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The Mass Media

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December 4, 2023
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Game Review: Halo 3

Game Review: Halo 3

The wait for this year’s most anticipated game is finally over and fans will have no reason to be disappointed. Halo 3 delivers in every way imaginable. Every facet is finely polished; graphically it is very sharp, the controls are tighter than ever, the balance is near perfect, the story is everything a Halo fan could have ever hoped for, and the already great multiplayer has only gotten better. Halo 3 is without a doubt the best FPS you can find on any console.

The tagline for Halo 3 was “finish the fight,” and while you may have thought this a mere marketing ploy that is exactly what Bungie allows you to do. This game is a fight to the finish: a battle royal between humanity, the Covenant, and that pesky parasitic alien infestation known as the Flood. The game opens almost immediately following the events of Halo 2; the Prophet of Truth and his disciples have Earth under siege. The player once again takes control of the Master Chief and this time around there are no side missions for the Arbiter to interfere. The story in Halo 3 belongs solely to the Master Chief. The Arbiter is back however, and he proves a sturdy ally, staying by the Master Chief’s side to the very end.

The gameplay in Halo 3 does a good job of finding a balance between providing what players have come to expect while throwing in a few new intriguing twists to keep fans satisfied. The most noteworthy additions from previous iterations are the array of new weapons and items made available to the player. Most of the new weapons are of the Covenant variety such as the spiker, a one-handed rapid-fire pistol that can be dual wielded with devastating effect to enemies at close range. The assault rifle from the original Halo returns after an absence from Halo 2, and while it’s been significantly changed for balancing purposes it’s still an enjoyable weapon to use to cut down packs of lightly armored enemies. This time around, players will also have the ability to detach large mounted turrets and carry them across the battlefield with them. These weapons are part of the heavy firepower that the Master Chief will be packing this time out along with missile pods, flamethrowers and plasma cannons. While these big guns significantly slow your speed and change the perspective from first to third person they are extremely pleasing for mowing down swarms of enemies. While these giant phallic compensation devices are fun to use, the weapon that will have everyone talking (and whoring in multiplayer) is the gravity hammer. The gravity hammer first appeared in Halo 2 in the hands of Brute Chieftains but was unusable to the player, until now. The weapon is essentially a big badass club that can dole out major damage and kills most enemies in a single direct hit.

Also new to the game is the implementation of items. Items serve a variety of purposes, some can be used offensively such as antipersonnel mines, while others can be used defensively, such as the bubble shield, a device which blocks bullets but can be walked through by the player or enemies to deliver melee attacks.

In addition to the impressive single player campaign, Halo 3 also offers a variety of multiplayer options. The standard deathmatch, team deathmatch, and capture the flag game types are back along with a few other varieties, all of which may be played by up to 16 players on 11 different maps over Xbox Live. However, the real advancement in the multiplayer game comes from the new four-player co-op that can be played through split screen or over Xbox Live. This advancement is a first for the franchise, which had previously limited co-op to two-player split screen. Joining up with four buddies to tackle legendary difficulty offers an extraordinary challenge, and is likely the only way for most fans to complete the game on the toughest difficulty level with their controllers and television screens intact. Halo 3 is a game that is sure to satisfy loyal fans of the series and casual gamers alike. Those who enjoyed the first two games will find that things have only improved. The look and sound surpasses all

of the previous games, and the level design is much improved, with less back tracking and more open environments compared to the first two installments of the series. Like its predecessors Halo 3 provides an incredible gameplay experience with considerable replay value and a great multiplayer component.


Highs: Great storyline that ties up all the loose ends from previous games in the series. Four-player co-op. High level of multiplayer customization.

Lows: Single player campaign is a bit on the short side.

Final Thoughts: Halo 3 is the final chapter in the epic saga that is the Halo trilogy. However, that does not mean there is no place for the Halo characters and universe to go from here. The ending definitely leaves room for another title; just don’t expect it to be called Halo 4.