Halo 3, The Not so Nice Take

September 28th, 2007

halo 3 master chief

Hey guys, I’ve been a bit out of the loop lately with my posting habbits. I’ve intentionally done this now so that it will be smoother sailing from here on in. Thanks for bearing with me. On with the show!

Over the last few days there has been quite a commotion about the release of Halo 3 and for all good reasons. The game has successfully concluded the popular franchise and the overall majority of gamers seem to be happy with what the latest installment brings to the table.

Now despite this postive energy surrounding the game, I myself actually dislike the series. Its not that I can’t apreciate a quality game, its just something about the game makes me dislike it. Maybe its the culture surrounding the game, the comparisons with Metroid Prime…as of now I am not sure. But if there is one thing I know, Halo bothers me(don’t worry I will write more about this in the near future).

So to fulfill my (perhaps) senseless disliking towards this title. I want to discus the downsides to this title. Here goes:

Halo 3 = Halo 2.5

Most of the reviews on Halo 3 have at one part or another hinted at this aspect. That is, when it comes down to the crunch Halo 3 is just a more refined version of the original Halo, more modes, features and weapons have been included but when it comes to major gameplay changes Halo really is a safe bet.

Obviously the map creator and video editor are excellent additions to the game. But they don’t change the core gameplay mechanics. Of course this definelty isn’t a bad thing. But this ‘ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ idea that Bungie have taken doesn’t really help evolve the franchise beyond its foundations.

“the gameplay doesn’t stray too far from Halo 2, which, in turn, didn’t exactly reinvent the original Halo”
GameSpot Review

“You get all the staples of the series but there’s nothing trail blazing, like the rebounding health meter”
GT Review

“but nothing could’ve prepared us for our slight feeling of disappointment. The game’s far too reliant on old gameplay tricks and recycled levels, and it really lost its narrative power “
Daily Game Review

Still a Lacking Single Player Campaign

Much like a few other good FPS games Halo suffers from a multiplayer mode that far overshadows the single player experience. This gap widened with the phenominal multiplayer seen in Halo 2 and has since expanded.

Once again the single player experience is fairly short lived. A friend of mine said that he finished the game in 6hrs, most reviewers are saying about 8-12 hrs in length depending on skill.

Lacking the Spark

Another point that popped up numerous times was that Halo 3 single player campign lacked the spark of the original title. Considering that this is meant to be the exciting conclusion to one of the greatest franchises of all time a bit more focus on this aspect probably should have been taken.

“The campaign, which is very good, is Halo 3’s weakest point. It doesn’t capture the cavalier spirit of the original Halo”
IGN Review

Weaker Graphics

A few reviews did seem a little disappointed about the graphical prowess of the game. Despite fantastic design and a good use of effects the game does seem to be slightly lacking here.

“That said, compared with a game like Gears of War or Lair, it doesn’t particularly scream ‘next-gen'”
Slash Dot Review

“Some aspects, such as some of the character models, texture work and animations seem to have needed more work or have been ported over from the Xbox. That said, while we can understand that Halo 3 isn’t a graphical revelation, at least it manages to remain consistent with the rest of the series”
PALGN Review

Did you Notice these Points?

Two points that most people would have overlooked about the titles release. Firstly, check out the Halo 3 love that went on over at GameTrailers.com, this was the day after the video review came out:

halo 3 gametrailers main page advertisement

What isn’t shown in that picture is the countdown to GT’s video review of the title. This was taken of once the review was up. So with all of this splish splash going on, you’d assume that the video review would have easily been the most downloaded video for that day. Well think again:

gametrailers most downloaded

Thats right, both the Halo 3 video review and HD review were out down by the brief video stream of Oboro Muramasa for the Wii.

The second point that I want to mention is the new poll put up on IGN Stars. Its one of those Master Chief Vs Samus polls. So lets check the results:

master chief halo 3 poll

Woah, what a landslide! Even I wasn’t expecting this.


Please don’t take this as an attack on a fantastic franchise, the Halo games are awesomeness. I just wanted to talk about Halo 3 from the other angle. I reccomend checking out the latest PALGN podcast as they give a genuine take on the series.