Review by DemonSeal-Curse
"Once again we drop back into Halo, and damn its good."
Although I myself have not yet beaten the campaign, I have gotten pretty far and it is very interesting. The game begins as you The Rookie are sleeping in a UNSC Drop Ship above earth. While your character is asleep several other characters are introduced as: Buck, Dutch, Veronica, Romeo, and Mickey. During the opening intro Buck wakes you up rudely and your character slowly stands up and crawls into his drop pod. The next few minutes are one of the most stunning intro's I have seen in a game for a long time. You get to view the drop from space to New Mombasa (where the game takes place) through the glass on your drop pod. Basically during the drop you get pushed off course, as do the other ODST, and you end up getting knocked out. When you regain consciousness it's nighttime and you find that you have landed on the edge of a building in the streets of New Mombasa. This is where the game begins. So I don't ruin anything I can say that the next 8 hours or so are spent trying to find your comrades and find out what happened that day after the drop.
From the lonely sounding jazz music of wandering the nighttime streets to the wonderful scores of battle, you just couldn't go wrong with the quality of the music in this game. Some new and some old, im sure there's music every fan of Halo will fall in love with seeing as how bungie really has presented some of the best music ive heard in a game to date. The voice acting is also up to par with the other halo games and is accomplished quite well. Many of the weapons keep their usual sounds but still manage to sound great! Never did I encounter a moment ingame when the sound would lag or glitch. I highly recommend playing ODST with surround sound if you have it.
Bungie decided to use the same havoc engine in Halo 3: ODST that they used in Halo 3, and although it works good and pushes out a good physics engine and gameplay, id have to say im a little disappointed that they didn't use a new game engine to make everything even better. Since your The Rookie this time around and are more human than Master Chief you have no shields. All you got is a health bar, and of course this add's to the intensity because you can no longer run into battle like Rambo, now you have to hide behind cover a lot of the time and peek shoot. Health packs have been added to the game due to the health bar, but this makes gameplay a little frustrating due to the fact that you can almost be dead in a firefight and have to go search for a health pack, which are not always easy to find. The HUD of an ODST also differs from the Spartan's due to the newly added in VISR mode which outlines your enemies in red, allies in blue, and objectives in yellow. VISR mode is also handy at nighttime because it illuminates the darker more gloomy area's and also makes colors brighter. There is also the new co-op mode that has been added called FireFight and although it is a lot of fun it kinda stinks that there's no matchmaking, so if you don't have any friends that play ODST you gotta go to a site like gamefaqs and ask people to play with you. Overall the gameplay is very fun and challenging and there's a lot of replay value with firefight mode being added in.
The graphics in ODST are barely upgraded from Halo 3 but still manage to look gorgeous on your TV big or small. Everything seems larger in perspective due to an ODST being smaller than a Spartan, so expect enemies like Hunters to be very frightening and hard to hunt down. There also has been a little extra detail added to the weapons but overall no major graphical updates.
Halo 3's multiplayer that makes Halo so popular is back, and its on a whole separate disc of it's own that comes with ODST. Re-dubbed as Halo 3 Mythic it comes with every single DLC released for Halo 3 so far and 3 new maps for the Mythic map pack. Forge and theater are also back along with custom games. Overall the thing that made every other Halo game great is back and has so much replay value you'll be playing until Halo: Reach is released.
ODST adds to Halo's greatness with a brand new campaign that is by far the best since Halo: CE, and has the most replay value out of any game on the market currently due to its robust multiplayer features and the new co-op mode Fire Fight. Overall I recommend this game to any Halo fan and newcomers a like, you don't know what your missing out on if you don't have it.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 10/01/09
Game Release: Halo 3: ODST (US, 09/22/09)
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