Most people started their Halo Spartan Career with this game, but that would only be skimming the surface of the fight. Halo 3 is one of those games that continued over from the last game, but added a few extra items and maps. However, this is far beyond just items and maps.
Halo 3 was the first game to have an "MLG" rating (Major League Gaming), as no other game had an entire League dedicated to it to such a level (The "Major Leagues" is the highest level of Sport in the USA). Serious competitions and the most Machinimas (creating a movie using video game content and gameplay) were created using Halo 3. Even the famous "Red vs Blue" series used this game for their shows. Go on YouTube anyday and type in "Halo 3" and you would find THOUSANDS of videos! (If not MILLIONS!)
What makes this game stand out from even Halo 4 is rather obvious! Just like all the other Halo games, multiplayer is its biggest asset. With the advent of even more medals and achievements, it was THE Halo game to have at the time of release. It was what made XBOX LIVE even more successful.
But what gave this game the edge over Halo 1 and Halo 2? What were the drawbacks? Is it worth buying or even renting today? Let us discuss...
(PS: I appologize if this review is too long, but it is a great game, and in this case, I have lots to talk about!)
- Graphics: Halo 3 had (at the time) set the bar for graphics in the Halo games. It was an improvement to the Halo 2 graphics, but with greater detail. From bullet holes to the destruction of an entire Covanent Dropship, you can see the obvious improvements. (Can't understant why Halo 4 has slightly bad explosion graphics).
- Gameplay: We don't have to say much here. If you have played any of the Halo's (except Wars) you can get the idea of the gameplay. You can play this game for years, and still have loads of fun.
- Story:The story continues from where Halo 2 stopped. With the battle starting on Earth and ending in Space, you are never out of things to do. Even though it is short (as with all of the Halo's), it has a trump card that makes up for it. This is...
- ...Multiplayer:The pure pinnacle of Halo 3. This was what made Halo 3, and all of the FPS' for that matter such successes and direct rivals to each other. The biggest battles, teamwork, and even movies are made here. With the addition of more gametypes such as Infection and VIP, and more vehicles such as the Mongoose and Mauler, extra fun is added. It is where skill is truly shown, and the place where the Recruits are separated from the Elite. You can get lost in this game for hours, and time zips by as you play with friends either Locally in LAN or online in XBOX LIVE.
- Medals: Medals were introduced in Halo 2 and has ever since been featured in every Halo game (not sure about Wars). As I had explained in the Halo 2 review, Medals reward you with an extraodinary feat that you had done in the game. As such you can stack up lots of medals in one game. Sprees, Multikills and even Medals that don't necessarily require you to kill anyone can be found here. There is a total of 57 medals to be had (2 of which can only be obtained at with Bungie.net users), 37 more than that of Halo 2.
- XBOX LIVE:XBOX LIVE became bigger with this game, as most of their subscribers started here. Since the only way you could've played online was on XBOX LIVE, many people subscribed as soon as they had the chance. With this programme, you were allowed access to exclusive content, as well as player Statistics to see how you fare against other players of your group. It was not free, however, it was affordable and you had the option to choose particular plans. Also, XBOX LIVE was less susceptible to Hacker attacks than the PSN equivalent, boasting their security beefup. However, hackers still made their way in...somehow.
- Downloadable Content: Halo 3 was one of the first games on XBOX 360 to feature "Downloadable Content", where it is either purchased or obtained after doing a particular feat. One of the more famous Halo 3 DLC's was the Recon Armor, which could have been obtained by simply being killed by a traffic cone in the game. With this and many other DLC being found, it left players on the edge to obtaining all the the goods that Halo had to offer.
- Clans and Wars: A number of players in Halo 3 created Clans to identify their players of particular clans. Inevitably, this created wars when rival clans meet or organise battles. This was actually fun, providing that it did not spiral out of control. i4Ni, STR8RIPPIN, and Dark Assasins are just a few of the many clans that exists. Usually, a clan member would put the name of their clan before their gamertag. For example "i4Ni ErmacShadow". There was once a war between Spartan Models and Elite Models which spurred on for 2 days. In the end, the Spartans (Red) had beat the Elites (Blue) in one of the longest private games ever played (Score: RED - 5392; Blue - 5390).
- Machinimas: This is really a smashup of "Machine" and "Cinema". It is defined as creating a movie or short video clip, using resources from a game or a pre-rendered game engine. Many people have made Machinimas, and some even went on to make professional series. DigitalPheer's "Arby 'n the Chief" and Roosterteeth's "Red VS Blue" are two of the more famous series on YouTube. (Red vs Blue actually started their series since Halo 1). Using the "Forge" gametype, where you can create maps of your desire, players can create the scene that they want for their movie.
- Major League Gaming: Halo 3 was the first game to receive the "Major League" license, being the first Major League Game. The Logo for Major Leage Gaming is actually a Halo 3 Spartan with the Assault rifle, as most of the MLG games were played here. A lot of sponsorship was created, as well as being featured on ESPN, was a feat that not even the biggest sporting game franchise (the FIFA Series) could really match.
Of course, there are the few odd things about Halo 3 that people did not really like...
- Trashtalkers: One of the biggest turnoffs to Halo 3 was trashtalkers, persons who would use the chat function to slew racist or homophobic comments to other players whether they are winning or losing. This caused much concern for the gaming community, where some even ended their whole XBOX LIVE Subscriptions because of it. Now, there is the complaint function. If you think that people are trashtalking in the extreme, you can report them. Those that are reported many times for the same offense may be banned from XBOX LIVE.
- Kids: This game was rated "M" for Mature by the ESRB, the rating system for games in the Western Hemisphere (PEGI is the European Equivalent). However, parents would still buy these games for their children. While in itself it may not be a major problem (as some kids are well behaved and often play just to have fun) other kids are just not meant to play Mature games. Abuse of the chat function, screaming and whining, and even crying because they had lost a game can turn gamers off. Not only this, but the same parents that had bought the game had campaigned against it. Quite funny how that turned out. In some extreme cases, these kids turn out to be abusive toward their friends and parents, as they had learnt particular words from elder players on XBOX LIVE. One child was reported to have hit his mother with an XBOX Controller to the face, because she told him he had to turn it off.
- Cheaters and Hackers:Just like Halo 2 (and many gamers) Hackers and Cheaters are the scorges of gaming. Using their cheats and hacks gives them major advantages. One particulat Hacker used an Invicibility, Aimbot and Superjump hack and stayed in one spot, only to jump and shoot. He was able to jump 3 times higher than normal and would not die, even when planted with a Sticky Grenade. Because of such hacks, players often try to leave games, but because each game they leave they are penalised EXP, they tend to stay till the game ends, giving the hacker ultimate control. As with trashtalker, but to a greater detail, they can be reported and Permanently Banned from XBOX LIVE.
- Bandwagonsits:There are people that only gravitate towards the newest of the games. When Halo ODST and REACH came about, people stopped playing Halo 3 and went towards those. Today, there are still over 20,000 players that battle it out in Halo 3, a far cry from the MILLIONS that used to play upon release. These bandwagonists tend to gravitate towards the newest games, and never really appreciate the game that they may currently have. This is what may kill a franchise (the same thing happened in Halo 2).
- No Halo 3 PC?: Despite many claims that Halo 3 was coming out for the PC, and even fewer claims that people were able to get it to play on their PC's, Halo 3 never did come out for the PC. This was a MAJOR bummer for PC gamers to get their hands on it. It was said that because sales were poor on the Halo 2 Vista Port (because they ported it for a terrible OS) Microsoft had decided that their XBOX 360 Flagship product should stay just there...on XBOX 360. While it did make financial sense to keep on on the XBOX and not make it PC, it was a slap in the face to PC gamers, eagerly awaiting the day they have have their hands on an epic game. After Halo 1 and Halo 2, there was no more PC versions of Halo games.
Halo 3 is one of those games you just HAVE to pick up for your collection. Finish the first fight and start the next one (Halo 4). Have loads of fun with LIVE Multiplayer and meet with new friends. Relive the memories!