Halo returns

The biggest video game of the year has finally arrived on store shelves and millions of gamers are getting their fix with Halo 3. With so much hype and so much expected out of the game, does it live up to it all?

Sadly, the answer to this question is ‘not quite,’ as Halo 3’s non-cohesive story and somewhat mind-numbing tasks soil the game. The single player isn’t bad; it’s just not as compelling as the other two games. However, the multiplayer aspect is still as fun as it’s ever been and will continue to be a huge selling point for the game.

The story of Halo 3 begins by showing Master Chief falling an incredible distance down to Earth. Being the super soldier that he is, he survives. Linking up with fellow Marines and newfound partner, the Arbiter (a disgraced Covenant Elite who created a civil war amongst them), he heads out to stop the Covenant’s leader – the Prophet of Truth -from activating one of the Halo rings, which would destroy Earth and the rest of the galaxy.

The game plays as well as the other Halo’s, but most of what you do seems less intense than the previous installments. Most missions have you running back and forth, killing these Covenant then those Covenant soldiers. The plot gets more interesting later on down the line, but the ending is a little lackluster. Perhaps this is because the original Halo closed off well enough, while Halo 2 didn’t wrap up at all, in turn hurting this game; it feels more like Halo 2.5 than an entirely new game. And there are too many elements that take away from the Halo feel, such as terminals you must activate to get some more information about outside events.

Multiplayer was huge in the other two and will undoubtedly be the same in Halo 3. The intensity factor has carried over, and there are plenty of ways to change the experience. Many new customization features have been implanted, so you can change certain elements of maps around and even save films from your matches (you can do the same in campaign mode).
Graphically, Halo 3 isn’t pushing the Xbox 360 to its limits. Some things look beautiful, but most feel like standard 360 material. The sound is great for the most part but suffers from terrible voice acting.

So, after you have “finished the fight,” as Halo’s marketing tells you to do, you may feel a little under whelmed. It is by no respects a bad game, as it is worth the purchase, but it just doesn’t feel as epic as the other two Halos. For a more in-depth review, head over to www.gamer20.com, where you can read a full-length review, watch videos, and view screenshots from this game and many others.