I played through the campaign only and played one online match. Judging only on campaign, I'd give it a 8.7/10: Very good overall, however the storytelling elements become annoying towards the end and there's a few glaring issues on difficulty spikes and feeling like one is just running laps around an area rather than progressing. One thing that really bothered me about campaign were my squadmates driving. More than a handful of times, I wound up with my squadmate driving in circles and I had to get out, drive the warthog across a small area, get back into the gun seat in order to progress.
I wasn't grabbed by the story either, felt like something was 'missing'.
The graphics are beyond excellent, I think it's a type that people don't really realise how good they are, what effects are going on, how many are going on, no framerate dropping and several characters on screen with several effects on each. You really have to take a technical look at the graphics to appreciate them.
The replay mode is awesome, watching from every angle, seeing where you made mistakes, where you made smarter decisions. The online play is fun too(at least the lone match I played), balanced enough to where one player isn't totally dominating.
All considered, campaign, presentation, the replay mode, online/multiplayer/co-op modes, I'd give the game a solid 9.5/10
Comment by aelfin
Personally I'm distinctly underwhelmed. I'm only three full levels down, but it doesn't really either feel or look like Halo to me. The levels are too open (possibly to cater more for the 4-player co-op?), and the graphics boost serve mostly to make the levels look too complex for their own good (and thus just serviing to confuse re the layout) and also to make it not feel like playing Halo. It may sound weird, but the graphics are too shiny and detailed to *be* Halo, for me :/. It's strange coming across so many Brutes so early on; seeing AFAIK there isn't too many levels of enemies more powerful than Brutes in the Covenant hierarchy, it makes me wonder what they could possibly offer over the next 2/3rds of a game to mix it up. I guess it's a wait-and-see for me, but so far, it's just not that fun to play.
Comment by Lou3000
This is supposed to be THE premier title for the 360, and it delivers in a lot of aspects and doesn't in others. While graphics are not the only thing in a game, Halo 3 is a mixed bag. When you are outdoors, landscapes look great, in the woods and jungle is beautiful, and the scope is wonderful. Go inside and it feels like Halo 2 again. Brutes and even Grunts look great, but the humans look no better than Halo 2. These aren't high quality facial animations or mapping.
The story thus far (about halfway through) is good because of what it is, it is wrapping up almost a decade of video games. Where Gears of War had about the same amount of story telling, Halo 3 is better simply because there is so much past. That being said, it is really, really light on story if this is your first Halo game.
What can really be said about multiplayer, you either love it or hate it. The system surrounding it is great, but the run/jump/shoot style isn't everybody's cup of tea.
If I were reviewing this in a vacuum, then it is a solid B game. But I'm not, so it gets a B+ for finishing the fight (I guess I'm not finished with it yet).
Comment by PapaBear434
Warning, personal opinions ahead. Not all of them will be glowing in praise.
I never spent any money on the series, and don't intend to, but I have to say this game really surprised me with the little details. Played it over at my friends house this morning while the daughter was at school, so I have my initial impressions
Granted, they didn't reinvent the wheel here, but they didn't need to. What they did do was polish the living hell out of it, and I can only hope it serves as an example for all other games to follow.
Example: Going from a dark area to a light area, the field of view kind of washes out for a minute, and your "eyes" have to adjust before you can see quite right. Same when you go from a brightly lit area to an indoor area, waiting for your virtual pupils to dilate so you can see what's going on.
Another Example: Probably the best use of vibration I've ever seen in a console FPS. Not to rough, not to soft, and isn't abrasive. It's hard to explain, but they just did it RIGHT.
Last example: Bigger area's. I hated running around in tiny, identical corridors, getting lost simply because everything looked the exactly same. For something that everyone tried to make out to be so epic, it just seemed claustrophobic. Now, I feel like I am running around an actual battle, with big areas to cross somewhat strategically. And even if the AI (playing on one level higher than normal, whatever that was...) was little more than cannon fodder there for me to blast, it still felt impressive.
So, while I still believe that it isn't deserving of the hype this game receives (I maintain there are better out there on all the systems) the game is definitely deserving of a play through. Plus, it's insane amount of popularity will probably draw the lesser quality of character players among our gamer ranks (they always go with the most popular choice) so it will keep them away from my Quake Wars.
Sorry, loyal Halo fans, but you're going to act as the filter that keeps me safe from hearing a high pitched "FUKIN' NOOB CAKE FAGGOT!" when I stab them in the back with my knife while in disguise. Thanks in advance. :P
Comment by z0mbi
Halo1 was a perfect game to me. I had not played a game before, nor a game since that made me feel like such a complete and utter badass. Halo2 missed the mark on that one, and Halo3 does as well.
While I am enjoying Halo3 more than I did Halo2 (which I did not 'play' so much as 'suffer through'), there are a couple of things that are really annoying me. For one, the weapons in the game feel like they are suffering in single player for the sake of balance in multiplayer. The Assault Rifle is completely wimpified, being only really effective out to about 30 feet. Essentially, the AR has about as much range as the Shotgun. I was hoping to be able to play through the whole game with the AR like I did Halo1, but this cannot be the case. The Battle Rifle is far superior in damage, range, accuracy, and ammunition consumption.
That would be a dissapointing, but tolerable compromise for me...if there was ever actually any battle rifle ammunition anywhere. I'm about 3 hours into the game, and there is hardly any human weapon ammunition anywhere to be found. Even in the bunker level, where you are inside a hardened, fortified human operations base...there is barely any ammunition to be found. You are basically forced to use the covenant weapons about 80% of the time.
That said, the Covenant weapons are WAY more powerful then they have ever been before. To the point where they are all pretty much 100% better than their human counterparts. This pisses me off, because I hate the Covenant guns. I just want to use a damn assault rifle. Again, I think this all boils down to multiplayer balance effecting and ruining the single player game.
The story so far is good. I haven't run into anything thats pissed me off from a narrative standpoint. The only thing I'm up in the air about is every now and then, Cortana's image flickers in and out on the screen, and she says some cryptic words, and everything slows down until she goes away. Her dialog is mostly cheesey, and I don't understand why this is happening...but I'm hoping it will all be explained as things progress.
I really miss indestructable Warthogs :(
Comment by Scazza
Early Review: (2 Chapters In, Played a handful of MP and Forge, Farted around with the Theatre)
Single Player: So far the game feels like an extension of H2s singleplayer more so then H1s which everyone seems to think. The story seems to be pretty fast paced and trying to zip you along to the next part as quick as possible. No longer are the areas you fight in tiny and cramped (well, they are in most places), as places become much more open and the views are quite good. However, I know shooters tend to be short, I mostly breezed through the first two chapters and hope it dosn't end so soon.
Multiplayer: Seriously, its halo 2, so either you hate it with a passion (typical-elitist-PC-mouse-and-keyboard-junkie), or you think its the second coming of [insert your savior here] . Personally I think its just as solid as ever. The Matchmaking, Friends/clan system and Forge are all just incredibly solid. It makes a much tighter community feel when your all sitting around waiting for a map to load in the lobby and can make changes etc. The actual balance seems to also be perfect for each map. Random spawns put you just outside the action, and on team games everything seems to run smoothly on all the maps I have played so far. Then comes the forge. Which just happens to be not only one of the most fun things to do with a group of players, but also makes for making some really kick arse little clips/movies... Its like a mini Garrys Mod and it seriously can kill hours of time just messing around with stuff (Placing all the spawn points on the roof of a building with grav lifts and explosive crates all around!)
Extras: The DVDs that come with the Legendary Edition are pretty good, nothing special, but the Halo1/2 re-do is very good. The helmet its a nice little display and the 4 foot tall poster that comes wrapped around the box is cool too (Btw, if you think "omg, he bought legendary, he must be a big halo fanboy, what he says is bullshit", then thats great. But just an FYI, up until about 2 weeks ago I wasn't even planning on buying H3. I had no preorder etc. Reason I bought the Legendary is because I collect crap like that and knew that i would have regreted not picking one up later on...) The extras with in the game are also pretty hot. Theatre Mode is fantastic, one of the coolest things to be included in a console game. The fact that its so simple to download from Bungie, different movies, maps etc. Is awesome. Then there is the new Guide Friends list when your with in H3. You can see their rank, scores and uploaded files all from within your friends list. You can share maps, movies they made, or even their entire singleplayer campaign if you wanted to... all with tiny file sizes that makes it happen in seconds... Multiplayer Customization is also really nice. Game starts out with a bunch of locked suits but you can edits colours, "tag" (some sort of easy identification instead of having names everywhere) and emblems too. Adds good customisation to an already great multiplayer game. So far I havn't tried out any of the clan features, so can't comment on them, but I am sure they are good, saying everything else about the package seems to be well put together.
Things that "suck": For one, the singleplayer has some of the worst team AI ever. So many times the team will be shooting at something behind a wall. Great example is that right at the end of the first chapter is 2 covenant dropships fly down and surround you and you have to hold off for a bit. Well smart Arbiter and the marines all hid inside this big building and began shooting at the walls towards the drop ship! Map Selection is another thing I think may be weak. I havn't played all the maps yet, but so far there are some from H2, and the rest tend to fall in the either really big, or really small range. They arn't bad, but there just seems to be such a small collection of maps. Also the big maps seem to be less "intimate" in terms of detail. They are just big, open and symmetric maps that don't have much in terms of the little things the smaller maps have. I know its a weird argument as balance needs to be thought out, but they just seem like they didnt get as much thought. Finally, the last thing "bad" or good about the game is that its all very familiar. Personally I don't mind it, as its all solid, but I know some people will be put off that its pretty much the same game as H2 and H1, but with tighter stuff all around. Its not really all that bad, but it can get to you I think. We will see how that goes as I play through more of the game...
Sorry for the horrible grammar and bad writing etc... heh.
Comment by thunderclap8
I just finished the campaign, probably after about 7 hours of playing (4 after midnight last night, another 3 this afternoon).
While shorter than I expected, what's there is mostly excellent. The second to last level was simply annoying, with a difficulty level way out of whack with the rest of the game. But otherwise, game on. I don't have the ability to describe quite why, but this game's campaign felt much more like Halo 1 than Halo 2. That's a very high endorsement.
I haven't played with the multiplayer options much yet, so no opinions there.
I hate that the Halo 3 fanboys claim that this good game is a life-changing experience. I hate that they forget the past and make absurd claims.
I hate that Microsoft has overhyped the game. I'm honestly just glad the hype is over - but it isn't, because I guarantee we'll get a press release tomorrow talking about how many millions of dollars they grossed.
Most of all I hate reviewers who rubber-stamp a 10/10 on the game because they're afraid of the readership they'd lose if they didn't. It's not perfect, it's nowhere near perfect. In fact, it's not even the best single player shooter of this generation, and I have a feeling when COD4 comes out it won't even be the best multiplayer shooter of this generation.
Comment by D3Anon
I am one of the few who wont be finishing the fight, played both halo 1 and 2 and even endured the midnight launch for 2, but thanks to microsoft's shoddy console and price and not to mention the damage it does to one's electric bill i will not be buying the console. microsoft take a hint from the wii and ps3, if they have 0-5% console failure rate then its unacceptable to how high your freakin failure rate is, but now mind you i saw the ending online already and that ending was alone a big turn off for the game it wasnt mind blowing or anything interesting, ive seen some ps2 and psp game endings that blow away the halo 3 ending. now as for my review of the game i give it a 7/10. the game isnt groundbreaking on any scale, bungie couldve upped the graphics and push the 360 to breaking point since they had plenty of time to pole vault past gears of war and bioshock as the graphically beautiful game of the year. plus not to mention you really are fighting all the same enemies all over again and doing alot of the same crap you did in halo 1 and 2, but they did add some new things but it just looks like halo 2 in a wolf in sheeps clothing. so once again 7/10 for the whole game, but it loses a point for the shoddy manufacturing of the game cases that are loose during shiopment and that will cost microsoft in the long run, so 6/10 review. the music is the same just new tunes and remixes nothing new yawn. that is my 2cents.
Comment by dr.autoglocktavius
Why is everyone so upset about this game? I could see why being pissed if there was this much hype for Heavenly Sword - but Bungie actually put a lot of work into this game. They offer tons of options for customising the gameplay experience, bringing your friends together without hassle, 3 dimensonial replays that you can send to friends...you can even edit the games multiplayer levels (which are fantastically designed) with the forge. Seriously, this is a fully featured game that has a ton of material that Bungie didn't need to put in - but went beyond expectations to deliver. Now the single player campaign was apparently just decent - but even if you hate the single player the multiplayer offers so much. Why cant people just appreciate all the hard work developers put into games anymore and blame MS not Bungie for Game Fuel?
Comment by Crateman
I hate, hate, hate, the fact that such an average game is treated as being the greatest thing to ever grace the lives of humans. There are games that do everything that Halo 3 does and they even top the experience.
I hate when people refer Halo multiplayer as FAST PACED. Unreal Tournament is fast paced, Halo 3 feels like Doom.
I hate the fact that people drop 120 bucks on game. A single game with a couple of DVD extras -which could be free- and a nice case.
I hate that the Orange Box and Unreal Tournament will get shafted by reviewers everywhere because "It's not Halo".
God, I hate Halo!
Comment by EternalGameNation
I used to think Halo was mediocre, and I used to say it all the time, and wonder what was so good about it. Then I started playing Halo 2 online more frequently, and got completely hooked on it. I didn't like Harry Potter at first either, but then there was this huge following who said they loved it, and I started reading the books, forced myself through the first one, wanted to read the next, and then I found myself pre-ordering the seventh book in no time. The same thing happened with Metroid, I knew the game had merit because of it's fanbase, and even though it was hard to get used to, I kept playing, and eventually, once I got better at it, I loved it.
Most of the people who hate Halo are Sony fanboys anyway, but I think the majority of the people who aren't, suck at the game.
If you read nothing else, read this line.
IT IS A MEDIOCRE GAME IF YOU'RE MEDIOCRE AT IT. In other FPS games, you plateau, and you can't really get any better. This never happens with Halo, and the better you are at the game, the more fun you have. The best thing I could say to someone who sincerely wants to know what's with the hype, play it until you get really good. The more you play, the better it is.
Comment by Fabrice
My 2 cents. I've been a gamer for 20 odd years, and having been burnt often times i've learnt not to get into marketing hype (like many this generation seem to have). Also, i never could finish neither Halo 1 or 2.
I picked up my copy earlier today tho i have a friend who got it friday so i've been able to play quite a bit on it. At first i tried on normal difficulty and i was kinda underwhelmed. ok it looked really nice and the flying camera is quite awesome but i was kinda boring. After the first level i upped the difficulty to heroic (BTW the AI use different spots and tactics when you replay a level). That mode was a total blast. It was frantic, with more enemies and was way way fun.
I'm not sure if too much hype is doing any good to a game, yes sales follow but some end up disappointed. Yeah Gears looked better texture wise but the geometry in halo blows gears away (both look gorgeous i different ways) and the SP is IMO much more fun so far (only half way through tho) and i can't wait to try the coop online when thousands will be playing it for months to come.
I don't really care if it's the best FPS ever or not, i'm actually quite surprised to enjoy it myself. Outta the hype, it's actually quite a fun little title and worth of a playthrough. But then again, i think Blue Dragon, Space Girafe and Prey are worth a play. :P
Comment by Leobebes
Why so much animosity towards Halo? Because many gamers who don't identify with what Halo represents see it as a threat. RPG fans don't like too much freedom in their games, they like a game that requires little to no skill when it comes to gameplay. They are spoon fed a story through cut scenes, and press a couple of buttons to go forward in the gameplay process. Halo 3 is the opposite, it has plenty of cut scenes, which is rare for a first person shooter nowadays, and requires tremendous amount of user influenced game play. You actually have to constantly be on your toes as each enemy is a living breathing figure that is not a solitary cardboard cutout that shoots out turn based patterned attacks at the user. So therefore if Halo 3 continues to be the preferred favourably marketed genre of gaming, its a direct threat to those who want to see a industry leading linear JRPG or RPG at the forefront of gaming news.
Halo 3 is also a threat to platformers, gamers want to be as immersed in their characters as technologically possible. First person perspective enables gamers to feel more involved in their protagonist's moment to moment actions and seeing the action through their perspective rather than playing with a an overview of the character which leads to a loss of immersion and instead you are in control of a character model. Therefore platform gamers see the popularity of Halo 3 as a threat.
Sony fanboys and Wii fanboys see it as a threat because they do not want their rival to have the highest grossing game of all time. Plain and simple.
PC gamers see Halo 3 as a threat because they do not want to see more market share for traditional first person shooters keep shifting over to consoles, because they feel "the mouse and keyboard is superior". True UT3, CS, and Half Life are wonderful games but Halo has every right to be up there with them. PC gamers see Halo 3 as a threat.
Japan centric gamers see Halo 3 as a threat because they don't want to see an "American centric" game take so much attention away from all the industry news from Japan. They hate seeing dumb jock Americans setting trends in the video game industry. Therefore Japan centric gamers see Halo 3 as a threat to their purple haired, wide eyed Squeenix characters.
All in all when you have a game as big as Halo3, you are going to see many die hard defenders from various different types of genres criticize a game because it is a threat to what they all hold dear. Instead of seeing Halo 3 as a breakthrough in bringing gaming to the mainstream forefront of world culture they detest it because it is changing the way many people are wanting to play their games...with plenty of freedom. Freedom scares many people, throughout history and through out our modern world. Halo 3 is essentially about freedom and it might be too overwhelming for many gamers.
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