Review by leesoer
"Hate Campaign? Love Online Play? This Game is for You."
Halo 3 is an extraordinarily fun title in the first person shooter genre. This game is packed full of features, and the game play makes this game a must have for Xbox 360 owners. There is no reason not to have this game in your library...but let's take a close look at this game, shall we?
The graphics in Halo 3 are definitely not a masterpiece. They look good even in 480p, but they are in no way a visual miracle. I've seen better, I've seen worse. But for some reason, the graphics seem to suit Halo 3 really well. The lighting and water effects are magnificent, but general use of textures could be improved. The weapons look great and the overall environment is beautiful.
The music in Halo 3 is great, it suits the campaign mode well. The sound from the weapons sound kind of stock, but it doesn't matter too much. The online multi player voice over guy (The person who shouts, Double Kill!) did a great job. It makes the online play seem more arcade like, which is good because shooters now a days seem way to serious. The covenant weapons feature unique sound effects but the vehicle effects sound really weird.
Halo 3 has included a new control scheme that, in my mind, works better than the Halo 2 controls. There are a variety of different control schemes for those that do not agree with me. The infamous energy sword now incorporates a new "dueling" system, often called "perries". This occurs when to players lunge at each other simultaneously. This is when the controls take a turn for the worse, B is melee, and when dueling, You need to keep your finger on the right analog stick to aim. When you melee, you have no control over your aim. This really sucks when playing swords on lone wolves. However, this is easily fixed by changing the control scheme to "bumper jumper". This makes RB, melee. I also like how LT is grenade, and RS is aim. It's always nice how you do not need to equip your grenade before you throw it.
The weapons in Halo 3 took a nice turn...for the worse. Many of the weapons are to powerful and get extremely frustrating to see when playing in multiplayer. The BR is overused, and it makes people who are good with the AR look bad. The needler is no longer duel wieldable, and it has a smaller ammo clip (Yes!) but it still dominates the battlefield. Damn, it seems that with even those two harsh sacrifices, the needler still destroys other players. Why? The pistol seems morelike a regular pistol now. The Halo: CE pistol was to unrealistic. They made a good move on the pistol in Halo 3, but you won't use it as often. The new weapon additions...the spiker, the spartan laser, and a few others. Well, the spiker is very disappointing. It's nice how they removed the brute plasma rife, I'm NOT a fan of duplicate weapons. But the spiker is one of the worse weapons in the game, despite it's intimidating appearance. The clip size is good, the accuracy is okay, but the power sucks. The only way to pose a threat is to duel wield...but then say good bye to your grenades. People are making a huge deal about how the melee is so powerful...well it still takes two hits to kill, so for me that's no change. As for the spartan laser? All I can say is why...why did they have to include this beast into this game? The vehicles where very fun to drive/fly in the previous Halos. Now, they are a trap. The spartan laser is dubbed by some as the "Vehicle Sniper". That title fits this weapon perfectly, but now you might as well remove the vehicles. The classic assault rifle makes a triumphant return with a catch. It the PERFECT weapon for killing one person. Against two or more? You may as well be digging your own grave. The plasma pistol sucks now because the battery leaks away as you overcharge. But, it still effectively takes out vehicles. The energy sword still dominates the battlefield at close range. But the dueling is a nice addition. The turrets are very well done, and they pose a huge threat to players who stick together in clusters. The rocket launcher is very frustrating, but it does a good job of what it's meant for. The frag grenade detonates faster, which is good. The blast radius is smaller, which is bad. The plasma grenade sports some new particle effects, and its a nice tool for getting revenge against another player. The new spike grenade is much like the plasma grenade, but it can stick to walls and floors, as well as people and vehicles. Also, when the spike grenade goes off, spike fly all over the pace, damaging players nearby. The firebomb grenade makes a very short appearance, and it works well against the flood. But it would be nice to see them in multiplayer. The rarer weapons like the fuel rod gun and the sentinel beam look fantastic, but again, why not in multiplayer?
The vehicles are great in Halo 3. The warthog is easier them ever to drift, and it seems like the handling is better. It's still a devastating assault vehicle. The ghost is amazing. When boosting, it is more difficult to control, but the boost is also faster. The guns are pretty much the same, besides some new visual effects. The "weak point" was removed from the ghost, which is disappointing because the ghost is more difficult to eliminate. The wraith includes a new turret, making it more deadly at closer range, but the gunner is easily exposed to snipers. The banshee now includes a heavy fuel rod cannon, which is good for "bombing" vehicles from high altitudes. The plasma cannons are great for picking away infantry, and the control of the banshee makes it easy to get a good view. You can still flip the banshees in the sky, which is good for dodging missle pods. It is difficult to dodge a spartan laser, though. The new mongoose is good for transportation, but transportation only. There is no reason to use one if you are trying to kill people, even with a person firing from the back seat. The ugly brute chopper is a nice addition. It functions well as a vehicle, however the driver is easily snipe able. The prowler is also nice, it's fast and it can pose a huge threat to other players. But one spartan laser shot can mean a triple kill for the enemy team.
"The Stunning Conclusion To The Halo Trilogy" Stunning? No, cliché? Yes. It may be an overused premise for an ending but at least it works for Halo 3. Many of us saw the ending coming and it wasn't very stunning. It was awkward and misplaced. The campaign mode is extremely short, and to eventful. I know they where trying to make the game very exciting, but every mission is something huge. How about some more simple ideas for the missions? As for difficulty levels, legendary mode is easily the easiest legendary mode of all the Halo games. Easy is a joke, it feels like the Halo 2 easy mode. And I don't even want to think of that...To be fair, the campaign is an enjoyable experience with a second player to play with...if you can actually find a friend to play campaign with.
This is where the true gem of Halo 3 lies. The multiplayer is fantastic, perfect in every way. The navigation is magnificent. It's easy to figure out how to join a match. You can also customize your own emblem and armor permutations. The maps are great, especially the download able ones. The game modes are great as well, with games like Slayer (Deathmatch), Team Slayer (Team Deathmatch), Capture the Flag, King Of the Hill, Oddball (Hold onto the "ball" the longest), Assault, Infection and more. The file share feature makes Halo 3 unique. There is honestly nothing I can complain about in multiplayer mode that doesn't fall into other categories. The multiplayer itself, is awesome.
The overall game play is great. The new forge and theater mode add new reasons to play Halo 3. Now you can customize your own multiplayer maps with your own rules. The theater mode allows you to watch your gameplay without using a capture card. It automatically records your gameplay in multiple camera angles. You can also send your maps and videos to your friends via file share. The hidden skulls and meta-game make Halo more challenging. The skulls can give you a unique challenge that force you to try your absolute hardest to beat the mission. The campaign scoring can make campaign mode competitive when playing with friends, which is good. You can also use the campaign scoring mode to work together. You can either play splitscreen with up to 4 players, system link with up to 4 TVs/4 Xbox 360s/4 players, or play online with up to 4 players.
The DLC is good, but expensive. The game comes with a Halo 3 theme, which is nice. There are 3 map packs, one of them being free. Each map pack contains three maps. The two map packs that cost money are around $20 for both of them. That's $20 for six maps, or $3.33 per map. There is one free map available for download. This is a total of 10 Additional Maps to be added to the 11 that come with Halo 3. The picture packs and themes are okay, but not really worth it.
FINAL WORD: Halo 3 is an excellent game that is very fun to play with or without friends, providing that you have Xbox LIVE. The solo campaign mode is okay, but it's really better to play online with up to 16 people. Definitely check this game out if it appeals to you, you won't regret it.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 08/25/09
Game Release: Halo 3 (US, 09/25/07)
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