One of the biggest draws for Halo 4 was Spartan Ops. Promoted as additional campaign storyline, you would think it would be an actual story. Cut-scenes, plot, narrative... All of that is missing and it's a real shame.
Spartan Ops is mainly "go here, shoot that, press the button (touch)" and frankly it's a little disappointing. Sure, playing it on legendary makes it a little tougher, but in 4 player co-op it's a joke. Enemies are easily overcome, weapons are conveniently everywhere, and they give you more tools than you would find in the campaign on Normal.
The whole idea of "additional campaign missions" was drastically oversold. The removal of Firefight for this mode doesn't seem like a fair trade. It's the same exact thing, just with less enemies, and a hallway type progression rather than a single defensible area. The only difference is that Firefight was actually fun. It got boring after playing it several times each day, but Spartan Ops you get bored after the first mission.
The only thing good about it is that it's free. I don't see anything in the content we've gotten that would make me shell out MSP for it. The episodes are good, but the gameplay just doesn't live up to the hype. Many people were calling "Spartan Ops" Halo's version of COD's "Spec Ops". At first the comparison was laughable, but now it doesn't seem quite so outlandish. Spec Ops promotes 10-15 minute missions, which they deliver. Spartan Ops promotes several hours of content with each episode. We ran through the full first episode on Legendary in about 40 minutes.
Honestly the loss of Firefight along with the disappointing replacement makes it a bit of a kick in the teeth. There aren't any gametypes in Halo that are a "stand your ground" like Firefight was. This could have been an addition, rather than a replacement, and that's where I think it went very wrong. Firefight had quite a following, and the removal certainly angered some fans. Rather than Spartan Ops dousing the angry fires, it merely tosses a watering can on the flames expecting it to be taken care of.
Al-in-all, Spartan Ops really missed out on what could have been a fantastic game addition, but when there's 10 weeks of it and all for free, what can you expect?