Halo: ODST

Review

posted 9/22/2009 by Shawn Sines
other articles by Shawn Sines
One Page Platforms: 360
Unfortunately, and maybe I am being a bit harsh, while all the actors portraying the human characters in the flashback sequences did a good job there were no truly outstanding moments for these thespians to really bring to life. Its obvious that Fillian and Baldwin were comfortable with the Halo roles but the dialog let them down.

Too much of the banter and false bravado of the game felt written by a twelve year old who had never actually been a part of a team like the ODSTs. While its not required that a good writer have military experience to sell a military story, the clichés should be avoided and Halo 3: ODST seems to embrace them and create a few more along the way. The dialog devolves into typical Hollywood action movie stereotypes pretty quickly.

When the game finally manages to bring all the pieces together near the end and the story really begins to crank up and develop we’re treated to the usual Bungie story failure – build up to a climax and walk away with no resolution. This is the same trait that made Halo 2 such a frustrating experience for me. After slogging through the process to reach the apex of the game the developers smile, punch you in the gut and run away calling you offensive names, as if daring you to buy the next inevitable title that is not announced or guaranteed.


If you’re buying Halo 3: ODST for a compelling storyline, well be prepared to be disappointed when all is said and done.

Now the second product included in the package is where Bungie shows it really understands its audience. Halo is a far better multiplayer game than it has ever been a single-player one and ODST introduces the most fun I’ve had playing a Halo multiplayer game yet.

Eschewing the mindless iterations of death matches, ODST includes a cooperative game mode called Firefight. This new game allows up to 4 players to repel wave after wave of randomly generated Covenant forces using the settings of New Mombasa as its backdrop. While its a game mode that Unreal Tournament has had for a while now, the introduction to this console game is a great enhancement.

Firefight is fun for players at any level and while it might lack some of the head-on competition that Halo fanatics enjoy, the bragging rights here are still evident. Instead of tea bagging buddies this is much more about teamwork and individual stunts to claim the top dog spot. You and your team progress through the waves and with each successive round adds a skull mutator to the mix.

I’m not sure if it’ll catch on with the N00b haters of the ever sophisticated Halo 3 online players but Firefight is a great LAN or co-op experience and well worth the investment if you have a number of friends who regularly throw back beverages at your place on a Friday night.


Halo 3: ODST also serves as the multiplayer map pack for Halo 3. The second game disk is only the multiplayer content from the main game with the added bonus of the DLC levels. Die-hard Halo multiplayer fans who don’t already have these maps might also find this a bargain thanks to the addition of these items.

Ultimately Halo 3: ODST’s campaign is a big disappointment while it introduces some great multiplayer features. The tipping point for recommending the game is based upon your habits and if you’re not a fan of multiplayer this is at best a rental title if you must experience the campaign.

Sadly I’m looking forward to the next Halo novelization, at least fiction authors know how to tell a compelling story in this game universe, maybe Bungie should hire them for their next title.

-Editorial Note: For those that are saying this game scored a 42, that is just the way Metacritic converts the grade. We follow the traditional school system grading scale so a C is an average game. So take the grade here and convert it to a score and we here at Gaming Nexus give it a 70% if you would rather want it in a numerical system.


C-
Ultimately Halo 3: ODST’s campaign is a big disappointment while it introduces some great multiplayer features. The tipping point for recommending the game is based upon your habits and if you’re not a fan of multiplayer this is at best a rental title if you must experience the campaign.


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