Review by jasonethos

"Perhaps The Most Over-Rated Game of All Time"

Halo 3 is a game that would be hard pressed to live up to the kind of hype that preceded it. Some games do, some don't. But very few games get the advance hype of Halo. It is a shame that it really doesn't live up to the hype in any way.

I don't mean to say that Halo 3 is a bad game, because it's not. It's a pretty decent game, in fact. But the near perfect scores it has received from most in the media are downright ridiculous considering the game's content and issues.

Halo 3's graphics look suitably "next-gen" but that's it. That doesn't mean that it looks bad. It is, in fact, a very nice looking game with varied levels and a great colour palette. However, there are a lot of low resolution textures in this game. The lighting is very well done, though.

Graphics Score: 15/20

Halo 3's story won't make much sense to those who haven't played the previous game. For those who have, some of the story from previous games gets lost in the shuffle. In the end, it's good guys save the galaxy from the bad guys who will destroy it. In other words, not great, but not bad. I won't give away the ending, but I would describe it as "unsatisfying".

Story Score: 5/10

The gameplay is definitely Halo 3's strong suit. Many people like to state that the Halo franchise is just an average shooter, but that's really not true or fair. Enemies don't just stand there and let you shoot them. They adapt, they react and they make you work for it. The controls work well and are responsive. The level design is, for the most part, quite good. There is one level that is just too easy, regardless of the difficulty setting, and the second last level is simply one of the worst levels in a video game I've ever played, and I've been playing since 1978. It's a shame, because the other levels of the game are pretty fun to play.

The multiplayer aspect of Halo 3 is really a lot like Halo 2. In fact be it single or multi player, the game doesn't really revolutionize anything. It's fun for a little while, but I expected that at this point in time, considering technology, and the Xbox Live service, the Halo franchise would be thinking a bit bigger than they did with respect to multiplayer. The game's box states that up to 16 players can play online, but almost every mode is 4 on 4. And to not have at least 32 player online support at this point in time is really inexcusable. If console gaming is to ever catch up to PC gaming in this regard, 4 on 4 is not going to cut it. But at least there are a lot of different game types, so you shouldn't get bored that quickly.

Gameplay Score: 35/50

The game's sound is suitably bombastic for a game of this type, and Halo 3 supports dolby digital 5.1, which sounds great. The background music os a little unvaried, and if you get sick of the Halo theme being played constantly during a battle scene, you won't be impressed. But your enemies and allies have some great dialogue.

Sound Score: 15/20

Conclusion. Considering the lack of a seriously engaging story, and a seriously bad level (there are only 9, and one is really, really, bad), along with the small scope of the multiplayer game, I really can't fathom who so many in the press played ball with the expectations for this game. 9.5/10? 10/10? Almost every media outlet gave reviews like that, but it doesn't approach that kind of quality, unfortunately. Those who are fans of the game will do their best to love it, but as time passes, the truth will become more clear to everyone. This is a decent, but not great game.

Total Score: 70/100 (7/10)

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 10/05/07

Game Release: Halo 3 (US, 09/25/07)

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