The Fight is Finished Spectacularly
I owned a gamecube during the initial Halo buzz and was constantly jealous of the love my friends had for the franchise. As soon as I got my 360 I bought the first 2 games and was instantly hooked. After much anticipation Halo 3 has arrived with the tagline finish the fight which it does and with brilliant results.
Halo 3 picks up straight after Halo 2's dissappointing ending with MasterChief face down in the ground of a lush jungle. After a brief intro movie your thrown into the action along side marines and the Arbiter against the Covenant. In this area the sun beats down through the trees revealing small specs of dust in the air and this sets the tone of the visuals for the game. Textures are detailed, lighting is magnificent and the art is all brilliantly in keeping with the Halo universe. The Halo universe has always been rich but spanning vistas and cinematic set pieces really immerse you in the game.
Gameplay is essentially the same as seen in Halo 2 with all weapons making a comeback and the famous assault rifle from Halo makes a welcome comeback. New vehicles include brute based vehicles such as the chopped a huge hulk of scrap which creates a motorbike and the prowler which is a warthog equivalent. Two major new gameplay features are equipment and heavy weapons. Equipment is used with a quick press of the x button and allows players to carry items such as grav lifts and bubble shields to be used in combat. Heavy weapons are often layed out as turrets which can then be removed and carried. When carrying this the camera pulls back to the third person and your characters movement slows. These small new features add a new dimension to gameplay and really give players something new to master in multiplayer.
Speaking of multiplayer its back and as good as ever. Bungie's brilliant match making mechanics are back and improved while loading can take a while your always in a full game and connection is seemlesss. The maps are well balanced with remakes of older levels as well as many new ones clearly perfected for certain game types. Halo 3 also allows players to customise their own armor and colouring giving each player a unique look in free for all games.
A major new addition to Halo 3 is forge mode. This is essentially a map editor that doesnt let you edit the whole map. It simply lets you add and remove certain items and set spawn points and weapon placements. This may all seem farely simple but the possibilities and when the huge Halo community gets control of it thousands of unique maps will be available to download.
Halo 3 has had a lot of hype and in my opinion it lives up to it all. The game is brilliantly made with an interesting story line that not only wraps things up well but also teases for the future. The addition of forge mode adds longevity to the game and has endless posibilities. If you own an xbox 360 buy this game. I have written this review retrospectively because I have just played it through again after numerous other playthroughs this gives you an impression that Halo 3 is an epic experience that still excites me nearly 2 years on