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Gzalzi’s Review of Halo 3

Let me start off by telling you that I am a [b]huge[/b] fan of the Halo franchise and story. I have collected many of the small toys, the large figures, the Action Clix, and plan to buy the Laser Tag. I [i]love[/i] Halo. I was more into campaign till about a year ago so I didn’t have too much knowledge of the Multiplayer side ‘cause I never played it. Halo 2 had its problems, but it was fun enough to keep playing with no worries, it was forgiven for being rushed, but that isn’t the case with Halo 3. Halo 3 was not rushed and Bungie was given ample time to complete their game. Halo 3 cannot be forgiven. Also, I must state that I’m not just nitpicking or some crazy fan-boy of the PlayStation, Gears of War or even Halo, for that matter. Nor am I a fan of MLG or anything like that. That is not the reason for this post; I am making this post to voice my opinion, as far as I am allowed to do so, and I’m trying to provide, unbiased, constructive criticism. [i]*Minor Spoilers.*[/i] [b]Campaign[/b]: I must say it, the campaign was just [i]wonderful[/i] it is just about everything I expected it to be! May have been a little too heavy on the Scarab battles, but that really isn’t that bad. The story was great, at least, if you over look some bad and even [i]horrible[/i] lines in it. (“To War.” Anyone?) The levels played nicely and none, not even Cortana, in my opinion, were tedious. Although, Crow’s Nest came close to crossing the line. The story almost completely repeats Halo: CE’s story, and not to the point where it was stupid, the story’s repetition was pulled off surprisingly good. The level, “Halo”, was probably the best level of any of the Halo game to date, it was surprisingly fun for a Flood level and the battle with 343 Guilty Spark along with the race at the end was very epic. (Although, the orange wave that keeps you away from him is odd.) [i]Meta-Game Scoring and Skulls[/i]: The Meta-game was a [b]great[/b] idea in my opinion! It brings whole new life to the Campaign, trying to beat your friends for the highest scores on Single Player and Co-operative play. The Skulls mixed with the Meta-game makes for great fun, even in Normal difficulty. The returning skulls and the new ones were all very interesting and great to switch around. The only bad part was the leaking of the “I Would Have Been Your Daddy” (but the dog beat me over the fence) skull. It is truly a hilarious skull whenever it is active. My favorite line with it was probably when you attack 343 Guilty Spark while he is your ally, he

sometimes might say, “Ouch! That hurt my feelings! Wait, I have feelings? Oh my god! I’m a real boy! [i]*Spoilers End.*[/i] [b]Details[/b]: This game is just filled with tons of details and minor bits that just make it right. The traffic cones, radios, chairs, boxes, etc. on the maps (Campaign and Multiplayer) really make you feel like you are in a place that is, or once was, inhabited by some creatures, be they Humans or beings from another Solar System. [i]Audio[/i]: The audio in Halo 3 is just glorious, all the weapons sound and feel powerful. The dialogue is done very well and volume and pitch changes good when it is needed. As demonstrated in [URL= http://www.bungie.net/News/content.aspx?type=topnews&cid=12878]this[/URL] news story, Waves Audio Plug-Ins really help Halo 3’s audio be the best it could be. The weapon’s fading effect over range is done very well for that is done. The only complaint I have is that some weapons can’t be heard as far away as you might think they would be. That was one thing that worked better in the Beta. [i]Graphics[/i]: Now, I know this is a hot topic and the source of much controversy, although I don’t understand why sometimes. The Graphics in Halo 3, when only quickly looked at without paying attention really do seem somewhat poor by today’s standards, albeit the environments being very colourful and full of life. When a sharp eye examines the game’s graphics, even on a Standard-Definition Television, it can be seen that there is [i]incredible[/i] detail in all parts of the game, players, weapons, objects, vehicles, etc. The graphics in Halo 3 are truly detailed to the point where no one should be able to complain about how they are, there are such minor details in everything that you would never noticed unless you went looking for it, and that is what good graphics are about, details. [i]Lighting[/i]: The lighting in Halo 3 is simply amazing. It can be awe inspiring what HDR lighting can do to make a game’s Graphics look even [i]better[/i] then they already are. The lighting effects with fire and explosions are the [b]best[/b] lighting effects I have seen, ever, I must say. Just go look at the Screenshots Forum; they usually have some good screenshot showing lighting.

[b]Saved Films[/b]: Halo 3’s Saved Films feature is a wonderful addition to the game and are done very well. Although, it does take an exorbitant amount of time to load one with another player in your party. It is disappointing that you cannot rewind in Multiplayer, nor even jump back in Campaign, but this can be forgiven as oblivious data restrictions would keep it from happening. Although, the ability to link Film Clips together would be a very popular feature.

[b] Multiplayer [/b]:The Multiplayer, some say, is what makes Halo great. I don’t really agree with that, but it is a common thought among Halo players. Although, I won’t say that the Multiplayer isn’t a [b]major[/b] part of the Halo games. [i]Maps[/i]: The Multiplayer maps in Halo 3 are very well done, there are a good variety of small, medium, and large maps. The nine maps of Halo 3 are well done and hopefully the new ones that should be coming out soon will be just as good. The number of maps is respectable for their quality and it is surprising that new maps are coming out so early. Most of the maps play very well and have good weapon set-ups. [i]Equipment[/i]: The Equipment in Halo 3 is very well done. All of it is useful, even if it doesn’t seem like it at first. (Radar Jammer and Flare)In the hands of a good player, difficult equipment like the Flare can be put to use to turn the tide in some games and even less skilled players can turn the tables on the better players. Skilled players have a new tactic to try and defeat now. All of the equipment seems perfect and well balanced except maybe the Trip Mine, seeing barely any use now due to its becoming weaker after the Beta. The power it had in the Beta was appropriate for it and even with the high number of betrayals you could get with it, it needs a power boost. [i]Grenades[/i]: The grenades are a bit off, the throw distance for the Spike Grenade is too far and it is too short for the Fragmentation Grenade, they need to be switched. The Plasma Grenades are the done very well though, as are the Firebomb Grenades. The Firebomb Grenades don’t show up anywhere in standard Matchmaking sadly, although, understandably as they are almost always an instant kill to any one nearby. [i]Weapons[/i]: The weapons in Halo 3 are very well balanced, the Assault Rifle is a perfect spawning weapon. The weapons just feel right, good power, speed, sound, and feel. The Battle Rifle finally feels right, not too powerful, and not too weak. The Sub-Machine Gun has also gotten an upgrade. It now sounds amazing when Duel-Wielded and is somewhat powerful in close range. The weapon that everyone has been complaining about is the Mauler. This miniature Shotgun used by the Brutes is somewhat weaker and has far less range then a standard Human 8Guage Shotgun. Its attack, which can take down shields, but is never an instant kill, is perceived as too powerful and many people can’t use the proper tactics to avoid it. [i]Turret Weapons[/i]: The Turret, Plasma Cannon, Missile Pod, and Flame Thrower are all very well done weapons. There really is not much to say about them. Here be Dragons.

[i]Mêlée[/i]: Mêlée is another hot topic and most people see it as a love/hate affiliation to it. That is not so. Many people want the Mêlée system from Halo 2 (who Mêlées first does damage) to make its return. The fact is that the Halo 2 Mêlée system is [i]highly[/i] affected by lag and can ‘cause odd things to happen when lagging. The main reason for hate of the Halo 3 system is it is seen as ‘unfair’ to people who press the Mêlée button first. (Who presses first obviously has the most ‘skill,’ right?)Although, the Halo 3 system almost eliminates the lag factor in Mêlée attacks. I will not say that Mêlée in Halo 3 is broken, it works just as intended, but the way it works is somewhat off. I agree with the main principle of the Halo 3 system, but the fact is, the window for getting the ‘simultaneous’ Mêlée attack is [i]far[/i]too wide and causes much frustration in many, many players online. [i]Lag / Hit Detection[/i]: (Let me start off by saying, I really don’t know if this is a Lag or a Hit Detection problem. I just can’t tell, but most people, including me, have been blaming it on Lag. Honestly, I think it is design flaw, but I’m giving Halo 3 the benefit of the doubt.) Lag, we know it, we hate it. It happens; we have to live with it. Depending on the game, lag may or may not be a major cause of frustration. Halo 3 is not one of those games. I’m not saying Halo 3 is laggy, I am in Green bar almost all the time, what I am saying is, that Halo 3 has such horrible lag management problems that even in Green-Bar things act like Yellow or Red-Bar. Halo 3 deals with lag so unbelievably horribly that even being in the Lower Green-Rated Ping is enough to cause [i]major[/i] differences in data from the Host to other players. Sniper Rifle shots not registering, this is why. The problems with lag are so vast in Halo 3, a problem that Halo 2 didn’t have, (I’m not saying Halo 2 didn’t have lag problems) that it almost makes some parts of the game unplayable, even with Green Ping. Take [URL= http://www.bungie.net/Forums/posts.aspx?postID=13800383]this[/URL] for example. Every person in the game had Green-level Ping. This is just unacceptable, having a bad connection is one thing, having a game that can’t manage Lag or has poor hit detection or whatever is causing all of these problems is just unacceptable and makes the game almost unplayable due to being cheated out of shots just about every match. It goes both ways too, shots may hit and do absolutely no damage, yet, rockets will be a good foot away from you and still blow up! [b]Forge[/b]: Halo 3’s so called ‘Map Editor’ which is more of an Object Editor is not new thing for the Xbox 360. A better Map Editor was included with Far Cry: Instincts, although in Halo 3, you can actually play games while editing, making for interesting game play. Forge really is excellent, in theory. Some of the restriction on weapons, objects, and other things make it of little use on most maps, even Sandtrap. The limitations on Vehicles are of little problem, as they make some scene. Other limitations are just downright odd, such as no Plasma Rifles on

Valhalla. I see little point in a restriction like that. Every weapon should be usable on every map. Period. The Object limitations are also quite absurd; every object usable on any of the maps should be usable on any map. I understand leaving Flamethrowers out of some levels to prevent loss of FPS, but Plasma Rifles? Carbines? I just don’t understand. I must say, if there is some other technological explanation to why they cannot be placed, please, prove me wrong. I have no problem at all with the monetary limitation, but any object or weapon should be usable on any map that we please.

The whole point of all of this was to show that just the problems with Multiplayer game play and Forge are enough to almost ruin the game. I have only posted this to see what other players think and to voice my opinion; I in no way contrive what I have said to sound as tru7h. That being said, I will not stop playing Halo 3. Halo 3 is one of the best games ever made in my opinion. I only think it is sad that for being the best, it is surprisingly unsatisfactory. That is why, in my eyes. The greatest game ever made, is just not [i]that[/i] great.