My Issue With Halo 4 Game of the Year Edition

halo 4 goty

This post may come as a surprise to you, but I don’t think that Halo is perfect. There; as much as it pains me, I said it. Over Black Friday, I bought Halo 4 GOTY Edition, and I was super excited to pop it into my 360. The cover art is great, in my opinion, and Halo 4 itself is an amazing game, as I borrowed the original from a friend a few months ago. My excitement waned rather quickly when I opened the case, however. To the right were the same exact discs found in the standard Halo 4 box, and to the left were two download cards for all the GOTY content. I deflated at seeing this.

Why am I writing a post about this? Well, there are a couple reasons. First of all, I have an old 360 with no Wi-Fi capabilities; I either have to buy the adapter or plug it straight into the modem. Option one is a waste of my money since I don’t pay for Xbox Live Gold, and option two requires me to unplug the 360 from my television, bring it to the living room, plug it into the modem next to the TV there, insert the internet code, and then I can finally access the internet to download my content. Then, a second problem emerges. There are a total of 10 codes to enter; each one unlocks something different, and each piece of content ranges from a background photo to an avatar t-shirt to a map pack. At 25 digits apiece, without a keyboard, it took me an insane amount of time to type in all 250 characters.

Then came the download time. The map packs totaled out at over 2 GB, which took nearly a couple hours at my internet speed. Then, all the other miscellaneous content meant my Xbox 360 was on for so long that it automatically shut itself off during downloading. You might just say I should quit bellyaching and deal with the download speed. I’m not ready to do that, since I feel cheated here. See, the game I bought is billed as Halo 4 Game of the Year Edition. I assumed that the extra content would come pre-installed on the disc already. Instead, although billed as GOTY Edition, I basically got Halo 4 Standard Edition with Bonus DLC.

What irritates me the most is that there are others out there who don’t have the means to download this content. This game is for the Xbox 360, which was released in a world where internet connection wasn’t nearly as commonplace for consoles as it will be in the future. There are still plenty of owners who never plug their 360 into a modem, as they have no real need to do so. Imagine the disappointment when their Halo 4 GOTY is exactly the same as the original since they can’t use the download code; there’s nothing special about what they bought.

I can understand if some content is download only for Xbox One and PS4, as these consoles are made for a world where internet connection is almost necessary for consoles. With that being said, I think important content such as GOTY content should always be on the disc. In the future, when games like Halo 4 are considered classic, there will be absolutely no distinction between the original and GOTY editions; all the servers will be shut down, the GOTY codes will all be used, and the only way to obtain the content will be to obtain the hard drive it was originally downloaded on, which will be nearly impossible. Then, my Halo 4 GOTY Edition will be exactly the same as my friend’s standard copy of Halo 4.

I love the physical property of a game; I like being able to hold it and own it and know that it’s mine. I don’t like to just have a digital code that gives me the right to download an invisible copy of a game on the Playstation of Xbox Live store… I actually like to have it in hand. When that’s lost on special editions and GOTY because it’s all downloadable content, then the feel-good property of gaming disappears. Looking back, there won’t be nostalgia. In 20 years, I’ll look at my copy of Halo 4 GOTY and shake my head because the hard drive where my special content is located long since decided to quit working. Then the exact content that I spent extra money on (as opposed to the standard Halo 4) will be gone forever, and for what? So 343 and Microsoft could save a few bucks by using their old Halo 4 discs and not manufacturing special GOTY ones? I paid for a GOTY disc, and I won’t get it.

Tell me, do other games do this as well? For example, for Borderlands GOTY, is all the extra content on the disc, or does it come with a DLC code? What GOTY editions of games do you have where the DLC and special content is on the disc, and which ones need downloads? It’s the former, the content-on-disc GOTYs, that will stand the test of time.

Leave a like or a follow if you’ve enjoyed, and be sure to head to this post to enter my Christmas Giveaway! You can enter daily for your chance to win your choice of prizes. See you next time

Somewhat Disappointed


9 thoughts on “My Issue With Halo 4 Game of the Year Edition”

  1. The suits don’t care.

    I returned Guild Wars 2 because I thought there was some error with the game. Before the installation process began, the game NEEDED to look for an internet connexion and find one. Nevermind the fact that all of the core files are on the DVD in my drive, it would not do a damned thing until it found that internet connexion…whereupon, if I recall correctly, it downloaded the files from the internet instead of using the DVD in my drive. This was complicated by the fact that there is an issue with AVG’s internet security suite, a well-known security suite, that required specific goings-around in order to allow the game to connect to the internet. Be aware that when I say ‘game’ here I mean first and foremost the installer and then and only after the actual game.

    The World of Warcraft Mists of Pandaria expansion REQUIRED you to download it from the internet even if you bought a boxed copy. Why? Because there was a manufacturing defect with the discs. What was Blizzard’s response? ‘Well, people that are playing the game were pre-loading the content so they already have it.’ No, you can’t get a refund, you have to go to the PoS and at that point beg for not a replacement but a full refund. Why beg? Because piracy is a real thing and the reality of not wanting to do business with someone you don’t trust isn’t a very acceptable response to why you want a refund over a replacement.

    The bottom line here is that the infrastructure in the United States is very bad and terribly inconsistent. In some areas of the country you can get damn fantastic speeds and consistently at that, yet in other parts you’ll be lucky to have low-level DSL signal reach you. I can say more but…fuck, man, this is the sort of thing that really makes me angry. Download-only is one thing, we know that from the beginning and see it, but when there is physical media it seems to me only appropriate to put everything on the physical media. Sure, there’s the extra manufacturing costs but if someone is going to claim it’s a new/different edition it damn well better stand up like that.

    1. I agree with you on all levels. I’ve gotta say, I really don’t understand why it’s necessary for you to download the files from the internet, as in your examples, if they’re already on the disk. There may be something I/we are missing, but I honestly can’t see why this would even make sense from any standpoint. That’s just stupid..

      And I definitely know what you mean about the US having bad internet infrastructure. I get slow download speeds, but just a few miles away, the connection is so much faster!

      “Sure, there’s the extra manufacturing costs but if someone is going to claim it’s a new/different edition it damn well better stand up like that.” This comment is exactly what I’m talking about haha. I couldn’t have said it any better.

  2. Hey I was wondering, my birthday is coming up 12/21… (I can send you a scanned copy of my ID to prove it lol) and I really don’t have the cash right now to purchase the champions bundle codes for armor and stances.. I was wondering if you weren’t gonna be using it would you so kindly send the code to my email. I play halo 4 everyday lately and it would be greatly appreciated. If you decide not to giveaway the codes I completely understand and still hope you have a good halo 4 experience. If you ever get the chance to play xbox live add me at lapato007.

    1. Sorry… I used the codes for everything the day I got them lol. Buuut, if you want to win some Halo stuff, I’m running a giveaway until Christmas. If you win, you choose you prize. There are McFarlane Action figures of master chief, a grunt, or an elite up for grabs along with Halo Mega blox toy sets. Check the bottom of this post for the link to the giveaway, and good luck! 😀 and happy birthday too!

  3. Before I start, I want to point out that I agree with the physical copies’ ability to withstand the test of time.

    But the rest of what you just said is… stupid. The Halo 4 GOTY does say that content is obtainable from from download card, so you shouldn’t be ranting about it killing your mood.

    Halo 4 was marketed as being a three-part adventure – campaign, multiplayer and Spartan Ops.

    It was decided that Spartan Ops will require an Xbox Live Gold membership to play, so there’s a third of your game gone unless you connect to the Internet.

    Now this, I couldn’t understand. You wanted “major content” on disc, and the only major non-Spartan Ops content are the map packs. An overwhelming majority of players who play on these maps do so on Xbox Live.

    And finally, the campaign, which includes no DLC whatsoever.

    So 100% of “major DLC” is mostly used online. Why wouldn’t they use codes instead of discs if they know that most people will use the 10 bonus multiplayer maps to actually play multiplayer?

    Oh, and Borderlands GOTY came with 4 DLC codes, as well as a lovely map of Pandora.

    (Fallout did great though)

  4. Well the first 2 Arkham games i own are GOTY ed. And have all DLC on discs which i got at GameStop new. So i get its better having the physical disc like for Halo 2 I am glad I have the Map Pack disc. Yeah it sucks I don’t have the Blastacular Maps but it’s just 2 maps i hardly care about. Yet there are games like L4D GOTY that is the same as original with patches. The Survival Pack is free on XBL to download yet the PC version has it and all DLC maps on disc or on Steam. The 360 version I have to pay for those extra DLCs. What a rip. And Forza 3 Ultimate ed has most DLC on second disc. The rest is on a card that no longer works since that content is no longer on XBLive…

  5. Honestly I don’t MIND downloading everything, although it takes forever, I WAS hoping it would truly be a different setup with all the content on the discs (I’m glad it was a gift rather than myself paying for it since I shelled out 65.69 on the second day of the original being out and still have that copy. I’m debating whether to sell the original or not. However, I was deeply disappointed with the way that package came. I was hoping for more than just a difference in download cards and cover art so I might have seen fit to keep both copies. Came here looking to see what the “Game Of the Year” add on included cause it seems to be nothing.

  6. I agree with everything you said. Unfortunately, it’s the people who don’t agree that are ruining the industry for the rest of us, because they buy into these money-making schemes.

    Why do you think Microsoft were the ones who proposed limiting their Xbox One to make frequent online checks and no ability to run second-hand games? They tried to pull that one as well but, fortunately, the gaming community level of stupidity hasn’t got that high (yet) so there was a backlash, and they backtracked on those ideas.

    But make no mistake, it’s only temporary. Companies exist to make money, not charity, and thus we can all expect money making schemes to continue. It’s just sad that some people (those who disagree with your rant) are too gullible, naive, or downright stupid to realize that they’re the ones feeding those practices.

    The only thing we can do is keep alerting others and not buy any product that doesn’t meet our needs. I can proudly say I never bought DLC and, hopefully, never will. And no, the Xbox One and PS4 are NOT exceptions because digital content will never be a suitable replacement for a reliable physical copy.

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