Halo 3 ODST  
Halo 3: ODST image
Halo 3 ODST

Producer: Micrsoft/Bungie
Release Date: September 22, 2009
Platform: Xbox 360
Rating: Mature
Genre: First-Person Shooter

4 stars


Suit Up and Shoot!
Written by Mike Lowther

It's time to throw down your perks and reload for Halo 3: ODST. Halo is back, but not with a complete new sequel. ODST is more of an expansion, an entirely new adventure with added goodies and surprises that compliment a brand new multiplayer system with a sick campaign. Though you're not Master Chief, we can still enjoy futuristic gun-slinging action with lots of yapping Grunts and blue-green blood.

We have a similar HUD which includes a new night vision mode, and you can easily see your enemy and pinpoint health to pick up. Sure enough, the game plays very similar to Halo 3. But I'm not gonna rag, it is Halo 3. So you can't expect much more than an expansion. This time around, we don't play as Master Chief. We take on the roles of four ODSTs (Orbital Drop Shock Troopers) who become separated from the squad on a suicide mission gone haywire. It reminded me of the movie Crash where all of the storylines intersect to make a whole, but with cool guns and aliens. From the top, it was simple enough to take control of your character as it was when I first picked up the original Halo. Same controls, but with added gameplay mechanics and some upgraded tweaks. Shotguns and Spartan Lasers are still here, but a silenced SMG takes the role of the primary assault rifle. I’ve grown more accustomed to using alien weapons quite often, since ammo is scarce. Your primary backup weapon also happens to be a magnum with a scope. You can produce satisfying headshots on the fly with this revamped weapon from the original Halo.

This time around, we have a similar HUD which includes a new night vision mode. You can easily see your enemy and pinpoint health to pick up. Our campaign takes place in the city of New Mumbai, Africa, and it's in ruins. Throughout the adventure, we stumble upon audio logs and slowly discover what really happened. The sound bytes are suspenseful and recorded well, depicting what happened before we arrived to decimated New Mumbai. The soundtrack is brilliant; epic and cinematic. Even though this game vividly reminds me of Starship Troopers, my eyes grew moist when I start every other chapter. The storyline isn’t exactly fulfilling, but film grain helps the visuals to make it solid. The orchestral music beds are soothing and remind me of the calm areas in the original Resident Evil series.

I was a little shocked to notice the multiplayer didn't have a matchmaking option. I couldn't connect to random players around the globe like I used to. Why is this? ODST comes with two discs: one for campaign with a new feature called Firefight, and one containing only the multiplayer content from Halo 3 with added maps. It seems probable to assume the packaged Halo 3 multiplayer disc was shipped with ODST to not cause too much of a ruckus. But Firefight. Ah, Firefight. The new approach to Halo's multiplayer that requires a team effort. Instead of kamikaze battling with Team Rockets and suicide beat downs, we now battle vicious waves of aliens in an all out endurance. Teams up to four players can enjoy simultaneous action and strategizing to overcome the hoards of enemies with constant challenges after each round. Many of the maps are unlocked throughout the campaign.

As for a game isn’t even considered a full sequel, it’s safe to say it’s enjoyable. It’s a reworked Halo title that doesn’t justify its release as a sequel, it can only be considered an expansion. It’s a great addition to this fall’s gaming. Halo: Reach is scheduled for Fall, 2010 as Halo 3: ODST will weigh us all over until then.

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