Review: Halo 3: ODST

It was originally intended to be a DLC add-on for Halo 3, but Bungie went ahead and made it a full Disc release. Is it worth the money? Well it’s time to review it and see.

Story:

Halo 3: ODST is set during the events of the second Halo game, just after the Covenant flee earth. A group of Orbital Drop Shock Troopers are heading to New Mombasa to carry out a mission lead by an ONI officer, Veronica Dare. But the pods get caught in the Covenant Ships Slip-space rupture and get scattered throughout New Mombasa City. 6 hours later, the Rookie wakes up and you begin exploring looking for clues of what happened to the rest of the team. As you find a clue you experience an interesting flash back mechanic were you play through what happened to that team member. This works really well and is a refreshing change to Halo’s usual storyline where you just play through in order. Also in New Mombasa is an interesting side story known as Sadie’s Story. This is found through a series of Audio files scattered in machines through the city.

Gameplay:

Halo 3: ODST is still the same FPS that Halo fans know and love. The only notable differences are that instead of a overshield, the ODST’s have stamina and health. Stamina is the light overshield they have and then they begin to lose health which they need to collect health-packs to regain. Also ODST’s don’t use the equipment Spartans use in Halo 3, instead they have a system called VISR. When activated the screen goes brighter and items of interest go yellow, allies go green, weapons and ammo go blue and enemies go red. A quite handy feature considering you will spend a lot of time at night/in darkness in ODST.

MultiPlayer:

Aswell as the usual co-op campaign, Halo 3: ODST brought a new mode to it on its release in 2009, Firefight. In this mode you play as any of the ODST’s in the campaign (or Sgt. Johnson if you preordered) against wave after wave of Covenant. You have limited lives and a different skull combination every round. This is a very good mode that has a lot of potential, but sadly there is no matchmaking so you HAVE to have people on your friends list to play with. Also included in Halo 3: ODST is a second Multiplayer Disc. This disc contains the complete Halo 3 multiplayer experience with every Downloadable Map and forge mode.. And until recently the only way to play 3 maps. So on the multiplayer front ODST is pretty strong.

Graphics and Sound:

The graphical look for Halo 3: ODST is just as good as in Halo 3, clean and detailed. And the music is brilliantly composed. The music played in the New Mombasa night-time sections is really atmospheric and gives a sense of aloneness. Whilst the music from the day time levels makes you want to fight the covenant as the ODST you are.

Pros:

  • Great and different Story whilst still maintaining the Halo theme.
  • New Firefight mode, brilliant for playing with friends.
  • Multiplayer Halo 3 experience, saves money on buying all the DLC.

Cons:

  • Short Campaign mode.
  • No Matchmaking in Firefight.

Verdict: Buy!

A brilliant game by Bungie, designed originally as DLC and with only a 1 year Dev cycle, it is easily a worthy addition to the Halo series.

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About Nick Duggan
I'm 19 an I study Computer Games Design at Staffordshire University. I'm a video gamer and also a Yu-Gi-Oh! collector/player. Twitter: @30DiedOnMars

One Response to Review: Halo 3: ODST

  1. td90uk says:

    Considering ordering this game now. Good review.

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