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YMMV / Halo 4

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  • 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.
  • Awesome Music: It's generally agreed that Davidge doesn't quite live up to O'Donnell, but there's still some excellent music in the game.
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  • 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 digital Alzheimer's. In fact, one of the writers wrote the game while his mother was suffering from dementia.
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • The Didact ends up being a Cutscene Boss, taken down in a quick-time event with a single grenade.
    • 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-Breaking Character:
    • 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.
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    • Fireteam Majestic is also gradually getting less and less liked, except for Gabriel Thorne. Arguably, this is the point.
    • In the story department, the complete swerve in regards to Catherine Halsey threw off many fans. A few cinematics show ONI interrogating Halsey and trying to blame her for the Spartans being anti-social or sociopathic, despite the Spartans being classified Top Secret operatives for most of the war and showing no signs of sociopathy. To some fans, it came off as very petty and forced, particularly considering that the Master Chief saved the entire galaxy in Halo 3.
  • 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.
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  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: It's obviously meant to be an Easter Egg, but the Didact's ship in the final mission contains a Gravity Hammer despite the fact that the player never encounters a single Brute throughout the campaign. This might be why they were initially absent in Halo 5: Guardians.
  • Broken Base: 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.
  • 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 the Lancers 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 have always been this, but they have much stronger shields in this game, and always wield heavy weapons.
    • 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, and it's a One-Hit Kill on Normal or higher.
  • 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.note  Even the inorganic 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.
  • Fridge Horror:
    • In saving Earth from Unwilling Roboticisation, the player destroys the digitized remnant of the inhabitants of a research station and a major city. You could rationalize it as a Mercy Kill since the only other fate for them would be to serve as robotic slaves to the Didact, forced to capture or kill even more humans, but then Spartan Ops reveals that the memories of composed individuals from 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.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • 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 and fold their wings to reduce their hitboxes, 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.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • Occasionally, in Spartan Ops, Covenant will become tiny save for their weapons.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • He's Just Hiding!: The fandom feels this way about the Didact and Cortana.
  • Iron Woobie: The Master Chief.
  • It's Short, So It Sucks!: It is possible to complete the solo campaign in about ten hours, depending on player skill and chosen difficulty. How much this sucks will depend on whether you thought that you were buying a solo game with bonus multiplayer, or a multiplayer game with a bonus solo campaign.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "Palmer has the Halo CE pistol." / "Palmer was playing on Easy." From Episode 7 comments joking about how Sarah was defeating the Prometheans with one pistol shot each.
    • Pre-release, many jokes were made about Master Chief's apparent lack of codpiece. (It was added later.)
    • Similar comments were made about the Master Chief's... "lower back" armornote  and fingers.note 
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • If the Didact didn't cross it in the terminals, he sure as hell crossed it when he fired The Composer on Ivanoff Station. Then he destroys a city on Earth with it.
    • 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!
  • 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, though the actual icon in the game proper looks more menacing.
    • Near the end of the game, the Didact destroys the terminal Cortana was on. Master Chief screams, "Cortana!" but his voice dies out near the end.
    • 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.
  • Only the Creator Does It Right: This is a sentiment held by a certain fraction of the Halo series' Broken Base, as Bungie had no involvement with the development. There were some rather big changes made, but all Halo games have different gameplay long before the Developer changed hands. At its core it is still a Halo game and was well received. Some of the more valid complaints come from the absence of a few expected features and some technical aspects don't have quite the same polish (largely because there was a shortened development cycle compared to the previous games). Of course all this is more of a technicality as 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. This has since ended after Bungie's Destiny proved to be a disappointment, though there's still frequent calls for its departed alumni Joseph Staten, Marcus Lehto, and Martin O'Donnell to return to Halo.
  • Player Punch:
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: Although the Cortana/Chief relationship had always been subtly hinted at, some fans view 343i's efforts in this game to bring it to the surface as completely unnecessary. There are some who view their relationship's portrayal in a manner more akin to Platonic Life-Partners, but that's up to the viewer to decide.
  • The Scrappy: The Didact, a Generic Doomsday Villain who indulges in eloquent speech (that might remind you of Gravemind), instead of, you know, killing his enemy. The Chief and the player do not even get the satisfaction of beating him in a boss fight, instead he gets beaten in a Quick Time Event. WatchMojo even described him as the General Grievous of videogames, in the sense that his origins and motivations are only explored in secondary material but in the main event he comes off as bland and unoriginal.
  • Special Effect Failure: The exploding Lich clearly just vanishes with an blue smoke cloud and debris taking its place, rather than actually bursting apart. The same thing happens with Phantoms. The destroyed Cruiser is even worse, since it simply breaks apart into four large pieces, despite how gorgeous the ensuing maelstrom looks.
  • 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. Even worse, some hackers discovered it was possible to mod Theater into the Campaign, but 343 was seemingly too lazy to include it.
    • 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.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy: The Boltshot (see Game-Breaker above), to the point that there was a popular petition to get it nerfed (which 343 somewhat did).
  • Uncanny Valley: Holograms of AIs and Captains are all one uniform color, which can be disconcerting, especially during closeups.
  • Underused Game Mechanic: The first mission introduces the player to wall-climbing. Unfortunately, the only other time it comes into play throughout the campaign is the quick-time event that results in the Didact's defeat.
  • Vindicated by History: While Halo 4 was well received on launch, with the campaign in particular being praised for the emotional bond between John and Cortana, the technical side of things was more derided, with multiplayer and Spartan Ops in particular being seen as a weak first effort. However, Guardians has caused many fans to look back on 4 with a much more favourable light than before, in particular when it came to the campaign.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Compare 4 to 3 and be amazed. The game looks absolutely gorgeous on almost every level, particularly in the pre-rendered Prologue and Epilogue cutscenes (think the precursor to blur's work), and whenever something disintegrates. It actually looks even better as part of The Master Chief Collection.
  • 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.

Example of: