Reader Review: Halo 3: ODST

Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? Steven does, as he fights fire with fire and a pistol shot to the head.

Yes, that’s right, we’re now publishing reader reviews here on Kotaku. This is your chance to deliver sensible game purchasing advice to the rest of the Kotaku community.

And thanks to the very kind chaps at Madman Entertainment, purveyor of all kinds of cool, indie and esoteric film, the best reader review we publish each month will win a prize pack containing ten of the latest Madman DVD releases.

This review was submitted by the one-man reviewing army that is Steven Bogos. If you’ve played Halo 3: ODST, or just want to ask Steven more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Halo 3: ODST (Xbox 360)

Halo 3: ODST is the fifth game in the Halo universe, and serves as a prequel to Halo 3. In this game, you do not don the Chief’s Spartan armour, instead hopping into the drop pod of the vastly imaginative ‘the rookie’ of the Orbital Drop Shock Troopers.


Fight fire with Firefight: Without question, Firefight is the highlight of this game. A concept that has seen the rounds in almost every major shooter (horde mode in Gears of War, survival mode in Left 4 Dead), Firefight pits you and up to three friends in a battle against wave after wave of continuously spawning enemies. It is done with enough polish and enough features to ensure that it doesn’t get old quick, remains fast paced, and feels rewarding.

Firefly: Nathan Fillion, Adam Baldwin and Alan Tudyk, made famous by Joss Whedon’s Firefly, voice the other, more talkative members of your squad, and they do a pretty good job of it. Even though some of their lines may be horribly written, they still deliver them with a top notch performance that is entertaining to listen to.


Over too soon: A friend and I managed to finish the campaign mode of ODST in just less than 4 hours. For a full priced $99 game, this is just disgraceful. Sure, it’s padded with things like Firefight and all of the previously released Halo 3 multiplayer DLC, but there is just not enough here to justify the price tag.

Nothing New: There isn’t anything in ODST that you haven’t seen in Halo 3. All of the same weapons are here, all of the same vehicles are here, all of the same settings are here and all of the same enemies are here. Even one of the most climactic battles of Halo 3, the fight against the Scarab, returns in ODST, except it is done in the level where you pilot banshees and is so easy that it ruins the fun of it.

Halo 3: ODST is a shining example of a full priced game that should have been an expansion pack, or several pieces of DLC. As it stands, the only time it would be worth it to purchase this game is if you’ve never played Halo 3, and even then, I’d recommend just buying Halo 3. Either rent it, or wait for it to hit the bargain bin.

Reviewed by: Steven Bogos

You can have your Reader Review published on Kotaku. Send your review to us at the usual address. Make sure it’s written in the same format as above and in under 300 words - yes, we’ve upped the word limit. We’ll publish the best ones we get and the best of the month will win a Madman DVD prize pack.


    I purchased it new for $79 and because i didn't own any halo games it wasn't a bad buy. The single player campaign was pretty poor though, level design was horrid > just one poorly lit city with the same render/skin whatever you call it used throughout. Lots of right angles and the same 5 or 6 monsters for the entire game. I just wish the monsters had some hit detection, the city was a little bit more varied in its design and the ability to duel wield wasn't taken away. Also kind of hard to enjoy the weapons when it takes an entire clip or two to bring down one monster. (yet two up close smash's to the face take em down?) Anyhow got the multiplayer cd out of it which made it worthwhile. (by the way this is a rant and by no means a review, im not that bad lol)

    It seems that many people are whining about the price tag. To be honest with you I have more value out of this so-called expansion pack than many full priced games I have played. The fact is it is really enjoyable to play. Is it just me or does it feel a lot smoother than Halo 3. The firefight mode is completely awesome and I have finished the campaign on legendary co-op and it took me about 7 hours. Plenty of value for me. The graphics on my elite with the HDMI cable look awesome and I really enjoyed the night vision. To me worth every penny.

    "A friend and I managed to finish the campaign mode of ODST in just less than 4 hours."

    This seems to be a common point in a lot of reviews I've read. What difficulty did you play at? How long was campaign in single player?

    I don't recall other game reviews talking about multi-player speedruns.

    I agree with Bill.

    I'm glad that not everyone is obsessed with this "expansion pack" idea.

    If you finished it in four hours, you did it wrong.

    Hey Bill, do you work for Bungie/Microsoft or do you just enjoy getting screwed?

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now