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Halo 3 Review
Rating 9.6 | Posted by David P. on Sep 30th 07 11:46 PM
Finished Halo 3 yesterday, and I have to say it was one of the best games I've ever played. Some may complain that it was short (~8 hours) but those 8 hours were epic and flowing like a river. The cutscenes weren't long or boring, ever. The game never made me realize I was playing a game. Even during cutscenes I felt as if I still had control, and Master Cheif's lines were not far from what I would have said.

The graphics were crystal clear. I've heard it uses smaller pixel sizes that 720 so it can process high-dynamic and low-dynamic range stuff seperately. I didnt notice. It could use some anti-aliasing but that's thanks to the 360 anyway. Bungie makes use of parallax mapping which means more depth to textures without using geometry costing gpu time. It shows when you see the best looking geometry in a game and it still runs without framelag like Perfect Dark. The explosions both plasma and incendiary, were amazing combinations of texturing and particles.

Something having to do with graphics but really about gameplay is how there is no skybox. The game shows distant fights going on, with real AI, and occasionally they swing by over your head, maybe even attacking you. Depends on how bad they want to go kill somebody back where they came from. It was this kind of independant AI that helped break away from the "everybody knows where you are" kind of gameplay that was found in the old Halo's. The fact remains that you are in the world of Halo, and aren't broken up into your little zone at all. An excellent example: you can finally take down Phantoms (the Covenant transport jet). I was so happy I could tank them out of the sky and the graphics for it were amazing.

Walking around with a mounted gun you just stole is amazing. Complete freedom and pwnage for the life of the 150 round clip. I was mowing down the flood like never before. A great feature they brought back from Halo was the mount positions on the shoulders of the tank, you can now carry 5 soldiers with one in the machine gun which you dont control anymore. Its cool though.

Regarding vehicles there is now a huge swath of mech that you can get a hold of. The mongoose is an ATV for 2, the warthog with multiple versions (personnel, and weapon-based), the scorpion tank seating 6, and finally the Pelican transport jet. This is only the Human side of the game, and each of them have their own specialty. The ATV makes the greatest addition to the multiplayer. Speaking of multiplayer, Dual-weilding weapons are now limited to hard to find submachine guns and pistols. I think the change was needed, and the game works better now. Especially multiplayer.

Something to watch out for would be the overly helpful AI. Make sure you grab the drivers seat or the AI wants to immediately drive for you as the passenger. If you change your mind sometimes they keep driving without you. The first time I got to fly the personal jet (w/ rockets) this happened to me.

Clearly I liked the game. I did find that it ripped ideas from other games though. There were points where I realized how much of an effect other games have had on Halo 3. I saw Half-Life 2 through highways with german fonts and grassy hills. Prey came through with it's automatic ass-hole doors showing up alongside the Flood. And finally Doom 3's bloody caverns of Mars were implemented as mucousy spiraling intestine hallways full of the flood.

Overall it's an awesome game. I can't wait to play it back through on legendary for the real challenge.

9.6 / 10.0

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