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The Original Halo Trilogy Concludes

  • Oct 8, 2010
Rating:
+4
I didn't get introduced to the Halo franchise until much later than most people. HALO had been out for several years and HALO 2 had been released for over a year by the time I purchased an Xbox and sat down to play the campaign of HALO. After beating that, it was about six months later before I had an opportunity to sit down and play through the campaign of HALO 2. I understand that for most Xbox games nowadays, the big thing that many gamers look for is the multiplayer game play. I'm not like that. For me, first and foremost in a game is the campaign mode. I love stories and in writing and filmmaking, story really does triumph over everything else and my experiences with gaming is no different. If the story captures me, then I'm probably going to really enjoy the game even if the graphics aren't superior and the sound is low key and there aren't a lot of multiplayer options.

I was really looking forward to playing HALO 3. HALO 2 was an amazing second act to the franchise and it raised all sorts of interesting questions. The game play is also unique because for over half the game you play as the Arbiter, an individual who until then had been seen as an enemy to humanity. However, the campaign of that game ended on a cliffhanger with the Covenant invasion of Earth.

The campaign begins immediately where HALO 2 ended. Master Chief crashes to Earth and joins the forces there to end the Covenant invasion. They succeed, but by the end of the battle join forces with the Covenant to quarantine and eradicate Flood-infected areas of Earth. Later a small group of humans and Covenant, including Master Chief and the Arbiter, proceed through a slipstream portal in pursuit of the Prophet Truth who intends to activate all the remaining Halo rings. Along the way, Master Chief and the Arbiter join forces with the Flood Gravemind to prevent Truth's plan, but after stopping him Gravemind breaks his alliance and attempts to incorporate Master Chief and the Arbiter into itself. Then there's Cortana, the AI with a personality. She's captured by Gravemind and Master Chief has to rescue her. It all builds to a satisfying conclusion.

As for as actual game play is concerned, I was disappointed with HALO 3. The campaign provides a satisfying conclusion, but it's much too short. So much of the build-up to HALO 3 was around the Covenant invasion of Earth, but there's really only about 1/4th of the entire campaign that is actually spent there. Not only that, but the entire storyline really doesn't take very long to get through. In fact, the most difficult part of the game, in my opinion, was the last part of the game and Master Chief has to drive over and around parts of the new Halo as it collapses around itself while he makes his way back to the getaway ship. That part was like a giant puzzle and quite frankly I didn't like it very much. In shooters, people like to shoot and fight and there wasn't very much of that going on.

I was also disappointed that you are limited to playing with Master Chief. One of the most interesting parts of playing HALO 2 is that you got to also play as the Arbiter. That doesn't happen in HALO 3. In fact, other than his brief appearances at the beginning of some scenes, and a few cut scenes, the Arbiter appears nonexistent. Master Chief is humanity's hero, but every hero has some side kicks crucial to his success. You get to see a little of that in HALO 3, but you don't get to play it.

There are several new weapon upgrades in HALO 3 as well as a few new vehicles. There's also another group of objects known as Equipment that the player can use. The graphics are great and sound quality is exceptional.

I haven't played the multiplayer settings very often, but HALO 3 has some great ones. In fact, HALO 3 was probably the best multiplayer experience until MODERN WARFARE 2 came out. Personally, I just can't get very involved in multiplayer. I play a few times and it's exciting, but then the experience looses its luster for me.

In short, though there are some good improvements in the campaign mode from HALO 2, the game is too short and lacks some of the improvements from HALO 2, such as the time spent playing as the Arbiter. However, in terms of multiplayer experiences, HALO 3 is exceptional.

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Wiki

Developed exclusively for Xbox 360 by acclaimed developer Bungie, Halo 3: ODST is a new, stand-alone expansion to the Halo saga that lets players experience the events leading up to the epic story told in Halo 3 through the eyes of an entirely new character the ODST (Orbital Drop Shock Trooper), as they search for clues leading to the whereabouts of their scattered squad and the motivations behind the Covenant's invasion of New Mombasa. The game adds a new dimension to an all-encompassing universe that gamers around the world have known and loved since the release of the first Halo game in late 2001.

 

'Halo 3: ODST' game logo
 
ODST rookie battling a Covenant enemy in 'Halo 3: ODST'
New hero, old enemy.
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ODST rookie in full gear from 'Halo 3: ODST'
Join the ODST.
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Cinematic cutscreen from 'Halo 3: ODST'
Stunning cinematics.
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Firefight multiplayer mode from first-person perspective in 'Halo 3: ODST'
New co-op multiplayer mode.
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New Campaign, New Hero, New Tactics
Much more than an expansion, Halo 3: ODST allows players to explore dangerous new ground, search the dark, abandoned streets of New Mombasa for clues, and fight back against the Covenant invasion from multiple perspectives. Dropping in as "the rookie," a new member of an elite squad of Orbital Drop Shock Troopers (ODST) sent into New Mombasa on a classified recon mission, you'll be armed with specialized weaponry and upgraded technology, including silenced weapons and a VISR enhanced vision mode.

 

Separated from your squad, you'll have to scour the city for clues in order to learn what happened to Buck, ...

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Details

ESRB: M
Number of Players: 1-4 Players (up to 16 on the Halo 3 multiplayer disk included)
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Developer: Bungie Software
Console: Xbox 360
Genre: Shooter
Release Date: September 22, 2009 (NA)
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