Review by xcamel24

"More of the same to an extreme"

First of all, I'll say I was as hyped up about Halo 3 as anyone else. But to say Halo 3 is this great incredible game would be a little too extreme. As I mentioned in my tag line, my biggest problem with this game is the more of the same- but I'll dive deeper into that later. As an avid fan of the first two Halo games, I won't say Halo 3 disappointed me, but it doesn't feel nearly as epic or incredible as the other two games did when they were released. I'll also say this right now, if you really enjoyed Halo 1 or Halo 2 or both of them, then you need to give Halo 3 a shot.

Gameplay: 7/10

Ok, first let me say that I've never heard anyone revel or highly praise the campaign mode. But after playing it, I've determined that it is not any better than the other two Halo games. In fact, the first Halo game still has the best Campaign mode of the three. But what makes the gameplay not a 10? First off, its all more of the same. It really hasn't changed at all from past Halo games. Not that other games don't do that. Zelda, Mario, Metroid, Metal Gear Solid, Street Fighter, and Super Smash Bros all offer that same kind of "more of the same" feel in their sequels. The problem with Halo 3 is that there wasn't that much to offer to begin with. You have multiple weapons and vehicles to use spread amongst the campaign mode, and you'll be using those in the multi player mode as well. The gameplay is somewhat shallow in that respect. Its not going to be anything new or different from Halo 2. You're still going to blow up Aliens with any weapons you can find. You're still going to drive vehicles around, you're still going to have to save the world, and you're still going to have to deal the with the Sgt. and all his NPC drones. While there are some nice additions, such as the deployable equipment, and the dual wield reload system. You can now also take small turrets that are deployed and rip them out of the ground and take them with you. They've also added a large array of vehicles as well, such as the Mongoose, the Elephant (not in the single player), and the Chopper, just to name a few. These all provide fun entertaining quirks to the game, but nothing that feels new or innovative. But if you come for more FPS Action, then I can't not recommend this game to you.

Graphics: 8/10

While the graphics are good, they aren't great. Perhaps some of that is because of the high bar set by Gears of War. In their own aspect the graphics are very highly detailed. All of the environments are lush and crisp and most areas have a lot of light to them. The artwork is incredible as well, Metroid Prime 3 on Wii might be the only thing that has better artwork at the moment. Either way, it says enough that there is a ton of effects, whether it be lighting on the suit, or the leg movements when you look down, the graphics have a lot of detail. While they aren't the best on Xbox by any means, they are certainly a step forward for this genre.

Story: 7/10

First of all, if you haven't played Halo 2's story campaign, you will be in big trouble here, because you won't have a clue what is going on. There is absolutely ZERO story introduction really- it just jumps you in right where Halo 2 left off. Most of the Xbox players out there have Halo 2, but on the offset chance you don't, you'll need to play it for the story to make sense. The story is enough to keep the game rolling, but its nothing complex or convoluted. But then again you don't need that great of a story for an FPS where its primary redeeming factor is multi player. Did I just say multi player?

Replay: 10/10

You'd have to an anti-Halo fan boy to not give this part a 10. The multi player is this game redeeming factor, if it were just a single player campaign this game would be awful. But the Xbox Live price per year is worth it just for this game alone. In fact, if you didn't have a single game at all but this one to play online, I'd say you'd be just fine. The matchmaking system is great, and everyone gets ranked. Microsoft does their online right, as they should, since you're paying for it. The options available to you on here are wide and varied, and keep the game rolling at a fun pace. You can literally spend hours if not days online just enjoying yourself, because there is such a huge installed user base and so many options to work with. Think the campaign is bland? Try going through it with four people at one time via Xbox Live. That will liven things up. Now if you don't like paying for online, there is the System Link option, so just grab a hub and some TVs, and call up your buddies. And yes, there is always split screen multi player for those who have two friends and you are the only one with an Xbox 360.

Sound/Music: 10/10

You wouldn't think a game like this would have such great music, but it really does. The sounds are incredible, and the soundtrack is a great mix of old and new favorites, mixing up the orchestral sounds with some electric guitar, and it all seems to blend well. The music always fits the mood, and it keeps the game feeling good.

Controls/Difficulty: 10/10

Yes those four wonderful Campaign difficulties have returned, Easy, Normal, Heroic, and Legendary. Easy is well, easy. Normal is for the average person who plays Halo or other FPS games on occasion. Heroic is for those who've been playing Halo online and playing the Halo games since the first installment, and Legendary is for, well the legendary. It is quite difficult, but if you're good or you have 3 really good buddies you can make it through. The controls have improved so some extent with the black and white buttons now the right and left bumper buttons. Reloading your guns has been set to those bumpers, and switching the grenades is relegated to the left bumper if you are not dual wielding. That leaves the X button for equipment, and the rest of controls as they were in the past. The controls are very customizable, so regular fans can enjoy, as well as N64 Goldeneye and Gamecube Metroid Prime guys who got used to not using another stick for movement and using buttons for strafing. The controls work great and you would be a hater to complain about the controls and difficulty.

Conclusion: 8/10

While this game isn't anything new or innovative, it is a fresh next gen version of death matches and firepower. I'd recommend this game to anyone who is a fan of Halo games, or any First Person Shooter Fan, or anyone who has an Xbox 360, because I don't know anyone who owns a 360 and not a FPS with it.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 10/08/07

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

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