Halo 3 Review

01 October 2007 | Xbox 360 Review | Tags:

Halo 3 has its flaws, but delivers on so much more than the average game. Let’s answer the major questions up front. Does Halo 3 live up to the hype? Yes. Does Halo 3 wrap up the Story of Master Chief? Yes. Is multiplayer better than Halo 2? Yes. Is Halo 3 a totally revolutionary and unique experience? Nope. Halo 3 is still Halo, both in look and style. It’s a natural evolution of what was built in Halo 1 and 2. It adds plenty of new wrinkles, but the fan faithful will be instantly more familiar and skilled than newbies. Halo 3 is undoubtedly one of the biggest games ever and rightfully so since it’s probably the best game of the year and will continue to be played and enjoyed for years to come.

Gameplay: 10/10
Pros: The same great gameplay we had from the first two Halos continues with great new additions such as independent reload, equipment, 2 new grenades, video recordings, the forge, 4 player co-op, shield doors, and more. Controls are great once you transition from X to RB for reloading and the AI is as smart and dynamic as ever. The trilogy definitely wraps up with a bang (literally) and while the ride itself is superb, the ending leaves a somewhat bitter aftertaste.
Cons: You rarely have enough grenades in both Campaign and Multiplayer. Shotty Snipes should not be in Team Slayer playlist. Campaign ending seems a little forced. Campaign is Gears of War Short.

Graphics: 10/10
Pros: One thing that cannot be emphasized enough about Halo is that the animation is absolutely phenomenal. Nothing beats being able to visually see that an enemy is mere shots away from death, or wielding a sword, plus there’s the great addition of also being able to see an opponents holstered weapon on their back/side/etc. This all adds to the depth of Halo multi player and is also an example of the subtleties of Halo 3’s graphics. The game has been polished with fine tooth comb. The HDR lighting is the best I’ve seen in a game, there’s subtle motion blur when you whizz up an elevator, and the levels are gargantuan when compared to other great looking multi player games. Halo 3’s graphics are a technical achievement. This becomes immediately apparent when you first watch a game film and zoom in/rotate/rewind a colossal explosion or snipe to the head. Breathtaking.
Cons: Screenshots don’t do the game justice, but in pure screenshot comparison, Halo 3 lacks that WOW factor.

Sound/Music: 10/10
Pros: Amazing Orchestral Soundtrack that is both familiar and perfectly captures the essence and theme of the game. Great Voice actors are all back and the AI voices during campaign are as funny as ever. “Tank beats Everything!” is one of my favorites. Proximity Voice is back and the sound effects are all spot on. However, Halo 3 again surpasses other games in its attention to detail. If you don’t believe me, stand near the water behind the base on Valhalla and listen to the serene moving water for yourself. When I heard it, I was shocked they took the time to put such a thing in. Fantastic!
Cons: Absolutely None

Lasting Appeal: 10/10
Pros: This one is probably the easiest to give a 10/10 in since the Forge gives near endless possibilities to multiplayer and the maps that shipped with the game. The theater also gives you the ability to share great moments in Halo 3 with others and analyze strategies and tactics or just scan a map to see where everything is located. Halo 2 multiplayer lives on still today 3 years later. Halo 3 will live on longer.
Cons: Included Multiplayer maps are not enough! Those downloadable maps cannot come soon enough.

Average: 100%
Tilt: +/- 0.00%

Halo 3 is a phenomenal value. You’ll pay $60 for a game you’ll be playing for 3 years straight. This game includes fantastic multiplayer, and a rewarding and exhilarating campaign mode like all great games over the past couple years. But it adds in features such as the video/theater and forge which are completely fresh, deep and more importantly add to the replayability and fun of the game. Halo 3 is the game of this Holiday season…and it’s only September.

Verdict: 100%

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