Halo 3

Halo 3 Review for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360

The third chapter in the Halo trilogy.

Review Verdict Read Review
10Out of 10
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Enemies will use the new hardware almost as much as you will
Enemies will use the new hardware almost as much as you will

Enemies will use the new hardware almost as much as you will

The AI is certainly a step up from Halo 2, although not entirely convincing. Bungie has mentioned the "pack mentality" before, and you can see what they're talking about. Brutes will stick together and tend to hang back while Grunts and Jackals do their dirty work. There's the odd occasion, usually experienced when playing on the harder difficulties, where you'll be impressed with how the Brutes have sniffed you out of cover, but most of the time being patient and not rushing in will do the trick. On the Human side, we found our AI team-mates to be much more use than in the previous games. When playing single-player the computer controls the Arbiter, and he's one hell of a shot.

Did we mention the Gravity Hammer? It deserves special attention simply because it's so sweet to use. It's not long into the game before you get to use one, and the first time you do it's a guaranteed jaw-dropper. It's a melee-based weapon that you swing like an axe, impacting a spectacular blow (including cool sci-fi sound and gravity distortion effect) that can knock rockets out of the sky, smash speeding vehicles into smithereens and sends enemies flying off into the distance. It's also a great way to show off the Havok physics engine. Enemies hiding behind crates and defensive positions have no cover against the Gravity Hammer. It makes you feel invincible, and when you pick one up you invariably charge into packs of Brutes swinging like a crazed lunatic. Think Sauron in the opening scene of Lord of the Rings.

Another great addition to Master Chief's arsenal is the ability to tear turrets from the ground and use them to tear up the enemy. This switches you to a Gears of War-esque over the shoulder view while you slowly lumber around unpacking tens of devastating rounds a second into anything that moves. It's great fun, although it does leave you exposed if you're facing multiple enemies, and again brings to mind Arnie, this time in sci-fi classic The Terminator 2.

The Assault Rifle makes a welcome return following its hiatus during Halo 2. Bungie has said that it felt dual wielding in the last game stopped a lot of players using grenades, so it has changed the weapon balancing drastically. We found the Assault Rifle to be our most used weapon through the campaign. The spray is very powerful at medium range, it's great used as a melee weapon and the clip tends to last. There are plenty of other new toys to play around with too, including the Spartan Laser, which pops up sporadically throughout the campaign and the flamethrower, which you use like a turret. The Covenant has some really cool new weapons that we had a lot of fun using, too. The Brute Spiker is kind of like the Covenant version of the Submachine Gun. The Mauler is like a Brute shotgun. A great combo is to dual-wield one of each, loosening up enemies mid-distance with the Spiker before mopping them up with the Mauler. There are just so many weapons to choose from that it's safe to say that Halo 3 is the most destructive Halo yet.

'There's tonnes of equipment out there, including trip mines, energy drains, flares and grav lifts.'

Supplementing the weapon/grenade dynamic we've all become so used to is the addition of equipment. It's because of the equipment that the default control system has undergone somewhat of an overhaul. X now deploys your equipment, which you'll get to try out fairly early on in the game. The first you'll probably see is the Bubble Shield, a small defensive dome that stops enemy fire from getting in and your fire from getting out. It's really useful when the heat is on and your shield is down, but you're not the only one clued up. The Covenent has access to equipment too, and there's nothing worse than seeing a Brute lay down a Bubble Shield when you're under the cosh. There's tonnes of equipment out there, including trip mines, energy drains, flares and grav lifts. Some of the really cool ones we didn't come across until late in the game. We'll let you discover those for yourself.

For some, it's not about the weapons, nor the new equipment. It is, and always will be, about Halo's vehicles. It's here that we really have to bow down and praise Bungie, because they've added some seriously cool vehicles to Halo 3. On the ground, our new favourite has to be the Chopper, a one-man Brute vehicle with a large front wheel and auto-cannons. It's like the love child of Mad Max and Ben Hur, and just about beats power sliding your way through bunches of Grunts on the classic Warthog. In the air, the Covenant Ghost has a new rival - the one-man Hornet. When we saw the vehicles for the first time, it was a real OMG! moment. Once you get used to the controls, the Hornets become absolutely savage fun to use. We won't spoil it for you, but rest assured there are moments in the campaign where you get to use the Hornets in extremely cool circumstances.

You can rip these up and walk around with them

You can rip these up and walk around with them

Halo 3 isn't all about causing havoc and beating down Brutes though. There are also little asides to the main campaign proper that make it worth taking your time as you battle your way through the game. At one stage we came across a Human soldier who was having an argument with another soldier over a password given out during a staff meeting. The two soldiers had this hilarious stand off where one wouldn't open a door, despite the other constantly moaning and banging. This was completely off the beaten track and something we wouldn't have noticed had we simply powered through the game, seeking out check point after check point.

That's another thing you'll notice about Halo 3's campaign. There's more dialogue than ever before. Soldiers will constantly be talking while battles are taking place and during down time. The enemies are chatterboxes too. In one area, we surprised a Grunt who said: "You don't look like you're here to help!" In another area, we stumbled upon a Brute leader giving out search instructions to his subordinates. It all adds to the feeling that you really are stuck in an intergalactic war, fighting for the lives of real soldiers and against a determined, intelligent enemy.

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User Comments

PaulG95's Avatar

PaulG95

This game is f------ awesome!
Posted 04:48 on 30 September 2009
triple_X's Avatar

triple_X

Awesome game!
Posted 18:31 on 19 April 2009
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TRBO RAD

This game is great i have had it since the day it came to stores and i can't get enough i still play it occasionally its awesome....but still not as fun as the first i absolutely love the first halo the best game in the world this one comes close to over shining its predecessor but still the first is the best.....although this one rox my sox...i didn't really like Halo 2 all that much tooo much of the same stuff over and over and way too many story lines goin on @ one time i was confused but after playin it alot i figured it all out
Posted 09:21 on 03 January 2009
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beaner360

BEST GAME EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!! Man i played this game and fell in love. athough I am an Expert in Halo 2(I can kick your A** any day) im still new to the whole leading your bullet system. but just wait im be in the top ten soon!!
Posted 09:00 on 17 July 2008
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DAVE

I HAVE PLAYED IT FROM THE DAY IT CAME OUT AND STILL ENJOY IT
Posted 20:55 on 16 June 2008
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dave

this game rules its brilliant online best game i have played on the 360 i got it on the day it came out and im not bored of it since after halo wars i hope they make halo version of star wars battlefront like halo battlefront that would be cool
Posted 21:05 on 15 June 2008
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Cal

Okey the reviewer obviousely is a massive halo fan and has a complete warped view on it. The game was good but graphics were disapointing like really disapointing!
way to short of a game but fun and the AI is still great.
How you can give it a 10 i dont no! more like a 7 or 8
Posted 19:39 on 27 May 2008
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DarrenTaxi

Best Game Out On The Market, No Doubt About It. =]

Gamertag ; Mass Debetor
; GrannyBeater
; DazTaxi
; Cymraeg Am Byth

=] online constantly .....
Posted 01:26 on 10 April 2008
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Nintenman

I have loved this game... I can't even beat the fist level on legendary! YET!
Posted 04:18 on 24 March 2008
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candleguy

this game is so great everything about it, makes FPS what they can be turned into. This is the Highest FPS bar has been rised.
Posted 08:38 on 17 February 2008
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Tyomack

Dude i played this game the friday after it came out and me and my friend beat it on single player and multiplayer in one night. it was easy but it was a good storyline.
Posted 16:51 on 02 November 2007
paul360's Avatar

paul360

this Halo 3 not bad
Posted 11:16 on 05 October 2007
the_blackpanter's Avatar

the_blackpanter

to the reviewer:is there any problem with your eyes?
you said the water effects in halo 3 is average,which is not true,the water effects in halo 3 is even better than that in bioshock which is already stunning.gamepro said water fx in halo 3 besting even bioshock and x-play said gorgeous water fx.you are blind.

almost photo realistic trees ? wtf,incase you have not notice the leaves on the tree in siera 117,they are pretty crappy and far from almost photo realistic,though the tree trunks is amazingly decorated with realistic moss.
Posted 06:01 on 04 October 2007
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doug

great game, but graphically is overshadowed by gears of war, which is disappointing and not what you would expect from the game of the year. excellent multiplayer modes
Posted 16:32 on 29 September 2007
Da_Best's Avatar

Da_Best

its a good game
Posted 13:13 on 27 September 2007

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Halo 3
10
Out of 10
Halo 3
  • Incredible end to the trilogy
  • Some of the best audio to grace a video game
  • Multiplayer modes to die for
  • It's Halo, but on a much larger scale
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 25/09/2007
Platform: Xbox 360
Developer: Bungie
Publisher: Microsoft
Genre: First Person Shooter
No. Players: 1-16
Rating: BBFC 15
Site Rank: 349
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