Halo 3 was, in a way, doomed before it was released. No matter how well it did, people are going to judge its “wow factor” against how amazing the original Halo felt to play back when it first came out.
Now that we are used to the weapons, races, environments and plotline, nothing is as cool as it was that first time. It’s the same issue that plagues any series, be it Dune, the Matrix, Star Wars, etc.
Halo 3 does get a boost in that it is released for the 360, so you get an automatic upgrade in abilities there. We’re playing on a high end HD TV, and yes, it looks really nice.
The backgrounds look like a painting in motion, with swirling clouds and dancing dust storms. From the light glinting off the metal surfaces to the detailed shadows in the rocks, it can be really gorgeous.
Is every detail as beautiful as every detail in, say Gears of War? Maybe not. Different developers focus on different items. There are always trade-offs for speed and visual appeal reasons. For a Halo world, I think they did a good job.
The sound and dialogue are really great. I like the background music, and I find much of the dialogue hilarious. There are some conversations that have me laughing out loud. This is a good game to play with your surround sound stereo system hooked up, and of course the subwoofers.
I hated the ending of Halo 2. I dislike it when a story finishes with a “and now wait a few years to find out what happened.”
They can at least have you feel like you achieved something, and ended a chapter. For that reason alone it’s good to have Halo 3 here to wrap everything up.
Unfortunately, with all the time they spent in development, this third outing is a bit predictable. I really enjoyed the multi character play in Halo 2. I thought that was a great touch. They completely removed it for Halo 3, setting you back into a Master Chief only mode. To be honest, I really thought we’d get THREE races this time around, and get to play as the Flood too. Why reduce ourselves to just one?
Also, while there are a lot of “missions”, some of them are maybe 5 minutes long. That’s a bit on the short side. I realize you can go back and replay on harder and harder levels to challenge yourself – but they could have put more depth into the basic story line.
Now, all of those things being said, the key to any game in modern times is its multiplayer ability. No matter what single player game you play, it’s pretty much a limited time game. Multiplayer is completely unlimited – and you’re not stuck with the formulas built into the AI brains. Halo 3 is definitely the best multiplayer experience of the three games – the most balanced, the most fun, the best graphics. You could literally play this for years and not get bored of it.
So to summarize – if you don’t have XBox Live, you could rent this game for a week, get through it and have a lot of fun. You’ll be able to see how the story ends, get your Halo fix in and be happy. But if you do have XBox Live, you’ll want to own this. Between replaying the base game on harder levels to improve your skills, and playing multi-player in a variety of maps and set-ups, you’ll be happy for a long, long while.
There are many games we write a walkthrough for that we have to push ourselves to get through, but when we did our walkthrough for Halo 3, we really did have fun. So that’s always a good sign!
About Halo 3
Adding to Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2, the epic saga continues with Halo 3, the amazingly anticipated sequel to the highly successful and critically acclaimed Halo franchise. In this third chapter of the Halo trilogy, Master Chief returns to finish the fight, bringing the epic conflict between the Covenant, the Flood, and the entire human race to a dramatic, pulse-pounding climax.
Earth is conquered. The Covenant is everywhere. Halo 3 promises to be an epic journey.
Game developer Bungie announced that Halo 3 will be released for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 sometime in 2007. The game was revealed to the world at the Microsoft press conference held at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood, CA in May 2006.
To gamer’s delight, the announcement was a complete surprise. The rumors have been abound for the past year, as everyone wondered when the next installment would be ready.
Bungie and Microsoft did a stellar job keeping their lips sealed, and fans benefited from their first glimpse of the hallowed third and final installment.
The short presentation was delivered in real-time on the Xbox 360 using the current version of the Halo 3 game engine. That’s right, no studio production video, Bungie and Microsoft delivered the real deal: what they showed at the announcement is what gamers will see when they play Halo 3 in 2007.
The HDR lighting, self-shadowing, GPU-run particle system and many other effects are rumored to show up in full effect in the final game. Needless to say, the gaming community is salivating.
CJ Cowan, Bungie’s director of cinematics discussed one of the most startling moments of the presentation: the return of Cortana. “Given the variety of character and story arcs at the end of Halo 2, we wanted to boil down our announcement to a few key threads.
Cortana and the Chief being a galaxy apart is a situation we haven’t seen before, and is something that is a powerful component to Halo 3.
We are using her transmissions in the demo to give the viewer a few subtle clues to her situation and state of mind, without revealing any specifics we want to save for the game itself.”
Graphically, the game closely follows in the tradition of Halo 2, although it has been upgraded to take advantage of the Xbox 360’s more prodigious visual abilities. As art direct Marcus Lehto explained, “[The presentation] was intended to be an understated announcement of Halo 3 — the tone is that of mystery and suspense — the calm before the storm.
I wanted to make sure that we reintroduced the Chief, showed that Earth was thoroughly conquered, with Covenant everywhere, and that there is a glorious, ancient artifact buried under the Earth’s crust which will provide Halo 3 with the epic journey which we all want.”
Taking full advantage of the power of Xbox 360, Halo 3 expands on everything that has made the franchise great, adding a wealth of technical and gameplay advancements.
The game design has evolved with next-generation, high-definition visuals, enhanced A.I., an advanced real-time lighting engine, and, of course, new weapons, characters, and challenges. Halo 3 promises an unparalleled first-person shooter experience and, in the end, the most compelling and engrossing story in the franchise’s history.
Last, but certainly not least, Halo 3 builds upon the unique social multiplayer experience and innovative, evolving online gameplay of Halo 2. Rest assured, you’ll still be able to run with your clan and battle with (or against) your buddies from coast to coast.
Halo 3 is the third game in the Halo Trilogy and the thrilling conclusion to the events begun in Halo: Combat Evolved. Master Chief returns to finish the fight, bringing the epic conflict between the Covenant, the Flood, and the entire human race to a dramatic, pulse-pounding climax. The Covenant occupation of Earth has uncovered a massive and ancient object beneath the African sands – an object who’s secrets have yet to be revealed.
Earth’s forces are battered and beaten. The Master Chief’s AI companion Cortana is still trapped in the clutches of the Gravemind – a horrifying Flood intelligence and a civil war is raging in the heart of the Covenant.
It’s all been building to this — a desperate, final war that leads to a soul-shattering climax of epic proportions. Take control of Master Chief