linksocarina's Halo 3 (Legendary Edition) (Xbox 360) review

The Return of the Chief.

 

All trilogys are epics, aren't they? Look at some of the best trilogys in the history of the media. Lord of the Rings, The Godfather, Star Wars (The REAL ones), and even other games, like Metroid Prime, have nitched into something of a saga that has been created for the media.  Maybe good things just come in 3's. Who knows? It seems like this trend is never going to break.

And to an extent, it doesn't break with Halo. The third chapter in the somewhat overrated series is stronger than Halo 2,  graphically superior, and without a doubt the strongest multi-player package out there right now.  And with that, the major trade-off that many have advocated since the day the game came out. The lack of a good single player.

Like any game, you have to look at all the aspects to consider how good it really is. Because of the closeness of their release dates, one could easily say I am slightly biased now as to my First Person Shooter preferences, mainly because of how jazzed I was by a game that came out a month ago called Bioshock. This game is a definition of revolutionary, because of what it changed. Does Halo change anything?  Yes and no.

What Halo changes is for the good, that is for sure. We have new weaponry, from the kick ass spartan laser to the much talked about flame thrower. New vehicles, like the speedy mongoose, are making splashes as they match the ghosts in speed. The biggest change is the use of items, from portable shields, energy drainers, blinders and shield re generators,  add strategy and more fun into an already crammed game of multiplayer goodness.

And the multiplayer is the game's strongest point. Online or in a house with four, it is an experience to join long and hard fought frag fests and team battles with the intent of sniping the covered helmets of your opponents named "Knicksfan87." There is nothing like this experience out there, nothing at all.

And it is a tough battle too, because you have so much to do with so little time. Control wise the game is near flawless. Most Shooters can only dream for the use of every button for the game. While other games do the minimalist approach with mixed success. Halo does it perfectly. Very fluid and easy to learn, or adjust, to your own likings.

The game even sounds great, with excellent voice acting from the comical Sargent Johnson to the stoic Master Chief. And the orchestrated musical score is a relic in most games these days, or something only found in Final Fantasy really. It is a treat to have some classical music in the mix.

Finally, the graphics have gotten an upgrade, and they look great. There is more detail on the marines and aliens, a lot more polygons on the enviorments, all add to the detail and enhance the game. Yes, there are some framerate dips and the movies take some time to render, but it's worth it to just view the georgeous prowless that Halo 3 rightfully deserves.

The problem, however, is that it is not only some more of the same, but that what is the same should of been improved heavily. First off, your friendly A.I is dumber than pet rocks, and no help in the singe player game. Speaking of the single player game, the campaign is really...short this time. Very short.... extremely short, actually. About 7 hours shorter than the previous campaign, and also easier than usual, even on the almighty legendary.

What hurts even more is the storyline, which is still the games weakest point. This, being part three of the trilogy, is supposed to be the strongest, and while it has a better ending than the last two games, it still feels like it's missing something, and i'm not sure what it is still. Perhaps the story is so jaded there is no surprises left. Or perhaps that the change to sympathize with the elites is what is turning most gamers off on the story. Whatever the problem with the single game is, it's what is holding Halo back.

You can argue that the game is over hyped and overrated, but the fact is it's a great trilogy, one that does deserve to stand with Lord of the Rings and Star Wars. However, that shouldn't be confused with the main point; the game could be better if the glaring issues with it were just fixed. This is game three, it should of been done with game two. But this won't deter any sales, in fact it barely makes a dent for most gamers, because the multiplayer game is that good.

What I want to see some day is the single player experience of Bioshock and the multiplayer package that Halo 3 has, meshed together into a perfect package. Call it biasedness if you like, but you cannot deny the fact that Halo 3 is a weak single player game. But in the end, does it really affect the whole package that much? Most gamers will go along with the hype, sometimes unwillingly, because what the game does do right, is spectacular.

Final Score- B

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