12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2007
After an hour with Halo 3 my initial reaction was "so what?...big deal!". The gameplay seemed like a slurred and half-hearted version of Halo's 1&2, the graphics were scarcely next gen (compare with Gears Of War and Bioshock), the storyline wasn't gripping and the whole thing kind of lamely chugged along. There was little or no responsiveness and I felt cheated by the OTT hype.
Persisting with the Halo 3, however, eventually brought rewards--albeit not the Tiffany diamond sized ones I was expecting but nevertheless they were satisfactory. I did get lost in the game and managed to ignore the bland indoor environments and the constant glitches . The pop-ups even melted away as I wasted squadrons of alien slime.
The review for this game then runs thus: it's a well above average FPS which will entertain you for a fair while. The multiplayer options are great and the replay is value is pretty good. Those are the straightforward points if you ignore that other whopping, gargantuan issue.
Namely, is this a fitting end to the Halo series? Well, in that case the answer is `no' about 3500 times. On that score the game is shoddy and truly disappoints. There is hardly a sense that you're even playing a title worthy to be called Halo. If you've played and loved the other games then I bet you'll be off-loading this baby soon. The lousy programming, the sense of ennui, the collapse of creativity and the dull story will probably turn your stomach. It's the biggest let down for quite some time and is fairly insulting to the gamers who've been eagerly waiting for it.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2007
I'll keep it short:
All the fuzz aside, I still prefer the original Halo. H3 is not a bad game by any stretch, but the wow factor just wasn't there. Too much hype and over-commercializing (Halo Cereal?) has hurt the myth of Master Chief. Halo 3 is a classic example of what happens when all it's really about anymore is the profit. You can have fun with this, but it's not world-shattering.
14 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2007
I would just like to say, I am a big halo fan. I do and still consider it one of the best console gaming series, neck and neck with Half Life (or maybe a little better). But Halo 3, the end of the series is "good" but could have been so much better. My short review really could be summed by saying that Halo 3 is Halo 2.1 for XBOX360. I think Bungie and Microsoft played it safe by just recreating Halo 2 with better graphics and sound. From a business perspective, it was probably a smart move. Literally, there were the same weapons, same ships, same friendly characters just super-sized for the Xbox. The enemy characters acted in the same way, going through the same movements. The sad part is that they didn't recreate those famous battles there were tough as h*ll. There were a couple of tough battles with the flood and that was about it, everything else was a cake walk. After about 2 checkpoints, I knew I had to go from Normal to Heroic.
I don't know, maybe I played Halo 1 and 2 too much, but Halo 3 just felt like a lackluster experience. The AI, to me, seemed a little weaker; there were times where I was actually waiting before the enemy would shoot at me and he never did. And my favorite enemy character, the Elites weren't present (I guess they are on our side now). That Halo 2 character was awesome and would act like a predator and hunt you down. Most of the characters in three were just dummy targets waiting to get shot. I remember playing Halo 1 - 2 over and over and over again trying find a better strategy. It is Sep 27 (2 days after the release) and I have already beaten Halo on the Heroic; it would probably take me 5 hours to beat it on legendary.
On the multiplayer, so far it seems pretty good. Good maps, same Halo 2 like system.
+1. Great music, really set the tone
+2. Great continuation of story
+3. Great 360 graphics; you could see the bullets, blood, metallic shininess
+3b. So far, great multiplayer
-4. Horrible maps that were too linear and too easy
-5. AI lacked, I literally could stand there for a minute before some enemies would shoot me. Where were the Elites?
-6. New weapons and ships were cool but I was just fine using the older weapons like the assault rifle.
(-76b, pistol reaaaaaallly sucked this time)
In terms of the Xbox 360 games out now. I am not really a fan of Bioshock and think Halo 3 is way better. I might have to give Gears of War a better rating than Halo 3. Gears of War left you proud to have beat the game, especially on the hardest game setting.
I think Halo 3 will get a bunch of rave reviews and hold people's attention for a couple of months or a year, especially to new fans but I don't think it will satisfy the serious Halo junkie.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2008
maybe its just me, but i found halo 3 to be a little cheesey and weird. keep in mind that i have not played the other 2. alot of the weapons were lame and half the time, i couldnt see where i was in the game. much of it is darkly lit or hard to see. overall, there are better shoot-'em-up games out there.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Edition: StandardVerified Purchase
As someone that played Halo, Halo 2, and Halo Reach, I felt it was obvious that I needed to try Halo 3 and Halo 3 ODST. Since Halo 3 was released years ago, there's not much more new info I can say on the game. The single-player campaign story made no sense to me. Doing further research, the story begins where the comic book ends. I felt it would have been better to make the game Halo 3 pick up right after where the game Halo 2 concluded, not every gamer will follow the comics or novels. Speaking of the single player campaign, the transitions between missions were poorly done. It's as if someone just skipped several cutscenes and throws you into something new. Keyes's death made no sense either, she could have gone in with more support and perhaps some body armor.
The interruptions from Cortana and Gravemind were a big nuisance throughout the game. The vehicle controls are still pretty much the same as they were in Halo (and Halo Reach) which I feel are very outdated. The physics don't feel right, and it would have made sense to use controls similar to that of other Xbox driving games.
The game also takes eons to load the campaign if you decide to play another game other than Halo 3 because it flushes the cache. The Halo "ring" takes several minutes to load when it does this. If you shut off the Xbox after playing Halo 3, and return to play Halo 3 (and not another game/demo), the "ring" loads super fast. They need to work on this in the future because I recall some issues with Halo Reach, although not as frequent.
Not much more can be said about Halo 3. The only things I'd recommend for Halo 4 are faster load times, more modern physics/controls for the vehicles (perhaps a helmet view or cockpit view ala Forza), and a better single player campaign.
I started playing Halo 3: ODST and noticed many differences from Halo 3, namely that the achievements are more similar to Halo Reach which is a good thing. They are more oriented towards single player mode which makes it more fun. The VISR mode in ODST is similar to the night vision mode in Halo Reach. All in all, I'd say that while Halo 3 was ok, I felt Halo 3 ODST and Halo Reach were better.
Overall: 3/5 stars
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2008
We all know what Halo is. It's the 2nd most popular video game of all time. Everyone knows who Master Chief is, and that Halo had one of the best multiplayers ever. Yet Halo 2 disappointed the entire gaming nation, would Halo 3 be doomed to the same fate?
Graphics- 6/10. Ok, ok. I know it has been a good 9 months since Halo came out, so it is unfair to hold it to the standards of games that just came out. But compared to other games that came out even before Halo 3, it still looks dated graphically. BioShock, Gears of War, and Oblivion all blow Halo's graphics out of the water. Lighting is used pretty well, and the motion-blur helps, but if you look straight down from where you are standing, you'll see how bad the texture work actually is. Our favorite example of this is on the multiplayer map Guardian- where the vines growing all over the map look like re-used graphics from the original XBox.
Halo 3 was supposed to set new standards for the industry in everything it did, including the graphics. I mean, the graphics aren't terrible on Halo 3, but they just don't seem as polished as they should if Bungie really wanted to change gaming. That said, we know that bad graphics won't ruin a game, and great graphics won't save it, so lets move on to what the rest of the game has to offer.
Story- 7/10. After playing Halo 1, the story was found to be superb. However, the same couldn't be said of Halo 2, finishing it was grueling, but maybe we're missing something. Halo 3 doesn't deserve anything higher than a 7. This time, the bulk of the story revolves around Cortana, who has been stolen, and you have to go on a killing spree to get her back, and eventually vanquish the Covenant from the face of the Earth. Sure it's Master Chief killing some bad guys, which is always good stuff, but the cut-scenes can be downright corny, and in my opinion, way too long. In the beginning of the game, you are forced to sit through a 5-minute cut-scene, and a tutorial of how to use the controls. It's friggin' Halo- we just wanna shoot things.
It seems as if Bungie really designed this game for people that weren't huge fans of the original two Halos, as you don't have to have any previous Halo experience to follow the story. You might wonder why you are fighting in the first place, but Bungie did a good enough job of trying to keep it a new, fresh story. Granted, this has something to do with the anti-climatic ending of Halo 2, but that is for another review. Of course, campaign and story go hand and hand, so if one stinks, they both stink.
Campaign- 5/10. Forgive me if the word predictable comes up more than once, because that is definitely the theme of the campaign. The basic mission you will have to suffer through in Halo goes a bit like this- fight your way through hoards of the covenant to meet up with the rest of your squad, watch a brief cut-scene telling you that you have to fight your way back the way you came, and again go throw hoards of covenant to be picked up by a pelican, and flown to another mission in another location. There is almost NO variation in the missions. Occasionally, you'll get to fly a hornet or a scorpion, but that's it.
It's not ALL bad, though. One thing well liked was the ability to take down the covenant drop ships in Halo 3, something missing from past Halos. Another thing Halo does really well in its campaign, is implement all sorts of different weapons. We just love using the Spartan Laser to take down those puny grunts; not to mention the return of the Assault Rifle. Thank goodness for the Assault Rifle. This is probably the biggest improvement over Halo 2's campaign play.
Forge/Theater- 9/10. We were quite pleased with both the forge and the theater in Halo 3. Both are new features for Halo, or any FPS for that matter. We would love to see both of these in more FPSs, and Halo set a new standard for the industry in this regard.
In forge mode, you play the basic multiplayer, but with the ability to edit objects all over the map. You can add vehicles wherever you see fit, and drop weapons for a quick way to end a fight. We thought of a few things that could be added (like color effects, and different objects to add, like ramps), but this is a minor issue in the grand scheme of Forge. Theater is self-explanatory. You get to watch some of your most previous matches in their entirety, and save the games you like the most. You can also edit the games down to video clips of the best moments, plus in addition to watching yourself, you can look at the other players in the game as well.
Game Play- 9/10. There are only a few knocks on the game play, but they are easily forgiven. The biggest problem with the game play is the cover system, or lack thereof. In Gears of War, and now GTA, the cover system is terrific, granted they are both 3rd person games, but it seems as though Halo could have done something more than the simple ability to crouch. Another problem found, and maybe this is just a personal issue, is the invisible barriers the game has set up. When climbing a hill, you are often stopped by seemingly nothing.
We LOVE the weapons of Halo; there are just such a variety of them. If you can think of it, it is probably in Halo in some way, shape, or form. From the basic UNSC weapons, like shotguns, assault rifle, and battle rifle, to the strange, but always-fun covenant weapons like the needler, Halo's weapons reign supreme. The same can be said about the vehicles. The vehicles are just such a staple of Halo; you couldn't have the game without them. We love the vehicles, but there is no denying that the handling of them has gotten significantly worse from previous Halo games. The warthog having the biggest handling issues, as it can't go over bumpy terrain without going crazy.
Multiplayer- 10/10. This is the best multiplayer on the market. There is almost limitless tweaking to be done, and game modes to play. Oddball, infection, VIP, Capture the Flag, and slayer are the headliners of the different game modes to play, but with XBox Live adding a new game mode every weekend that you can play for double the experience points, there is literally a never ending amount of game modes.
The matchmaking system is head-and-shoulders above any other matchmaking system. It matches you with players that are as close to your skill level as possible, which is a refreshing change from other multiplayers out right now (I'm talking to you, GTA IV). Overall, I don't see any ways the multiplayer could have been improved on. With XBox Live, Forge, and Theater, it's as close to perfection as you'll see.
Halo was indeed doomed before it was even released. It's a bit like Christmas. When you were a kid you would set the bar so high for Christmas that it would be impossible for the actual day to be as good as you imagined (had to throw in at least one bad analogy). And though this game definitely doesn't live up to the hype, if played correctly, you can still get a very enjoyable experience out of the multiplayer and just messing around with your friends on Halo. We're going to give it a 7.8/10, a respectable rating, but not what we had come to expect from Halo.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 7, 2007
The main reason I bought Halo 3 was for the single-player campaign, which I enjoyed in Halo 1 & 2. I loved the single-player content in Halo 3; unfortunately, there was just not enough of it. The missions were interesting, the scope was impressive, the story was nicely handled, and the battles were intense. Had this content lasted longer, I would have definitely rated this game 5 stars. But I beat the campaign in only 3 days! That's less time than it took me to play through BioShock, which I thought was short.
I know many people rave about the multiplayer aspects. I tried them, and just don't find them to be that interesting. The system forces you to play odd maps (like sniper rifles only, swords only, etc.) far too often. The "matchmaking" abilities seemed not to work very well. There are not that many maps available. And melee is way overpowered (if you come up behind someone with a shotgun, Halo 3 says that hitting them with the butt of the rifle will do more damage than actually shooting them with it).
The other extras (video room, web-site records, sharing files, etc.) are nice concepts, but not something I place a lot of value in.
Unless you really enjoy multiplayer, I recommend renting this game for a week. That should give you enough time to play through the short single-player campaign and get your fill of the Halo 3 multiplayer.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2007
I didn't play the original Halos, so I don't feel like I'm going to come at this game with a predetermined bias. Comparing the game to others I have played on the 360 (Gears, Prey, Call of Duty 2/3, Bioshock) I would compare the overall experience most closely with Call of Duty 3) and based on the pre-release hype, this is a dissapointment. The game has nice graphics, but this game plays pretty much like a typical run and gun. No innovations that I noticed beyond what COD3 brings to the table. On-line play may be better, but for those who play predominantly single player campaigns, I would defintitely recommend Gears, Bioshock and even Prey as a substantially better overall experience. If you are a single campaigner, I would defintely rent first, because to me, this game is not a must buy.
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on September 30, 2007
The Multiplayer is second to NONE as far as FPS go, but the Campaign once again falls WAY short. Where are the huge battle-sequences Humans vs Covenant? Where are run-and-gun battles?
And the a Big question I have is: WHY THE FRICK doesn't the Arbiter have his cloaking device???
(Some content removed after beaten on Legendary)
The storyline was too closed ended, too "shoot this->walk here->shoot this->walk here->shoot this->walk here." There was very little open-endedness or what gamers like to call 'the Freedom to Roam' built into this game, so it ends up feeling like your just traveling from Point A to Point B and then back to Point A over and over and over.
Where are the large Covenant/Human battles we were promised? There could have been a LOT more included in the campaign...
Also, why do you die when you walk into the water or fall from a semi-high place when you're ok with deep space and survive a 3 kilometer fall at the beginning of the game.
To sum up: H3 is H2 with better graphics, streamlined weapons and seamless game-play.
15 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on October 1, 2007
I am an owner of an Xbox and Halo 1 and 2, I do not own a 360. I have no interest in online multiplayer, and this review is of the single player / co-op campaign. I am not a hardcore gamer, but I do spend my money when games are good enough.
I had a chance to play this game at a friends place recently, we played through the entire campaign on heroic. I will not compare it to Halo 2 since that game was only good for online-muliplayer.
Maps: It was obvious they were trying to repeat some of the map success on Halo 1. Almost all the maps were extra long, with playtimes from 40 minutes to 2 hours. Re-use of architecture from Halo 1 was rampant, with elements from the map Silent Cartographer and Assault on the Control Room being the most identifiable.
Somehow though, they missed their mark. Perhaps it was the obsession on photo-unrealistic glossy surfaces with shadow effects, or perhaps it was the fact they spent more time fretting over how to make Halo 1 rooms *look* new (who knows why?), but for some reason I was considerably less exciting than just replaying Halo 1. The outdoor " dusty earth" style map was considerably better than Halo 2, though it still left me wanting for the stunning contrast that we saw in Halo 1.
There were no levels that I considered to have replay value, so if you're looking for another Silent Cartographer or Library, don't look to this game.
Music: Compared to Halo 1, they get a major F. The score was a pathetic rehash and rarely incited emotion.
Ambient Sound / Background Chatter: The grunts in Halo 3 had considerably funnier sayings, and were definitely better at responding to tactical situations. The sound effects were superb, as is to be expected from the Halo franchise, and generally left me impressed.
AI: The AI generally felt much easier than Halo 1, and a joke compared to Halo 2. Though to be honest, I've played through Halo 1 so many times it's pretty hard to tell if I'm just better at killing grunts now.
Brutes and their friends for some reason are much less exciting to kill than elites, and this did not change between Halo 2 and Halo 3. The only difference is there are more brutes, and that makes more of the game less interesting.
The flood were both more and less annoying. It is actually possible to fight flood with plasma now, though it's not advisable. However the mini-flood things got some armor, and teeth. If you just ignore them and let them die on your shield, they have the ability to kill you. However, once you adapt to the change in flood dynamics, they are quite easy to handle.
Graphics: I hate to say it, but if this is the best the 360 can produce, I'm unimpressed. I played the game on my friends large-screen HDTV at 720p, and even with good hardware it wasn't that great. There was constant environment clipping / culling. Fog was obviously being used in some areas to hide polygons. Grass doesn't show up until about 50 feet out. Everything was too shiny. Bump mapping was used to good effect. Character models, while more complex than before (armor falls off and other "interactive" model changes), seemed dull boring boring compared to the elites in Halo 1. Basically, it looks like Halo 1 with a better processor, worse map design, and all the contrast taken out of the skins.
With that said, if you're a hardcore gamer you probably already own Halo 3 and won't care about this review. If you're like me and the last games you bought were Halo 1 and Final Fantasy 10, don't jump on the Halo 3 bandwagon. While I don't regret my purchase of an Xbox for only Halo 1, I fear I would regret the purchase of a 360 for only Halo 3. Having rented all the other titles and played them at my friends house, I haven't seen any other titles to consider except Blue Dragon.
Summary: If you own a 360, you already have Halo 3. If you are considering buying a 360 for Halo 3, don't expect another Halo 1. It falls considerably short. It's key feature is online multiplayer, and if that's your thing great, but it's not mine.