The bread and butter of any Halo game is the multiplayer, and Halo 4 brings several changes that are sure to prove divisive for long-time fans. Some will object to the (for lack of a better term) modernization of the series, while others, like me, will rejoice in kill-streak rewards and customizable loadouts.

Those rewards, in Halo 4 called Ordnance Drops, appear periodically, though performing well in multiplayer speeds up their arrival. They amount to a choice between three randomly selected items: usually powerful weapons like the SAW or Sticky Detonator, or power-ups like overshields and speed or damage boosters. These can complement your custom loadouts, which include any combination of primary and secondary weapon, two perks, grenade type, and ability. They can even be modified in the middle of a match, and they make each player's experience more customizable than ever before.

Power weapons—Sniper Rifle, Rocket Launcher, etc.—still drop onto each map periodically, but now their presence is lit up with an objective marker, eliminating the advantage of expert players who previously counted down the seconds between weapon spawns. To top it off, kill cams have been taken wholesale from Call of Duty.

Other changes are more minor, but will alter the game significantly for experienced players. For example, players who pick up the flag in a game of capture-the-flag automatically whip out a pistol in their other hand, whether or not they're actually carrying one. Being able to defend yourself as the flag carrier is a major boon, and it'll alter any team's strategy in the classic game type. Another example: charging up the Plasma Pistol's vehicle-stopping, shield-draining mega shot now depletes the weapon's ammo within seconds. There'll be no more running around with the trigger held down, which should mean less "noob combo" abuse.

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