‘Halo 3’ multiplayer beta first impressions

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By Chris Wolf

By Chris Wolf

Bungie has once again set internet message boards on fire, giving “Crackdown” owners and a few lucky fans that registered online the Golden Ticket of 2007, early access to one of the years most anticipated games, “Halo 3.”

The beta allows you to play online only, with 3 different maps. Bungie has noted that the game is far from the final build, which is great since although the game looks above average, I was expecting a little bit more.

Let me start out with saying, “Halo’s” weapons are very well balanced, I still have not seen anything that screams overpowered in my time playing. The game is a very easy to jump into, and the matchmaking and party system really shines. If you play in a game with a bunch of strangers, you now have the option to party up with them after the game ends. This time saving feature is great, and makes me wonder why other games have not utilized it in the past.

One of the new features that stands out the most is the new “Equipment” you can find scattered around the maps. These are essentially power ups, except you can use them at any time by pressing the X button. The three power ups available in the beta are the Gravity Lift, Power Drainer, Trip Mine, and Bubble Shield. The Gravity Lift is used primarily for access to areas you normally would never be able to reach, such as jumping over the wall in the map High Ground. The Power Drainer unleashes a dome of energy that immediately saps anybodies shield in the area, and is definitely one of the most underwhelming additions. The trip mine is your standard… well, Trip Mine. Throw it down in an area where an important objective, or weapon is, and whoever walks over it goes boom. Of course, the most impressive, in both the graphics and gameplay department is the Bubble Shield. This bad boy unleashes an immobile, impenetrable shield that protects you from any projectile in the game. Of course, your enemies can walk through and bash you in the head, so it’s not an instant “I win” button.

“Halo 3” definitely deserves to be one of the most eagerly anticipated games of the year. The balance is unbelievable; it’s a tremendous feat to have the game this fine tuned in an early beta, months before the game is released. “Halo 3” is set to be released on Sept. 25 of this year, and will hopefully continue to kick all varieties of ass with its stellar online play.

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