Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Halo 3: ODST - Xbox 360
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on September 24, 2009
I've read a few reviews here, and I think that, although there are some valid points, people are treating ODST as something that it was never meant to be.
So, what is ODST? It's an expansion. Expensive? Yes, but one has to realize that in reality, it's several expansions built into one, a `collectors pack' for Halo 3 fans. (After all, it's named Halo 3: ODST, not just Halo: ODST)

So, before I break the game down, let's examine what ODST really is.
1. Campaign (Short, yes...Fun? Very.)
2. Fire Fight (One could say a different campaign. After all, a single match with good people can be hours long, and that's one match.)
3. All the maps (A $20+ value, considering there's two map packs worth 1600 Microsoft points, not to mention the three new ones.)
4. Halo: Reach Beta (Remember lockdown, with it's Halo 3 Beta? Yeah...)
Okay, first things first. The Campaign:
This is fun. It's far more tactical than any Halo game before it, and allows for so many new opportunities. Once in Heroic, you find yourself planning assaults, sneaking, factoring in how many grenades you have. Ammo is so sparse that you're constantly forced to re-adapt and pick up new weapons, rather than keeping with the same two weapons (As was much the case with the first three halo's). The characters are new, which again, is interesting. The Visor?...Man, probably my favorite addition. It's so cool to able to switch around views, to get tactical or go all out. Wonderful. Not to mention the addition of engineers, which do nothing but add to the depth of game play and emphasize strategy.

Fire Fight:
Let's be honest. Mention Gears 2? You hear about horde. Mention Call of Duty WaW? Nazi zombies. Now halo has it's own, and it is beautiful. Fuller maps, with each offering their own advantages and disadvantages. The new call-sign features allow for quicker identification, and the new drop-off system (The enemies come in on Phantoms, rather than just spawning) allow, again, for strategy. Ammo shortages are common here, so know your weapons. The skulls always add a bit of flair and make each and every round a new experience. My only complaint? When I play with my Australian friends, the game is pretty laggy.

All the maps:
I wish I had known this going in. Woulda saved me twenty bucks. You know about new maps, right? The new three; awesome. A much called for remake of midship, an open map that will make for interesting swat, and a dock that features dingies and floating crates. Awesome, right?

Halo Reach: Beta trailer:
-This- is Halo 4. This is the one that's going to blow people away. (For those who know the story, well done. Reach is actually...er, Halo -1? It's a prequel). This is the unsung hero of ODST, as I already can't wait. Remember people buying Crackdown ($60) for Halo 3 alone? This is much the same thing; only you also get the above mentioned features. No brainer, right?

So, overall? If I knew someone who only had 60 to spend, I'd point them in the direction of Oblivion or Fallout or the like. But, for someone who knows they're getting a huge expansion, and loves Halo? This is all but a must have. Just know what you're getting into; it's not a standalone, but it's still pretty awesome.
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on November 3, 2009
Concept: 7/10
Halo 3: ODST introduces a new Special Forces Recon Soldier for the Halo Universe. The Orbital Drop Shock Trooper is a darker, ligher armored version of a Spartan with silent weapons. That's pretty much it.

Story: 9/10
The story is very well written, well told, and well acted by Firefly and BSG veterans. It is really entertaining and one of the best parts of the game. However, it is told through flashbacks and is somewhat difficult to understand your first time through. You might be confused at times, but in the end, it all makes sense.

Gameplay: 8/10
It's Halo 3, with a couple new guns and a slight improvement to the health system. Your character sounds 'in pain' when your health is low, reminding you to stay behind cover. There's also a night vision visor that you can toggle on and off. Unfortunately, the game seems too dark if you don't have your night vision on, and if you use it in areas that are fairly well lit, you're almost blinded. In the end, the night vision seems extraneous. The game would have been better if the dark areas were just a bit brighter, but still cloaked in shadows.

Level Designs: 6/10
There is an open ended city area where you can explore and Convenant troops are being dropped in to battle. This is new to the Halo Universe and it works quite well. Most of the game takes place in New Mobasa, a futuristic African City that is being invaded by the Covenant. The look and feel of the city is pretty impressive, but overall, the levels feel redundant. Fight in corridors, defend an area... You know you've got problems when the Campaign is only 5 hours long, and the Missions feel repetitive.

Sound: 9/10
The music is foreboding and adds to the grim atmosphere while the effects bring the battles to life.

Replay Value: 7/10
You can start the campaign after lunch and finish it before dinner.
There is a Firefight Mode which is like Gears of War 2's Horde Mode, but ODST features an additional challenge where each wave of enemies has a special behavior like "Dodges Grenades." This mode is for friends and invites only. I understand that Bungie is trying to prevent the Leroy Jenkins of the world from ruining the fun, but it really sucks to not be able to play a pickup game.
There are 3 new Multiplayer Maps for Halo 3, too.

Maturity - The game is rated M because the Halo series is rated M, even though the action is pretty tame.

Overall: 7/10
Buy this game if you're a Halo Collector, you've got a bunch of buddies that still play Halo 3 and will use the Maps and Firefight Mode.
Rent this game if you just want to play the Campaign. It's only 5-6 hours long.

I'd recommend waiting for the price to drop before buying ODST because if you spend $60, you're going to feel ripped off.
$35 for this game feels about right.

NOTE: Amazon and a bunch of other stores are selling ODST for under $40 now!
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VINE VOICEon September 28, 2009
First off, that's pronounced Oh-Dee-Ess-Tee, fellow gamers. The game store clerks wish to punch you in the face when you attempt to say a game's acronym as an actual word. Trust me. Anyhow, "Halo 3: ODST" is a separate Haloverse story that strips itself of the series' iconic hero Master Chief. There are no super-powered Spartan cyborgs to pull humanity out of the fire in this one. Just you and your squad of Orbital Drop Shock Troopers standing between the hostile alien alliance known as The Covenant and the death of humanity. No pressure, though. The game was originally formulated as a mere add-on to Halo 3, but eventually grew to full-fledged game status. This has offended a lot of sniveling whiners who ran out and pre-ordered their copies based solely on the typical Halo hype and then sobbed themselves to sleep because they have no concept of story and ran through the game with 3 friends on Easy difficulty and found it too short on action for the money they spent. Real gamers will find that while the price tag may be a bit high if you already paid for all of the downloadable maps and don't gather your friends together regularly to partake in the phenomenally fun "Firefight" mode. But if you plan on enjoying this game to the fullest, you will not be disappointed.

As a single-player game, "ODST" runs a bit short and may be less bang for the buck then one might hope for. However, the manner in which the story is told is absolutely phenomenal. You begin your ill-fated mission hurling towards the Earth (which has just been invaded by Covenant forces) on a special-ops mission. But something goes wrong and your pods are separated and crash in different locations all over the Covenant-occupied African city of New Mombasa. You wake up as a trooper known only as as "the Rookie" many hours after hitting the ground in the dead of night. From there you search the city for clues about the whereabouts of your comrades. Each time you find a clue (such as a fractured helmet or bent sniper rifle) the game flashes back to a different member of the squad and you play out the scenario as that character and witness the events leading up to the object finding it's resting place where it will be discovered hours later by The Rookie. In addition, there is another side story littered throughout the city in the form of 30 audio files that chronicle the adventures of a young girl caught in the middle of the invasion. It's quite enthralling and I found myself looking forward to finding more pieces of that puzzle even more then the main story. "ODST" is a masterpiece of storytelling in that rite and it's why a lot of people won't enjoy it. They prefer to skip past the story segments and run around with their friends teabagging each other along the way. To really experience the game as it's meant to be played, you need to go it alone and absorb the atmosphere,loneliness and ambient noise of the ruined cityscape. Half of this game is enjoying the tension of relying on cover of darkness, using your excellent night-vision visor to it's utmost, hearing the amazing soundtrack, and exploring the city looking for audio files or finding the best ways to get the drop on roving patrols of enemies or the entrenched Covenant forces.

Same old Halo gameplay here. That is to say it's as good as first-person shooters get. But since you are not a Spartan, there are differences. First off, no shield. Your armor can take a few hits before your screen will turn red, indicating that you are fatigued and are taking damage to your health bar. To recover, you must stay out of combat for a time. It's not a lot different from past games, but you can't take quite as much punishment. You also no longer have gravity-defying jumps or one-hit kill melee capabilities, and no more dual-wielding. Don't go jumping off any cliffs either. Wipes your stamina right out. You also get one new Covenant race -whose mystery turns out to be central to the story-, a brand new weapon in the form of a silenced SMG which quickly became a favorite of mine, and the extremely welcome return of zoom capabilities on the pistol. I was hoping for more of a focus on stealth aspects, but Bungie couldn't help but make most of the levels typical shoot-em-ups. This definitely diminishes Master Chief's importance as I felt I kicked as much or more tail as an ODST compared to when I played the penultimate Spartan. But I sure as hell did have a great time doing it. There's also plenty of vehicular mayhem to enjoy. They could have easily recycled the epic score from previous games, but instead they crafted a new one that is as good as any they've done. And that says a lot considering every Halo score is among the greatest in gaming.

Okay, enough about single-player. Games like Gears of War 2 and Left 4 Dead gave us a new mode of gameplay where you are challenged to take on wave after wave of increasingly difficult enemy attacks and survive with a little help from your friends. Not to be outdone, Bungie has crafted their answer in Firefight mode, which can go on for hours at a time if you're good enough. If the campaign wasn't action-packed enough for you, get three buds together and get ready to be dropped in a very defensible position with a set number of lives (more can be gained) to endure endless waves of attack from every baddie in the game. Watch those snipers! The longer you survive, the more difficult the game makes it for you. It will start turning on "skulls" which make the game harder by decreasing ammo drops, empowering enemies, or otherwise making your life harder to keep. This mode is ODST's crown jewel, for sure. They've even added extra kinds of medals for you to earn based on your performance in battle. Firefight is unlimited fun and a FPS fan's co-op wet dream, plain and simple. If that still is not enough, the second disc of the set contains "the complete Halo 3 multi-player experience" which consists of every map ever made for the game and three brand new ones. 24 in all. That is a ton of maps and seeing as they run a few bucks apiece if you download them from Xbox Live that is a large value if you've been holding out. Even if you haven't bought Halo 3, you can join in the fun and madness of murdering complete strangers and then desecrating their corpse while they are forced to watch with all of the extra content using this bonus disc. If you are that guy, then this game is a steal. But I don't know that that guy exists.

Killer story: check. Awesome action: check. Multiplayer badness: check. New additions to the ever-growing Haloverse mythology: check. Incredible soundtrack: check. Yup; this is one fine game. Haters, keep on hating. Bungie gave the hardcore fans a treat with this. I'd have liked to see it priced about $20 cheaper, but I also want my very own Spartan armor and that ain't happening either. The fact is, I'm happy with this game in spite of it's brevity and the fact that I've already purchased most of the maps. If you've no interest in the story and mythology of Halo, I'd suggest you pass on this. The campaign is no challenge with 4 player co-op even on Legendary difficulty and there often are not enough enemies to go around so you will have to look for trouble to find it at times which will enrage many a fratboy. Firefight mode will still be a blast, but one can hardly be expected to shell out $60 for a single gameplay mode. And considering their is no matchmaking on that mode, you can only play it with people on your Friends List which is a pain. ODST isn't perfect, but it's obvious a whole lot of care went into it and it's a great experience all around. Plus, with a dream team cast featuring a Firefly reunion of Nathan Fillion, Alyn Tudyk, and Adam Baldwin plus Battlestar Galactica sex goddess Tricia Helfer and voiceover mainstay Nolan North -who has provided the voice for Deadpool and various other animated comic book characters- who the hell can really complain? It's more Halo, and that's never something to whine about.

4 1/2 stars, rounded up for a new wrinkle in the series.
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on April 28, 2011
There are plenty of detailed reviews for this game here already. With that said, I won't breakdown the finer points of the game. I will say that this game is somewhat underrated and quite a gem amongst the other 4 Halo shooters. Those players that enjoy some story and a bit more strategy in their Halo experience will definitely enjoy ODST in my opinion.

I first saw the game in action a few days after release. Someone I know purchases games 1-2 days after they come out. I was not really impressed at the time and had lost interest in Halo since the second game. Didn't even want to play it. Fast forward some years; I enjoyed Halo:Reach. Finding ODST here on Amazon for $14 new -vs- $20 used at Gamestop, I decided to give it another chance.

The first 30 minutes of the game were a bit awkward. Playing the campaign on heroic wasn't a problem. Playing and being acquainted with Reach was.

- No sprinting
- No radar
- Can't sneak up on enemies for stealthy melee kills
- Patrols?! And they are fairly frequent
- Patrols can aggro
- Jackels with beam rifles can be head-shot deadly
- No shields.

I continued playing however and soon realized how much I was really enjoying such a change in pace.
1) It was critical to "choose" your fights. If you had to fight, you quickly analyzed the threat and prioritized targets.
2) If you do engage some enemies, don't linger in the area too long. Other nearby patrols could be rushing in after hearing the fire fight you just survived.
3) Finding cover and checking your map is a must almost every minute to get the latest intelligence on patrol movement in relation to your position.
4) As you travel through the city, you learn to take note of the environment so you can always engage the enemy on your terms. You also learn areas are never "clear" in ODST.
5) It seems ammunition is a bit scarce as compared to other games. You try to utilize specific weapons for specific enemies rather than just pouring it on and wasting ammo.
6) The visor is a nice feature and the fact that you need to keep it on 80% of the time helps remind you how human your character is.

Gameplay, plot and the story are a unique aspect in ODST. While playing an elite Spartan super soldier is enjoyable, it is refreshing to have another take on the battle against the Covenant.
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on September 27, 2010
Halo 3: ODST has gotten some negative press as a result of its status as a "side story" that some people think should have just been downloadable content. However, I disagree. I'm a fan not just of Halo games; I love games like Legend of Zelda, Okami, Golden Sun, World of Warcraft, Super Smash Bros., etc. Out of all the games I've played, ODST is one of my absolute favorites, and here's why:

The campaign is, as one might expect, standard Halo fare for the most part. However, Bungie added some twists to make it a unique experience. The main character is called "The Rookie," and is a new recruit in an ODST (Orbital Drop Shock Trooper) squad sent to assist troops in the besieged Earth city of New Mombasa. The Rookie crash lands and is separated from his team, and must navigate the city alone trying to find clues that will lead him to his squad mates while evading and fighting enemies.
The Rookie's missions are pretty cool in that the atmosphere and tone is just spot-on. You tread carefully through this massive, abandoned metropolis in the rainy night, with scattered neon lights providing illumination. The musical score adds to this mood brilliantly, with veteran game music artist Marty O'Donnell pulling off an award-winning masterpiece that involves dark jazz/blues themes during the Rookie's missions.
Unlike in other Halo games, where you play as a SPARTAN and are essentially a human tank, ODST forces you to play it safe and strategically as you do not have the SPARTAN energy shields or the MJOLNIR armor. You have to sneak around, picking off enemies carefully with the Silenced SMG and Automag Pistol(unique to this game), picking up enemy weapons when you can. Also unique to this game is VISR mode, which enhances your ODST's HUD by outlining terrain, weapons, vehicles, enemies, and friendly NPCs in specific colors so that you can see better in the dark.
As you play through the Rookie's missions, you discover objects that provide clues to the whereabouts of the rest of the ODST squad. When you find one of these objects, you start a "flashback" mission in which you play as one of the other ODSTs in the events involved in leaving behind the clue. The underlying story is told mostly through these missions.
Overall, the campaign is a fantastic experience. I absolutely love the sense of mystery and discovery, as well as the neon-lit rainy night and the jazz/blues background music in the Rookie's missions, and I enjoy the flashbacks/concurrent missions that involve the other ODSTs, in which the plot is developed and you learn more about the characters (most of them have interesting/fun personalities). Of the five FPS Halo games (Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, Halo: Reach), ODST has one of the best, if not THE best, campaign modes. The only problem I have with it is that the Rookie never talks at all, but the other ODSTs make up for it (especially "Dutch"). As with the other Halo games, campaign can be played solo or co-op.

If the excellent campaign isn't enough, then there's always Firefight, a game mode introduced in ODST and included in Halo: Reach. Firefight involves taking on waves of enemies on maps based on campaign locations. The waves get bigger and the enemies get tougher in each round. Players have to conserve ammo and strategically defeat enemies in order to survive the increasing difficulty. Firefight can be played solo or co-op. Players can customize the look of their ODST in this mode, as well as which character from the game will provide dialogue during the match.
ODST's Firefight may be obsolete now that it is also in Halo: Reach, but it is still fun to play with your friends on the ODST-only maps and with the ODST-only characters (though squad commander "Buck" is available as a character voice in Halo: Reach).

All in all, ODST is definitely worth a purchase if you're a fan of the Halo franchise. I would even go as far as to recommend it to someone who isn't too familiar with Halo but just likes FPS games, because this one is very unique and very cool. I should also recommend picking up the Halo 3: ODST soundtrack, as it is absolutely brilliant and rightly earned "Best Game OST of 2009" at the Video Game Awards.
Bottom line: Buy this game!
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A side-story taking place in the Halo universe, "ODST" puts you in the role of the titular Orbital Drop Ship Trooper - a regular marine compared to the Master Chief, the series' normal protagonist. Using the basic gameplay and graphics of Halo 3, ODST is neat and different in some ways and disappointingly samey in others.

ODST follows a squad of drop troopers - primarily through the eyes of Rookie, a silent protagonist. Rookie proceeds through the abandoned, dead city of New Mombasa looking for records of his teammates, who he was separated from. Finding these records allows you to play a segment as another trooper - Buck, the leader, Mickey, the tech specialist, Dutch, the tough guy, or Romeo, the sniper.

Rookie's segments are really freeform and open - you explore the city, going through apartments and back alleys and occasionally running into random patrols of Covenant soldiers. The city's AI, the Supervisor, will occasionally try to get your attention by hijacking various city systems - signs will change to point you in the right direction, phones will start ringing, ticket machines will start spewing tickets, crosswalks and traffic lights will change, and so on. These directions will lead you to audio diaries - clues to a side-story - or weapon/ammo caches. All in all, it makes for a really great feel - almost to the level of Silent Hill - and it's backed up by some of the best music in the series.

The action stages are pretty good, too, but far more traditional. There is some openness in the levels, but for the most part they're similar to normal Halo 3. This is where the main promise of ODST - the fact that you're playing as a normal soldier - kind of falls flat. You can basically do everything that the Master Chief can do, including but not limited to flipping over cars and punching through tanks. Your health works slightly differently, but it still basically equates to "if you get hit, go duck behind cover until you recover". You can get away with running up to Brutes and punching them in the face until they die. All in all, you basically demonstrate the same level of "super-soldier" that the actual super soldiers have, as opposed to having to rely on your wits and your guns to overcome your weakness.

In addition to the campaign mode, ODST also offers a four-person co-op mode called "Firefight". In this mode, the human players attempt to hold out as long as they can against waves of Covenant troops. Like Gears of War 2's Horde mode, this can be a blast with the right people. To add a bit of difficulty into the mix, each wave of Covenant has a special effect attached to them - the ability to dodge grenades, or being more resistant to plasma, and so on. This ensures that the endless waves of Covenant continue to be challenging for as long as you play.

The graphics are similar to Halo 3's, but the urban environment is much more well-designed than those in Halo 3. A lot of care went into designing the city and the various signs and objects scattered around it, and the end result feels pretty natural. The sound is really good, too. The most obvious change, sound-wise, is that an injured ODST will pant and groan realistically instead of offering a single grunt like the Master Chief does. This makes it feel a lot more immersive, and is almost worth the fact that - for game reasons - you can heal up really easily and dying's not really that big of a deal.

On the whole, I understand why ODST didn't take a more realistic approach, but that doesn't mean it's not disappointing. As a game, ODST is good, but with some eye-rolling flaws that could've been turned into something more meaningful than "another Halo game".

8/10.
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on May 11, 2015
I've read a few reviews here, and I think that, although there are some valid points, people are treating ODST as something that it was never meant to be.
So, what is ODST? It's an expansion. Expensive? Yes, but one has to realize that in reality, it's several expansions built into one, a `collectors pack' for Halo 3 fans. (After all, it's named Halo 3: ODST, not just Halo: ODST)

So, before I break the game down, let's examine what ODST really is.
1. Campaign (Short, yes...Fun? Very.)
2. Fire Fight (One could say a different campaign. After all, a single match with good people can be hours long, and that's one match.)
3. All the maps (A $20+ value, considering there's two map packs worth 1600 Microsoft points, not to mention the three new ones.)
4. Halo: Reach Beta (Remember lockdown, with it's Halo 3 Beta? Yeah...)
Okay, first things first. The Campaign:
This is fun. It's far more tactical than any Halo game before it, and allows for so many new opportunities. Once in Heroic, you find yourself planning assaults, sneaking, factoring in how many grenades you have. Ammo is so sparse that you're constantly forced to re-adapt and pick up new weapons, rather than keeping with the same two weapons (As was much the case with the first three halo's). The characters are new, which again, is interesting. The Visor?...Man, probably my favorite addition. It's so cool to able to switch around views, to get tactical or go all out. Wonderful. Not to mention the addition of engineers, which do nothing but add to the depth of game play and emphasize strategy.
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on August 10, 2011
To start things off, let me ask you, do you like/love any of the following? Bladerunner, Firefly, the Halo series (games and extended lore included), noire film, incredible soundtracks, complete immersion from your video games, unbeatable playability, challenging difficulty without frustration, Gears of War horde mode, a very well told-story with completely likable, complex characters... I could go on and on, but if you like any of those things, then buy Halo 3: ODST right now! This game is the black sheep of the Halo series, but still retains the excellent quality of all of the mainstay games in the universally loved first-person shooter epic sci-fi series.

The title of Halo 3: ODST (Orbital Drop Shock Troopers) is misleading, because it actually takes place about 1/3 of the way through Halo 2's story, where the covenant find earth and flee after an initial invasion. You play as a whole squad of ODSTs (Omnipotent Deities Serenade Turkeys)throughout the game. In the beginning, your squad is dropping in to take out a covenant assault carrier. However, as the drop pods are entering orbit, the ship enters slipspace and knocks everyone for a loop. You wake up as the Rookie, a completely voiceless character, six hours later in the futuristic city of New Mombosa. It is nighttime, you are alone, and you haven't a clue what happened to your squad, the city, or anything at all really. Finding out is the story of ODST (Ogres Dropped Some Trash). You navigate Rookie throughout a hub world of damaged city streets, taking in the sights of a ravaged city. You also play as his squad mates in flashbacks, unraveling the mystery one tasty morsel at a time. It's exceptional.

The story in ODST (Olives Don't Smell Terrible) is absolutely fantastic. I'd say it's one of my favorite Halo campaigns simply due to its unique and totally different approach to storytelling. The characters are brought to life amazingly well by THREE cast members of the amazing television sci-fi western epic hybrid of awesomeness, Firefly. Nathan Fillion, Adam Baldwin, and Alan Tudyk: can you ask for more awesome voice talent for a game? They each do a fantastic job at bringing their very well-written character to life. Nolan North (Nathan Drake from Uncharted) also lends his talents of being smug, witty jerks to the game as well. When you combine the voice-actors, the exceptionally well-written dialogue, and the vastly different cinematic focus of the game, you get one hell of a ride. I am hugely impressed by Bungie.

The only problem is that the campaign is way too short. It'll take most about 4-5 hours to finish, 6-7 if you really take your time. I know this game was developed as an expansion sort of game rather than a full release, and if I bought this for its original $60, I'd give it four-stars. Under its current price (one much lower than originally), however, it's definitely worth every penny and a 5-star game.

The atmosphere in ODST (Obadiah didn't s*** there) is incredible. I really can't think of enough praise to slather all over this awesome atmosphere pie to do it justice. The nighttime segments are unnerving, pensive strolls through empty, city streets that heighten loneliness and isolation. It feels like a fantastic noire sci-fi fantasy (Blade Runner comes to mind constantly). The daytime levels are more traditional Halo and suitably chaotic. The art design is some of the best on today's consoles. Despite the aging Halo 3 engine, the game looks beautiful. This shouldn't be a surprise, as Bungie always nails the art design and atmosphere in their games. As is expected with a Halo game, Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori have hit a home run with the soundtrack. The direction of the music is unlike any Halo game before or after it, opting more for the soothing, chilling music of a noire film. Once again, I am reminded so much of Bladerunner. Fantastic!

The gameplay of ODST (Oh Damn She's Tight) isn't much different from the other Halo games. Since you play as the ODSTs (Orbital Drop Shock Tomatoes), and not as Master Chief, you are weakened a bit, and that does change your strategy a bit. Other than that, what can you say about the gameplay? The Halo series is known for FPS perfection on consoles, and this game continues that trend. The controls are perfect, the weapons are very well balanced, the vehicles are among the best in any non-racing game, and all of the Halo gameplay traditions are continued and refined here. The only wrinkle that is unusual for the Halo series are the nighttime levels, where the focus is on the immersion of being alone in a city during an invasion by the covenant. You feel isolated and lonely during the Rookie parts, with occasional intense firefights. All-in-all, ODST (Oliver Drives Smokey Trains) nails the gameplay. There's even a new mode called "Firefight" where you fight increasingly difficult waves of covenant. This is done extremely well, although I was always much more into the story than that.

Oh by the way, you get a second disc with this game that contains Halo 3's multiplayer and every map ever released for it. I realize that most people won't care because they're playing Halo Reach, but if you ever get the itch to play good ol' Halo 3 multiplayer, this is icing on the cake, especially since ODST (Octavius Delivers Steamed Tacos) is so much cheaper now.

Halo 3: ODST (Optional Donations Sound Terrific) is an absolutely fantastic black sheep of the Halo family. If you ever wondered what you'd get if you tossed in Blade Runner, Halo, and Firefly into a blender, this is what you'd get, and it's about as awesome as you'd expect. I have to say, this is probably one of my favorite games in the series, and I really love Halo. I've devoured all the games, read many of the books, absorbed all of the soundtracks, etc. I love Halo 3: ODST (Optimal Death Simulation Terminates), and you will too if you get it. It really is a one-of-a-kind, amazing experience. Buy it, immerse yourself in it, LOVE it!
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on March 5, 2016
I love this game to death! For what it is, this lacks content to be charged at full price, which it was at its release. If I were writing this in 2009, when seller's charged full price for the game, I would probably give it 3-4 stars for lack of content. As a game today (3/5/16) for under $20.00, its more than worth it. A copy of this games includes two disks, one for campaign (single player), the other for online multiplayer.

Disk 1: The campaign should be the real reason you want this game today (I'll explain later). This is a spin off to the Halo series which takes place around the beginning of Halo 2. It is very fun to play alone, even more so with friends. What makes this a unique Halo game is that instead of playing as a Spartan (basically a super soldier), you play as an ODST (a normal, human character). Fighting against alien enemies as an ODST makes you feel slightly more vulnerable. In the single player, you switch off between "The Rookie" and the rest of your ODST team: Dutch, Buck, Mickey, Romeo and Dare (you get to play as all of these characters in the campaign, excluding Dare). Your goal is to regroup with your team and complete your mission (which we are not told much about). The game play is a lot of fun. Since about half of the missions takes place at night, ODST's have night vision in their helmets. For the first time in Halo, this game introduces two new silenced weapons, a sound suppressed SMG and magnum. Most of the time you are on the ground fighting ground enemies. However, there are a few other times where you pilot vehicles on land an air, just like any other Halo game. When playing as the Rookie, the level design is, more or less, similar to an RPG (open world) set-up, meaning that you can free roam around the city if you wish. The overall game/story is very short, depending on what difficult you play it on. Playing on "easy" can take 3-5 hours to complete. Legendary difficulty can take 6-12 hours. Difficulty definitely plays a factor, but it also depends on how familiar you are with the game. Overall, this game has great game play as well as the story/characters, especially for campaign mode standards. This is my personal favorite single player out of the Halo series. The other game mode that disk 1 offers is Fire-Fight. This is the first time that this game mode was introduced to the Halo franchise (I think). Fire-Fight is basically survival mode, which means that you fight waves of enemies until you run out of lives. Each wave is more challenging than the last. This can be played with up to four players. The arena/map/location of the fight can be changed. These are based off of identical locations from the campaign mode. Fire-Fight allows players to change their characters appearance based on the campaign characters. You can decide if the helmet can be worn or not with all characters (excluding the Rookie). In Fire-Fight, your character will utter phrases during the gameplay. This is a great addition and feature to the game however, I think that its wasted potential that Bungie never created a standalone online multiplayer for this game (ODST). It would have been unique to play as an ODST online in matchmaking instead of a Spartan. That multiplayer that we never got could have had its own armor customization options and ranking system. At this point, I could tell that Bungie was becoming more creative with there armor design, both with this game and Halo Reach.

Disk 2: This is the online multiplayer side of the package. I'm going to keep my description on this short. The short version of this is that it is a rather outdated feature to this product. This is simply Halo 3's multiplayer with extra maps/arenas on a disk. This was a cheap way to force people into buying the DLC content for Halo 3, and to fill up the lack of content with only the campaign. Honestly, the population of Halo 3 online users is very low today. The online matchmaking is not like what it used to be. The game doesn't have wide a wide enough selection of players to match you with someone with your skill level. Unless you are very good at the game, you will struggle to be matched with people who are also new to the game and learning how to play competitively with others. Most of the people playing this are really skilled at the game and are loyal to Halo 3's online multiplayer. Like I said, this feature is outdated, if you are considering buying this game, I highly approve of it. But you are more likely to enjoy this game for it's campaign mode. I hope I have helped you out. Thank you for reading my review.
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on January 21, 2014
If you like REACH, you will love this. And the other way around.
Though you are a very stripped down "solider" version of a Spartan, you still kick ass. This game is more methodical and takes much more planning, and logic. While it is just like all other Halo games, (unlike Halo Wars, yuck) you are very limited as far as weapons, health, etc. Making the game much more challenging and exciting. You cant just blast through levels with infinite shields and ammo, rather you must plan what to do before you do it. Very awesome game for someone who does not have a 5 minute attention span.
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