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"Halo 3"

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This thread has been linked to the game 'Halo 3'.
Wed 10/10/07 at 12:31
"Retarded List"
Posts: 642
It really shouldn't have come as a surprise to anyone that Halo 3 has generated more hype than any other game in recent memory. Officially the second fastest selling game ever, the finale in Bungie's epic trilogy caught the attention of just about everyone. Did it deserve to though?

Picking up a short time after Halo 2 abruptly ended, the single player Campaign of Halo 3 sees you once more filling the considerably sized shoes of Spartan-117, or Master Chief as his friends call him; the iconic hero of Halo, and mankind's last hope in their desperate attempt to eliminate the intergalactic alien menace known as the Covenant. Avid fans of the
trilogy - and let's face it, there's a lot of them - will undoubtedly lap up all the twists and turns that crop up throughout the story, with some familiar faces returning for the finale.
Bungie has stated all along that Halo 3 would end the story arc first begun by Halo: CE, and they weren't lying. I won't give anything away, as spoilers would ruin it to some degree for anyone yet to experience the game, but suffice to say it brings everything to a satisfying conclusion.

Now onto the game itself, and one of the things that caused some concern amongst fans - the visuals. Technically speaking, Halo 3 is a bit of a let-down compared to the jaw-droppingly complex (but nonetheless, artistically, uninspired) graphics of Gears of War, but that's not to say it can't be a beautiful game when it wants to be. The opening level for example, which takes place in a jungle, can please the eye perfectly well with sunlight casting rays through the trees, streams and rivers flowing around you, and an environment that's actually nice to look at, as opposed to the dreary grey that thrives in GoW's visuals.

On the subject of the environments, players who disliked the repetition of Halo 2's altogether boring levels will be glad to hear that Bungie actually took heed of the general disdain that the game earned. The levels on offer are diverse and much more open, taking place in deserts, cities and forests to name but a few examples, with some genuinely impressive set-pieces sitting proudly throughout. It is sadly still a linear game with little chance for proper exploration, but not in such an obvious way that it actually annoys.

Of course, taking the game away from the claustrophobic levels of Halo 2 opens up the chance to offer up some truly large-scale battles, with large groups of Grunts, Jackals and Brutes (who have taken the place of the now friendly Elites, following the events of Halo 2) all standing in the way of you and your mission. Many of the bigger battles in the second half of the game take place in vehicles, of which several new types have been added, including the Brute Chopper (a bulked-up version of the ever present Ghosts) and a human-built aircraft that goes by the name of the Hornet.

And that's certainly not all you'll face. As well as another form of alien menace turning up to give you grief, the Scarab - an enormous Covenant killing machine briefly introduced in Halo 2 - is now a much more formidable opponent - turning up several times to literally try and stamp out your efforts.

For many people however, the multiplayer that now goes hand in hand with the series has been where the main fun of the game lies. Halo 3 builds on past success, without really changing the fundamentals. The usual suspects of multiplayer gaming are all here, free-for-all and team-based death-matches, capture the flag, king of the hill etc.
But as well as this, Bungie has introduced Forge - basically a level editor, but with a scope that really is huge. Players can pan out from the battlefield at any time and add a wide variety of weapons, vehicles and other objects to any spot on the map that they choose. It's a feature that will truly provide an enormous chance for experimentation for anyone willing to put some thought in.

However, for all that's on offer, the question of whether or not Halo 3 lives up to the hype remains. It's doubtful that any game that's been given such a large spotlight can ever live up to the impossible expectation that surrounds it, so in short - no, it doesn't live up to it. Shocked? You shouldn't be. Despite inevitably falling short, Halo 3 remains a memorable experience for anyone willing to give it a go, without expecting it to be the best game ever. The replay value is most certainly there, with the top difficulty level, Legendary, sure to tempt players back to the Campaign and into its truly unforgiving grasp, and the online features have enough substance to last for years.

A game that I would recommend to any 360 owner looking for a good, solid FPS, it's arguably the finest instalment in the trilogy, and a game that undoubtedly deserves to be played at least once.

9/10
There have been no replies to this thread yet.
Wed 10/10/07 at 12:31
"Retarded List"
Posts: 642
It really shouldn't have come as a surprise to anyone that Halo 3 has generated more hype than any other game in recent memory. Officially the second fastest selling game ever, the finale in Bungie's epic trilogy caught the attention of just about everyone. Did it deserve to though?

Picking up a short time after Halo 2 abruptly ended, the single player Campaign of Halo 3 sees you once more filling the considerably sized shoes of Spartan-117, or Master Chief as his friends call him; the iconic hero of Halo, and mankind's last hope in their desperate attempt to eliminate the intergalactic alien menace known as the Covenant. Avid fans of the
trilogy - and let's face it, there's a lot of them - will undoubtedly lap up all the twists and turns that crop up throughout the story, with some familiar faces returning for the finale.
Bungie has stated all along that Halo 3 would end the story arc first begun by Halo: CE, and they weren't lying. I won't give anything away, as spoilers would ruin it to some degree for anyone yet to experience the game, but suffice to say it brings everything to a satisfying conclusion.

Now onto the game itself, and one of the things that caused some concern amongst fans - the visuals. Technically speaking, Halo 3 is a bit of a let-down compared to the jaw-droppingly complex (but nonetheless, artistically, uninspired) graphics of Gears of War, but that's not to say it can't be a beautiful game when it wants to be. The opening level for example, which takes place in a jungle, can please the eye perfectly well with sunlight casting rays through the trees, streams and rivers flowing around you, and an environment that's actually nice to look at, as opposed to the dreary grey that thrives in GoW's visuals.

On the subject of the environments, players who disliked the repetition of Halo 2's altogether boring levels will be glad to hear that Bungie actually took heed of the general disdain that the game earned. The levels on offer are diverse and much more open, taking place in deserts, cities and forests to name but a few examples, with some genuinely impressive set-pieces sitting proudly throughout. It is sadly still a linear game with little chance for proper exploration, but not in such an obvious way that it actually annoys.

Of course, taking the game away from the claustrophobic levels of Halo 2 opens up the chance to offer up some truly large-scale battles, with large groups of Grunts, Jackals and Brutes (who have taken the place of the now friendly Elites, following the events of Halo 2) all standing in the way of you and your mission. Many of the bigger battles in the second half of the game take place in vehicles, of which several new types have been added, including the Brute Chopper (a bulked-up version of the ever present Ghosts) and a human-built aircraft that goes by the name of the Hornet.

And that's certainly not all you'll face. As well as another form of alien menace turning up to give you grief, the Scarab - an enormous Covenant killing machine briefly introduced in Halo 2 - is now a much more formidable opponent - turning up several times to literally try and stamp out your efforts.

For many people however, the multiplayer that now goes hand in hand with the series has been where the main fun of the game lies. Halo 3 builds on past success, without really changing the fundamentals. The usual suspects of multiplayer gaming are all here, free-for-all and team-based death-matches, capture the flag, king of the hill etc.
But as well as this, Bungie has introduced Forge - basically a level editor, but with a scope that really is huge. Players can pan out from the battlefield at any time and add a wide variety of weapons, vehicles and other objects to any spot on the map that they choose. It's a feature that will truly provide an enormous chance for experimentation for anyone willing to put some thought in.

However, for all that's on offer, the question of whether or not Halo 3 lives up to the hype remains. It's doubtful that any game that's been given such a large spotlight can ever live up to the impossible expectation that surrounds it, so in short - no, it doesn't live up to it. Shocked? You shouldn't be. Despite inevitably falling short, Halo 3 remains a memorable experience for anyone willing to give it a go, without expecting it to be the best game ever. The replay value is most certainly there, with the top difficulty level, Legendary, sure to tempt players back to the Campaign and into its truly unforgiving grasp, and the online features have enough substance to last for years.

A game that I would recommend to any 360 owner looking for a good, solid FPS, it's arguably the finest instalment in the trilogy, and a game that undoubtedly deserves to be played at least once.

9/10

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