Review by PIKAPIKA_3
"Yet another solid Halo game"
"Yet another solid Halo game"
Halo: the name says it all. Most, if not all, gamers should be able to recognize the armored faceless man we all know now to be Spartan 117, aka Master Chief. With the success of the past two games, does this one live up to its expectations?
Halo 3 picks up where Halo 2 left off, continuing Spartan 117's struggle against the Covenant, an alien race which attacked Earth, and the Flood, a parasite with the potential to wipe out an entire species. The Campaign in this game wraps up the story, albeit not very well. You'll know what I mean once you beat the campaign for yourself. The Arbiter plays a much less important role this time around, and acts more like a sidekick.
Ah, the simplicity of Halo. Look around, find some prey, chuck some grenades, spray and pray. The controls of the game are simple, and allow for lighter gaming than other more tactical FPS games. That's not to say that this game doesn't require skill, it does, but because of this nice and easy to learn control scheme, anyone can pick up the controller and get a few kills on their own.
Halo 3, although more complicated than its predecessors, is more or less the same. Anyone simply delving into Halo 3 will be able to pick up the controls rather easily (but why would you start out on Halo 3? Play Halo 2 first). With the addition of equipment and the modification of button placements, Halo 3 takes a little time to adjust from Halo 2.
The weapon set of the Halo universe is limited in variation. However, because of Halo's "you can only hold two different weapons" policy, the limited weapon set seems to be much less of a problem. Tossing and acquiring weapons can be a difficult choice, and will require you to mix and match combos to balance out your attack capabilities.
All of Halo's favorites return, save the Brute Plasma Rifle (which was worthless to begin with). Most of the weapons have been tweaked one way or the other, to balance out their uses and disadvantages and to enable more enjoyable gameplay. Some examples of this are the Energy Sword, which now has a much smaller lunge and has ammo, and the Plasma Pistol, which drains battery much much faster and has less effective tracking.
-New stuff: Equipment!-
A new addition to Halo 3 is equipment, which took over the X-Button. The various kinds of equipment can range from useful to worthless. The Bubble Shield is an example of a useful piece of equipment, protecting you from outside harm. An example of worthless equipment is the Flare, an item that will blind both you and your opponents. Equipment can be used any time you have it, and can turn the tide if used properly.
One of the defining points which has made Halo great is its seamless integration of vehicles in combat situations. Most vehicles return in this installment, along with some newer vehicles such as the Mongoose, an ATV-like vehicles which has minimal offensive and defensive capabilities but has maneuverability and speed. Vehicle use in this game is just as important as ever, particularly on the map Sandtrap where a massive vehicle called the Elephant acts as your teams base.
While Halo has a mediocre story and campaign, what defines this game the most is the multiplayer experience. With a variety of game modes, from free-for-all kill-fests to good 'ol Capture the Flag, the multiplayer experience of Halo is what makes the game worthwhile. The inclusion of EXP in this game seems to do its job rather nicely, and the amount of team-killing and quitting has gone down by a lot.
From lush forests to an abandoned city, the look of Halo 3 is certainly worthy of mention. Shiny surfaces reflect light and explosions look nice and bright. The graphics of Halo 3, while not nearly at their full potential, are excellent as they are.
Ba-da-da, BOOM, AUGGHHHH! The sounds of Halo are somewhat plain, with weapons that don't sound as powerful as they should and death cries being simply death cries. This isn't much of a problem, though.
What is a problem is the volume of voices in cutscenes. In many cases, the characters don't speak entirely clearly or they simply aren't loud enough. However, the game has a nice musical score and that salvages part of the sound.
Play Time/Replayability: 10/10 (4/10 without Xbox LIVE Gold)
The campaign lasts a good 6 (give or take an hour based on difficulty) hours from start to finish. With the inclusion of the ability to have 4 player co-op over LIVE or the system link, the campaign can be re-played multiple times without getting old (save for the god-awful second to last level). The multiplayer over LIVE will last you for decent amount of time.
However, if you don't have Xbox LIVE, this game will not be worth the $60. You're better off renting it if you just want to "finish the fight".
Overall Score: 9/10
Well, looks like the end of this review. If you're looking for a nice run-and-gun FPS with great multiplayer, I would recommend this game without a moments hesitation. However, if all you want is single-player, or if you don't have LIVE, I recommend not wasting your money.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 01/03/08
Game Release: Halo 3 (Legendary Edition) (US, 09/25/07)
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