Halo 3: Head like a hole


I finally feel like I should give my two cents of the beast that is Halo 3.

I’ve already had a conversation about it which I’m going to let stand as my initial impression.

If you haven’t read or don’t want to read it, I stated that I’ve nevre played any Halo game before and basically called the game average at best. I know I don’t know the backstory, but that isn’t my fault. Bungie and Microsoft should have told me what was going on either with a trailer leading up to the action or some sort of Star Wars-style scroll. Anything! I felt like Ross Perot’s running mate: “Who am I? Why am I here?”

The game starts off with Master Chief falling to Earth and lands conveniently near other human troops. Why was he falling? We may never know.

He comes to and immediately attacks a Predator-looking dude who is voiced by Keith David. Apparently the Chief never saw They Live and didn’t know David could handle a prolonged fight.

After a higher ranking officer diffuses the situation, you are dropped into the heat of battle with orders to kill everyone that doesn’t look like except for the Keith David dude. He doesn’t get a little miffed when you fire upon him.

I got through the first six stages of the campaign mode following this same sort of theme. Master Chief SMASH! Master Chief KILL! Which isn’t a bad thing, I guess, but is the Chief a mindless killing machine, or does he have feelings? Does he have feelings? What’s with the unhealthy relationship he seems to have with a digitized chick that looks like Yori from Tron.

I actually did a little research to find out about this Master Chief guy. When I say a “little research,” I mean I wanted to find out if he had a name which happens to be John-117. I guess John-316 was taken up by a crazy guy in a multi-colored afro.

With that said, everyone seems to call him “Master Chief” when that is just his rank. What if other Master Chieftains were in the general vicinity? Would they start to get annoyed because John-3..er…117 is getting all the attention?

What about if the Chief is at the bar having a drink with his fellow soldiers? Are they still that formal? Or do they call him John or Johnny?

Now that I’m done with my Master Chief tangent, let’s get back to the gameplay. The beauty, as I’ve been repeatedly informed, is in the multiplayer portion of it. This is where the Xbox Live service outshines everyone else. I booted up the ol’ Xbox Saturday morning to find a couple friends playing their guts out. Setting up a game is easy enough. Set it up. Invite your friends. Blow their butts away.

The pain, I found, was finding a game. I got kicked out of a game and tried to find one. I went through the Halo 3 matchmaker system. No luck. I tried to join a game in progress by one of my friends just to get kicked out again. This problem seemed persistent in the party so somebody just started a new game and invited everyone back. Easy enough.

The multiplayer deathmatch, or “Slayer,” as Halo likes to call it, is really start forward and easy to get the hang of: run, shoot, frag. Personally, I enjoy a little strategy in my death…slayer matches. Translation: I’m a camper. Actuality: There’s no good places to camp. When I did find a sniper rifle and found a good place to camp, I was usually fragged within seconds. I haven’t played multiplayer in a very long while.

There is a feature that lets make film clips of the match. I couldn’t figure out how to do this because of two things: 1) I was in the heat of battle and didn’t want to figure out the system on the fly; and 2) I didn’t read the instruction book.

Halo 3 mixed with the Xbox Live online service serves a great way to get you and your friends together for a little legal massacre. I did make a mistake in the middle of playing this game: I went out and picked up Bioshock which, in my opinion, has a better campaign because that’s all it has.

I foresee Halo 3 collecting some major dust in the next couple of weeks. I’m currently playing Bioshock but plan on picking up Orange Box. Any self-respecting first-person shooter fan will pick that up.

Originally appeared on the 4Play video game blog on azcentral.com on October 10, 2007.

Posted: October 18th, 2009
Categories: Video games
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