Review by Demigod_Tyek
"A decent enough story, with fun and addicting multiplayer, and every Halo 3 map + three new ones... not that bad at all"
It began awhile back as a simple Campaign expansion to Halo 3. Well, it gained some more content, and I had no problem in spending $60 for this game at around 12:20 am on launch day. It includes a 4-7 hour Campaign story that is filled with all the action that Halo fans will appreciate. It also includes a new, fun, and addicting multiplayer mode called Firefight, along with every Halo 3 map pack, including three brand new maps. Oh boy!
The first disc contains the Campaign, and Firefight mode...
Halo 3: ODST brings back all the familiar feeling from the other Halo games, with one main exception... the Master Chief doesn't appear at all in this content. You instead take control of an ODST soldier called "The Rookie", and the game spans over the time between Halo 2 and 3's plot. The game takes place in the city of New Mombasa, the city where you fight for a bit in the beginning of Halo 2. This game opens up during that battle, when the Covenant capital ship, controlled by the Prophet of Regret, enters slipspace and the resulting shockwave sends all of the ODST soldier's drop pods into crash landings. "The Rookie" awakens from the crash six hours later, and begins to search the ruined, Covenant-controlled city, desperate to discover the fates of his fellow ODST members...
Although the story may sound amazing, the journey is no walk in the park. As you ARE NOT the super-soldier Master Chief is, you are a lot more vulnerable to the vicious Brutes, Grunts, Jackals, and Drones that fill the streets (There are no Elites in this game). You do not have the powerful over-shield that the Spartans have, so you can fall victim to the Covenant's attacks in just a few hits instead of the dozens that the Chief can usually handle. Instead, this game follows more like the many WWII games you might play, where you get hit and you can simply avoid combat for a short time to regain lost health.
The city of New Mombasa is open-world, and you can go ANYWHERE you want throughout it. As the Rookie, the main objective is to search for clues on the whereabouts of your missing buddies, and although there are waypoints for you to follow to the next objective, you can go about getting there however you see fit. Covenant patrol many parts of the city, and you will find yourself in battle with them often as you make your way to the objective. When you actually arrive at each objective, you view a flashback about another particular ODST member and control them for a short amount of time as you follow their story after the crash land.
While exploring the dark, uninviting streets of New Mombasa, you will find yourself stealthing and sneaking through corners, alleys, and around structures, trying to avoid any Covenant that may be around. Although this isn't exactly the Halo forumla we are all used to, it works very well because the fighting really can be dangerous and you might wind up dying a lot.
The graphics are epic. The game was built on the same engine as Halo 3, but Bungie worked even extra hard to make it more beautiful, and they succeeded. New Mombasa never looked more sexier... although it can be very dark and despressing at points throughout the ODST search. And don't worry, the Brutes are still as ugly as ever =)
The multiplayer mode, Firefight, is simply amazing. Although there is NO ONLINE MATCHMAKING (very disappointing), you and up to three other friends (rather through Xbox Live or on the same console), fight on a selected map, trying to stay alive through many brutal waves of Covenant soldiers. It is very similar to any game's survival mode... but for some reason I just cannot stop playing it! You gain points for killing the enemy, getting combos, and many more other possibilities. You and your teammates share a pool of lives, and the only way to recieve lives is to survive each wave (which consists of five different assaults, one after the other... it is kind of confusing to understand at first)... If you have friends to play with over Xbox Live, you will find yourself staying up for countless hours always trying again and again to beat your previous score or to survive longer than before. It has it's variety of maps, some with large, open areas and some that are small and contained. You can also select the difficulty for it, and the whole skull idea is back in play from the previous Halo game.
Although Firefight mode is friend invite only, it has not been hard in finding people eager to play. And if you do not have a lot of friends, go and look through their friend lists (which a lot of people usually allow) for even more people, and so on. So in a way, there is an infinite amount of people you will be able to search for to get atleast three for a full Firefight game. And I have to say, although the Campaign is awesome, Firefight is the breadwinner of this game. It will deliver countless hours of fun for you and your friends. It is not as fun when you play alone, so getting together with some friends is highly recommended.
The second disc contains the entire Halo 3 multiplayer, including all of the maps...
Every single Halo 3 map, including three new ones, are integrated into the second disc's Halo 3 multiplayer. It includes all the multiplayer from the Halo 3 disc, including matchmaking. So in a sense, if you only played Halo 3 for it's multiplayer, you can now sell the original game for a trifle amount. The multiplayer is as fun as ever, but you all should already know about that. It's nice having all of the maps in one place.
CONCEPT: A story about the ODST soldiers in the ruins of New Mombasa right after the slipspace shockwave during Halo 2. Take control of The Rookie, as you search the ruined city searching for your friends, fighting vicious Covenant along the way.
GRAPHICS: Not much different from Halo 3, but you can definantly notice some improvements, as slight as some might be... but it is a pure beauty
SOUND: Typical Halo music, with a sense of loneliness and abandonment as a piano/violin plays occassionally during the Rookie's search scenes in New Mombasa.
PLAYABILITY: Controls are the exact same as Halo 3, and with the exception of the super powers the Spartants have, there is no difference in playability
ENTERTAINMENT: Definant fan service, but pretty good in it's own right. Firefight is fun and epic!
REPLAY VALUE: You may play through the Campaign only once or twice, but the Firefight multiplayer will keep you glued to your screen for a long time
There are a few places where Halo 3: ODST could have been improved, but they are easily overlooked as you enjoy this game. If you feel uneasy about the $60 price tag, atleast give it a rent. It is a great game.
- Jared Langston (Demigod Tyek)
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 05/21/12
Game Release: Halo 3: ODST (US, 09/22/09)
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