Review by Calamity

Reviewed: 10/06/08

While it's one of the best shooters out there right now it has a lot of problems.

Hey everyone and welcome to my Halo 3 review. For this review I will be covering both single player and online. Now, Halo 3 if you somehow didn't know was a extremely hyped up game. It had a gigantic task of living up to one of the best shooting games ever. It's predecessor Halo 2 for the original Xbox. So, how did it do? It didn't live up to it, but it's still a good game. Anyways, onto the review now.

Graphics:9/10:The Graphics for Halo 3 are some of the best on the 360. Areas look well designed, gun shots look awesome and the spartans/covenant looks awesome. Guns themselves have fine designs and the Graphics overall are great. So, the Graphics get a 9/10.

Gameplay:7.5/10:Halo 3 is a First Person Shooter. You proceed through a level shooting at enemies and using cover to shield yourself from damage. In Halo one the shield was introducted. It was a health bar where when hit it would go down. Now, if you managed to not get shot for a small amount of time it would quickly recover though. It was a great feature and it still is now. As, it adds more strategic value to Halo 3. So, let's start with the campaign.

The campaign in my honest opinion was mediocre. Halo 2's was better, but not by a large margin. Most of the levels involve simply taking cover and gunning down enemies. Towards the end levels is where the problems with the campaign arise. The ending levels have some of the worst level design ever. Due to the fact you have tons of enemies trying to kill you and almost nowhere to take cover. So, most of the time you just have to frantically run and gun down the enemies. Hoping that no other enemies come after you right as you gun down a group of enemies. If they do your most likely dead due to not being able to find any cover to recover your shields. The final level is the absolute perfect example of this problem. The first part of it involves you killing a ton of enemies. That's perfectly fine if not for the cover problem. There is NOTHING to take cover behind in order to protect yourself from shots. It's almost suicidal going alone in the final level on anything harder then Easy. So, overall the campaign is mediocre. It gets tedious going down corridor after corridor later in the game. Plus, the final levels have terrible level design and hardly anywhere to take cover. Now, let's talk about the best aspect of the Gameplay. The online.

The online in Halo 3 is a lot of fun and quite balanced. Rather, the problem is the gametypes you get during Matchmaking and the programing. The Maps for the most part are balanced and maps that were previously unbalanced Snowbound, Epitaph due to the shield doors were fixed. Those shield doors on the maps were removed for the best. Weapons were also switched around in the maps. Now, let's discuss the good aspects and bad aspects of Matchmaking.

Matchmaking is basically where you just find a match. You can set some customization elements like good connection, quickest, my language or closest skill range. Then it begins searching for other players to play a game with. For Matchmaking ranks are represented by a number rank. You win a certain amount of matches your rank goes from 1 to 2. There are 50 ranks total, but believe me it's hard to get there. Since when you lose a match you lose some EXP. If you lose a lot of ranked matches in one playlist your rank will drop down by 1. Don't worry, there is social playlists for matchmaking. So, if you want to play more of a practice or less competitive game there you go. Now, onto my main problems with Matchmaking.

Most of the problems I discuss here are in the social playlists. Some occur in the ranked playlists too. Sometimes, during any playlist on Matchmaking you'll get a really dumb gametype. Like for Double Team(2V2) you'll get Oddball. Oddball is where you must grab a skull and hold onto it to gain time. The team that holds the skull long enough to reach the goal for amount of time needed wins. What's wrong with this is in Double Team there's not too much strategic options. Due to only having two players on both teams. It mostly just revolves around one person running around with the skull. While their teammate covers them and tries to kill off anyone who attempts to kill the ballguy. Another problem is during Social Playlists. You get really boring gametypes like Swords. Why is it boring? The gametype has no strategic value at all! The Sword takes some knowledge to use in a normal gametype, but in Swords it's just boring. Everyone either slashes at someone who doesn't notice them or has a sword duel with one guy. Sword duels usually just revolve around getting close to the other player after lunging and slashing as much as possible to kill that person. That's it really for my Matchmaking problem though. Onto my programming issue.

Halo 3 has a lot of problems with registering things. At times, where you're absolutely positive when you killed someone you won't kill them. Instead, they'll be alive and you'll be so shocked they didn't die you'll just end up getting killed. One time, I threw a Plasma Grenade at a guy's head. It stuck him and when someone has a stickied Plasma Grenade on them they're dead as soon as it explodes. He didn't die at all though! The guy remained alive and just ended up killing me. Well, that's it for my registering problems. Now onto completely positive aspects of the Gameplay. The Forge and Theater.

The Forge is a neat little feature Bungie put in. It's a decently more limited then what Bungie has Mapmaker. You can change maps around, put weapons on, change spawn points, and do a lot of different stuff. So, you can create your own maps and have fun playing it with friends in Custom Games. Not too much else I can say about Forge. Last onto the Theater.

The Theater is another great addition to Halo 3. Did you get a really awesome Running Riot or triple kill? Want to show it off to your friends? You can watch a entire match you had. If you want to just show them a certain part then you can take a part of it out and make it into a trailer. While watching matches and trailer you can stop the film, rewind, fast forward and change the camera view. You can also see the match from all other players point of view. So, overall great job with the theater Bungie. Well, let's talk about how balanced the weapons are during Multiplayer.

Weapons in multiplayer are very balanced. Rocket Launchers for example shoot slowly and are best used from a higher elevation. Plus, they only have two shots per clip and usually 4 rockets per Rocket Launcher. They aren't so good for taking out players, but fantastic for owning vehicles. As for the Assault Rifle it's a standard spawn gun. It does decent damage, has a decent fire rate and has a decent distance. It also has a large amount of bullets per clip and for overall Ammo as well. Next is the Battle Rifle. A very flexible and balanced weapon that doesn't stand out in really any specific category. It's burst fire, has very good range almost as good as a Sniper's, but not as good. It does decent damage per shot and shooting in the head with it does more damage. For our next weapon we have the Sword. It's a one hit kill if someone gets close to you. You can lunge at a opponent if they are nearby and the Sword reticule turns red. It's balanced because a player if smart can kill a Sword player strategically with use of smart grenades or flanking tactics. If those fail, then there's always the Shotgun. It has several bullets per clip, does a lot of damage at close range and is manually reloaded after every shot. Then there's the Spartan Laser. The official vehicle killer and basically one shot anything kill. The catch is it has to charge before it fires. Not to mention it also has only six shots. So, if you mess up that's one out of six shots gone. To make it fair of course the Spartan Laser charging can be canceled immediately if your target gets away. I mean now, I could go on and on with the how balanced the weapons are, but I think you get the point. So, next up are the special grenades Bungie added to Halo 3.

The Special Grenades are grenades that serve different functions. Not just for killing, but for protection or getting around obstacles. The Bubble Shield is a great example. It's a grenade you throw down and it creates a shield. In the shield nobody can be harmed by damage, but the opposing team can enter the bubble shield to get the other team by meleeing them or using close range guns. Next is the Regenerator. Anyone near it gets their shields quickly restored. So, basically you get the point regarding the Special Grenades. So, for the last thing to cover on Gameplay Custom Games.

Custom Games are just games for fun. Invite a few of your friends and play a game or two. Maybe on that awesome Forge map you made or a gametype you made. You can of course create your own gametypes and have a decent amount of customization doing so. Players can alter the running speed, amount of shields they have, gravity, if shooting opposing players restores health and so on. The Custom Games are great and have nothing really wrong with them. So, overall how is Halo 3's Gameplay?

Halo 3 is very fun in terms of Gameplay and my online shooter of choice to this day. The Campaign is disappointing, but the online makes up for it. The Online is pretty well balanced and so are the weapons. You have more options in Halo 3 for killing enemies and protecting yourself then several other shooters. The ranking system works great. My only real problem with the online is sometimes you get dumb gametypes. Even worse, is sometimes you get the worse possible gametype for the worst possible map. Either way, Halo 3's gameplay is a lot of fun and the online is terrific. The Campaign is bad though. So, Gameplay gets a 7.5/10.

Storyline:7/10:Master Chief hasn't ended the fight yet. He needs to shut down the Halo rings once and for all. Plus, finally take down the flood as well. The Storyline in Halo 3 is okay. The dialogue is decent and the scenes are fairly well directed. The main problem is the Storyline could have been so much more. A interesting plot twist does happen at the end of the Storyline though. Overall the Storyline for Halo 3 gets a 7/10. Now, then onto the last category Music.

Music:9.5/10:There isn't too much Music in the game. The Music you do find in the game though is fantastic. As for the sound effects they are top notch and sound absolutely perfect. You hear a gunshot it will sound like a gunshot. If you hear a grenade explode it's going to sound like a minor explosion. As for the voice acting, it's extremely good too. So, overall the Music gets a 9.5. The only problem being there could have been more Music. Now, then with all categories graded how is Halo 3 anyways?

Halo 3:7.8/10:The game was good, but didn't quite live up to Halo 2. For the Gameplay it's mostly the same, but with certain improvements and unimprovements. The Campaign is very bad especially towards the end. The Online is great. A lot of fun, mostly balanced and well done. The main problem with the Online was Halo 2 had better balance for the maps though. As time goes on, Bungie does update Halo 3 and fix most of the major issues on maps. Graphics are very good and some of the best on the 360, but not absolute best. Storyline is okay, but could have been a lot better. As for the Music, it's extremely good and the sound effects are fantastic. It's just that the game could have used more Music at the time. The Voice acting was great too. So, overall Halo 3 gets a 7.8/10. It's a good game, but not as good as Halo 2 in my opinion.

Rating:   3.5 - Good

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

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