Review by TheRedneck14

""Send me out... with a bang...""

As some of you may know, I have said that the Halo Series published by the [now household name] company; Bungie, is not the gift from god it is considered to be, nor is it a crappy game, it was just a fun game. But Halo 3 changed my views on the series, this IS an incredible game, this IS the best one in the series, and it is just an all around incredible game that was a great conclusion to the trilogy. So, as I always say, lets light this candle.

Story: 9

Halo 3 takes place almost immediately after the previous game, and the comic Halo: Uprising. The Chief lands in Africa, and the Arbiter along with the rest of the Elites have allied with the UNSC after the civil war they were having with the rest of the Covenant.

Your goal is to kick the ass of the Prophet; Truth, and stop him from firing the Halo Rings, which were primed to fire after the emergency shutdown of a previous ring by the Arbiter, Sergeant Major Johnson, and Commander Keyes during Halo 2 [and the death of the Brute leader Tartarus].

Cortana has also been imprisoned by The Gravemind, the leader of The Flood [I think of Gravemind as something like The Overmind from Starcraft], and the Flood returns, they also wind up on Earth.

Finally, you have found The Ark, and you need to shut down the Halo Rings.

Have fun, everything is done very well, and Halo 3 is certainly the most epic game in the trilogy [story wise]. And remember, if there were any questions they will be answered here.

Gameplay: 8

As always in Halo Games, you are traversing Earth, and these Forerunner worlds, trying to kick the ass of The Flood and the Prophet Truth.

The weapons you were given seemed like they were balanced much more now, I usually found myself using the Assault Rifle, and the Brute Spiker as my weapons of choice, and it seems like a lot of the weapons are much more effective against The Flood now. The Plasma Rifle quickly chopped down Floddies in Halo 3 while in Halo 2 it would barley wound them, and Meleeing Flood Combat Forms can now break them apart faster [yes, in this game Flood Combat Forms can completely fall apart] which makes them much less of a pain to fight [I remember all of the times I died because I was reloading and I got swarmed by those things and clubbed to death], and sometimes I did not even waste my ammo on them, I would just bash them with the Spiker. There are also two new Grenades, the Spike Grenade which is a Brute weapon that digs into something and explodes, filling what it strikes with spikes, and there is a Fire Grenade which will light whatever it hits on fire [very entertaining to watch]. Finally, there are several items you can pick up, you can get a grav lift [self explanatory], a bubble shield [a shield that can protect you from enemy fire, but people can still walk inside], a regenerator [heals you], and energy drain [hurts them]. These all add a new element to the combat in Halo.

Another new thing is the occasional interruption vision from Cortana while she is trapped on High Charity; you also get some from the Gravemind after he comes out. I found these to be very annoying because it took you out of the action, and it stopped the game while you were listening to their babbling. They could of at least made it like a normal communication.

The AI is also improved; the Brutes work very well in a pack, as do all of the other enemies that you will fight against. I was pleased that the Wizard finally provided the Brutes with a brain, instead of being big stupid apes that do nothing but charge at you and pummel you until you die, they act like a more barbaric version of the Elites. Except for the Drones, who still suck... a lot. And your allies seem a little bit smarter now, although they still can get stuck on a wall, and they can still drive off a ******* cliff. But all you have to do is play Halo: CE to see just how much the AI has advanced in this game.

Finally, I'm going to talk about the levels the levels. I was pleased the most by what was provided in this game out of the trilogy, the levels were mostly well paced and fun, and you had to use some strategy to play. My only gripe is much like "The Library" of Halo: Combat Evolved, and the "Quarantine Zone" of Halo 2, there just had to be one sucky level in Halo 3. That level was "Cortana", which had you in the now fully Flood infested former Covenant holy city; High Charity, which was monotonous, and everything looked so similar that I got lost a few times. The other pain was the constant assault from Floddies, luckily they are now more fun to fight, or I would of thrown my controller through my TV. Also, there are 8 levels, but they are short as hell so this will be a quickly beaten game.

Challenge: 8

Halo 3 is a little bit tougher than the other two games, mainly because the AI has improved and will use more advanced tactics on you. Also, on higher difficulty levels you should be thankful that there are checkpoints or you would never beat this game.

Controls: 8

The controls have been changed around a little bit for the 360 controller, but if you like how Halo 1 and 2 play on the 360 controller you can use that as well. Personally I like the new one enough to use that. Bungie gave us a few different schemes to play around with. The game itself does control very well, and you should be pleased by how it works, it just took me a while to get used to reloading with the shoulder buttons.

Graphics: 8

Halo 3 does not have that jaw dropping graphics engine that other 360 games like Gears of War have, but it still does look damn impressive. The levels have excellent designs, and all of the people like Master Chief and the Arbiter, along with those Covies and The Flood look great [look at how the skin on Flood Combat Forms throbs like a beating heart]. And most of the textures look incredible; the water is also very realistic. There is also an amazingly long draw distance of 12 miles.

The pop-up issue from Halo 2 has also been fixed, the physics engine is very realistic [except for when a melee attack will send a Jackal flying 100 feet], and the destructible vehicles also look even more realistic.

The only problem I had was that some of the humans have faces that look like they are still using Halo 2's engine. But comparing it to the first Halo really makes you think of how much the Graphics have evolved.

Sound: 10

Again, Bungie has proved their talents with sound quality. The score for this game is just how I like em... epic as hell, but that is not a real suprise because Halo games have always had a great soundtrack. There is also plenty of voice over work to entertain you, sadly some people like David Cross [from the cult classic "Arrested Development", and HBO's "Mr. Show"] were not in this game, but we got some cameos from "Red Vs Blue's" talented team of actors, and John DiMaggio [Bender from "Futurama"] is also a Brute Chieftain. The rest of the Aliens also sound excellent.

The weapons, also sound almost exactly how they should, the "almost" is directed at how weak the Assault Rifle sounds now. But the rest of it sounds great; I especially love the sound that the new Plasma Grenade has.

Atmosphere: 8

Several things I have mentioned above contribute to the excellent atmosphere, the engrossing story, the smart AI, the gorgeous levels. Sadly the cryptic visions from Cortana detracted a point, because they just annoyed me.

Multiplayer: 8

You can play online in several different modes in the normal multiplayer levels, or you could go online through the Campaign [or split-screen for both of these] with a couple of your buddies. There is also a matchmaking service that puts you against people according to your skill level which appears next to your overall ranking.

You can customize you appearance from a selection of Armor from either the Spartans, or the Elites that is unlocked in the campaign, or the multiplayer mode through achievements, or multiplayer awards. You can also create an emblem, and give your guy a color scheme.

I have spent most of my time playing on the Team Slayer mode, which is basically, Team Deathmatch. I have not tried the other modes but this is plenty for me because there is more than enough fast paced fragging in that mode for me to be entertained. And even though I am nowhere near the best player at this game [I do alright, but I don't constantly kill everyone else], I still have a lot of fun online in this game.

There are only 3 big problems I have experienced: First is the lag that makes everything run really slow. Next up are the cowardly teammates who quit the game and leave you to fight against a superior team without any reinforcement. And third is winding up on a team of newer people, against people who have way more experience than you, and will proceed to slaughter your team..

Believe me, all 3 of these things can happen, but it mostly depends on how lucky you are. For me, the unbalanced team one happens the most, and my team gets their ass handed to them...

I do have one piece of advice, if you find people you like playing with add them to your friends list and play with them any time you can. Anything is better than the immature 10-year-old twit who decides to tea-bag your corpse. And if you use the Mic, make sure it is in a team mode where you're playing with your buddies, because potty mouthed little kids, and bigots is really annoying.

Other than that, while Perfect Dark set the standard for split screen FPS Multiplayer, Halo 3 set the standard for online FPS Multiplayer, end of story.

Replayability: 10

Insert my comments on the Multiplayer section here, and you have the reason I gave this part a 10.

Pros:
Great AI, great story, great sound, epic Soundtrack, great graphics, epic score, The Flood is more fun to fight, incredible Multiplayer, brilliant conclusion to the Halo Trilogy.

Cons:
Drones, tea-bagging/cussing 10-year-old kids, unbalance of teams in multiplayer, the Level "Cortana", the visions that will stop the game in the Campaign.

Should you get it:

Buy Halo 3 now, you will not regret it. Just make sure you have Xbox Live GOLD.

Overall:

Halo 3 was an excellent conclusion to this trilogy, and the best of the three games. Sure, the campaign was short as hell, but the incredible multiplayer more than made up for it.

8


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 02/11/08, Updated 06/08/09

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


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