Halo 3 ODST
I think itâ€™s fair to say up front that Iâ€™m not a big Halo fan. Iâ€™m not a hater either; Iâ€™ve just never got into Halo as much as some other FPS. I think I prefer my games (and I know Iâ€™m going to get mocked for saying this) to be grounded in some degree of reality. If itâ€™s a FPS, I want to be using a gun that actually exists, even if itâ€™s not in general use quite yet. I really would rather have an obsolete World War 2 rifle than a plasma gun any day. If itâ€™ a racing game I donâ€™t want to be able to bounce off walls with on damage â€“ there has to be consequences.Â
Halo never really had this. There was little in the way of one-shot kills (as far as dying yourself) and the weaponry was just to futuristic that I never quite knew what was the best weapon for the job. I must admit however, to enjoying the silence SMG and side arm that the Orbital Drop Shock Troopers are kitted out with, but at my rate of fire (some might call it â€˜spray and prayâ€™) I was always running out of ammo and having to pick up alien technology.
Getting rid of Haloâ€™s mainstay, Master Chief must have been a hard decision, but itâ€™s one that I think pays off big time. This is still a Halo game through and through â€“ It has that feel, and the same enemies, but this time youâ€™re not an enhanced solider, youâ€™re just the best humanity has to offer.
With Hollywood cinematic, we are introduced to the storyline, dropping in on New Mombasa in the midst of a Covenant attack, something goes terribly wrong and deployment is a disaster. You get to play the rookie, who awakes in his battered pod hours after the jump, to find yourself dazed and alone in a city running amuck with alien nasties.
You first job as a trained ODST is to try and located the rest of your squad, and in doing so have to battle your way though the dark city streets with the help of your combat HUD and a map that you handily download from a still working ATM machine. Itâ€™s kind of like a detective story, where you have to piece the story together, bit by bit. Fortunately you donâ€™t have to do it alone, as you get to time warp every now and then and play a different character and get to see part of their story.
Graphically it seems like itâ€™s the same as Halo 3 on the surface, but look a little deeper and you can see that Bungie have drawn a lot more detail out of the graphic engine, though a lot of the detail is put to waste when fighting with the combat HUD engaged, as your world turns into a wire framed shooting gallery.
The AI seems pretty good, even if the aliens seem pretty dumb from time to time, they will out flank you if you give them the space. The pacing is good, with plenty of action to keep your adrenaline glads in production mode, punctuated with occasional quite moments that lull you into a false sense of security.
Itâ€™s game that challenges you enough to make you want to keep on playing, keep on pushing through to uncover a little bit more of the varied story.
All in all, the stand-alone game is a decent FPS that should keep fans and casual gamers happy.
But wait, thereâ€™s more.
One of the biggest highlights of ODST is the Firefight multiplayer mode. You get to play with three mates in a single location firefight, where you have to try and hold off wave after wave of increasingly difficult Covenant forces. Itâ€™s a high octane blast that will see your evening disappear in the blink of an eye. Iâ€™d liken it to the Nazi Zombies co-op feature in COD:WAW. Itâ€™s fun, but sadly itâ€™s about the best part of the whole multiplayer experience.
ODST comes with a second disk containing the â€˜complete Halo 3 multiplayer experience,â€™ but this is only one for die hard fans, as you really have to know your stuff. Game play seems to centre around jumping around like the Easter bunny on P whilst shooting anything that moves. Itâ€™s a frantic place to be for anyone used to the careful but dealing hunting that Modern Warfare allows; stay standing in one spot for too long and itâ€™s like youâ€™re sinking in quicksand the speed at which you will die. This might be good for kids whoâ€™ve had too much sugar, but for the casual, not Halo gamer, itâ€™s sure to be a little too much pace with not enough time to get used to how things work.
Reviewed on: Xbox 360
Available on: XBox 360