Microsoft's 343 Industries, which inherited the Halo franchise after Bungie walked away, actually pulled off Halo 4. Actually, that's not fair. 343 didn't just deliver a competent game, it took the collective cynicism of the internet and created, as our review put it, "one of the finest shooters in years."
Destructoid(100/100): "343 Industries have done a remarkable job at continuing the Halo legacy. They've gone all out, creating a fantastic sequel that brought forth a major focus on storytelling while upping the visual and audio direction to a level that will be tough for anyone to rival with these few remaining years of the current console generation."
IGN(98/100): "Halo has been rebuilt. It has been redefined. And it has been reinvigorated. The Xbox's original king has returned to his rightful place on the throne."
Game Informer(93/100): "343 Industries introduces an episodic cooperative experience with enormous potential to change the way post-release content is delivered in games. Spartan Ops brings a new cinematic episode every week, along with five connected missions. The large battles and objectives available in these missions are ideal for a group of friends, and at a little over an hour per episode, it's perfect for a weekly gaming meet-up."
Gamespot(90/100): "Halo 4 is every bit the massive shooter package that its predecessors were, and it holds the series' standard high. The thrilling and emotional return of Master Chief and Cortana is the highlight, and the campaign breaks new ground in narrative quality for the franchise. The top-notch competitive multiplayer picks up where Halo: Reach left off, infusing the action with some mainstream elements while still remaining undeniably unique. Spartan Ops may stay a mere sideshow or prove its worth in the weeks to come."
Eurogamer(80/100): "At the end of Halo 4's campaign, after the credits have rolled, 343 Industries posts a short message thanking fans for trusting the company with their beloved universe and asking us to remember that this is just a first step. It's a telling memo that reveals a certain nervousness about the task at hand: a plea that we understand the weight of responsibility these creators have felt in adopting Master Chief."