Bungie shows a new side of ‘Halo’

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By Adrian Pascua / Staff Writer

(Games Press)

By Adrian Pascua / Staff Writer

If you’re looking for a new side to “Halo,” this is it. Unfortunately, you shouldn’t expect much from it, you might be disappointed.

First, let’s look at the game. You’ll notice not much has changed.  Graphics are basically the same as the original game. It doesn’t look spectacular, but it is nothing less than what anyone would expect from a game for the Xbox 360.

“Halo 3: ODST” is a side story of “Halo 3,” putting gamers in the shoes of an ODST trooper call sign “ROOKIE,” a member of the ODST squadron “Fire Fight.”

ODST is an acronym meaning Orbital Drop Shock Trooper.  A trooper that looks kind of like Master Chief, the hero of the “Halo” series, but trained to be something like a deep strike kind of soldier.

They’ve gone through Navy SEAL type training, been put through training simulations that most soldiers shouldn’t go through, all in order to be dropped into enemy territory with a low chance of survival and for the chance to be known as an “elite.” They are the first ones in and mostly known for their courage and, when it calls for it, their insanity. They are the fiercest fighters and the most courageous troopers of the UNSC soldiers.

Bungie has added a new mode called “Fire Fight,” in which you and up to three others fight off waves of Covenant enemies. This mode is cooperative-based, rather than competitive, so it’s not quite the same thing as past Halo multiplayer experiences.

“Fire Fight’s” mission is to be dropped into New Mombasa in order find out about the catastrophic attack on the city, to see what went wrong during the attack.

The mission begins with a drop that went wrong, separating the “ROOKIE” from the rest of his team.

Players will need to regroup with their team and spend most the game trying to find out what happened to them and ultimately try to reconnect with them.

The “ROOKIE” doesn’t get any of the super powers of the one-man army, known as Master Chief. Since he doesn’t play the part of the glorious hero Master Chief, he instead plays the part of an ODST member, who’s one goal is to survive long enough to make it back to his squad or at least find out what happened to them.

The drawback to that is he doesn’t jump as high and he doesn’t get that cool shield that is specialized for Master Chief, but instead gets a stamina system that acts as his shield. As a result, it feels like you’re basically playing as Master Chief, but in reality, you’re not.

While playing, the “ROOKIE” has to investigate what happened to his team. When some kind of object is found that looks like it involved his team, the game switches to a different point of view and temporarily gives the player control of that team member having to complete the objectives that they were assigned.

The good news is that veteran “Halo” players can pick up the game and start playing, since everything is basically the same… everything.

Controls haven’t changed at all, making gameplay easier for those who have already played the series before. The enemies have the same artificial intelligence from the other “Halo” games, making them easy to predict.

The artificial intelligence hasn’t improved much since the last game.

The numbers of enemies are manageable so you don’t feel out numbered and realistic enough that gamers get the feeling that they can sneak by enemies if they wanted to, but since it’s a “Halo” title, players will probably never want to.

Getting in gun fights with enemy troops can sometimes get a little annoying and  be time-consuming, but they don’t keep pouring out to the point where it feels like there’s an endless amount to kill.

Let’s be honest, though, the reason most players even play a first-person shooter type game is because they want to kill loads of enemies.

The campaign mode can become so addicting that gamers might feel like they could beat it in a day, reality is the $60 they just spent will probably only get about six hours of play time in campaign mode for the average players.

That noted, “Halo 3’s” original multiplayer mode is actually included with the game.

 The online multiplayer mode is also extremely familiar since there’s nothing new about it. If you already own a copy of “Halo 3” then you’ll recognize almost all the maps on the online multiplayer mode because they’re mostly the same. Bungie has also added a couple of new maps, including a remake of the “Halo 2” classic Midship.

In buying an expansion of a game, most gamers look for a new multiplayer mode. Unfortunately, Bungie hasn’t included one in “Halo 3: ODST,” which is a major let down seeing how cool the trailer was for “Halo 3: ODST.”

The only real update to the game is the VISR mode that makes it easier to see in dark areas, and also gives players a heads up on enemy positions when looking at the mini map. Also, the shield system has been rehauled and now doesn’t regenerate like in the first three games.

All in all, the game is pretty good for hardcore “Halo” fans. If you’re not a hardcore “Halo” fan, though, you’re better off just playing “Halo 3” since its campaign mode is longer and you don’t even get a new multiplayer mode.  Save yourself $60 and six hours of your life.


(Games Press)

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