Originally Published October 4, 2007
Hollywood smashed box office records with “Star Wars” and “Lord of the Rings.” J.K. Rowling’s wizard boy has done his magic on books. “Halo 3” has done the same to video games.
Hauling in the biggest video game release day in history, selling more than $170 million worth of copies, “Halo 3” concludes Microsoft’s beloved trilogy. Developed by Washington-based game company Bungie, Halo’s debut for the Xbox video game console in 2001 has morphed into a phenomenon that spawned endless nights of gaming frenzy among players.
Players assume the role of Master Chief, a cybernetic-enhanced super soldier who is the last of its kind. You may call him the John Rambo of the gaming culture, as Master Chief barges through an almost infinite number of religious alien adversaries called The Covenant. They plan to use the ancient weaponry, halo, to annihilate mankind’s existence. After the two previous games, the final battle is set on earth in “Halo 3,” where Master Chief insists he would finish the fight.
Halo is known for its chaotic and frenzy filled battles, and the third game intensifies them further. Whether players shoot down enemy vehicles with a rocket launcher or plows through them on a tank, the battles in “Halo 3” always sum up to epic proportions. And thanks to the graphical prowess of Microsoft’s Xbox 360 game console, blowing things up never looked so damn good.
Halo 3’s graphics are impressively detailed, especially on the game’s environments. Players shoot through lush forests, enigmatic alien spacecrafts and ruins of modern buildings. However, players should not be oblivious to the character models as well, as they are as detailed as the environments they walk into.
But the game’s level design is its weakest aspect. The previous Halo games have also been plagued with this dilemma and it’s surprising that Bungie didn’t really take aim in fixing it. Some of the objectives in the game get monotonous, as they require you to backtrack through already discovered territories. Thankfully, the enemies in Halo aren’t as cumbersome as the level design due to their unmatched artificial intelligence. They could be as smart as the player, as they provide cover fire and even sacrifice themselves to save one another.
The game’s single player campaign may be short, but the 8-10 hours of frantic fire fights will undoubtedly satisfy any player. But the real action starts in the game’s multi-player mode. Halo 3 supports up to 16 players online, via Microsoft’s Xbox Live online gaming service, where gamers from around the world can join in different game modes and continue the mayhem. With the game’s new arsenal of weaponry, vehicles and maps, “Halo 3” is simply a gift that keeps on giving.
The game also features a new Forge Map editor that allows players to modify certain features of maps such as weapon availability and others. Players could take their creation and share it with their friends or other players online. Also, “Halo 3” features the Film Save feature that allows players to record their matches online or even in the single player campaign for viewing. So if players need any valid proof of their online gaming conquest, this is the ultimate gift for them. But to the others who contributed to their online gaming conquest, go ahead and hide?hide in shame.
The Halo series has not only become a monument in video games but to entertainment as well. “Halo 3” wraps up one of gaming’s beloved trilogies in a satisfying way. Hail to the Chief.