For example, although the cut scenes on their own simply do not have the time to really deliver the story Bungie wanted to tell, I honestly love the way that they still enhance the game experience through deeper story development.
In terms of game-play, there haven?t been many drastic changes to the Halo 2
formula. Dual wielding is still there, as is the melee and your old faithful grenades. The new additions, like a few new weapons and grenade types, do help to freshen up the experience.
The newly added equipment, however did not serve me as well as I would have liked. Having played many hours of the previous two versions, I am somewhat conditioned to play the games a certain way, so I rarely found myself reaching for the [x] button to deploy my currently held equipment. In this new iteration, the only times I even thought about equipment was when I attempted to pick up a weapon from the ground but instead swapped out my bubble shield for a power drainer. I know it probably seemed like a good idea at the time but I don?t know why Bungie chose to map the equipment switch to the same button as the main weapon switch. Surely dual-purposing the button or using one of the two unused directions on the D-Pad would have been a better idea? That one complaint aside, the slightly edited control scheme performs as naturally as any I have laid my hands on.
The issue of weapon balance has always been a huge talking point with regard to the Halo
series. The first game spawned a lot of competitive gaming events that helped keep the Halo
community alive and strong right up until the release of the sequel. So, the question now is, ?Do two maulers stand up to a single shotgun?? The answer is that I can?t honestly say. Having only had a few short days to play before the game?s release, any in-depth analysis of that kind is just not possible.
What I can say is that the time I managed to spent in multi-player games never felt cheap, and my experiences with all the weapons in the campaign mode were positive. As I said, I have clocked many hours on the previous games, and I instantly took issue with some of the choices in Halo 2
; in my 30 or so hours of play so far with Halo 3
, however, I have had no such complaints.
The sound is (as always) some of the best around. In fact, it?s quite possibly the best around. The production values are absolutely the best in the business. Bullets whizz by, grenades produce clanking shrapnel and soldiers and enemies alike, scream and quip from all directions. Even the one-liners that come from the marines in the heat of battle never get old. In fact I can scarcely recall any of them being repeated throughout the entire ten hours it took to complete the game. This is the sort of game that makes Surround Sound worthwhile. Add to all this Martin O?Donnell?s amazing score, which can easily stand next to the best of the best throughout gaming history, and you?ve got game audio nirvana.