Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Halo 3: ODST on Xbox 360

When Halo: Combat Evolved was first released, it redefined the way a first-person shooter was played. Not only did it have a superb action experience, but it also created characters that you actually began to care and wonder about. It created a plot that you could follow, a story that left you wondering what would possibly happen next. In the following years, news that Halo 2 was going to be released hit the streets. The anticipation built up and the game lived up to the hype. Considered by many to be the best in the series, Halo 2 improved upon many of the facets that were done quite well in the first game, resulting in an excellent gaming experience. Then the next generation consoles arrived. The Halo series was to have a new home. Halo 3 was soon released and was well-received by the fan base. The third installment’s two best features were the gorgeous visuals and the stellar multiplayer, which have been a strong trademark of the Halo series. In 2009, the latest episode of the Halo world has been released, taking place between the time periods of Halo 2 and Halo 3. Only this time, you’re not a superhuman Spartan. You’re a regular, run-of-the-mill soldier.

ODST stands for Orbital Drop Shock Trooper, the USNC’s version of the Special Forces. The main force lies in orbit, waiting for any signal of a Covenant conflict. When problems do arise, they jump in a pod, and plummet to the source. You star as the Rookie, the newbie of the squad. You have no name, no identity, and no backstory. Your squad includes a motley crew of characters, who have personalities that mere humans can relate to, opposed to a superpowered Spartan. You’re here to show that regular ol’ soldiers can get the job done just as well as Master Chief and you don’t have to wait long to prove yourself. The Covenant have invaded New Mombasa, a supercity in Africa. Your squad is set for a combat drop, but it goes terribly wrong. Your pod is blown off-course, and you awake in the middle of the dark, occupied city of New Mombasa. Your quest is to regroup with your squad and get out of the city as fast as you can.

ODST seems more of an expansion of Halo 3 rather than a full stand-alone release. It contributes two main things to the Halo saga: A new campaign and a new multiplayer mode, Firefight. The campaign is well-structured with many interesting features and facets that the other Halo games don’t offer. You use more of a stealth approach when fighting the Covenant, which is aided by your newly issued, ODST-only weapons. The re-engineered Magnum pistol comes equipped with a scope, making it much more accurate and much more deadly. I found this weapon to be my best tool against the Covenant, dispatching most enemies with a quick headshot. Some may argue that it’s overly powerful, but I say use what you have to your advantage. Why complain about something that aids you? That’s like saying microwaves make cooking too easy. Are you really gonna complain about that? I didn’t think so.

ODST does a poor job of explaining what you’re trying to do throughout the story. In the other Halo games, you know you’re trying to destroy the deadly rings that will destroy all life in the universe. In ODST… You never really know. You’re finding your squadmates, but for what? To do what? You’re trying to get out of the city, but to do what? What is your ultimate goal? The story also includes a weak love interest that doesn’t really apply to the story, at least not in the grand scheme of things. Combat is a bit different, since you’re now equipped with a regular health bar, instead of a Spartan energy shield. However, I never really noticed a change in the way I fought off Covenant forces, besides having to scrounge for health packs to silence the annoying low health indicator beep. On the other hand, ODST’s multiplayer makes up for a little of this.
The new multiplayer mode, Firefight, has you fighting off wave after wave of Covenant forces, in a survival frenzy. Like other survival modes in recent blockbuster games, it’s much more fun to play with friends. However, you’ll find it just a bit more difficult than Horde on Gears of War or Nazi Zombies on Call of Duty: World at War. The way you progress waves is also much different, and just a bit confusing. All in all though, it’s a good, fun mode to play if you just wanna shoot some aliens with some amigos.

Halo 3: ODST is a definite must-buy for the Halo fanatic, but only if you want to drop around sixty bucks on it. If not, then you might want to wait a little bit before you purchase it, just in case you’re disappointed, because it ain’t no Halo 2. That’s not to say that you won’t enjoy it, because I definitely did. Your decision to purchase this game all rests on two opinions: Full game or just an expansion?




Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!




Site Feedback