Halo's back
Halo's back

Halo's back

Halo. Microsoft's great Xbox seller. Bungie's tour de force. It knows no bounds. It conquers all. It is our Star Wars.

Halo's enduring popularity is remarkable. Some two years after Halo 3 broke global entertainment launch records it's still the most played game on Xbox LIVE. Master Chief is Mario for the console FPS generation.

Why is Halo great? Answers are varied, and objective. But ask many why they keep flooding back for more, and they'll answer with one, simple word: multiplayer. Arguably Bungie's most influential innovation, Halo's multiplayer paved the way for console shooters that followed it. Halo: Combat Evolved made system linked Xboxs fashionable. Halo 2's ground-breaking online matchmaking carried Xbox LIVE's fledgling years on the crest of a wave, breaking only when Halo 3 refined the process further on the Xbox 360. Without Halo, would we have enjoyed the brutal online thrills of Modern Warfare or Killzone 2? Now, in the post CoD/Gears of War world, it's time for Halo to return.

And returned it has, this time with Halo 3: ODST, a two-disc release described by Bungie as “much more than an expansion”. We've finished the brand new campaign, checked out all the new weapons, explored the abandoned city streets of New Mombasa, pumped hours into the brand new co-operative multiplayer mode Firefight and killed more Covenant than we could possibly count. So, is Bungie right? Is Halo 3: ODST much more than an expansion? Is it worth your hard-earned cash?

With ODST, it often feels as if Bungie desperately wanted to create something different, but, for whatever reason, wasn't able to go as far as it wanted. There are obvious influences from other games, most clearly 2K Games' BioShock, and distinct tweaks in the tried and trusted Halo formula, but ODST is still very much a Halo game that fans will instantly find familiar.

Meet the Rookie, the "strong, silent type".

Meet the Rookie, the "strong, silent type".

The most obvious change is the introduction of the Rookie, a UNSC Orbital Drop Shock Trooper, as central playable character. Master Chief is nowhere to be found. He's off gallivanting in space. He's saving the world. He's doing his thing. The Rookie, being a human bereft of the cybernetic enhancements that make John-117 a super soldier, has less grandiose ambitions.

Set during the events of Halo 2, ODST begins with a cutscene as testosterone-fuelled as it is typically Halo. Buck, voiced by Firefly star Nathan Fillion, is preparing his five-man squad for a drop on the African city of New Mombasa. The Covenant, Halo's deranged cult-like alien brotherhood, has taken complete control over the city. As the ODSTs lock and load, you get a sense that you're embarking on something of a suicide mission. But with Master Chief otherwise occupied, you're New Mombasa's last hope.

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User Comments

Mr_Ninjutsu's Avatar

Mr_Ninjutsu@ Shipo

It's spelt douchebag
Posted 07:26 on 01 October 2009
Shipo's Avatar

Shipo

duchbag
Posted 03:04 on 01 October 2009
Miguel_Zorro's Avatar

Miguel_Zorro

Having now seen enough of this game, I don't think it's good enough - or even close - to be a 9. It's maybe a 7. The criticism that this game has received is justifies. M$/Bungie threw a few levels together, slapped the name Halo on it, and released it - and it worked. This sent entirely the wrong message to the developer. As a result, you can look forward to more shovelware in the future.
Posted 16:52 on 30 September 2009
Shipo's Avatar

Shipo

buy halo3odst youl love it
Posted 02:06 on 27 September 2009
Mr_Ninjutsu's Avatar

Mr_Ninjutsu

Its a shame Microsoft milk it so much but great review.
Posted 22:30 on 26 September 2009
GeNeCyDe1993's Avatar

GeNeCyDe1993

Great review Wes, Completely agree with it all :) as a person who critisized halo before i now am in love with the franchise. This game is really a must buy for 360 owners.
Posted 22:14 on 26 September 2009
Shipo's Avatar

Shipo

: ok heres some the smg changed pistel is faster now and the first missions kinda sad :drool: :crying: :cool: :blink: :thumbup:
Posted 06:51 on 26 September 2009
CRUSH17's Avatar

CRUSH17

great review thanks
Posted 17:54 on 23 September 2009
Endless's Avatar

Endless@ Karlius

i think most people's arguement is that the price tag is too high for people that have already got Halo 3. I personally still think the £30-35 is well worth it even discounting the whole of the original Halo 3 Multiplayer included on the second disc.

There were 3 people queueing with me when i bought my copy who were all buying it, so it seems there aren't enough people complaining to make it unsuccessful.

But the vocal few always love to moan and pick things apart so let them do it I say. We'll carry on enjoying a quality game.
Posted 16:35 on 23 September 2009
El-Dev's Avatar

El-Dev

Was tempted by this, but there's too much else knocking about at the minute to warrant it. Plus I bought IL2 and foolishly a new TV this week so it can go on my Santa list for a bit of light Christmas enjoyment.
Posted 11:41 on 23 September 2009
Karlius's Avatar

Karlius

Well for those that haven't played it and criticised get a grip. Wes your 100% right mate 9 is well deserved especially for someone like me that never played Halo 3.
Posted 10:00 on 23 September 2009
Shipo's Avatar

Shipo

i just got halo3odst
Posted 02:58 on 22 September 2009
Woffls's Avatar

Woffls

Hmm, not sure I'm gonna' read four pages. I know it's a big game an' all, but I'm sure we don't need this much information, especially when the conclusion seems to be pretty close to "Yep, it's still Halo". Though, having not read the entire thing I could be off the mark...

My pre-order should be arriving Tuesday (omg I just realised tomorrow is Tuesday! :D) look forward to giving you all a good thrashing again ;p
Posted 20:15 on 21 September 2009
Endless's Avatar

Endless@ pblive

I got £10 for Halo 3 yesterday in Gamestation. Astounding given some of the 360 games i traded in were worth less and were newer. most of the DS games i tradeded in were worth as much!
Posted 13:12 on 21 September 2009
xboxlive's Avatar

xboxlive

Nice review/nice read,keep up the good work.
Posted 10:44 on 21 September 2009

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Halo 3: ODST
9
Out of 10
Halo 3: ODST
  • The pistol is FPS gold
  • Firefight is brilliant fun
  • Forgettable plot
  • The campaign is short
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 22/09/2009
Platform: Xbox 360
Developer: Bungie
Publisher: Microsoft
Genre: First Person Shooter
No. Players: 1-16
Rating: PEGI 16+
Site Rank: 1,459 74
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