Editor: Diane Hutchinson Editor@girlgamersuk.com

Halo 3 ODST

Posted by TurtleGirl On September - 30 - 2009

Though I’ve only played Halo a few times in the past, I felt it was time to get some hands on experience with the new title, Halo 3 ODST. So I grabbed the controller and my adventure began. Feeling a little nervous due to the fact that I didn‘t have a huge amount of experience with the Halo games, I was hoping it was going to take me on an epic journey of discovery. The opening credits began and I was already taken back by the astounding graphics and soundtrack, they were incredible and a great amount of detail and work had been put into the introduction scene.

 
The game’s story starts off with an ODST (Orbital drop shock troopers) mission to earth going hazardously wrong. I’m left jumping out of my drop pod alone and my squad is scattered somewhere across the city of New Mombasa. Here you’re forced to walk the lonely landscape in the darkness, trying to piece together the what happened during the six hours of unconsciousness during which the rest of your crew had disappeared. Where they are remains a mystery. As a rookie I searched the vast areas for clues to my crews fate. upon finding a clue, the storyline would take me back to my crews footsteps in order to work out what had happened to each individual character.

 
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It took me a while to get used to the controls and my surroundings. Coming into contact quickly with the covenant and trying to blast them to kingdom come didn’t seem like such an easy feat, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience with the halo franchise. I was actually surprised by how much I had to shoot some enemies in order to defeat them. The setting is intense and the sounds are atmospheric as I wander round looking for my missing team with only the faint glow of the city’s street lamps to guide me. I actually felt quite nervous as I hid round corners checking out my surroundings, before I leapt out into the open areas and quiet grey buildings. Occasionally when I could find the right entrance to a building, after being hounded by the covenant and their ruthless horde of minions. For some strange reason I thought I could hide away from the enemy and be safe. It wasn’t until later when I thought the way was clear that I had an enemy leap out from around the corner. These enemies actually follow you, so you have to watch your back a lot. Many of the buildings seemed cramped and I found it a little hard to move around in some areas. When confronted with extremely dark areas I would use my night visor. This enabled me to see enemies that would glow in red, which I found very helpful. Nothing worse than bumping into an enemy in the dark. Often I would have to run across different areas of the map that was completely covered in enemies, just to find a small, safe area where I could replenish some health.If your health becomes low there are  medikits  scattered around to replenish you. Gradually over time I got used to the various weapons that I could pick up from the enemies I killed. The rocket launcher being a firm favourite of mine and the M7S Submachine gun.The overhead compass enabled me to follow directions easily and much fun was had by throwing various grenades at unsuspecting enemies. There is also a selection of data terminals that are scattered around. These data terminals appear yellow in your VISR and here you can access a terminal and download all audio and visual data to your VISR database.

 
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In firefight mode,  which is a cooperative survival mode, you can team up together to fight off waves of covenant enemies. I remember thinking at the time how it actually felt a lot like left 4 dead. Trying to survive the longest seemed a challenge in itself. Trying to bide your time to keep enemies from completely destroying you seemed easy at first, but the longer you survive the harder it becomes. This time instead of standing on top of a house in left 4 dead, you run frantically across several buildings and areas that are open. I felt that the game offered more of an appealing survival mode that had been addressed by other games. You have to be wise in how much damage you incur as the health is divided amongst all of your team mates, making you think more strategically as you prepare to take on the hordes of enemies. This mode is broken up into waves, rounds and sets. A wave consists of One Covenant squad deployed to kill you. A round comprises of 5 waves of Covenant attackers and a set comprises of 3 rounds (15 waves of Covenant) and concludes with a bonus round. Team members that die then respawn in a safe area, but the team loses one life from the pool. As each firefight progresses, difficulty-multiplying skulls come into play. Different skulls have different effects, such as Catch that allows the covenant to have extra grenades, or Famine that reduces the ammo or charge on enemy dropped weapons. The longer a firefight lasts, the more skulls remain active, and the more difficult it becomes to stay alive.

 
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This game is pretty fun in co op mode as you and a friend race out into the city trying your best to strategically work out how to overcome the covenant. Working together we managed to get through the missions at a nice rate and it was a brilliant laugh. Slowly I watched as my team mate got blown to pieces by an oncoming grenade. In other areas of the map we were able to drive one of the warthogs. I jumped straight into shooting from the top, while my team player drove frantically around trying to evade the enemies ahead. We had lots of choices of weapons, even though the bigger weapons slowed us down a bit, so you have to be careful in what weapons to select. Trying to keep alive in this game is quite difficult at times, we both tried to find a safe place while our health replenished. Team communication is essential when playing co op mode, as I wandered a few times off in the wrong direction.

 
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On the second disc is the multiplayer section that allows you to play online against other players which will then compare your skill level against others.Here you can also find all twenty four maps, the sandbox mode and three new maps.

 
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The great thing about the storyline is that it seemed pretty easy to follow with cinematic cut scenes and sympathetic music, all in all what caught my attention was the soundtrack and graphics. I felt like it was taking me on an emotional rollercoaster as I gradually witnessed what happened to my team. An appealing story about where your missing crew were, led me to believe that this was going to be an in-depth story that would take me into a whole new level of gaming experience and I was right. The game felt atmospheric and kept pulling me in with it’s compelling and intriguing storyline, which would have me wanting to come back for more and more. As a novice to this particular game, I was pleased to have this first time experience with Halo 3 ODST, Even though it took me a while to get used to how certain enemies were killed, I gradually found myself going through the missions quite quickly.

 
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This is not to say that it’s a game that you will complete in a matter of hours, but mainly because I was rushing through it at an alarming rate. There is a lot to learn from the game, the characters and storyline if you’re heavily into the Halo games, but in some way I felt that the game offered nothing that I hadn’t seen before it other games. Yes it was appealing, and it was fun blasting away in firefight mode, and in a way I think they tried to make certain elements of the game different from the previous halo titles. If anything this game has made me enjoy the halo game throughly and I think it deserves the merits I have given. On the downside I would have liked more knowledge on the weapon system and what would essentially give me the best experience when killing the enemy. I think it’s a well balanced game, even though I did find a few glitches. Worth playing. What did you think of the game?

 

 ★★★★★★★½☆☆ 



 

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