Review by RSVP the ASAP

"A Great Follow-up to Halo 2"

Halo 3 had a lot of hype to live up to, and it certainly has done that and a little bit more. Like it's predecessors, Halo 3 is a game that you will play a few times for its campaign, but primarily for the multiplayer experience. The plot is frankly unsatisfying and will leave you feeling as if Halo 4 is on its way, but it likely isn't.

But while Halo: Combat Evolved and even Halo 2 were games about impressive technical features, fun features, a somewhat engrossing plot, and revolutionary multiplayer, Halo 3 is all about gameplay. It's not that those previous features have been ignored; the point is, you will have more fun playing this game than the its predecessors combined.

Graphics-9/10. The graphics are still great, and they work amazingly for the game. Rarely is there any slowdown and textures are mapped wonderfully. However, the game simply does not look as fine-tuned as other new releases on the system are. Don't get me wrong, the graphics are eye-popping, but not the definitive picture of recent Xbox 360 games. The graphics improvement from Halo: Combat Evolved to Halo 2 was a huge jump; the improvement from Halo 2 to Halo 3 is a smaller jump. It is also not rendered 1280x720 HD resolution, so those of you with huge HDTVs hanging from your basement wall, be careful. Overall, a solid and distinctive look with a clean presentation makes this game easy on your eyes.

Sound-10/10. Halo has never failed in this department, ever. Another sweeping score has been written for another sweeping campaign. In fact, go buy the soundtrack. I may do that myself very soon.

Gameplay-9/10. New weapons, old weapons, new sounds, old sounds, new characters, old characters, new maps, old maps, etc. Everything you'd expect and nothing more, but since everything you've been expecting was amazing, the gameplay is amazing.

Campaign-8/10. Like the campaigns of Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2, the Halo 3 campaign is very grand but not very long, and certainly just as unrewarding. Bungie does a fine job structuring the plot, but struggles to bring closure to it. Because of its shortness, you will find yourself wanting to play it again, but the campaign does not offer much variety and will lose its appeal quickly. Play it for the plot and for the sheer fun of it; do not expect it to be the most memorable campaign you have ever played.

Multiplayer-10/10. Luckily for you, Halo 3 comes with an almost incomparable multiplayer game that will keep you busy for hours. With new weapons and new maps, the multiplayer game has a reached a peak that few other games will attain. A new feature, Saved Films, allows you to record matches and then view them at your leisure, so next time you tell someone you got 40 kills in one match, you can prove it to them. Another feature, Forge, allows you to insert and move around objects on maps. This feature is unbelievably cool; on any map where Forge has been used and enabled, you can edit the map on the fly. You become the Monitor, and are still vulnerable to bullets, but who cares? There is so much stuff you can do with Forge, dying seems like a very secondary concern. Sick of people blowing you to smithereens with rocket launchers? Remove them halfway through the match. See a group of guys clustered together, just asking to be blown to smithereens? Drop a tank right next to your location and fire away. Just want to play a joke on everyone? Change the ammo counts on guns. Just want to have fun? Bump up the speed and the lower the force of gravity, and you'll be flying. Just remember that there is a limit to how many things you can change; we can't go too far now.

Anyway, I know most people read reviews just to see what's new and what's good, or what's not new and what's crap, so just go buy this game and play it yourself. Play the campaign first; it would be heinous not too. Start on heroic, as playing on normal is actually a tad too easy. Then head into multiplayer, play a few matchmaking matches, and then head into custom games and start messing around with Forge and Saved Films. Actually, you should probably play all of your other favorite multiplayer games before playing Halo 3, since Halo 3 multiplayer will consume your life for awhile.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 10/30/07

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

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