I'm going to post this up because I can, and while I agree with some points of Linde's review, I rated it a little better. Here goes.
After three years of waiting, "Halo 3" has come to give closure to millions of gamers world-wide.
The days leading up to the game's Tuesday release witnessed an unprecedented media frenzy over the conclusion to the immensely popular trilogy.
But does the highly anticipated title live up to the hype?
Yes and no.
The campaign touts four-player cooperative play and the conclusion of the tale of the Master Chief, the trilogy's super soldier protagonist, and his struggle to defend humanity against the alien coalition known as the Covenant and the parasitic flood.
The multiplayer side of "Halo 3" offers gamers a chance to get online and compete against each other in massive frag fests with new weapons, new vehicles and the new Forge, where players can create their own multiplayer game variants.
The campaign combines the best aspects from "Halo: Combat Evolved" and "Halo 2," including engaging combat and a wide variety of levels, which is a welcome relief after some tedious and repetitive stages in the previous games. (Library, anyone?)
There are a few levels that drag on into frustrating slaughter because of vague mission objectives and unclear directions on how to get from point A to point B, but overall the levels are well designed and keep things fresh.
Combat is fast and furious, and the Covenant forces never go down without a struggle, making players earn every foot of ground. The artificial intelligence is significantly improved over the last game, as foes will frequently flank, snipe and generally harass the Master Chief and his allies.
Running and gunning won't work on the higher difficulty levels, which means encounters require a bit more strategy and, frequently, fighting from a distance.
The tragedy in this is that some of the inventive new weapons aren't worthwhile, as short-range weapons are useless against enemies who can easily kill the Master Chief long before he gets close enough to use them.
The inclusion of large groups of units on both sides of the battle makes the fire fights feel more like full-scale war, with Banshees buzzing overhead and Warthogs fish-tailing back and forth across the battlefield under the heavy thump of plasma barrages from Covenant Wraith tanks. There are plenty of large-scale vehicle battles, and these provide some of the most intense and visceral conflicts in the game.
Gamers left with lingering questions after the end of "Halo 2" will have their questions answered through the course of the campaign, but the story's delivery is a bit lackluster and several pivotal plot moments occur anticlimactically, which is a shame, considering how much the Halo universe has developed since the first game.
Despite the plot disappointments, the campaign is an adrenaline-fueled adventure through numerous theaters of war, making the campaign worth playing through again and again to experience those unforgettable moments.
And if the campaign does get old, there is always multiplayer.
The few minor failings of the single-player experience are outweighed by the spectacular new multiplayer offerings.
The basic frag fests of "Halo 2" return, with new, and newly balanced, weapons (the needler in particular has been given a new lease on life) and a respectable selection of new vehicles and maps.
The multiplayer community, consisting of millions of players, is going to be the seat of creation for the next chapter in the Halo history by way of a new customization feature known as the Forge.
The Forge allows players to tweak maps by placing weapons, vehicles and spawn points at will, as well as changing game objectives and rules. The options for customized multiplayer mayhem are limitless, and the Halo community is sure to come up with some fantastic game variants that will keep it fresh for a long time.
Or perhaps until "Halo 4."
Because let's be honest, it's inevitable. And after "Halo 3," I, for one, am already looking forward to the day it's here.
Bottom line: Halo 3 earns a 9.5
for a fun, action packed campaign, sweet new multiplayer maps and features, but loses points for a poorly executed narrative. read