Halo 3: ODST

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Caden Massey

To further my efforts in giving you as many Halo reviews as possible while playing none of them in chronological order, I present to you Halo 3: ODST. As you might expect this game has a lot in common with other Halo games, and in terms of controls it is almost identical to Halo 3. I will make a real effort to focus on things that make ODST stand out from the other titles.

The first feature you will notice is the addition of the night vision. It is completely necessary, so you better get used to it. It is awfully nice though because it allows you to actually see for about an entire half of the game. It also outlines enemies and makes invisible enemies visible, which is a godsend.

There are these things you collect in the city portions of the game that serve as a story inside the story. I personally have never cared for them, and on my casual playthrough, I only acquired about 5 of them. I’m not entirely sure what they are about, but I know there is some girl that wants to be a soldier. They are pretty difficult to find. I would advise a guide for them.

The atmosphere of the game is definitely the high point. You are just a lone rookie and to your knowledge, everyone else in your drop squad is dead. You spend a lot of time looking for them and trying to gather clues as to their whereabouts. Unfortunately, it loses a lot of its meaning when you are playing co-op like I was. I never truly felt alone, which was the intent.

The missions you spend outside of the city serve as flashbacks. For some reason, they seem really touching, but they are actually not at all. It makes it seem like when you pick up an item that starts the next cutscene, you are in an intense inner moment, but I just don’t see it. I still like it, but I think it is a little cliché.

The flashback missions themselves are actually pretty solid and vibrant. You get to play around in different vehicles and do different types of missions. Everything feels unique and fun, and in regard to those missions, I have no complaints.

You don’t get to play as Master Chief and that kind of sucks. It really is the equivalent to “Dad is busy”. Because of that reason, I have a hard time being connected to these characters, and to be honest the only character I remember is Buck because I hit him in the final mission about 100 times in a Warthog. I will agree that the environment you get combined with the characters you play as is superb, I guess.

It is kind of hard to talk about ODST without just comparing it to Halo 3, so I am just going to leave you with some advice. Go ahead and give ODST a show but have some realistic expectations. It shouldn’t cost you too much money, so just give it a shot. You got to play on Xbox or Windows though… Overall, I rate Halo 3: ODST 7 Buck Warthog splatters out of 10.