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

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Finish the fight!!

Whether you be a hardcore gamer or a casual once a week gamer the halo series has become a household name and has enjoyed great success over the years since Halo: Combat Evolved launched with the original Xbox.
The third and final instalment of this epic trilogy continues from the cliff hanger left at the end of Halo 2 and after years of waiting you finally get to Finish The Fight but does it live up to the hype?

Just as the previous two the third and final instalment consists of the same addictive game play, enthralling story and mind blowing multiplayer chaos. Halo 2 really did lead the way when it came to multiplayer and too date it is still one of the most popular games on Xbox Live and Halo 3 has only added to what was already one of the greatest success stories in gaming history. Halo 3 plays very similar to Halo 2 online but with a few very nice additions, although in essence the same game Halo 3 feels very different due to the changes that have been made. These include new weapons, new vehicles and of course new maps. Deployable equipment has also been added and these include:

Bubble Shields
Deployable Cover
Radar Jammers
Power Drainers
Gravity Lifts

Although the majority of the multiplayer maps are new a few Halo 2 classics return, Last Resort is included and pretty much unchanged besides the weapon spawns which have been altered to accommodate some of the new weapons. Blood Gulch also makes a welcome return just not in the classic form it appeared as in Halo and Halo 2. It has been altered but keeps the same fundamental shape and two opposing buildings. It has also been renamed to “Valhalla” but any Halo fan can see it is just Blood Gulch revamped. New vehicles also make an appearance both online and in the campaign the most noticeable addition to the online vehicle collection is the Brute Chopper which is a single rider vehicle with 2 rotating blades that drive it which are also good for chopping dudes up, you can also fire from it which when hit seem to cause low impact explosions which are great fun when shooting other vehicles because you can just sit back and watch them flip over a few times. A mongoose has also been added which is a quick 2 seater transport vehicle.

Just as Halo 2 did, Halo 3 works using a matchmaking system, pairing you with other players at the same rank and skill level as yourself. So it's very rare that you will win easily or be smashed comprehensively, just as Halo 2 the game types and maps are completely random so you never know what you will end up playing until the game actually begins, this prevents the multiplayer from getting boring and tedious because the maps are also different and the game types vary.

People have been calling Halo 3, Halo 2.5 or Halo 2 HD because they seem to think the graphics have not undergone any distinct changes when they indeed have, it looks far far better than the second game of the series, with much more detail on the weapons, surrounding areas, player models and even explosions. With the improved power of the 360 over the original xbox it allows for more Covenant on screen at any one time, with much bigger and more detailed maps and at times the game gets bloody chaotic, with being shot from all directions and enemies just constantly streaming at you, and during all of this not once during the campaign did I experience and FPS drop, the game runs very smoothly and is extremely stable. All in all Halo 3 is one the best looking and smoothest running games that will ever hit the 360.

As ever with the Halo games the audio is sublime, great sound effects from the weapons, explosives and surrounding features such as waterfalls and streams. While running through uncontested areas just listening to the surrounding area provides a great deal of pleasure and enjoyment which adds to the overall game experience. The covenant and squad scripts are as witty and humorous as ever with several lines during the game that will just make you crack up. Especially those little grunts.

Although the campaign is the shortest of the three it rounds off the story to a nice finish, which finally makes that disastrous ending to Halo 2 make sense and end the trilogy as a whole. While playing through the campaign you'll encounter a large variety of covenant some of which are new and others which return from the previous games and of course you also encounter the flood, which also have had some new species added to them.

Well that just about covers all the gameplay, in the final game they have thrown in two new features. Theatre and Forge.

Theatre – This allows you to watch back the last 25 game play videos and record video clips or take screen shots from them and then upload them to Bungie's website where other players can view it. A great way of sharing funny incidents or pure luck kills and having people rate them.

Forge – This is the other new feature and it's a level editor, although you can't actually edit the level layout you can add features, weapons, vehicles or just about anything you want. A great way to show off your imagination and if you create something truly great it can be uploaded to Bungie and other people can download it and play it. The forge editor can provide some great entertainment with friends just trying out what each other has created.

All in all Halo 3 is the probably the best game you will play for years to come it does live up and even exceed the hype that the halo series as a whole has created. It truly does finish the fight and rounds off the story, just like Halo 2 the multiplayer will without doubt live for years and will no doubt remain the most played game on xbox live week in, week out. Halo fans rejoice, it's finally here and boy was it worth the wait!!!!

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