Reader Review: Halo 3: ODST

Do you have what it takes to get a review published right here on Kotaku? Dean does, as he stays up all night in New Mombasa.

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

Halo 3: ODST (Xbox 360)

The Master Chief's work is done and he is kicking back for some well deserved R&R in deep space. Bungie though has not finished just yet with the Halo universe. ODST, or the Orbital Drop Shock Troopers, find themselves dropping into a rather heated New Mombasa where the Covenant have set up shop and are digging for a very juicy bone. As with every air drop in the history of war, our heroes land nowhere near where they are supposed to and it is here where the action begins. You take control of a silent rookie and spend the game piecing together and reliving the events of the fateful drop.


I can see in the dark: ODST has the best and most practical use of night vision in a game. When it gets dark - and this will happen often - your vision enhancement is a necessity to gain an advantage in combat. Try using this same tool in brighter areas and you will indeed go blind. This could be an issue if activation was clumsy but it feels very natural switching between the two with a touch of the X button.

Is this District 9? Although the main story had all the ingredients of an uninteresting generic action movie, I found myself intrigued by the side story that can be followed through finding download points hidden throughout the city. The voice acting is fantastic, even though I could not help but picture Wikus van de Merwe as one of the characters.


Déjà vu: Everything you do in ODST has been done before by the Chief. Street battles, snipe, drive a banshee, drive a scorpion, fly a ghost, traverse a highly repetitive underground facility and even drive to safety. A little more variety would have helped immensely to the enjoyment of this game.

Double déjà vu: Although the backgrounds to the levels are visually stunning it does not hide the fact that many levels are the same rooms linked via hallways with minor changes to the furniture. With Bungie more than experts with their engine a greater variety in level design would have led to more varied tactical opportunities and experiences.

ODST is an expansion pack at best and many will enjoy eating the seconds that Bungie has served up. Just don’t go in expecting a new-tasting dish.

Reviewed by: Dean Henderson

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.


    Not a bad review, but personally I'd like to see the now cliched "loved/hated" format get the arse, it'd allow for more creativity and less dry reviews. A word limit is all that's needed.

      There is a word limit...

      How good is District 9!

        District 9 is horseshit.

        This review is better, but only by a bit.

        Out of curiosity where is horseshit on the scale of fecal matter and what creatures excrement is that little bit better? I am hoping donkey.

          Haha. That reply was entirely redeeming.

          And the answer is reindeer poop:

    I liked the EFFORT put into it such as voice acting and that and the game was definately playable. However it wasnt a very enjoyable game. I hated the health damage system fogging up your HUD with LOTS OF RED after not much damage. I also hated the night vision illumination. I would prefer a flashlight thanks. There was no order and it was horribly confusing. I only had fun on the vehicle levels and the last bits in the game (the *actually* exciting ones)

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