Review by KaRath_

"Roll out, Marines and get Halo-ing again!"

Yes, the so called "stealth" mechanism they added certainly wasn't really that "stealthy" ... then again, I didn't sign up for Tom Clancy's <insert generic tactical shooter> here. I was expecting the Halo experience, the exhilarating run-and-gun experience from beginning to end. And yes, I wasn't disappointed one bit. Strap into your pods, and jump down into Halo once again... and this time, you're not Master Chief, therefore you will die as soon as one plasma shot will hit you! Because you have no shields!

Just kidding.

Halo 3: ODST brings a new character called "The Rookie" from the forces called the Orbital Drop Shock Troopers, or ODST for short, into the story. If you're a die-hard Halo fan or somewhat knowledgeable about the Halo universe, you know that the ODST are pretty much the Spartans of the normal marines - tough, hard and really good fighters. So know you get to play as one of them. However, the key difference is that The Rookie, not being augmented like the Chief, cannot jump, run, or do anything remotely as cool as the Chief. Except for killing Covenant. And being able to see back into the future by picking up one object. That, my dear friend, is PRO.

So, what's this new fangled "stamina" system all about? Look, to explain it in ten words not counting these, it is exactly the same as your shield as Chiefy. Except for the red tinge and no indication except for the red-ness which is kinda like Call Of Duty 4, it is the exact same. He can still take a lot of damage.

Also you'll be glad to know you have no radar. I mean, you'll be NOT glad to know you have no radar. Instead you must use a GPS (look, the tutorial for the GPS? Just press A or whatever button to skip it. We wanted to kill Bungie for the most horrible tutorial EVER. Sorry Bungie. It just was that bad.) You still can see enemies and stuff, but it's just that little harder. However...

This is where the introduction of the visor system begins. The visor system shows up objects, enemies and objectives. It also amplifies light, so you can see at night. However, this means you cannot use it in the day. Therefore it's only usable in the later flashback scenes and night time missions. Yes, it's pretty good, because you can see where stuff is, but it just feels a bit cheap. It's kinda like having an FPS with a heat-sensing goggle where you can see ALL the enemies. Yeah.

Flashbacks? Is the Rookie some kind of mutant who actually is my father? No, you can be assured he isn't. However, the fact that he can touch an object and see what happens is pretty amazing. The flashback system creates a good comparison between day and night, as well as filling in lots of story. So ODST is a game with tons of storyline to help those story junkies fill up. The story is great, so sit back and enjoy.

Another change to Halo is the combat system. According to accurate sources I have (no not google or wikipedia!) one very high up Bungie staff does not like dual-wielding or the Battle Rifle, hence it has been taken away. It makes sense if you think about it though. The Battle Rifle was overpowered and needed to be taken away. We've been given two new toys to play with, the all old-new pistol that takes us back to Halo 1... though it's still a bit on the weak side. It's also silenced, and as well the silenced SMG which also has a scope... taking away duel wielding is reasonable at this point, as I don't think you can scope with two guns...

And there's a new "enemy" called the Engineer. Once again, if you know Halo-lore you know the Engineers are peace-loving hippies with lots of tentacles... which like fixing stuff. Anyway, these things in certain situations must be killed. They give overshields to any of your enemies near them. And they're very, very tough to kill. Thankfully you are given a choice to kill them or not, as they do not do any harm to you. Note that trying to take out a Engineer with guns on Legendary may deplete 300+ bullets. You have been warned.

Other than that? Running action, the same good music that's... new, the fact that there is no Flood (L4D must have borrowed them...) and the gameplay that is just called "Halo"? It might not be as long as Halo 1, but get three friends over on system link. It's a blast. Regardless of people whinging it's not a long enough game, good FPS shooters are to-the-point, short and addictive. That's my kind of game.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 10/08/09

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

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