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Finally got Halo 3
Posted on Wednesday, September 26 2007 @ 19:59:32 PST

So I bought Halo 3. Being in the UK I waited until the 26th but got it just after midnight at my local game store. I got to have a quick go on it before I went to bed (early morning lecture) and had a couple of hours afterwards, so what are my thoughts on it?

Well firstly the graphics are utterly beautiful, I'd say they're on par with the likes of Gears of War and Bioshock, they are consistently fantastic with excellent use of HDR, smoke and fire. Explosions look realistic and Covenant weaponry and vehicles shimmer in the light like the weird alien metal constructions they are. I've noticed shadow effects aren't spot on, shadows are there and move nicely but aren't necessarily related to the light source(s) in the area, unfortunate but by no means a game breaker.

Physics are pretty spot on and can feature rather importantly in Forge mode, essentially a map editor which allows the user to spawn vehicles, weapons, scenery items and other things to create games of their choosing. It's a lot of fun on your own and even better with a friend.

Sound is great, nice and cinematic like we've come to expect from Halo with the sounds of battle littering the airwaves and the occasional angry yell from a marine, scared yelp from a Grunt or strict order from Sergeant Johnson.

Gameplay is Halo through and through but scaled up enormously. Dual wielding is still in but obviously you don't need to use it if you don't want to, the number of weapons has been increased and (joy of joys) the AR and magnum have returned! Some weapons have been tweaked slightly, for instance the Needler is now more powerful but has a smaller clip, but things are pretty easy to get used to. Also there are now another type of item which can be used by pressing the X button (reload has been moved to RB), these can take various forms such as the bubble shield, deployable cover, fast shield regeneration, shield depletion and so on and can really turn the tide of battle if used correctly. There are now two other types of grenades alongside frag and plasma, we have spike grenades which stick to anything and explode like a frag and then we have firebomb grenades which ignite the land around them. Vehicles are back and again, have been slightly tweaked. The Warthog is back in much the same form but the Scorpion is now controllable by two people, one person driving and controlling the turret and the second controlling the chain gun, the Wraith uses the same principle. We then have the Mongoose (essentially a zippy, agile, small version of the Warthog), the Hornet (a flying human vehicle) and two Brute vehicles along with the Banshee and Ghost coming back.

I've only played the first three levels of the campaign and trialled Forge a few times but impressions are extremely good so far and I'm looking forward to some four player co op. All in all it's been worth it.

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