Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Halo 3 is Here!

I have been a huge fan of both Halo and Halo 2 and have derived countless hours of fun running around a virtual world shooting things with a variety of weapons, vehicles, and grenades. In this installment the Master Chief is back home to defend the Earth from a Covenant leader who is trying to find an artifact that will set off all the Halo rings and destroy the Universe. Yet another reason I don’t like religious fanatics.

I have read you can complete the entire game on single player mode in about ten hours. This is somewhat disappointing since this is to be the last installment of the Halo series, but my true love of Halo in is the multiplayer options- both competitive and cooperative. In this version up to four players can join in cooperative missions, and sixteen players can link up to reek havoc on each other.

Unlike Halo and Halo 2, Halo 3 can only be played on the Xbox 360 and the graphics are simply incredible. The environments are more detailed and sharper and even the characters look much better. Another nice addition is that the enemies seem to be much smarter than in the past, so the play is more strategic. The marines also have gained some common sense and do not step out right in front of where you are shooting quite as much. In previous Halo games I probably killed as many marines as the enemy because they were insistent in getting in my way.

Some of the weapons and vehicles are beefed up, and there are new options. There is now a grenade that will put a protective bubble shield around you, and a Mongoose ATV that is new. There is also a Spartan laser that takes a few seconds to charge, but can blow about anything up. I am also happy that the assault rifle back for when you just need to kill a lot of things, up close and quickly. There are also a new category of weapons such as flares and tripmines that you can use or have used against you. I discovered some of these the hard way.

I do have one compliant so far, which may make more sense when I finished the game. Cortana, who is a computer-AI character that helped the Master Chief through his other adventures, has been left behind in Halo 2. In Halo 3 the action will suddenly stop and her blurred face with appear with some cryptic comments that you can barley understand, and then she will disappear again. It reminds me of the ghost in the machine from the movie Johnny Mnemonic.

Halo 3 is very similar to the first two installments when it comes to the single player game, but that is probably not a bad thing since it predecessors were so popular. Where it really soars is in the multiplayer options. The Forge is an incredible map editor that lets you rearrange weapons, items, and equipment in existing maps and basically allows the player to create their own games. Of course you can play on Xbox live and have you Master Chiefs’ behind handed to you by a ten year old that lives a thousand miles away too.

Overall this is one of the best games that I have ever played and I look forward to countless more hours playing with friends and strangers online. I would recommend Halo 3 to anyone who likes first person shooters games, and I think fans of the Halo series will not be disappointed.

No comments: