Review by thesampleman

"This game is an absolute beast and a blast to play!"

Halo 3 is one of those games that every gamer knows about and eagerly anticipates. The anticipation for this game is finally over and may I say that this game is an absolute masterpiece and is one of the best first person shooters ever made. This game improves on every area that made the first and second installments so good, and adds even more depth and fun to the mix. This is truely a rare gaming feat, to have the absolute perfect blend of action within the game to keep the game fresh, and still retain all the hallmarks of the first person shooter genre intact. This game delivers upon all the hype and did not let me down in any way, shape, or form. Bungie did a perfect job on this one and we all get to enjoy this perfection.

GRAPHICS

The graphics in this game are gorgeous, and we'll start with everyone's favorite area, the character models. The character models are very well made in this game. From Master Chief's shiny helmet and body armor gleaming in the sunlight, to the Arbiter's leathery skin, each character has his own distinct look and feel. The animations of these characters are also top notch. When the Arbiter utters a syllable you'll actually see him pronounce it. It does not have the effect of a bad English dubbing of a Japanese movie, it is all very real and all very lifelike. It must have been difficult to even think up how the Arbiter would talk and pronounce the words and how his mouth would move when doing so, and the design team should be congratulated on a job well done. The Covenant and Flood are also very well designed and you'll definetly know what you are up against when you meet all the different types of foes in the game.

The animations themselves are fluid and very lifelike. All the non playable characters move around as they would in the middle of a firefight. The gun animations are also very well done. Each weapon has a unique design and you'll be able to tell what you are carrying just by looking at it. The recoil animations are also well done and major props for the people at Bungie for just noticing the minor details, such as when you throw a sticky grenade at your enemies, it actually sticks and glows and blows apart the enemy at that exact spot.

The physics in the game is also well done. The bodies fall real and life like. The only problem that I see with the physics is that Master Chief jumps a tad bit to high at some points, which makes him seem to be able to disobey physics. All the objects in the game can become flying projectiles if close enough to an explosion and that was a nice touch. All the grenades seem to have a good arc and seem to follow known laws of physics. All the physics other than the one minor flaw seems to work to perfection.

SOUND

The sound in this game is fantastic! There are no sounds in this game that are wasted and or useless. They all serve a purpose, and that is to keep you interested in the game. The first area of the game that I will cover is the music. The music in this game is very well done and sets the mood of the game perfectly. From the beginning theme that every Halo player has heard since the first game, to the battle field music each sets the tone of that scene. For instance during a certain fight the music gets low and really does not play at all. The seems to bring in the feeling that you are alone fighting a merciless enemy, which you are at that point. The music brings out the emotion of the game and that in turn affects the player to be more tuned into the game and its story which for a first person shooter is an epic!

The sound effects range from the traditional to the hilarious. The most funny are from the Grunts as you shoot them they laugh or say a phrase that is really hilarious. Every characters grunts and groans are ear pleasing and done with care. Each foe sounds the same however in how they grunt, but the key difference is in tone and pitch. You'll know that the Arbiter has your back or is getting shot in the face just from listening to his grunts! The weapons sound effects are also the same as they were in the previous two games, and while this is not a bad thing; they could have really upgraded the audio from then to now. It is a small concern but a concern never the less.

The voice acting in this game is also very well done. Master Chief sounds as cool as ever, and the Arbiter's voice is also very well done. He makes the character seem believeable and actually makes him sort of have a better personality than the other characters you will meet throughout the game. The enemies have voices too and they do an equally good job of portraying a Brute or even Flood members, and you'll always have the annoying voice of the Prophet of Truth to fall back on if you're getting tired of the other characters voices.

CONTROLS

Basically nothing has changed from the previous control schemes used in the first two games. The right trigger is still your best buddy. (and also the left if you are dual wielding weapons) This is a good thing because the controls of the first two games were also very good, so these were good as well. The camera was responsive and tight, the aiming mechanism was responsive and tight and the game takes about five minutes for a Halo pro like me to pick up and play. For the average gamer or a new person to the world of gaming or just the genre, the games controls will take about twenty minutes to master.

The only unresponsive thing in the game is the vehicles again! They just feel clumsy and unresponsive when you drive along. I must have flipped at least five of my vehicles in the game, which can be a pain in the rear end. The vehicles can be flipped over by the press of a button, but that can be a pain if you are forced out and into the middle of a Covenant attack force. This however, was my only gripe about the controls, and as I stated the game is responsive in all other areas throughout the game.

STORY

Well basically it picks up right after Halo 2 ended. You come to Earth to find the Covenant digging up something in the African Desert that may have something to due with the Halo destruction network. You are sent to eradicate the threat and take care of your foes, the Covenant that are still fighting you, and the Flood. Basically the game starts with you in a race to get there and end the threat once and for all.

The games story here is actually one of the more interesting in first person shooters to date. In fact the whole trilogy is, but that was off topic. The story is well thought out and has some twists and turns throughout it that'll keep you coming back for more and more and more. The game is just that good. The games plot is not confusing, and is easy to follow what is happening throughout the game. Every so often you can even hear conversations from far away that have some relevance to the game in one way or another.

GAME PLAY

The game play is traditional Halo and is action packed. The Artificial Intelligence is really good and if you play the game on Legendary you are up for a challenge. The game is very challenging and will kill you fairly often, so the game has a frustration factor built into it. This factor however, does not affect the fun of the game because it makes you feel proud that you got through that area of the game and did not die that time. It is fun to try and figure things out and get through it somehow.

The check point system is also very well implemented. After every tough fight that you have you will always have a check point. This system allows for you to skip over the hard area that you just faced and allows you to formulate strategy during the next tough area that you are coming to. You will always know that a battle is upcoming when you see the check point message on the bottom right of the screen.

The game is also fun to be played along with a friend. You can play the game via Xbox Live or co-op like and have a ton of fun. The multi player options are endless in this game and there is a mode for everyone. There are modes to satisfy any type of player no matter how hardcore they are. Everything is just well made in these modes and this being the first day the game is out, I will have to fully explore more.

RENT/BUY

This is a must buy game. Basically this and Gears of War are my top two games ever made as a FPS. This game has challenge and infinite replayability, thanks to Xbox Live.

THE RUNDOWN- We must say goodbye to the Master Chief. The world is now a darker place!

GRAPHICS- 10/10 Glitch: Arbiter gets head stuck through metal floor, second level.
SOUND- 10/10 The Prophet of Truth does not sound evil enough in my opinion.
CONTROLS- 9.9/10 Watch my vehicle flip ma! No hands!
STORY- 10/10 The best story ever for a first person shooter ever!
GAME PLAY- 10/10 traditional Halo, and what is better than that?
BUY/RENT- buy


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 09/26/07, Updated 10/02/07

Game Release: Halo 3 (US, 09/25/07)


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