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Halo 3 (Xbox 360)

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Released
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92
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.6
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Pixelspeech (955)
Written on  :  Jun 27, 2011
Rating  :  2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars2 Stars

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Summary

Overrated + Caps Lock = Halo 3

The Good

Driving around with the vehicles is pretty nice and I managed to master some of them, together with my cousin we were unstoppable. You got a wide variety of cars and things that look like cars to drive in and they are very easy to control, they are also very different and choosing which one to take can be an important choice; Some of them have guns the driver can use, others have guns that other players can control and some are completely unarmed. They were certainly my favorite part of the multiplayer and singleplayer.

Looking for the skulls is very hard, but also quite rewarding. The idea is that there are skulls hidden throughout the story and you have to find them to unlock achievements. Once you have the skulls you can go to a menu where you can activate a new rule like "you can't respawn" or "you have to hit enemies in order to regenerate your health". Some of these rules are helpful, but most of them make the game a lot harder. Turning them on gives you more points though.

The level design is pretty nice and I never really got lost when I was wandering around, the maps look pretty impressive as well which is always a plus. I have played a lot of shooters where you just have the same areas over and over again, but Halo mixes it up pretty well with levels that take place in spaceships, snowy mountains, meadows and military bases. A nice change after playing too much Half-Life and Portal. I also like some of the secrets you can find in this game, they were a lot of fun.

I played an insane amount of Forge and I must have made at least a hundred maps, most of which had to be removed because my hard drive didn't appreciate it. In Forge mode you can play level designer yourself and place items all around the map, this can lead to an evening of throwing explosives around or an actual map that is worth playing on, I have even seen maps made in Forge in real matches which must have been an honor for the creators. This is a nice feature to have around and I wish more games would have it.

The Bad

The story only lasts four to five hours depending on difficulty setting and personal skill, the only setting that made this game reach the eight hour mark for me was the highest one, Legendary, but that was still incredibly short. This is not the same case as Portal though, where the game has no padding and there is nothing in the game that doesn't have to be there. In a mission nearing the end of the game I had to take down a few towers that were exactly the same and took twenty minutes each to finish for example.

The multiplayer is nice to have around on parties and while playing with friends, but when playing it online it becomes a torture. Not only is the community just as terrible as the one in World of Warcraft and are hackers & cheaters waiting around every corner, but the matchmaking also tends to assume new players will have a fair go against five-star generals. The multiplayer as a whole is just a test to see how much frustration one can put on a person, I have never enjoyed playing it because if I wasn't the one getting ticked off it was the person sitting next to me or some British kid yelling into a microphone. It was just a terrible thing to experience.

It's very annoying that the tool used to share files (maps, pictures and movies) only has six slots available, but you can get more if you pay for an extra service from Bungie. This is something I hate in a lot of games, I bought the game, so give me all the content. In Team Fortress 2 and some other games the only items you have to pay for are just cosmetic extras, but here it is the tool used to share maps and pictures with friends! Are we reaching some kind of turn where you have to pay for each individual feature the game contains, do I also need to start paying to use guns in the campaign or watch my own recordings?

A lot of the achievements appear to me as bait used to make people obsess over the game, there is one where you need to use a laser gun to kill two enemies with just one shot, this doesn't involve skill, you just need to play the game silly until Lady Luck has mercy on you and you get the achievement. There is also one where you need to play the game on a very specific day and one where you need to play the last level with four players over xbox live while disabling spawning. I can understand you want achievements to be hard, but these are achievements for people who spend day and night playing the game.

The Bottom Line

Bungie is very close to their fans and by Christ do most of them not deserve that kind of treatment, the way the community of Halo 3 behaves is my biggest complaint and removing all the annoying people would certainly add another star or two to the score it has right now. Besides the community there are also problems with the length of the campaign, the multiplayer and a bad move from Bungie.

Like I said earlier: I could never enjoy Halo 3 because there would always be somebody going into a rage and that made me very uncomfortable. The campaign is the best part because you can't anger anybody there, but sadly that only lasts a few hours. If you're a die-hard Halo fan, this game is worth checking, but outsiders should probably stay clear off it.