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Lunch » Tags » Video Games » Reviews » Halo 3: ODST » User review

Multiplayer wishes it was Unreal Tournament. Single-player...Bungie didn't even bother trying

  • Jul 21, 2009
  • by
Rating:
-1
Halo 3...I have trouble knowing where it is I'm supposed to begin with this game other than to say it is the greatest let-down of my gaming "career." Now, to start off I am in no way a Halo hater. In fact I have been a fan ever since the original game was released on the PC (I have since acquired a Xbox 360 and the original Xbox version of that game and its sequel). In fact I was so excited by the hype of the third game that I went ahead and pre-ordered the $150 Legendary Edition of the game. The result of when I finally got the game was that never again do I ever plan to pre-order a game or pay top-dollar for a "Collector's" edition of a game- unless it's in a bargain bin a year or two later (In fact that did happen to the Halo 3 Legendary Edition- saw it for $60 somewhere and shall never forgive myself for my wasted $150).

Let me break this game down a bit.

Graphics: They're good I suppose, but didn't Microsoft promise us that this game was practically the reason the 360 was created? This game's graphics are nothing special in this day and age. While the first one was good for its time and the second was great for its time of release this game's graphics wouldn't rank in the `Top 10' list of Best 360 Game Graphics- not by a long shot. Often it feels rushed, as if Microsoft pushed Bungie into finishing this sequel as fast as humanly possible.

Character designs: The new character designs also are pretty bad. For starters, all characters seem to have taken steroid injections because whether it's the Elites or humans, they have all seriously bulked up. They've also become shorter and just seem very awkward in comparison to the designs of the first two games. I just was not convinced that many of the Covenant species were even capable of walking in this game.

Look: The entire game seems to have been put through a shiny filter that makes everything reflect colors at the same rate as a mirror- even plant life. Wasn't this game supposed to be the most realistic Halo yet? I remember Bungie officials and various magazine articles telling me that, but when was the last time YOU walked into a forest and it shined at you? You could say this is water, but unless there is a thin layer of water coating each and every leaf (which is unbelievable in of itself) than everything seems to be polished. Now, this isn't just the forest, but EVERY character and EVERY LOCATION of this entire game. Weapons, characters, plants, shields, ships, and buildings- everything shines like well-polished silver.

Story: This plot of Halo 3 is so simple I'm sure the officials at Bungie must have spent 5 minutes on it. Looking back on it I know that Halo 2 suffered in this department as well, but Halo 3 you instantly take note of how poor the story is. The cut scenes were probably the best parts of both the previous games, but here they become exercises in repetition and cliché. Everything is overblown and none of it is ever believable. They try often to make these scenes dramatic, but apparently whoever had a sense of drama in the previous games cut scenes left the project because this game's cut scenes are about as subtle as a sledgehammer.

Levels: Many of the levels are nothing new other than the fact you now have more weapons in which to deal with your pesky foes. No new forms of enemies to face, nothing really of interest.

AI: Every entry in the Halo game series suffers from heavily script-based AI, but this game's AI is so simpleminded that once you've played through the game once on any of the difficulties you'll know exactly how to get through it on any other difficulty setting. I swear, if you play this game on Easy and then play on Legendary, aside from the fact that enemies have higher hit points, they will respond to you the exact same way as they do on the other settings and they will never surprise you. Come on, Bungie- over ten years ago with Half-Life Valve proved that you could write AI that was capable of creating its own strategy. This is another example in my observation that this game was solely made for the multiplayer aspect and they didn't care about the single-player campaign.

Weapons: Much of this is the same, but we add in the most annoying aspect of this game, and that would be the power-ups. What were they thinking when they put these in campaign mode? I could understand silly power-ups being in, say, the multiplayer, but how do they fit into the actual game? They are worthless addition and it shows that Bungie rushed this game because they obviously belong in the multiplayer and not the actual game mode.

Multiplayer: I suppose this is the only good part about this game, but it feels like a simple-minded retread of other multiplayer games such as Unreal Tournament.

Legendary Edition: Aside from the collectible bust of the Master Chief's head this is probably the most overprice item I've ever purchased. There is nothing really special about it, and the special features contained within the DVDs don't really give you much insight into the creation of the games. You get things like the cut scenes from the first two games, which is kind of cool, but honestly those scenes feel very hollow unless you're actually playing the game.

So all and all Halo 3 is an alright multi-player game, but the story is awful, the graphics are sub-par considering we've seen such games as Half-Life2, `Gears of War', and `Call of Duty 4' display far superior improvements in the field. All and all the game is a rushed product that doesn't have any of the quality control that was displayed in the previous games.

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More Halo 3: ODST reviews
review by . October 08, 2010
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review by . January 06, 2010
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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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