The Halo series tends to polarise gamers. First-person shooter purists hate the game with a passion, yet their combined hatred can't deny that Halo is one of the biggest video game franchises of all time.
With more than 42 million games sold (not including Halo 4) and nearly US$3 billion ($3.6 billion) in revenue, its makers have obviously been doing something right.
Halo 4 marks the first game since 343 Industries took over the franchise from Bungie Studios, and the expectations of millions of fans weighed heavily upon its shoulders.
Set nearly five years after Halo 3, Halo 4 follows the Master Chief and his AI companion Cortana as they venture into a mysterious new world and discover an ancient evil that threatens to annihilate mankind.
With humanity's fate hanging in the balance, the Master Chief and Cortana are thrust into a desperate mission against overwhelming odds to save mankind from imminent extinction.
Although it may be a generic story at face value, the narrative set within the Halo universe is far from run of the mill.
Visually, Halo 4 is the most striking to date - especially in the cut scenes which need to be seen to be believed. The musical score is also a masterpiece.
Of course, Halo is nothing without its multiplayer modes and these too have been re-envisioned by 343.
If you're a Halo fan, then I'm preaching to the choir. No doubt you already have Halo 4.
But if you're undecided then put it on your Christmas wish-list, because this is a game you'll be playing until, well, Halo 5.
From: 343 Industries
For: Xbox 360
Rating: 5 / 5