Review by Kowai_Kudamono
"A somewhat interesting rental with a friend"
This game reminded me why the strong, silent-type hero is the best kind. I didn't like one character I was forced to be, and at least a couple of them downright annoyed me. Cutscenes were all utterly skippable, and the storyline felt unimportant and skippable.
Now, I understand the ODSTs aren't augmented and using MJOLNIR armor like the Spartans, but you'd think they'd be able to fire at least a pistol without massive amounts of recoil. This game is some kind of terrible mish-mash of Rainbow Six Vegas and Halo 3. Weapons spray all over the place, but otherwise feel just like they would in Halo 3. You take far more damage than you would in Halo 3, yet there's no decent cover system. You can run nearly as fast and jump nearly as high as a Spartan, and rip turrets right off their tripods and run with them without breaking a sweat, however you can't melee worth beans and every gun is beyond your control when fired. Vehicle sections are extremely frustrating now due to having health and significantly lower "shields" (we all realize that the "stamina" system is just a reduced power shield). This game is better when played with a friend. By yourself it gets tedious with the amount of sneaking you have to do, but with good teamwork you can flank brutes and have a little more fun.
The graphics during gameplay are great, just as in Halo 3. However, the cutscenes look awful. I almost found myself giggling at all the ODSTs running around with their helmets off. Something about the way the faces were made is just awful in this game. This game is dark. Really dark. Some of the levels are extremely difficult to navigate even when your visor was on. This game made me want to go running for my TV's brightness controls, that is, until it stuck you right back into the Savannah and blinded you.
Sound effects are mostly good in this game, by being mostly the same as Halo 3. However, the pistol sounds silly. When you pull the trigger you'd have a hard time guessing this was supposed to be a .50 caliber, and not some dinky 9mm.
Music-wise, this game is good, but sometimes unfitting. I liked all of the music I heard, but during several parts with no enemies to be found, I'd have percussive, driving music pushing me forward, but then when the whole map was filled with enemies the music would change to some mellow jazz-piano arrangement. So even though the music was good, it sometimes ruined the mood.
$60 for this? This is definitely an interesting rental, but it's very short and not worth a second playthrough. Don't buy this game, rent it.
Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 10/12/09
Game Release: Halo 3: ODST (US, 09/22/09)
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