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Three best and worst things about Halo 3

October 05, 2007

By Daniel Barron - G4 Canada

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With Halo 3 finally getting released, I thought I'd take some time to look back at the three best and three worst things about this year's biggest gaming release. It's not the best game to be released (and there's a lot more competition coming in the months before January), but there's always plenty to say about the Halo world.

THE BEST

Halo 3Online co op - this was one of the biggest things fans were hoping for when Halo 3 was announced, as Halo 2 very noticeably was lacking this feature. What a wonderful surprise it was to everyone, then, when Bungie announced shortly before the game's release that there would be four player online co-operative play! Not only is it just plain fun to fight the good fight alongside three of your buddies, but there is also a meta game where everyone involved in the campaign can battle it out for the most points, adding a little more competition the mix if that's what you're going for. If Bungie was to include co-op in Halo 3, they had to do it right. And they most assuredly did. I've already finished the game and have yet to complete a level on my own because I'm having so much fun with other friends who are so eager to play with me.

The maps - it took me a few tries to really warm up to the maps but they're everything Halo maps should be. They have tons of replayability, they're balanced, they look fantastic, and as always, there's a wide variety of maps to choose from. The three maps from the Halo 3 beta (Snowbound, High Ground and Valhalla) are all here, but make sure to check out the massive Sand Trap and it's open-field battles and gigantic Elephant rolling base-on-wheels, or Narrows, which looks like one of the most basic Halo maps ever, yet features some of the most varied games you'll find. Of course, there's also the simply fantastic Zanzibar-remake, Last Resort, and solid Isolation (great for Team Slayer) and Guardian.

Scarabs - Halo isn't exactly known for its epic boss battles, but man-oh-man, Bungie outdid itself with Scarabs in Halo 3. The first time you meet one, your jaw will drop to the ground. The third time you meet them, you'll be having fits of glee as you try to take down two at once. Better hope you have a friend or three by this point late in the game; co-op is there for a reason, folks! Halo 3 has the best campaign of all the Halo games, and Scarabs are a big part of this. Just about everyone I know who played the game has gone out of their way to mention these battles.

THE WORST

Halo 3The Flood - why, oh why, oh why does Bungie insist on bringing these beings back for every entrant in the Halo story? I don't care how important the Flood is to the story ... if it doesn't make for good gaming (which it doesn't), then it shouldn't be in the game. Period. I haven't found one single person who actually likes the Flood. That should have been Bungie's first hint to leave it out of the third game.

Ranking system - I still really don't completely understand how the rating system works (team wins are good, but what if you get 49 kills but your team loses 50-49 in Team Slayer?). Also, why is it you get penalized if you quit when the teams are unbalanced? I've started a few multiplayer games where, for instance, it's 4-on-4 but instantly two guys on my team leave or get booted. My only choices are to A) finish the game out (which can take quite a while if you're playing something like one-flag CTF on Valhalla) or B) quit, and get penalized experience points. All I ever do is finish matches and hope my experience numbers and overall rankings go up, but I really don't know how that happens.

Repetition - We know the saying - 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'. But the Halo campaign has never been a thing of perfection. It would have been nice to see Bungie really go out of its way to raise the bar for first person shooters. Instead, they really just polished what they had and added a few new things such as equipment (the bubble shield, radar jammer, etc) and vehicles. Yes, it was good, but the single player mode wasn't great. It was such familiar territory and it seems that Bungie was content with just keeping its current fans happy, instead of trying to grab hold of the naysayers. Well, what's done is done. Halo 3 was far from a disaster. We were hoping for an epic for the ages though, to be honest.

 
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