Review by Cuzit

"I was completely unhyped for this, but after playing it... wow."

Introduction

And that summary line just about sums it up. I was not really hyped for this game. I've played Halo: CE (and it was amazing), and Halo 2 (which was not nearly as stellar). I would have honestly given Halo 2 a... 5-ish out of 10. So due to my disappointment over Halo 2, I wasn't nearly as hyped up over Halo 3 as most people were, and I was pretty much only buying it because my clan's pretty much tired of Gears of War, and we were going to move on to Halo 3 multiplayer.

But after playing it... wow. I was stunned.

Story

Continuing the story of Halo 2 where it left off, Master Chief literally crashes into Earth. If you've read the novels and remember the scene where several (or all, I don't remember) of the Spartans fell onto a planet, and several of them did not even live. So I was feeling bad for the Chief, but he just stood off, grabbed a gun, and walked it off.

The Elites are now on humanity's side (you don't kill a single one in the game, unless some of the Flood forms were Elites, and only if you want to count that :P). It is revealed to the player that the Prophets are pretty much religious extremists (that's something new... *rolls eyes*) who plan on activating all of the Halo's at once via some new artifact discovered - ironically - on Earth to take them on the "Great Journey."

To all but these religious extremists and their followers (Grunts, Brutes), this is, of course, ridiculous (I'm sensing real-world meanings, here...), and it's now up to the Master Chief to stop them. You know, because he's bad-ass like that.

I don't want to go too much into it, it's hard not too without spoiling things.

It's a great storyline complementing Halo 1 and 2's, as well as the novels.

Verdict: 9/10
Why?: The story could be better, but it's hard to imagine it being much better. It's near perfect, especially if you've read the novels. It also gets you close to the characters, so when some of them die (not going to spoil who), you really does tear at you.

Gameplay

Just to put it simply, there's three simple scenario's here.

1.)I don't like FPS's!

Well, then, this game won't change you're mind.

2.)I didn't like Halo 1 or 2!

You probably won't like this one, either.

3.)I liked Halo 1 and/or 2, and/or also like FPS's/Shooters!

Then this game is worth your money.

If you've played Halo 1 or 2, then gameplay-wise, you've played Halo 3. There are a few new features, such as deployable items (bubble shields are particularly useful), but it doesn't switch up the gameplay much; just makes Heroic and Legendary a little easier. There's a few new weapons. The Gravity Hammer is bad-ass. Too bad it's got a charge, just like the Energy Blade, and when it's gone, so is your weapon. <_<

All of the weapons are welcome additions, except for - I hear - the flamethrower. I haven't got a chance to use it, yet. It's mainly in the multiplayer, though I've heard it's in the single player, as well. Either way, I've yet to find it.

I never use one of the two new grenades. I didn't like it. I think it's the Spiker, though I may be wrong. The flame grenade is cool, though, and really handy against the Flood (*hint*).

The Mongoose (ATV) is cool, as well. My only complaint is that you can't shoot and drive, and in campaign, the ally AI isn't the brightest (though it's understandable, balance-wise). The new flying vehicle (*forgot the name*) is really cool, as well. The new Warthog is fun, and REALLY powerful.

But at the end of the day, you've played this before. And if you liked it before, you'll love it here.

Verdict: 10/10
Why? Why not?

Graphics

Er... it's hard to say accurately here. The first level, I was stunned. And the second, and third. But some levels were like... this is on the 360? And the character models - except for the Chief, enemies, and (surprisingly) Cortana were outdated and looked almost like they had had no updates from Halo 2.

Great overall, with nice lighting and effects. The flame animations were nice, as well. Not the best looking game out there, I assure you, but FAR from the worst.

Verdict: 7/10
Why? If I were to review it based on the first level (and therefore, first impressions), I wouldn't hesitate to give it a 10/10 (Gears of... what, anyone?). But due to some levels having meh graphics, and the bad character models, that hurt the score pretty bad. But I loved the lighting, so I knocked it up a few points.

Sound

Improved over the last game. A lot. And they got rid of (as far as I can tell) the rock music. Not knocking it, but unless I'm buying a game like "Guitar Hero" or Grand Theft Auto where I can pick my music, I don't want rock music. I don't want rap or hip-hop, the music I listen to, because I know that somebody out there wishing the game had more rock-n-roll wouldn't want to listen to it. I want video game music, because that doesn't annoy anyone (if you're a gamer, anyway). And this game did that, with the exception of the military-esque percussion from time-to-time.

The voice acting was EXCELLENT, but the Elites... I can't understand them. Is it my speakers? They've always been that way. It's not that the voice are too low or too distorted... they're muffled. And it's annoying when you want to listen to the excellent voice acting and proceed the story-line, and you can't understand what they're saying.

Verdict: 8/10
Why? Because of the muffled voices of the Elites (which may be my problem), and the fact that the music (besides the thing that plays at the title screen) is unmemorable. It's good, but you won't remember it... right after the song ends. :S

Controls

Great, no major flaws. The switch from X to RB to reload had me throwing down all of my items instead of reloading the first level or two, but after you get used to it, it comes second nature.

I don't know which section to put it in, so I'll mention it here: while not being able to throw grenades while dual-wielding is understandable, not being able to melee and then proceeding to find your damn second gun you threw down is not.

Verdict: 10/10
Why? After getting used to the slightly varied control scheme, there is nothing wrong at all with the game's controls.

Achievements

I like them. You have Achievements for going through the game, completing the game on all difficulties sans Easy, Achievements for finding the hidden skulls (a nice extra thrown in, IMO), Achievements for reaching a certain score per level (I'm not going to go into detail here, but they're nice Achievements), and a few XboxLive Achievements. For once, I won't complain about them; I like them. While a few won't be obtainable overnight, there are none of the stupid "Seriously..."-like Achievements that will take about 1% of your lifespan to complete (*sigh*).

Verdict: 9/10
Why? Why do you get 20 points for beating the first level, but only 5 points for getting a "Killtacular?"

Extras

The Forge is a nice addition, with no real flaws. My complaints? Having a limit to what you can add (that's semi-understandable, but such a small limit?) and not being able to simply create your own maps from scratch (like Far Cry).

The Movie Theatre, where you can record short clips and take screenshots from your games is a nice addition. My only problem is that you can only play with what you just played. Play one game in multiplayer? You have to quit the playlist to take clips and screenshots from it in the Movie Theatre. Play another game and that last game is lost. Go to the Forge and the last game is lost. Go to another level in the campaign and the last level is lost. Also, you can't record videos from the campaign. What gives?

Multiplayer I haven't played yet. If it's like Halo 2, I would imagine it's excellent. However, I won't speak on it, as I don't know what I'm talking about. :P

Verdict: 7/10
Why? These "minor" annoyances really annoy me... which is why it's so low (atleast compared to my other scores). Multiplayer is not tallied into this.

FINAL

Verdict: 86/100 (or 60/70)

GameFAQs Score: 9/10

Rent/Buy: Definetly buy, with or without XboxLive.

Final Notes:

Some people have said that this game is not worth it without XboxLive.... What do I have to say on that?

Buy it if you have XboxLive, definetly. Don't hesitate. If you don' t have XboxLive, then rent it if possible. It's a fairly short game, and if you don't have XboxLive, you could probably care less about gathering Achievements and therefore beating it on Legendary anyway.

Also, I want to make a small note: I will not be writing a FAQ for this game. Hopefully this will stop an email or two. <_<


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 09/27/07

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


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