Frankenreview, Halo 3 (Xbox 360)

halo3box22.jpgHalo 3. It's Microsoft's trump card. Their ultimate attack. Their nuclear fusion kamehameha. And it's everywhere. More than any game that's come before, Halo 3 has transcended the cult borders of simple videogame launch to a full-fledged popular culture entertainment monster attack. But is the hype the fair response to Bungie's sweat or the product of Microsoft's mega-funded PR machine?

Hit the jump for our Frankenreview on Halo 3: you know, finish the reading. halo3graph.jpgTeamXbox Perhaps more than anything, we were particularly blown away by the scope and scale of the environments. The Halo series has always been known for its grand scale, and Halo 3 only makes things that much bigger and better. You won't be spending hours exploring underground complexes or anything here, as the development team decided to focus their attention on creating rich, immersive worlds...we're happy to report that Halo 3 is not only the best game of the series, it's the best Xbox 360 game to date. Halo3_campaign-4plr-TP-tsavo-05.jpgEurogamer It's not that the game is ugly - well, aside from the human faces perhaps, which look flat and unnatural and are the most obvious relics of the last generation here...It's just that, compared to games like last year's Gears of War, Halo 3 is an underachiever in graphical terms - but to our minds, any negative here is easily cancelled out by the joy of high framerates, no loading delays and an almost complete lack of any graphical glitches. It may not be gold, but it's the most perfectly polished silver we've seen. Halo3_campaign-4plr-FP-coven-04.jpg Gamer2.0 ...is it any big surprise that Halo 3 isn't able to live up to the insane expectations? Not really...[but]one thing that's still fresh in this third installment is the gameplay itself. It's much smoother and more streamlined than in the previous titles. There is more of a super soldier feeling with your controls (you can also tell now that you are clearly taller than everybody else). Weapons are balanced well and nothing seems to be too far off from their beta counterparts. Halo3_campaign-4plr-TP-storm-06.jpgIGN Let's get the Arbiter clear. He's the bad arse "Chief" of the Elites. He should be able to handle his own. In the campaign, the Arbiter and Master Chief are BFF. If you play alone, the AI takes control of the Arbiter and allows him to tag along. Enjoy watching your supposed equal getting shot in the face repeatedly and generally making himself utterly useless. What is the point of sticking you with an AI compatriot if all he's good at is respawning...it would have been nice to see such a prominent storyline from Halo 2 have more weight in the cinematic telling of Halo 3. chief_arbiter_02%20copy.jpg 1UP Where Halo 3 does surprise, however, is...stuff that may not seem like that big a deal on a bulleted list on the back of a box...Forge is a map editor, not a map creator — you don't craft any levels or alter their geometry; you only modify the contents within them. The Halo 3 difference, however, is you can actually play scored multiplayer games while doing so. This leads to all sorts of impromptu madness, like matches that simulate sports (try playing baseball with Gravity Hammers and Rocket Launchers), free-for-alls where new weapons and powers are constantly materializing out of thin air, or... well, you should just experiment with this mode to see all the insane possibilities. Halo3_MP_High-Ground_TP-08.jpgI wish Kotaku had the technical prowess for me to type-sing the Halo 3 theme music right now. Oh well.


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