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This third installment marks the conclusion of the Halo trilogy and ending of this particular story arc.

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Pros

Tons of features and value for your money

21 agree

Massive scale in battles and environments

20 agree

Online co-op with 4 people

20 agree

Satisfying conclusion to the series

17 agree

You can go back and re-watch any moment from any angle from any of your last 25 games in the replay theater

14 agree

Extraordinary replay value in single player

13 agree

New weapons and equipment add more depth to already deep gameplay

13 agree

4-player split-screen is great for getting together with a few friends

12 agree

Perfectly balanced multiplayer

11 agree

Great selection of matchmaking playlists let you decide what mode to play

10 agree

Continuous updates and support from Bungie

10 agree

File share makes it easy to take advantage of Forge, while still having no skill at actual forging.

5 agree
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Cons

The online community for this game tends to be immature

13 agree

Doesn't innovate very much

13 agree

Forge mode can be frustrating.

12 agree

People drop out of multiplayer matches too often which leaves one side at a severe disadvantage

10 agree

Single player taken by itself isn't very compelling

8 agree

Fragmented user base with different map packs

8 agree

Graphics are Halo 2 in HD

4 agree

PC Version .... ?

3 agree

Causes some 360's to crash, and must be sent in for repair

2 agree

over shield only has one layer

1 agrees
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Edit

 

Halo 3 is one of the most anticipated games for 2007 as the series that defined the Xbox makes its debut onto the next generation successor. This third installment marks the conclusion of the Halo trilogy and ending of this particular story arc. Bungie has been developing the game for over 3 years and in a marked difference from other Microsoft Game Studios titles is using their own engine as opposed to Unreal Engine 3. Bungie is also incorporating a large number of substantial new features such as saved films, the Forge system, and 4-player online co-op while keeping all of the old game modes of Halo 2.

Gameplay

The Halo series revolves around the design concept of an extremely refined 30 seconds of gameplay continually repeated.  This gameplay involves giving the player tools and environment to fight against their enemies. With Halo 3 Bungie is expanding the core mechanics introduced with the first two games by expanding the range of tools at your disposal and the kind of tools that are available. Players run, jup, shoot, use vehicles, and use elements in their environment to move around the levels and kill their enemies. The player has a rechargeable shield that automatically refills after a few seconds have passed without the player being hit by enemy fire.

Weapons, Vehicles and Equipment

All the trademark weapons of the Halo franchise return with new weapons being added that represent the Brute enemy's arsenal. A new class of weapons is being added known as "support" that are heavier tools of destruction that put the player in a 3rd person view, and cause the player to move slower.

A new class of tools is introduced with H3 called "equipment". These items can support you and your teammates, or hinder your opponents. Shields, portable lifts, RADAR jammers, are examples of equipment that can be deployed in the field.

Vehicles make a return in Halo 3 with the classic warthog once again taking a prominent role. Similar to the weapons new vehicles are added that represent the Brute's arsenal.

Campaign

The campaign mode sees you playing through the last chapter of the Halo arc started with the games, and the three novels. The tag line of Halo 3 is "Finish the Fight" with the ending of Halo 2 seeing Master Chief heading back to Earth to defend humanity from a full scale Covenant invasion. Being the ending in the series many fans expect H3 to answer many of the questions involving the Forerunners and the purpose of the Halos and the Ark.

The campaign is mission based seeing the player traverse the landscape accomplishing the assigned mission objectives, usually in the form of destroying something or rescuing something else. Story is relayed through cutscenes and in-game acting and dialog.

Similar to both of the previous games, the entire campaign can be played cooperatively with another player on the same Xbox 360. And for the first time in the series up to four players can go through the campaign cooperatively over Xbox Live.

For the first time Bungie is creating what they call a "meta-game" around the campaign mode that tracks the player's accomplishments through a particular level and assigns them points and medals. Performing more advanced maneuvers such as double kills, and head shots result in more points. Leaderboards will be available for the overall score, and leaderboards for individual level scores are also available.

Multiplayer

Multiplayer is a large part of the Halo franchise and Bungie is expanding the mode for Halo 3. Similar to Halo 2 multiplayer games can be found by joining a friend's custom game, or through the Matchmaking party system. New for Halo 3 are public custom games which let you join other custom games similar to a server list that don't affect your ranking. The party system sees you joining your friends in a group and going through the matchmaking process together, so you always join the same games.

All the new vehicles, weapons and equipment introduced will be available for multiplayer. And similar to H2 there will be a multitude of game modes available for customization for custom games, alongside an ever changing playlist of ranked matchmaking modes.

The ranking system which tracks your kills and other accomplishments gets factored into the Matchmaking system to try and match you up with similarly ranked players so people get a "fair" game. People who continually drop out of a game will have their rankings negatively affected reducing their ability to find games with "good" players.

Forge

Forge is a new kind of mode that has a significant impact on the multiplayer game. With Forge mode activated players can take on the role of an entity outside the game and manipulate the level and rules of the game in a variety of ways. Spawning weapons, vehicles and other items is already confirmed. At any time players can switch between the Forge mode and normal playing resulting in new ways of playing multiplayer.

New levels can not be created from scratch, and level geometry can not be modified. Forge simply allows you to create and move items around existing multiplayer maps and change their settings. Modified levels and rules can be saved and played through as a normal multiplayer game. Custom creations can even be shared with other players on your Friend's list and beyond. Bungie has stated they'll have a website dedicated to the best Forge games and levels and let people download new Forge levels to play on their own system.

Saved Films

Halo was an extremely popular title to use for Machinima, films created using video games. The popular video series Red vs Blue is an example of Machinima, though others also exist. Bungie is supporting these kind of film makers by integrating the film making capabilities into the game itself. Players can record, save, and playback any of their gaming sessions either in the campaign or multiplayer modes. Saved films aren't actual video files, but instead scripts that playback within the game engine itself. This allows you to watch a saved film from any angle and even manipulate the camera on the fly. Saved films can be shared with friends, and uploaded to Bungie's servers with the best films being available for anyone to download.

Editions

Halo 3 will be offered in three different editions in increasing forms of fan service.

Standard Edition ($59.99) - Game disc and manual

Collector's Edition ($69.99) - adds an Interactive Xbox 360 disc containing new themes and gamer pictures, and the Beastiarum which is a hard cover book detailing the flora and fauna in the Halo universe

Legendary Edition ($129.99) - adds Legendary DVD which contains even more exclusive content, and a Master Chief Helmet to hold all three discs.

Post Review
Deelan
03/04/2010 04:21

Love the game!

Omar
12/17/2008 04:26

I heard that they're going to be instituting a BungieTube-style functionality, where you'll be able to watch your Halo videos on the web without having to do any capturing and converting yourself. Most likely you'll upload a clip to Bungie's servers, similar to Fileshare, and then it'll automatically convert it into a Flash movie for you (or Silverlight...)

I just want ALL games to have this kind of functionality!

Cmejia
09/18/2008 10:43

I loved the game even though I have never played any of the Halo games, in fact I haven't owned a video game system since Sega Saturn, I was sort of discouraged by the collapse and also I had found other interests. I bought the 360 in December 2006, and ever since I have loved it. Halo was good exiciting and fun. I got a free membership from Xbox Live and the online experience was really fun, even though I died countless times.

meNNis
10/29/2007 12:14

Glad I bought it. If you like shooters, buy this, it doesn't get much better. If you don't, steer clear; it's simply a shoot-fest with a decent story. Frag ya later everyone!

Heapatrouble
10/18/2007 11:34

They have added depth to the character story development, depth to the details (weapons, tools, vehicles, etc) and created and ending that both satisfactorily concludes the overall story and leaves an open enough ending for a new game (trilogy?). I have heard many people complain that Halo 3 doesn't improve upon the original (the same complaint that was made of Halo 2). I contend that the original Halo was good enough that all that was needed (and, indeed, all that may have been possible) was to make incremental improvements in the gameplay experience and storyline. I have also heard complaints about how the Covenant basically dissolved into a civil war once the truth about the origins of their covenant was learned. I think many people felt it was easier and simpler to simply have every member of the Covenant be an enemy. Again, I disagree and submit that the dissolution of the Covenant and the third side that developed added an interesting additional layer of depth to the overall story. I was, however, disappointed that the Hunter species again was on the side of the covenant instead of the Elites. I thought that the Hunters were an awesome ally in Halo 2.

Ultimately, I think Halo 3 has been worth every penny (and I've only played the campaign). It expands on the overall story, had interesting primary and secondary characters, a fantastic overall story, excellent gameplay and even followed many of the themes of classic hero literature. As both an avid gamer and avid reader, I am only disappointed that there is not a Halo 4 planned (as of yet).

Omar
09/27/2007 11:24

Just finished the campaign on Heroic last night, and it was definitely a wild ride. Nothing revolutionary, very "been there done that", but when THAT is Halo, it's still awesome. The AI is amazing, and fighting enemies really doesn't get old.

That's what is crazy about this game. Usually when I beat a game, that's it for me, time to move on. But with H3 beating the single player is just the beginning. I've just munched on the tip of the iceberg and now it's time for me to stick my head under the water and experience everything else. Going for high scores in online co-op. Playing multiplayer games and trying out all the Forge variants.

I've said it many times, but this game is going to last A LONG LONG time. Which is good because we probably won't be seeing a first person Halo game for a while.

Omar
09/26/2007 10:52

The graphics are actually really funny. In some cases they do look pretty bad/Halo in HD, and in other cases they look INCREDIBLE with fantastic lighting. It's really dependent on the situation and level. One thing is for sure, the sense of scale is bigger and better than any other game.

Halo was already well known for their huge battles, and H3 just takes things up a ton of notches. You fight in these big battlefields with dozens of characters and it's just madness. Fighting some of the "bosses" is really a sight to behold.

The game is definitely getting better the further I get into it. At the same time, it's VERY similar to previous games in the way the levels unfold and the kind of actions you're taking. But I guess they just didn't want to mess too much with a winning formula. We'll see if there's more variation as the game continues.

HK-47m4
09/25/2007 10:10

My friend's having a Halo Party on Friday, can't wait to see! I still am kind of surprised that the graphics are the way they are. Must be because of all the content they put on those DVD9.

Dialupinternetuser
09/25/2007 08:40

I wish I had a next gen system. Or at least high speed 'Net. I can't even get XLink Kai...

SilenceOmo7
09/25/2007 03:29

Kids at my school are getting excused absenses from there parents just to play Halo.I wish I had an Xbox360 *sob*. But I still got Metroid Prime 3 and Resident Evil 4, Wii powns!

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