Review by SupremeChun
"Finish the fight, then play some slayer"
Bungie Software began the Halo series with Combat Evolved and ever since its release, many people extolled Bungie's successful videogame series. 6 years after the first Halo game, Bungie finally released the final game of the Halo trilogy and players can finally finish the fight. Halo 3 concludes the story of Master Chief with his struggle against the Covenant and the Flood but did Bungie kept their oath to keep its videogame series to be continually praised by their fans?
Halo 2's story mode ends with a climax that has augmented the anticipation of Halo 3's story mode. As you begin the campaign, you will listen to Cortana's quote about which Spartan she will choose to train with. Throughout the story mode of Halo 3, you will hear several quotes from Cortana and altough those quotes get annoying, they do make an impact to Halo 3's story. The plot of Halo 3 begins when Master Chief falls down to earth. Master Chief has been recruited with Johnson and after his encounter with the Arbiter, he should then realize that he is working with the elites. Halo 2 ends its story with the elites alienating from the Covenant alliance to join the UNSC because they discovered the truth behind the Halo rings. The objective of the UNSC and the Elites is to stop the Prophet of Truth from activating the ark where he can use all of the Halo rings to destroy the galaxy. In the story, you will encounter some events that will shock you, especially the quotes Cortana makes. The story alone is a great addition to the Halo Trilogy and with the help of numerous events throuhgout the campaign, Halo 3's storyline is great.
The only problems I've noticed from Halo 3's campaign is that the game is pretty short. On an easy difficulty setting, you can probably finish the game in about 6 hours. Making the game harder by setting it to higher difficulty levels will add a couple more hours to the game but Halo 3 is shorter than Halo 2 (Halo 2 in legendary takes about 13 through 15 hours while Halo 3 takes about 8 through 10 hours). Another problem I've faced in the campaign is that the intelligence of the marines in the game is something you should not disregard. The marines have been improved from the past Halo games but they are not that helpful in combat. The way they aim to shoot at enemies is a threat to you. When you are standing in their way, they will stop shooting since you are in their line of fire, but whenever I drive a marine with rockets and go over a hill, the marine will shoot the ground, causing both of us to die. This is a big problem when you turn on your iron skull because when you die, you start over the level. I would rather trust elites than marines because they can kill a couple of brutes with the help of their shields being active. The marines aren't perfect but they do make some pretty decent kills that will change the battle's progress.
Despite a few environmental divisions, Halo 3's graphics are beautiful. The bright setting and the clear atmosphere of the Halo universe is impressive for a 2007 videogame especially considering the demands of the replay function. And it's to die for in 1080p. The character design may be lacking but once you see the environments in Halo 3, you will appreciate it.
The gameplay in Halo 3 is different from the past Halo games. First of all, instead of depending only on your shield monitors, you have to avoid any shots after your shields are depleted because you do have health. The health monitors do not appear in the game but they do exist. Health does recover eventually but not as fast as the shields. The shields get stronger and weaker at some points in the game when you meet these conditions:
1. If you've never been shot for a long time, your shields will use up more energy to deflect bullets.
2. If you've been shot but recovered, your shields will be in a defensive mode where they use less energy to deflect bullets, using less shield energy.
Their is a great new addition of items called equipments. These equipments are a necessity at some situations. For instance, if you need to retreat from an incoming enemy, you need a Grav lift to go into higher platforms. The equipments appear in both the campaign and the multiplayer aspect of Halo 3. New weapons have been added as well including the all powerful Spartan-Laser, an anti vehicular weapon that is an auto-kill to anyone. The assault rifle has returned in Halo 3 and many people love the new mechanics for the assault rifle. You can duel wield some weapons in but nothing has changed with the duel wielding function in Halo. Players of Halo 3 "discovered" new ways of handling their opponents with tips such as bursting shots with the assault rifle and shooting a person in the head with a battle rifle 4 times. There are other tips you can use in Halo 3 to conquer your adversaries but I cannot list all of them. Overall, I believe Halo 3's gameplay is extraordinary. You can jump as high as master chief in multiplayer matches and you can become as strong as him, which is pretty cool.
Like I said earlier, people praise the Halo series not only because of its fantastic gameplay, but its exhilarating soundtrack plays a role to keep the game going. Martin O'Donnel's alternate version of the Halo theme is breathtaking. The Halo 3 menu theme is remarkable as well, with its violin solos, the chorus, and I believe its newly added piano solo. The soundtrack of Halo 3 makes the whole campaign fun to play. If the soundtrack was not that epic, you wouldn't have a lot of enjoyment playing the campaign again. I just wish the multiplayer aspect of the game had the same soundtrack.
Speaking of the multiplayer aspect of Halo 3, Bungie has greatly improved the game with its multiplayer portion of the game by using a reliable Matchmaking system. The program will pick you and assign you into a particular match based on your skill level. Bungie made a great decision using the True-Skill system to keep the matchmaking of Halo 3 continue. You also gain experience from each match you participate in depending on which place you were in. If you were the top half of a free for all match, you gain one experience. If your team wins a team based match, you gain one experience. In any case, you will always gain one experience. You can only lose experience if you quit a match, which will affect the game negatively. Like the Halo 3 trailer stated, you must finish the fight, from both the campaign and multiplayer.
Halo 3 presents new features to the Halo series, the most popular being Forge. Halo 3's Forge mode is a game type you can play in only that you can edit things in a multiplayer match to the way you want it to look. You can add and delete objects in the game and you can edit when the objects will respond. Forge is for players who are into creating games for their own pleasurement, not for competition. Halo 3 also presents a new feature called Theatre mode. The name says it all, you can watch clips of campaign matches or multiplayer matches. You can take pictures and make short clips of a scene in those videos so you can later use them to share with friends or people you are acquainted with. Theatre is a great way to make Halo 3 Machinima because you are the camera, in any viewing perspective.
From what I've experienced so far in Halo 3, I've realized that Halo 3 is a great addition to the series and the game makes a great conclusion to the story of Master Chief. Forge and Theatre mode will influence other gaming companies to make features that are similar to the ones in Halo 3. The multiplayer feature in Halo 3 will be played for a couple of years until a new Halo game comes out. Bungie has continued its oath to create Halo games that are highly spectacular and capture the attention of being known as one of the most influential gaming companies in the next generation of videogames. Bungie has finally made a conclusion to one of the most remarkable series in gaming history and gamers will remember Bungie's success with the Halo series.
Halo 3 has a wide variety of features to perpetuate its presence to the gaming world such as Forge, Theatre, and the upgraded multiplayer aspect of the game.
The graphics are beautiful. The bright atmosphere and the vivid environments of the Halo universe will impress you. Although there are some texture divisions, they can be disregarded.
As always, the soundtrack of Halo 3 will keep players steady and prepared for incoming battles against the Covenant and the Flood.
The tactics you can develop to defeat your opponents are augmented by the new weapons and the new equipments you can use to defeat them.
Halo 3 is a great addition to the series and it is a game you should buy if you have an Xbox 360.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 03/23/10
Game Release: Halo 3 (US, 09/25/07)
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