esque changes. Halo 4 has killcams, a hit indicator, grenade warnings, perks, an overhauled base-10 scoring system, and a dedicated sprint button, all of which enraged Halo purists.
The fact that Campaign is utilizing quicktime events (albeit very sparingly) also has some purists in a rage.
CTF has also been tweaked; notably, the carrier can now use a pistol in the default setting. It's been tough to get used to for some.
No Theater in Campaign. This one especially rankled considering it was never announced and discovered only from early leaks. Despite Microsoft saying that it'd be added in a patch, over a year has passed and nothing has changed.
No Firefight mode. Spartan Ops replaces it but it's not customizable like Firefight was.
The Scorpion's shells are weaker than ever and travel much, much more slowly. They're also affected by gravity now, which will play hell with your anti-air game.
The Banshee. Much slower, fuel rods nerfed down, no lock on, can't take much damage from everything....
In the campaign, your max ammo capacity is reduced quite a bit compared to other Halo games. Get used to either being extremely conservative with shooting, or picking up enemy weapons frequently as you burn through ammo for your guns.
Uncanny Valley: Holograms of AIs and Captains are all one uniform color, which can be disconcerting, especially during closeups.
The Woobie: Both Cortana and John-117. Neither of them seem to get their deserved break (Cortana is give or take) after all that has happened.
Dr. Tillson also deserves a mention. She's terrified the entire time she's onscreen, sees her life's work more or less destroyed in front of her, and is killed by the composer to be re-used in making a Promethean Knight along with the rest of the humans onboard her station, all in the span of a little over an hour.