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

guyderman's Avatar

guyderman@ RAGE_OF_THORN

Killzone got 10 out of 10 for a six hour campaign from most people - so not much difference there - and unfortunatley a lot of people seem to mark higher for MP these days as that's where the longevity of most games is.
Posted 10:33 on 21 September 2009
pblive's Avatar

pblive

Well if the multiplayer maps are all standalone I'm now tempted. Will check out CEX trade in price for Halo 3...

...£7...so £8 in Gamestation towards ODST. Hm. Need to find some more trade ins then...
Posted 10:08 on 21 September 2009
thpcplayer's Avatar

thpcplayer

I wont be getting on release as already got several unfinished games (batman aa, forza 2, shift, guierralla) and a lot og good games are coming in the next few weeks. SO, i might well wait for christmas for it
Posted 09:52 on 21 September 2009
Karlius's Avatar

Karlius

I'll tell you what I think after I get the game. This is the first Halo game I have ever purchased.

Currently been playing GOW2 for nigh on a year and almost where I want to be lvl 49 almost lvl 50 and 100,000 kills. Which means this has come at an ideal time. All my mates are also buying this one and cost me £28 (avg is £30). It's a no brainer where as previously always had an excuse not to buy.

Wes's and the rest of the guys reviews are usually spot on for me. This is why this is the only site I listen too as an opinion. For example Wolverine got a poor score yet the review made me want the game all the more.

Wes's best review came with SF4 and in my opinion was by far the best and most comprehensive professional review in any gaming magazine or site. This review rates next to that it's not the same mumbojumbo crap you get on other sites. Well done Wes and as per usual you've convinced me not to cancel the preorder :).
Posted 07:49 on 21 September 2009
renegade's Avatar

renegade

lol this seems to be a very controversial review by a lot of people on a lot of sites lol. Meta Critic paints a very weird picture as well
Posted 02:41 on 21 September 2009
ghostdog25's Avatar

ghostdog25

never should be a 9. Halo 3 should have been a 7.5-8.
Posted 01:52 on 21 September 2009
renegade's Avatar

renegade

Also, this game comes with Halo 3 multiplayer?

So that means ODST it self *not the box* comes with a short "forgettable" campaign and Firefight? Be as good as it may be it is a feature almost every game has now. Left 4 Dead etc.

After reading other reviews it seems people are reviewing the Box not ODST, IE counting the Halo 3! Multiplayer Disc as part of it.

Picture this.

God Of war 1 and 2 say where 10 out of 10 amazing

GOd of war 3 is an 8, but comes with 1&2 which where the best games of all time, so you give it a 10?

Would that be fair. No, but it seems like what is happening with ODST
Posted 00:38 on 21 September 2009
renegade's Avatar

renegade

lol but at the end of the day, MW 2 is overpriced as well lol. it is like at RRP 50-60 quid. massive joke xD like every game that comes out is 35 quid, ODST is like 32. Seems pretty full priced to me lol.

But 5 hours does seem a bit lame :( this was a game on my list of *I may get a 360 because of this* But I still cant warrant it for Fable and Gears sadly
Posted 00:32 on 21 September 2009
renegade's Avatar

renegade@ CheekyLee

Yeh the bit at the end was good, you know the pretty graphics I love dem things..
Posted 00:29 on 21 September 2009
Karlius's Avatar

Karlius

SEE ABOVE! READ REVIEW!
Posted 00:17 on 21 September 2009
Bloodstorm's Avatar

Bloodstorm

I know Halo is 30 quid. Why is it 30 quid when it's merely an expansion?
Posted 00:07 on 21 September 2009
Karlius's Avatar

Karlius@ Bloodstorm

Its bloody not. Its £30.

You can get MW2 for £37-£38 if you shop around.
Posted 23:54 on 20 September 2009
Bloodstorm's Avatar

Bloodstorm

We're talking about CODMW2 being £45 and that as a 5 hour campaign Halo ODST shouldn't be full priced.
Posted 23:45 on 20 September 2009
Endless's Avatar

Endless

I'll be getting ODST, just pawned a butt load of games for a smattering of store credit at game station, some i wish i'd kept now, but still,, looking ofrward to Tuesday!
Posted 23:37 on 20 September 2009
Karlius's Avatar

Karlius@ El-Dev

Both the house was worth 90k I paid 85k its now worth 99k. Pre Slump houses in the street were going for 135k+. So in reality I have a Positive Equity of 14k but if I were to sell it would be more like 95k i'd actually get. meaning just over a 10% house price rise and a 10k positive equity as the first years repayments barely touch the repayment value as with all mortgages. Local estate agents are now littering the area asking for sellers as theyliterally have no homes in the popular areas.

Just so happeed that I was in the right place at the right time and as the market fell out I was looking to buy and had a mortgage in principal that was held valid. Happy Days. Whats more prices in south wales where myself and richard live are now rising quite dramatically as there are little amounts of property coming on the market other than flats that are tending to stay still with a small gain per month mainly due to an influx of new build properties that went extremely cheap as the market fell out.

Anyway El Dev lol you getting Halo?

Why are people saying the games £45?? Its £30 almost everywhere?
Posted 23:16 on 20 September 2009

Game Stats

Technical Specs
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: 2,071 72
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