Halo 3

Author: Efrain Silva

Ah, Halo 3. Where do we even begin? This game was, and is, a great continuation to the Halo storyline, as left off in Halo 1 and 2 (especially with the previous game’s cliffhanger finale that left people jumping out of their seats, waiting for this game to finally come out). According to sites like GameStop, IGN, and countless others, the game’s got a 97% positive rating.

It has a knack for perfectly blending some of the very best elements from Halo 1 and 2, that people loved the most, all while doing its best to learn from any possible past mistakes. Anyways, 2552 - 2553 are the futuristic years in which the Halo 3 timeline takes place, as you can see, not too far out from the last games...but picking right up where they left off. In the game, we got to witness the epic conclusion to the originating story arc found way back in Halo (1) : Combat Evolved.

And right from the get go, just a few minutes into the game, we discovered that the alien Covenant is back at it. And it seems they’ve now managed to locate humanity in forms they never have before. And their enmity with the human race, and the continuing integration of Flood from Halo 1, as well, are all themes that get touched upon and beautifully concluded here.

And it’s up to the Master Chief, once and for all, to take down both the Covenant and Flood. What’s also unique about Halo 3 is the fact that this game alone features an array of weapons, in - game elements only seen during play, and more...that have never been seen before in any portion of the two Halo games made prior to it. File sharing, saved cut scene footage, and even the distinct Forge map editor (that allows players to fully modify all multiplayer levels as they deem fit to do so, for the first time ever) are likewise found only in Halo 3.

This has made for a solid, surprising “final touch to the Halo series” (though there were still other titles made after this one, but we can perhaps talk about that at a later date). Microsoft Game Studios, through developer Bungie, which made the first two titles, came back to create this one. And you’ll find that the Xbox 360 is the system that provides it.

Grenades, melee - style attacks, and straight shooting, in perfect balance, are what this game allows the player to do, whether in multiplayer mode or in the storyline mode. One may also dual - wield certain kinds of weapons here, making him or her deadlier than before. To further add, you’ll see the secondary weapon that’s used, for the first time ever, actually visible on the player’s model character itself as it’s conveniently slung across their back or holstered away. These neat little touches add more vital detail and depth to the game. You can definitely tell that Halo’s been ‘taken up a notch’ for this story.

What’s also unique are what Halo 3 introduced as “support weapons”, which now allowed you to dual - wield with a lot more force and power than you could have ever imagined before. Just keep in mind, though, that these weapons will actually slow you down. Yet the firepower potential is tremendously magnified, so that’s a big plus, on the other hand. Defensive screen equipment, flares, shield generating and more had been added here as well, not to mention new vehicles that are AI-only and others non - AI ones that you can now drive, too.

Plus, you can play the usual story Campaign mode with up to three other people at a time. And to add, if you play through these missions with your three other people, you won’t all be identical - looking characters as in the two prior games. This time, in fact, the primary player will be the Master Chief, then the secondary one will lay as the Arbiter, while the last two get to be two special Covenant Elites (known respectively as Sraom and Tagamet, those being their “shortened nicknames”, heh). Regardless of the character you get to play as, your skill level will be the same; everyone starts out as basic.

The levels in Halo 3 are as follows :
  • 1. Sierra 117
  • 2. Crow's Nest
  • 3. Tsavo Highway
  • 4. The Storm
  • 5. Floodgate
  • 6. The Ark
  • 7. The Covenant
  • 8. Cortana
  • 9. Halo

And of course, game mode variations like Capture the Flag and Death Match have once again been included, allowing players and their buddies to have at it in more ways than one! And did I mention? You can also find hidden skulls across the various levels, which when activated, will certainly change the dynamics of the game, in or against your favor. For instance, some that you activate can change the very dialogue in the cut scenes, modify the way the AI processes info and reacts, and even give health to your enemies.

In addition, and if you’re a fan, you’ll love this next part. Or, of course, if you’re hardcore enough, you already know what it is. But here it is : Halo 3 definitely seemed to take care of some of the technical glitches that Halo 2 had such a problem with. In Halo 3, you truly get a polished, perfected, final summary of a game...that mixes the best of what we had to begin with in Halo 1, and adds a few other goodies from Halo 2, and then comes out with a few mentioned surprises of its own. Bam!

And you’ll also find that the Hit Scan server infrastructure, from the previous game, is no longer implemented here. It’s been changed out for something newer and better. Multiplayer, all in all, was still as good here as in the last two games, but each game always adds a unique twist of its own to its multiplayer capabilities. Anyways, see which of the three suits you best. Halo 3, live on!