Review by Tokyo630

"Bungie shows us where the Halo Franchise is going...and it's a great place."


Storyline: 9/10
The game starts out on an UNSC drop ship orbiting Earth, directly over Mombasa to be exact. You begin playing as "The Rookie", a silent ODST trooper who is new to the renegade squadron. You are accompanied by Romeo, Buck, Mickey, Dutch, and Veronica (also referred to as DARE). As soon as the game starts you drop to the surface of the planet, and are thrust into the dark Covenant-filled streets of Mombasa. When playing as the Rookie, you are locating the broadcasting beacons all around the city while in search of your lost team. A very interesting play style I might add, whenever you find a 'beacon', you see a flash back earlier on that day that led the 'beacon' to being where it is (examples are a bent sniper rifle, a broken security bot, etc.). I don't want to spoil anything, but overall the story is fairly gripping, and while the entire span of the game takes place in only one day, it feels worth while to see the story unfold.

Graphics/Controls: 9/10
I don't have much to say about either so I put them as a single category. Graphically this game delivers a slightly better resolution then that of Halo 3. They did add more detail to the weapons, and the VISR mode adds some cool effects to the graphical interface. Control-wise, you can expect the same old Halo controls you've come to know and love (especially with vehicles). I was very please with the graphics and the controls for this game.

Musical Score: 10/10
This is an often an overlooked area to judge a game by, but I had to mention the brilliant score this game offered. You might be thinking about Halo 3's in your mind, but let me tell you it is nothing at all like it, a very classical and whimsical feeling to it, almost like the Halo 3 soundtrack and a jazz ensemble had a child.

Gameplay/Difficulty: 8.75/10
While I am a devout Halo fan, I would say this game is only slightly better than Halo 3 entertainment wise. A new feature this game incorporated was the use of Health Packs and "Stamina" (aka a crappy 'overshield'). When in a firefight if your stamina gets too low your Health bar, conveniently located at the top of the HUD, starts to deplete and if empty...well you die. It becomes almost a chore sometimes to have to backtrack and find a health pack or med-station during some of the larger fights. Other than that minor detail, the game is fairly easy. I played through my first time on Heroic just to get accustomed to the new gameplay, and had almost no trouble beating it in 2 days.

Multiplayer-Firefight: 9.5/10
This is probably one of the better additions ODST ads to the Halo saga. Think horde from Gears of War meets the Halo universe. I've only played a handful of matches, but it is VERY fun! It literally works almost the same way Horde does. You start the match and there is only 1 skull activated to make the game more challenging. After every 5 waves you increase to the next round, and another skull is turned on to make it more challenging. This is a definite party/LAN party mode and should be tried by everyone!

Multiplayer-CoOp: 8/10
I have very little to say regarding this, however I felt it was worth mentioning. While I don't necessarily dislike the multiplayer option, it makes the game a little too easy. A Legendary run with 4 people isn't as challenging as it was when Halo 3 came out, and it seems that there just aren't enough enemies for 4 people to kill. Despite that fact, I did still enjoy the cooperative gameplay, I just wish it was a bit more challenging.

Achievement Difficulty: 2/10
10 obviously being the hardest, the majority of the achievements are story-based, and the only reason I didn't say WTF/10 is because of the Firefight achievements which actually pose a challenge. They consist of gaining 200,000 points on each individual Firefight map, with separate achievements for each.

Replayability: Moderately High


Aside from a few minor issues, this game is very good, and if you love Halo, you will enjoy ODST! Not to mention that the game includes a second disc with all 26 Multiplayer maps on it! If includes the Heroic, Legendary, Mythic, and ODST map packs as well ($40 worth of Microsoft points for free?!?!)

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 09/25/09

Game Release: Halo 3: ODST (US, 09/22/09)

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