Halo 3 is a decent, but over hyped, FPS experience
- -Online is fun and full of features
- -Core gameplay is solid
- -Campaign is short and forgettable
- -Feels more like Halo 2.5 and not a full sequel
- -A little unbalanced
- -Some outdated gameplay designs
- -Forge could have been better
Halo 3 is the first Halo game for this generation of consoles, it's hype level is crazy and it's making a lot of promises, but is the hype too much? In a short answer, yes. But this does not mean that Halo 3 is not an enjoyable game in it's own right.
Halo 3 starts right off after the events in Halo 2. Master Chief lands on Earth to finish the fight and is immediately greeted by familiar faces, including his former rival Arbiter. Tasked with stopping the Covenant leader known as the Prophet of Truth from rebuilding a new Halo ring, you set out to stop him. The campaign will take you from deep jungles to deserts, mountains, African plains, and more. However the campaign as a whole is not as strong as it's predecessors, for starters it is short. Halo 3 has a total of 9 missions, neither of which are very long, you can blow through the campaign fairly quickly, even on the harder difficulties.
It's also not as good as past Halo games, the campaign has very dull pacing, it involves with you moving from point A to point B and and simply wipe out the enemy presence, reach checkpoint, then repeat. It also doesn't try anything new, Halo 3 doesn't bring out any new ideas, it makes the campaign feel like an after thought. While there are a few new things such as the Bubble Shield, but for the most part Halo 3 feels like a watered down expansion of Halo 2. The campaign can also be played with up to 3 other players this time, however due to the dull pace, short length, and lack of memorable moments you probably won't be replaying it again. Which is fine as the online experience is much better than it's single player.
Halo 3 is packed with features and near endless options that provides a very well done online experience. It's quick and easy to join up with friends and form a party and find games to play. And thanks to it's customization, you can play Halo 3 online pretty much however you want. Don't want any shields? Turn them off. Or rockets only? Go ahead. An intense Sniper only battle? You can do it. Want vehicles? Add them. Halo 3 gives you the power to play how you want. There is also a new feature called Forge. This let's you move items, spawn points, weapons, and other map features around. However it is disappointing that you cannot make your own maps with Forge, it would have been great to have been able to design maps yourself from the ground up.
The core gameplay of Halo 3 is very similar to past Halo games, which isn't a bad thing. The same guns all shoot and feel the same, the Assault Rifle returns, as does the Needler and Plasma Rifle, along with all the other past guns, and for the most part, the core gameplay is solid. However there are certain gameplay design aspects that feel outdated, such as the lack of sprinting, or not being able to aim down sights. Halo 3 is also a little unbalanced, for example the Covenant Energy Sword is a bit overpowered just like it was in Halo 2, it's a shame Bungie did not address these issues from Halo 2. As far as visuals go, Halo 3 is fairly decent, but it's not going to "wow" you, however Halo 3 does have some good art direction which helps.
Overall Halo 3 is an enjoyable game, but it's only worth buying if you have XBL. If you have XBL then the online will provide you a good solid experience, if not then Halo 3 is a pass.
Halo 3 get's a 3/5