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Nortonantivirus avatar 10:49 AM on 10.05.2009  (server time)
Things That Are Great: Halo: ODST (Single Player Spoiler Free Edition)

I got great feedback from people for my ODST Multiplayer rant. Somehow, it turned into a KB/M vs. X-Box controller debate. People telling me that you can play FireFight solo (what I knew). Afterwards, I felt like I should do the game some justice, and talk about the Single Player.

Without further adu, Halo: ODST Single Player Review

I had to do it. This game feels like Half-Life:Blue Shift and Metriod Prime. What isn't a bad thing, considering both games are great. I thought of that within the first 30 minutes of playing. I will get to why that is throughout the review.

Story (Spoiler Free) 9
You play as Rookie. A new ODST, ready to drop on New Mombasa. Due to the events of Halo 2, you are seperated from your team and need to find them.

This is where HL:BS comes in. Your a nobody (compared to other ODSTs) that a very smart nobody at that. So I felt like I had did this before in HL:BS. In HL:BS you are (seemly) right behind Gordon Freeman. Here, your squadmates. HL:BS you become important. On ODST, because this is spoiler free, you will find out. It felt similar, but different enough for me not to call it a copy cat. But that is due to Halo's "lore" being different from Half-Life's. To lay it on the table, I never fully understood Halo's lore despite playing all of them. Was it because I didn't read the books? Who knows? This one however, I really enjoyed by itself. Each squadmate has his or her own personality that makes him or her unique. I just need to say this, the voice acting is great. Actually, sometimes it felt like HL2:EP 1's Alyx . (Think I should have added that in?) The difference was your squadmates are invulable to damage. This gets me to the Gameplay.

Sidenote: Loading screens at the beginning are in hallways. That was what popped the idea in my head that it was like HL:BS.

Gameplay 9

The controls are similar to Halo 3's so I didn't have any major issues. I play Bumper Jumper, so I had to get used to it again after being away from Halo for a while. On-The-Go tutorials explain what the new mechanics do. The new VISR HUD, is great for dark locations or to spot Covenant long range. It is very useful, and you will see yourself using it over and over again (in a good way). Take a guess what this felt like, you guessed it. The VISR, felt like MP is some ways. I did like it however, but couldn't stop to wonder why Master Chief didn't have one of this things.....

You squadmates (not generic NPCs) cannot take damage. This can lead to them clearing entire rooms easily. This did detract from some parts. For most of the game though, it was not an issue.

The game is split into two parts: Overworld and Level. Why that is, is a spoiler. But, the exploration of the overworld is what felt like MP. Its has random spawns, hidden caches, everything. In fact, there are hidden tapes that reminded me of Bioshock. (I didn't add that in the picture, because I didn't feel like it was big enough).

As for weapons go, the Silenced SMG I found pointless. The enemies notice you just as fast, as if it was not silenced. I only used the Brute Plasma Rifle once, because I had to.

Graphics 8

This is where I think the game suffers. After a while New Mombasa starts looking bland. Despite the fact that it encourages exploration with the hidden tapes and caches, it is boring to just walk around. Because of the lack of landmarks, if you didn't have a map, you would be lost. At one point, you are running away on a Ghost seeing the same environment about 4 times. There are only four types on enemies you fight. 3 with variations with color and weapons. Overall, it looked nice on my native 1080p monitor at first, but got stale faster than my open bag of potato chips.

To Conclude

There was the issue on the length of the game. It's only 5 hours, but it is a great 5 hours. I enjoyed the cast, the voice acting, everything but the bland graphics. If Bungie really took inspiration from HL:BS and Metriod Prime, it really worked out.

Top notch story.
Great characters with great voice actors behind them
New gameplay features make the game unique from Halo 1/2/3.
2nd best 5 hour game. (Portal is king :P)
Bland enviornments
New weapons just are not useful
I wanted this to be longer. Its that good.

Final Score: 9 (Not an average)

Things to note

Note 1: I do not think ODST is worth $60 just for FireFight and Campaign. Find it cheap on EBay or something. Worth playing, just not worth $60.

Note 2: Its so short, it could have been on one disk. I really don't see why its on two.

------Spoiler Alert-----
Note 3: On the last waves of enemies, there is a Hammer Brute and I gave it 5 Fuel Rod Cannons to the face and it survived. After dieing a lot, a Brute Shot killed it. Glitch or what? I mean its a fucking Fuel Rod Cannon.

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