Reader Review: Halo 3: ODST

Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? Nick does, as he hangs with the Covenant in a smoky jazz bar.

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 Nick Rogers. If you’ve played Halo 3: ODST, or just want to ask Nick more about it, leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Halo 3: ODST (Xbox 360)

Halo 3: ODST uses the Halo 3 engine to return to an unfinished narrative thread from Halo 2. As an Orbital Drop Shock Trooper, you will face the Covenant threat in New Mombasa, unravelling a mystery along the way.


Atmosphere: ODST is set apart from previous Halo titles by its haunting use of Chiaroscuro. The dark, destroyed New Mombasa is well realised and I enjoyed simply being in it.

Story Within a Story: The audio-logs are my favourite collectable from recent memory. The narrative contained within is engaging and revealing. Having Vergil guide me to each pay phone or ticket machine provided some of my favourite gameplay.

Allusion: Dante’s Inferno, as a game, is now redundant. Bungie knows how to treat a literary classic. ‘Nough said.

Firefight: It’s great. Find some friends and go play it.


Missed Opportunities: The cast of Firefly is a welcome treat, but the dialogue, delivery and general plot don’t capitalise on all the talent and thought that is behind this game.

Stealth? The fragility of The Rookie changes the gameplay noticeably, but the enemy and AI don’t really allow for, or reward, a stealthy approach. You can hide in the shadows, but if you kill a grunt, everyone’s gonna know about it.

Approaching Fatigue: This is my favourite Halo game thus far, and I’d be happy to keep it that way. The scope of enemies in the Halo universe seems played out. I’d love to see Bungie work on something new, which is what they promised they’d do, freed of Microsoft.

Halo 3: ODST is a slower, thoughtful addition to the Halo franchise. There’s enough depth in the campaign to reward multiple play-throughs, Firefight provides near-infinite group fun, and the multiplayer is as enjoyable as ever. In a year, Bungie achieved an awful lot, and took some risks. I’d like to see more developers use existing success to experiment.

Reviewed by: Nick Rogers

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 disagree.

      wow, valuable input. i really like how you presented arguments and well articulated explanations of how you came to that conclusion.

      I think he has pretty much hit it on the head. I found it both engaging at fun, but was dissapointed i couldnt really just sneak around the city.

    I'd like to see a game played out as one of the covenant races, post-covenant. Perhaps as one of the hunter eels.

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