Impressions: Halo 3 ODST

I was skeptical.  I didn’t think that Bungie could make a game this soon and it be good.  I didn’t.  I thought it would be this tiny, stupid game that would just steal money and force me to buy it and give me absolutely no reward.  Of course, as usual, I was wrong.  Halo 3: ODST is a good game. There are a few things that would stop me from saying it is a great game, and it has a few serious problems.  But the over all package proves that Bungie can make a game that satisfies.

Basically the campaign of ODST happens between the end of Halo 2 and the beginning of Halo 3.  The Covenant have taken over the city of New Mombassa.  They are looking for something?  What are they looking for?  Well, they are looking for a gateway to get to the Arc.  And if you didn’t pay attention to the story of Halo, then you have no idea what I’m talking about.  The cool thing is, you’re not the Master Chief.  You are an Orbital Drop SHOCK Trooper, trained to drop from space ships into combat zones and shoot people in the face. And yes.  Shooting aliens in the face is still really fun.

You have a cool suit, and a cool helmet with a cool HUD, but you don’t have a shield system and you are smaller and you aren’t as strong.  This all matters.  You have to use health packs again.  Yeah, I know.  Health packs.  Actual health packs.  Do you remember the game play of Halo 1, where you felt like you were a badass, but that you still had to play smart?  It is back in ODST.  I’m not saying that the battles in Halo 2 and Halo 3 were bad.  I’m saying that the battles in ODST are really good.  And reverting back to Halo 1 gaming is exactly why I enjoyed the game.  It isn’t just the battles, but the story.  You are a rookie trooper, and you’ve lost your squad.  As you try and solve the mystery of what happened to your people, you travel through the open world city and investigate.  So some Bioshock elements, add in some Halo mythos and then add some amazing music and you’ve got an idea of what Bungie was trying to do.  Play it on Heroic to get the most enjoyment out of it. Warning:  It is hard.

And, yes, Firefight is really fun, too.  The multiplayer element of the game, Firefight lets you get online with three other buddies and stand your ground against waves of Covenant soldiers.  It is almost what Gears of War 2 and GRAW 1 & 2 did, but with a Bungie spin.  It is incredible fun and addictive.  You can spend four hours easily.  It is what I’ve always wanted from a Horde gametype.

Did Bungie blatantly still stuff from GRAW 1 and GRAW 2?  Yes.  Is the campaign too short?  Sort of.  Is it fun?  Oh, yeah.  It is worth sixty dollars?  Yes.  However.  The ODST disc alone isn’t.  That is worth forty bucks.  The multiplayer disc is worth twenty, or forty, depending on whether you have the other maps or not.  The pricing of this game is the real issue.  It is worth money, and is it worth the money you’ll have to spend to play it?  That is completely subjective, and you’ll have to make your own mind up.  But if you are a Halo fan, you’ll want to get this game.


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