More Reviews
REVIEWS Hatoful Boyfriend Review
Before this review, there seemed to be an absence of a certain ornithological piece; a headline regarding mass awareness of a certain avian variety...

Murasaki Baby Review
When a little girl with an upside-down face finds a balloon, you better protect it from monsters!
More Previews
PREVIEWS Halo: The Master Chief Collectio Preview
Microsoft and 343 Industries want to bring the entire Halo saga to Xbox One and this collection does exactly that with new graphics for Halo 2.
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES Persona 4 Arena Ultimax
Release date: 09/30/14

Alien: Isolation
Release date: 10/07/14

Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel
Release date: 10/14/14

The Evil Within
Release date: 10/14/14


LATEST FEATURES Assassin's Creed Unity Interview: Ubisoft Talks Multplayer, Next-Gen Development, More
Ubisoft's first "truly" next-gen entry in the Assassin's Creed franchise takes the fight to France. Here's what you can expect.

PlayStation Download September 2014 - Updating Each Week
Sony's platforms always get plenty of new digital software and we'll bring you the list each week with the rest.
MOST POPULAR FEATURES The Updating List of PAX Indies
We're heading to PAX Prime! Are you looking to check out a few unique indie games while you're there? UPDATED: Dragon Fin Soup, Dungeon of the Endless,

LEADERBOARD
Read More Member Blogs
FEATURED VOXPOP shandog137
A Letter to the Big “N"
By shandog137
Posted on 09/12/14
I have and will continue to have a place in my heart for Nintendo. In fact, my first console was a Super Nintendo. The video game market has changed drastically since the early '90s and it seems like what once was platinum is more so along the lines of silver now. Nintendo has always been...

Halo 3: ODST Review

Colin By:
Colin
09/21/09
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE FPS 
PLAYERS 1- 4 
PUBLISHER Microsoft 
DEVELOPER Bungie 
RELEASE DATE  
M Contains Blood, Language, Violence

What do these ratings mean?

You are not the Master Chief


Tired of being a seven foot tall super soldier? Wondering what happened on Earth after the events of Halo 2? Still lamenting the loss of the magnum pistol from Halo: Combat Evolved? Still mad at Fox for canceling Firefly? Well, the folks at Bungie have heard your whining and decided to do something about it. Originally a side project that grew into a full game, Halo 3: ODST is a wonderful piece of fan service, and a darn good FPS game to boot.

click to enlargeThe action takes place in the city of New Mombasa, the city that was ravaged at the end of Halo 2. In the Halo universe, Earth is in a lot of trouble. Sure, the Master Chief and his alien pal, the Arbiter, successfully stopped the religious zealots of the covenant from wiping out all life in the universe, but they may have sacrificed Earth in the process. With the Earth's greatest savior halfway across the universe, defending the planet has fallen to the highly trained Orbital Drop Shock Troopers. Though significantly slower, shorter, and nowhere near as durable, the ODST's know how to handle themselves in a fight.

And a fight is what you're facing. In your main role as a rookie soldier, you are separated from your team and must scour New Mombasa at night to uncover what fate has befallen your comrades. In a new twist on the Halo gameplay, most of your adventure is exploring the city and hunting down clues on a large, open map. You can choose to head straight to your objective or wander the streets. When you reach your objective, you will encounter a piece of evidence hinting at what has happened to your squad. The game then launches a flashback, putting you in the shoes of your compatriots hours earlier as they fight to survive.

Though I know you want to get to the action, ducking down that side alley does have its benefits, as you uncover a secondary storyline involving the Superintendent, the A.I. that was running city services in New Mombasa. Though I refuse to spoil it for you, suffice to say that the secondary story is not only worth the extra exploration, but also unlocks weapon caches throughout the city. Collecting all story fragments is essential if you want the full story of what's going on.

click to enlargeOther than the new central Hub, the gameplay is nothing surprising. Run and gun is the name of the game, with the Halo series still eschewing the shooting-from-cover gameplay of other FPS games out there. Replacing your shield with “stamina”, is more of a cosmetic change than anything else. However, you are definitely not as invulnerable, so running straight at the enemy with your guns blazing will not work as well in this incarnation.

There are only a couple of new weapons that weren't in Halo 3, including a silenced machine gun and the return of the magnum pistol. Though nerfed from its overpowered earlier incarnation, it was nice to have the scoped zoom on the pistol again. There's also a mysterious new member of the covenant to deal with, so you'll need to check your strategy and determine their intentions.

Being a regular human in this game does emphasize the size difference of the aliens. Everything seems bigger, especially the hunters and the brutes. It's a nice perspective change and gives the overall Halo universe a little more, dare I say it, realism.

The sound in ODST, a hallmark of the Halo series, maintains the high standards set by its predecessors. The music has moved from classics to a little more mellow jazz-style, though it retains the frenetic sounds that accompany a large firefight. The voices are taken straight from some obsessive Halo fans hypothetical voice casting page. All the guys in your squad are voiced by actors from the fantastic Firefly series, while the female voice is from the sexiest robot ever created for Battlestar Galactica, number 6. Having all your main voice actors being well versed in Sci Fi is more than just fan service, it also makes even the silliest technobabble sound authentic.

click to enlargeFor you Halo multiplayer junkies, there's a few new features for you to chew on. ODST has a new mode called Firefight, which is similar to the Horde mode that was so popular in Gears of War 2. Survive wave after wave of enemies, trying to last as long as you can. Its a lot of fun, but sadly there is no random match feature for this mode, forcing you only to play with friends and others you've recently played with. As this is still technically a “Halo 3” product, Bungie included a second disc in the package that is just Halo 3 multiplayer. It includes every map from Halo 3, and throws in three more. For fans who complain that they purchased the downloadable maps already, remember that Bungie has often given away the maps after a few months, so this is nothing new.

In a devious move to counteract used game sales, you have to own ODST to access the Halo Reach multiplayer beta. The catch is that the Halo Reach beta is not set to occur for at least a few months, so you have to keep your disc. Giving users a reason to hold onto their games for longer is a solution to the used game dilemma that both fans and game makers should respect.

Though the core design was focused on the fans, Halo 3: ODST has enough in it for both veterans and newcomers alike. Reminiscent of Half Life: Blue Shift, a solid story supported by excellent voice casting, this new entry in the Halo universe was promoted from expansion to stand alone game. Though I would have liked to see more new enemies and weapons, Halo 3: ODST is a solid FPS game and a good addition to the Halo franchise.

B Revolution report card
  • New Hub Level Design
  • Great Voice Acting
  • Strong Story
  • Not much new
  • +/- Waiter, there's a Firefly in my Halo

More from the Game Revolution Network




comments powered by Disqus

 


More information about Halo 3: ODST
Also known as: Halo 3 ODST


More On GameRevolution