Review by ACowWithaDS

"A multiplayer experience one will never forget"

Halo 3 Review

Halo brings back many memories for FPS gaming fans. The long awaited sequel is now here, and has for awhile now. And I have good news for all the haters; THIS GAME IS GOOD! Yes, you heard me all the non-believers. Bungie delivered again.

Halo never really had a good campaign mode. All you could chose from was a few difficulties and play 1-2 players. The older games had a few hidden objects(The skulls) in game, but once you found them you couldn't save or do anything with them on a different file. Well, I am sad to say…. there are still only a few difficulties. The campaign system is completely revamped. Now, you can play up to FOUR people in Xbox Live co-op. Also, there is a scoring system which will add replayability. To top off a greatly improved system, you can now save and access your skulls you have found at any time you want. Awesome! Sadly, nothing is perfect. If one person leaves the match when playing online co-op, it kicks the whole party back to the lobby and doesn't save the progress. Meaning, you can't resume where you just left off where you were when the other person quite. Quite a big downside, and I will admit can be annoying, but it doesn't take much away from this great game.

Now onto what Halo is really about, the multiplayer. I have been hooked on the series since the first Halo, but never really got into multiplayer til halo 2. What seemed to be the perfect multiplayer in Halo 2 has been surpassed by Halo 3. The playlists are updated very often, with changes made to things the community has had a problem with. Bungie did a great job with this aspect of Halo.

What really entices you is the Halo ranking systems. In actuality you have three ranks, which almost all correspond with each other. Ranks are only gained in Halo matchmaking. The first rank is a Trueskill rank of 1-50. You will have a different trueskill rank in each playlists. So lets say you went up to a rank of 10 in Team Objective. When you switch playlists to something… let's say Team Slayer. Even though you are a 10 in Team Objective, you could be a 20 in Team Slayer. This adds a huge amount of replay value, and has kept bringing me back to the franchise year after year.

Now that you have some idea on the Trueskill ranks, I can explain the Army like ranks. As you win games, you gain EXP points. If you quit games, you lose EXP points. You gain 1 EXP point for a win, 2 for a win in a Double EXP playlist, and you lose One EXP for quitting. EXP points are not given out based on how good you do(unless you are playing a free-for-all match) but rather if your team plays well and wins. With these EXP points you go up in ranks. For example, when you win 30 games and gain EXP you will become a Sergeant Grade2. However, I mentioned earlier about the ranking systems going along with each other. After awhile you may not level up to the next rank without leveling up. You may go up a grade(Sergeant Grade 2, Colonel Grade 3, etc), but even that will eventually stop. You will need to get your Trueskill up in a playlists before you can advance. So let's say you have 1000 EXP points, but you are not yet a rank of 10 in something yet. You will not be able to rank up to a Lieutenant. This may become frustrating, but take my word for it. You will keep coming back to try and get your Trueskill up.

The next ranking system was newly implemented. You now have a rank for each playlist. So now you can be a General in Team Slayer, but only a Captain in Team Doubles. These ranks are gained by winning games in whichever playlist you are playing games. However, your Trueskill ranks do not effect these.

I will now go over custom games. In a custom game, you can play with up to 16 people in any gametype or map, whether it is a custom variant or map or not! This has all of the fun of matchmaking, without the intensity. Really, really fun with a bunch of friends.

The gametypes available in matchmaking and in custom games is a wider selection then in Halo 2. With the newly added VIP and Infection, Halo is turning into a great party game or a game to play with friends. You can now also customize maps, which I will explain in the next paragraph.

Forge is the next big thing in the Halo series. With this map editor, you can completely clear maps of everything but scenery like hills and such and build tyour own bases or place weapons wherever you want them! This is a blast to play with friends, even if you aren't making a map and just messing around. And now you can even take pictures and record some of your games! A big + here.

Just as I said above, you can now take pictures and record games in the Theatre. You can then put some pictures up on your fileshare for others to see! Pretty cool, and some people in the community have really taken advantage of this feature to make some really, really nice pictures. In addition to this, you can now prove you got a kickass killtacular or something of that sort by recording it!

Halo has never been a top notch graphics game. It was never a bad game graphics wise, either. While this is no gears of War Halo 3 is truly pretty. The scenery is really nice, weapons are pretty cool, and the vehicles have pretty awesome explosions. And now, you can choose from even more Spartan and Elite costumes each very detailed. Yay!

The old Halo music is back and everything sounds the same from the last game. Not overly loud like the Call of Duty series, but not quite. Isn't that bad on the ears. Only downside to this may be the annoying little kids yelling into their mic.

Roundup:

In the end, Halo is a great game and no one can deny it. Yes, it might not have the best community but the multiplayer experience is one you will never forget nor go without. A definite must buy game.

+ Multiplayer
+ Graphics
+ Forge
+ Theatre
= Single Player
= Sound


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 12/02/08, Updated 12/04/08

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


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