To sum up, the Campaign is a blast to play (the replayability of the single-player alone is higher than most games). Every time you die and reload a checkpoint, the encounters play out differently. Despite the issues I?ve highlighted, Halo 3
takes all the good from the previous outings, scrapes away most of the bad and leaves a game that merits the name and the hype. Add in the four-player co-op, and Halo 3
is seriously worth its place in history ? and the success that will surely come with it.
Calming down now? on its own the Campaign mode would not suffice to ?move systems?; even just having a normal multi-player mode wouldn?t warrant the serious financial outlay to ?jump in?.
Thankfully for Microsoft, developer Bungie has never been one to just tack on any old multi-player mode. Halo 3
not only offers one of the most solid multi-player experiences around, but provides users with a level of customization usually reserved for the PC crowd.
While Forge isn?t a full-on, PC-like ?Level creator?, it is about as complete a ?Level editor? as I have ever seen on any console or PC game. Add to that the ability to have multiple players working together or against each other within the Editor space, and you?ve got an experience unlike anything ever seen before.
A lot of game developers like to talk about ?emergent? game-play, i.e. just giving the players tools and seeing what happens but - outside of the PlayStation 3?s Little Big Planet
- I don?t see anything in the near future that will even come close to the amount of creativity Forge provides.
With the limited number of online players available pre-release, the fact that at least five, very different and original, game types have sprung out of Forge already tells me that the potential for Community creation is staggering.
In closing; here are the shortfalls in this (and all other reviews): There are not enough people online as yet to really put the game through its proper paces.
So, consider this Part 1 of the review?
Tune back in early next week for a more thorough run through of all the multi-player offerings and Community fanciness that Bungie has built into its magnum opus. I will endeavour to get as much time with the many Death Match permutations, Forge creativity and saved game film editing as possible.
However, in the meantime, I can safely recommend the purchase of Halo 3
to anyone who has ever had a good time shooting a gun in a video game. Halo 3
does not elevate games to high art, nor does it revolutionise our ideas of what games can be. It is, however, much like its originator, about the best damn standard sci-fi FPS you could ever hope to play.
SPOnG Score: 95%
UPSIDES: The most well delivered story of the entire trilogy. Fantastic AI provides a challenge every time. Load times are nearly non-existent. A wide variety of extra features will lead to years of replay value for those who will have it.
DOWNSIDES: Foolish allies add little to the game.