AllHipHop Staff

Developer/Publisher: BungiePlatform: XBOX 360

Players: 1 - 16 (Online)Release Date: 9/22/09

Rating: B

It seems any form of enjoyment can run its course and face the dreaded fact of overexposure. Social networking is out of control, music isn’t what is used to be, and the list goes on and on. With respects to popular gaming titles, many in the gaming community have griped that the HALO series has already seen its best years.

While the complaints of overexposure might ring true with some, this title is still one of most popular with online play. But the ongoing release of special editions and expansions makes this game a money burner, and now comes the release of HALO 3: ODST. What started as a simple expansion pack turned out to be much more.

ODST switches up the focus from the run and gunning with usual protagonist Master Chief to a rookie Orbital Drop Shock Trooper. The story is set to the year 2552, parallel to the storyline of HALO 2. Your crew is dispatched and dropped to the city of New Mombasa all to be attacked by the covenant. You wake up six hours later on a hunt for your team and things heat up from there.

The game automatically captures you with its powerful presentation. Visually the graphics are stunning, and probably the best we’ve seen on any HALO title. The audio is a perfect compliment with an ever looming sonic backdrop sure to intensify any high pressure moments.

The game plays well but differently from what we come to expect from this series. First off ODST is only a six hour campaign. Your time is well spent though. Once you connect with some of your crew members you flashback and play out what they saw within that six hour lapse.

Secondly a bit more strategy is needed to succeed in New Mombasa. Your soldier takes more bumps and bruises than what we have become accustomed to with a weaker armor and fall damage both in place. Also new here is the addition of a night goggles which adds to the need for a more tactical approach.

Outside of your story mission is Fire Fight mode. Similar to Gears Of War 2’s Horde Mode, you and three online teammates take on increasingly tougher missions. This addition is sure keep gamers up at all hours of the night on XBOX LIVE. 

The second disc of the package contains all the adversarial maps from HALO 3, plus three new ones. The new maps are very fun but gamers that purchased all these maps separately will find themselves a bit cheated. Also if you don’t have access to online or online friends for that matter (sorry no matchmaking) Fire Fight and these aforementioned maps won’t be as impactful.

All in all HALO 3: ODST is a nice addition to this ever popular series. While this title doesn’t feel like a full sequel and might not change the future of the first person shooter genre, it does play well throughout. Keep this game in your crosshairs.

Official HALO 3 ODST Trailer: