Monday, August 8, 2011

Review: Halo 3

Halo 3 (X360)

I had to get to this series eventually. Since I never played Reach, I guess I'll have to review Halo 3. Let me start this off by stating that I've never been a huge Halo fan. That's not to say I think the Halo games are bad. They're just not the Chuck Norris level of Godly everyone gives them credit for being. They just feel too dumbed down for what they are, to me, at least. Halo 3 was the first Halo game I ever sat down and seriously played and, I have to say, I was very underwhelmed. The story didn't really make sense to me, but I expected that, having never played the campaign modes of the first 2 games. I assume it all comes together nicely to longtime fans of the series, but I just didn't get into it. I actually played through the campaign of this game twice. The first time I played at the regular difficulty by myself. After that, I played through again with a co-op partner on the Legendary difficulty. Neither one was that hard. Legendary would have been much tougher if the strategy of having one player hide while the other constantly dies and respawns wasn't so effective. The environments of the game were very well done. They seemed a bit nonsensical to me, again having never played Halo 1 or 2, I had no idea what any of this random stuff was. The weapons are almost too varied, but they work for what the game is. The human weapons are pretty much what you'd expect to find in any standard fps. The Covenant weapons, however, are very...varied. They're the more bizarre and situational weapons of the game while the human weapons are the standard run-and-gun kinds of weapons. Once you start to remember what each weapons does, they all make a nice balance.

Now for the part most people bought this game for: Multiplayer. This section is the only part of the older Halos that I had any past experience with. Halo 3's multiplayer isn't all that different from the other games in this series. There really isn't any part of the multiplayer that stands out to me as being amazing in any way. It's not all that different from the second game (maybe the first too, never really played it). The matchmaking is much better, although despite the hundreds of thousands of people Live was reporting as being online, it seemed surprisingly hard to find certain game types.

The only real complaints I have about it would be that it's just so bland that I just can't get into it and the way health works. It may sound strange, but I feel like you just have too much health in Halo 3. Someone I talked to was saying how it only takes 3 bursts from the Battle Rifle to the head to kill someone. I thought about this a little and realized that that's 9 bullets. To the face. To kill someone. And that's if you can do it all in one attack. Aside from having an enormous amount of life, it also regens very fast. And why is melee so effective? I shot a guy in the face with a rocket and he lived. He then punched in the arm and I died instantly. I'm not trying to complain that the game is cheap or unfair, it's just nonsensical at times. The game makes me feel like I'm playing some kind of child's first fps.

Overall, it's a decently built game with no truly major flaws or gamebreaking problems, but it doesn't really do anything to stand out to me. It was the experience that I had with this game that convinced me to not even take a second look at Reach. I did actually end up playing Halo Wars, but that will be a story for another day. I did mention that this is the first Halo campaign I played through, but I really don't think having the backstory from the other 2 games would forgive the all around generic-ness problems that, for me, make this title a 6/10.

I'd post a link, but, seriously, who doesn't know what Halo 3 is?

And no, I never picked up ODST. I heard the problem I mentioned earlier about ridiculous amounts of health was fixed in that, but I just didn't enjoy this game enough to warrant buying an overpriced expansion pack.

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