Halo 3: ODST
Format reviewed: Xbox 360
2 years after Halo 3 finally arrived on the 360, Bungie have seen fit to blow their gaming beans all over our collective faces one more time with part expansion pack/part add on/all man, Halo 3: ODST.
The halo series, as a whole, is a game that divides gamers opinions like no other series can. Its enthusiasts are as vocal as its detractors, and neither will ever be able to see eye to eye or convince the other.
On one hand, you have the Halo fanboys, who will routinely tell you:
It has the best artificial intelligence in any game EVER, and the multiplayer is sublime, and simply cannot be beaten.
Actually, i might be over-estimating the average Halo fanboy there. It would more than likely be something akin to:
LOL Halo is fukkin awesome if u dont liek it ur probably a GAY FAGGOT FUCK PLAYSTATIN N00B also i work for bungee we need ur xbox live password to give u 1000 ms points for free and recon armour
And on the other side of the coin:
It’s multiplayer is nothing that wasnt done on PC gaming aeons ago with games like Tribes or Battlefield and as for its story, what story? *guffaw*
but as with the fanboys, i may be over-estimating. It will more than likely be closer to:
LOL purple aliens? What is this gay shit? Everyone knows real shooters only use brown and grey, and look at those weapons, they look like something out of a toy shop LOL, it’s certainly not as advanced modelling as the M4A1 carbine in Armed Assualt 2. Excuse me i have to turn up the smug on my GRAPHICS CARD TO MAXIMUM
Both valid, retarded, arguments. Halo 3 will win no new converts from its many detractors, but is so ‘fucking hell i just shit myself‘ brilliant that existing Halo converts will be practically using it as a masturbatory aid for months to come.
Set in the same timespace as Halo 2’s opening levels on Earth, a.k.a the only good levels in Halo 2, ODST puts you in the drop pod of a rookie ODST, during their ill fated drop into New Mombasa to rid the earth of the purple aliens that are attacking it for some reason explained in a minute long cutscene in Halo 1, probably. The plot sees ODST leader ‘Buck’, i think that’s his full name, attempting to rescue his boner from female Jay Leno impersonator and contestant for stupidest name ever, Veronica Dare, the only woman in videogaming who looks fucking sexier with her helmet on.
The action takes place in 2 distinct styles, The Rookies missions set in almost pitch dark, using the new VISR mode to outline the scenery and enemies, and as The Rookie pieces together the clues of what happened to his ill fated teammates, flashback missions set during the daytime, played out as one of Rookies teammates.
The flashback missions play as a sort of ‘NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL HALO: VOL 1’ greatest hits compilation. There’s a sniping mission, a Tank driving mission, a Banshee piloting mission, defending a building against wave after wave of Covenant forces mission, and it’s status as game of the year conender could only be compounded further by including a ‘recieving a blowjob’ mission as downloadable content. (as long as it’s not Veronica Dare performing said fellatio)
All this story preamble is to say, that you will spend the next 6 – 10 hours flying, tanking, driving, shooting, spartan lasering, and grenading the LIVING BALLS out of a whole bunch of purple, and sometimes brown, Aliens. If a shooting game lives or dies by how much fun it is to actually shoot things within it’s world, than ODST is among the finest examples of the genre so far. Not just down to how intelligently the covenant forces respond to your attacks and react accordingly, finding cover, using flanking moves etc, but down to the sheer ‘im gonna fuck your shit up‘ feeling of pulling off a fatal headshot on a wandering Grunt with the new silenced Automag Pistol, shortly followed by a ‘OH SHI-‘ realisation that you’re now running from a gang of his buddies and you’re the one puckering your anus in preparation of a rather vicious buggering. It’s this new found vulnerability of the ODST, compared to playing as the Master Chief, that gives the game its constant sense of fear and anticipation of the next big gunfight.
Halo’s multiplayer mode gets a rather justified reputation as being about as fun to play for a newbie as recieving a rectal examination from Freddy Krueger. Youre either on the recieving end of a torrent of verbal abuse from some dribbling idiot about your sexuality, ethnicity or country of origin, or you’re getting your ass handed to you by socially inept mouth breathers who exist solely to play Halo 3 and keep Doritos & Coca Cola in business.Yes, these people do exist and yes if you play Halo for an afternoon you will meet them.
ODST wisely tries to sidestep the issue of forcing you to compete with the troglodytes that inhabit xbox live by including Firefight mode, a mode that sees you and 4 friends working together against wave after wave of Covenant troops, ever increasing in difficulty. In this mode the only enemy is the game itself, so verbal abuse, teabagging, racial abuse, the calling into question of your Mothers occupation, and questioning your sexual preference should be kept to a minimum.
As a departure from the templates of Halo 1 – 3, ODST succeeds as a standalone title and is distinct enough from its bigger brothers to create its own unique little slice of the Halo universe, one we’d gladly spunk another $50 on to revisit.
Facepalms out of 5 for Halo 3: ODST