Halo 4: Ten Years Later

Halo 4 is a 2012 first-person shooter game developed by 343 Industries and published by Microsoft Studios for the Xbox 360 console. It’s mind-blowing to think the Xbox console that housed the original Halo game is 20 years old. It’s even crazier to think the company that brought to life this rich universe is 30 years old. I was born that year!

How crazy is it that it will be ten years since Halo 4 continues the franchise we thought had ended but returns with some amazing revelations? What an era for Halo. It was a bold move for Microsoft to make their video game console. It was truly a risk worth taking. From one game spawned a vast universe. One game ignited how other games are played, from 4v4 to online multiplayer to interacting with gamers worldwide.

From comedic shorts using spartan characters (Red vs. Blue), live-action shorts, compelling behind-the-scenes content, live-action films, mini-series, spin-offs comic books, novellas, novels, toys and so much more. Halo has become so much bigger than anyone could have ever imagined. Aside from the aliens, the various worlds, and the compelling human characters, we are grateful to see this world ignited by a lone warrior named human super-soldier Master Chief Petty Officer John-117. He is a man of few words but is driven to finish the fight and put his life on the line over and over again to save humanity.

He is a symbol of hope. I am so glad I stuck around watching hours of cinematic storytelling and I am so excited for what is to come thanks to the long-awaited next chapter of Halo Infinite. Of course, we can’t forget the long-overdue live-action TV series which finally dropped on Paramount Plus this year. It was only a matter of time since there was countless brilliant live-action promotional material attached to the franchise over the years and some live-action content like Halo Forward, Unto Dawn, and Halo Nightfall. It did not disappoint.

Halo 4 takes place four years after Master Chief saved the galaxy from alien Covenant rule. However, Spartan 117 and his loyal counterpart Cortana are stranded in deep space by the end of the third game. 117 is put into a deep sleep and then the rest of his comrades presume him dead. Cortana wakes him up at the start of the game as they near a planet. They escape their doomed vessel Forward Unto Dawn and investigate. They run into new foes that are far more ancient than the Covenant. They put up a fight, but they are not invincible. We also find out the grim news that Cortana is living on borrowed time. In this universe, AI has an expiration date and we see the character we come to love and care about slowly start to slip away. It’s a race against time to save Cortana, find new allies in this fight, and fight a new form of evil.

I must credit composer Neil Davidge for keeping the musical flow of this franchise as the great Martin O Donnell did for years. Some musical notes are epic, haunting, and emotional to the core. I am nearly brought to tears watching the last 12 minutes of this game. It is moments like that that make me glad that the spark of Halo will never die out. Heroes are put through their paces but are driven by hope and perseverance.

I was bummed when Bungie made Halo Reach their swan song to their universe. I was happy 343 Industries took the reigns, held it tight, and carried it gently into the future and beyond. I am beyond ecstatic. I look forward to the stories they can tell and some amazing characters making their return. I am not much of a gamer. People stick around for the ever-evolving multiplayer. Some people like me stick around for the riveting campaign or as some may call it story mode or cutscenes. There is something for everyone and I am all in.

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