Halo 3 Xbox 360

Halo 3 Xbox 360
The wait since the "cliff-hanger” ending of Halo 2 has been dramatic for fans of the franchise, stuck fragging each other in on-line limbo in the meantime. And, with a massive wave of hype/hysteria announcing its arrival, Halo 3 does have grand expectations to fulfil. Perhaps, too lofty expectations, it turns out. Three years later, not that much has changed in the Halo universe. You’re still the super-cyborg killing machine known as Master Chief, battling the religious zealotry of alien invaders the Covenant. The parasitic Flood are still kicking around and it’s still up to you to save the universe from either extinction or conquest by these forces, with the help of your allies, both human and alien alike. This in itself isn’t a bad thing, the third entry of the story plays just as well, if not better, than any of its previous versions. It does look shiner on the next-gen Xbox 360 (if not altogether next gen), there are some new tricks added to the game play (fresh vehicles, deployable shields, etc.) and Halo’s trademarked combat, which is one of the best in FPS history, is still present. The plot, while monolithic and convoluted at this point, is still engaging, and fans let down by the cliff-hanger ending of 2 will at least find a measure of closure here, with the door left open just a little bit. However, for all its gloss, it’s still a terribly familiar game (recycling levels from past games doesn’t help), delivering more of the same with a new coat of paint. There are no new radical game play elements, no incredible plot revelations and, for the most part, if you’ve played either the original or second versions of Halo, you’re still playing the same game all these years later. At least from the single-player portion of the entry, which, while hectic and as beautiful as fans have come to expect, is frustrating in its brevity. It claims ten to 15 hours of game play but experienced gamers (especially experienced Halo gamers) will make it through in less than eight, if that. In terms of on-line play, there’s now a four-player co-op mode, which allows you to blast through the game on-line with friends, a new map editor (Forge), as well the on-line matches remain (death match, capture the flag, a new one called "Infection”), which have become more customisable, and which will occupy Halo fanatics for years. Still, while it’ll no doubt be a much bigger game, coming on the heels of something like Bioshock, which introduced new elements to the FPS shooter genre and told a daring, strikingly bold story, Halo 3, despite all its strong points, feels like more of the same. (Bungie/Microsoft)