THE INQUIRER APPROACHES Halo game releases with the same vigour that wolves and bears do unattended barbeques.
We've been waiting a long time for Halo 4, but the good news is that it hasn't disappointed us.
Don't panic. We still haven't recovered from the time that the iceberg sunk that ship, or when those wizards were nasty to each other, so we aren't going to spoil any of the story for you.
So, you are back in the game as Master Chief, the lead character who was dropped from Halo Reach. It is four years since the end of Halo 3 and you are missing, presumed dead. You aren't of course, you are just resting, but it isn't long until your rest is interrupted.
You are joined by Cortana, a virtual assistant who would score highly in the swimsuit round of any beauty pageant and has brains to boot.
There is no long preamble, none of this "let's get used to turning your head" business, so just about as soon as the game starts you are in and shooting at old enemies.
Halo 4 introduces new enemies, Forerunners. Not only are these bastards ugly, but they have new ways of getting around and you have new weapons. The first of these is infuriating, as they simply pop off when you are shooting at them, while the second is good as it gives you things like the Suppressor with which you can shoot at them.
There are three types of Forerunner, and they behave in suitably different ways. They all die the same though, and that's at your hands.
There is a long list of things that we are forbidden to talk about by the games studio, including some people's relationships and what others look like. What we can tell you is that some heavy stuff is going down, and it's down to you to put a stop to it.
Fans of the Halo series will find the new story a good diversion, and newcomers will surely have enough interest to plough through it and, when they finish, go pick up the earlier Halo games that they missed. It is important to note that this is the first Halo title not developed by Bungie, and 343 Industries, which picked up its mantle, clearly has worked hard to breathe new life into what was already a very lively games franchise.
Graphics have been improved, and the game looks nicer than the previous releases. This is perhaps best seen in the new landscapes that you get to visit, and in one in particular the lush green foliage looks particularly lush and green.