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Halo 3: ODST

Released on 22 September 2009

Rating: 16+ (PEGI)

3.0 out of 5 (156 customer reviews) | Write a review

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The year is 2552. Covenant forces control the city of New Mombasa. They are searching for something beneath its darkened streets. You are an Orbital Drop Shock Trooper. Your orders: stay alive, meet up with your scattered squad, and escape the embattled city.

  • Dropping in as "the rookie," a new member of an elite squad of Orbital Drop Shock Troopers sent into New Mombasa on a classified recon mission, you'll be armed with specialised weaponry and upgraded technology, including silenced weapons and a VISR enhanced vision mode.
  • Drop feet first into a new way to play Halo with the cooperative campaign mode, Firefight. Form a squad of your friends over System Link or Xbox LIVE and put your skills to the ultimate test against the invading Covenant war machine for glory, high scores, and achievements.
  • Three all-new maps make their debut for Halo 3's traditional, chart-topping multiplayer. Heretic, Longshore, and Citadel drop in alongside the original Halo 3 Multiplayer Maps, all packed in and playable from one standalone disc.

customer Reviews

 Average rating (156 reviews)

 Dull

| | See all bosseye's reviews (62)

Top 100 Games Reviewer

Hmmm. I have to say that this is actually deeply underwhelming stuff. Whilst not expecting anything revolutionary from what is essentially an expansion pack, I still expected a little more of the old Halo magic and shine that was much more evident in Halo 3. Now Halo 3 is pretty much 18 months old and ODST actually feels like a step back.

Ok, so the initial setup is fairly well done, the orbital drop is nicely handled, but right from the off things go downhill with probably the worst start mission to a game I've played recently. So we're in New Mombasa, quite an exciting sounding place, but what you find is possibly the dullest environment I've played in for a while. No lush jungles here, or stunning vistas to admire - just dark, dismal streets, bland alleyways devoid of anything other than fake looking graffiti everywhere and the obligatory 'futuristic' blob cars littering the shiny roads. At times Halo 3 looked rather pretty, but for the most part was an unexceptional visual experience, and we're exactly the same here. Visually its nothing special at all, texturing is flat and dull, lighting boring. The actual streets themselves just look wrong - it looks like a game world, not a world.

And its so dark! Instead of a torch you get the VISR mode, which certainly lightens things up a notch, but is also the most hideously ugly effect, further sullying an already dull looking environment. Environmental features are outlined with yellow, friendlies in green, enemies in red. Now personally, I don't need a ruddy great red halo around enemies to recognise them as covenant, but you'll have to switch the VISR on to even see them coming in the gloom, which means you'll have to spoil the dull graphics even further. When things get sunnier, then you won't need the VISR, rendering it entirely pointless.

You're not Master Chief so no rechargeable health - what you get is rechargeable stamina, which is fine but it runs down quickly and then you're into health pack territory. Now theres a reason that most games have abandoned health pack hunting in favour of a rechargeable system - because its boring looking for health. Its not tense, its not 'retro' its frustrating. And to annoy further, once you're into the health bar, the flashing health indicator is accompanied by a continuous beep beep beep, until you find some health. Awful.

The world isn't well realised, the character models are dated, voice acting slightly dismal, the story so far, confusingly told. Other annoyances include the music - its far too loud, and incredibly theres no option that I could see to either turn it off or even just turn it down. So you have to play through every fight with often completely inappropriate orchestral/trance tunes blaring through the speakers, unsurprisingly to the detriment of the experience.

When things open out a little, its Halo as usual with the usual fairly entertaining mix of fighting and dense story, but basically its nothing new, and frankly nothing in anyway exciting. As a shooter it feels dated and lightweight, as an addition to Halo it feels pointless.

 Halo, but with a difference

| | See all LeoMike's reviews (14)

So far so good, I'm a few hours into the game and so far I have found nothing I don't really like about the game. Everything that made Halo such a finely tuned FPS is still accounted for. However, there are some great tweaks that change the gameplay just enough to make this a whole new game in its own right. Firstly, playing as an ODST is different, you don't have a Motion tracker or a shield and you certainly can't take bullets like Master Chief, so expect to die more. However, this forces you to play the game a bit more differently. I suppose the closest thing to playing this game is playing Halo 3 on Legendary solo with the most basic weapons and less health.

Furthermore, the storyline is told quite differently. You play as the rookie wandering around the city finding clues to your Squad's whereabouts whilst avoiding randomised Covenant patrols. Once you find a clue you literally jump into the memory of that Squad mate and thus this leads to the game explaining how the clue came to that location in the first place. It really is a nice way to showcase the storyline, after all linear story telling isn't exactly unique and ODST moves away into something that is just more freeform in its direction.

There are some cool new silenced weapons, which unfortunately run out of ammo rather quickly. Where upon you are forced to pick up whatever you can find on the ground. Muliplayer plays very similar to the original Halo but with the restrictions to the gameplay as mentioned above. I haven't tried the Firefight mode, but it is basically a defence match where you and your team mates must survive multiple waves of the enemy. This game is definitely a fun new addition to the Halo saga and already I find myself finding parts of this game more interesting than the originals. It may be the new characters (voiced rather well by some of the Firefly cast) and it may just be the moody and atmospheric scenery of the city, but this game feels much more mature and ably made.
I can't really see why I wouldn't give this game five stars. Sure it's still Halo and the game mechanics are mostly intact. However, Halo ODST itself still remains a very nicely tuned FPS with a classic sci-fi epic storyline that will keep most gamers entertained from start to finish.

In addition to this both the Regular and Special Edition versions of this game come with an extra disc containing ALL the multiplayer maps made for Halo 3 so far. This is a great money saving add-on if you haven't gotten round to buying Map Packs. All versions of the game include the Beta code for the much anticipated Halo: Reach game. The Special Edition version comes with a great Halo ODST controller, which is essentially a custom painted Official XBOX 360 wireless controller. Furthermore, you can receive a special unlock able Sergeant Johnson game skin for the Firefight mode if you Pre-Order the game. These extras are nice and for £59.99 you get a lot for your money, even more if you don't have the Map Packs which would cost you over £10.

Special Edition Version contains the following:
XBOX Controller £32.99
Game £39.99
Map Pack Disc £12.00
Halo Reach Beta N/A
Sergeant Johnson skin N/A
All of this would normally cost you about £85 separately and that's if you don't add on some imaginary price for the Beta and in game skin.

 Halo 3: ODST

| | See all steamgirl's reviews (11)

Even though this is only an expansion Of Hal 3 it's still fair to say that this is a very average game.

1. The missions are very dull with no imagination and are very repetitive.

2. No new features e.g weapons, enemies and vehicles.

3. Firefight mode - Personally I think this is great fun. unfortunately the idea is wasted because you can only play with friends and not any other random people which is shocking considering the build up of firefight.

 Not what I expected....

| | See all Rush319's reviews (101)

Top 100 Games Reviewer

Having billed this as a Halo 3 expansion, Microsoft's furious backpeddling to correct this was quite comical, but by then the damage was done. This was have sold much better had the big M backed this with a heavy advertising campaign, the same weight put behind Halo 3. Unfortuneatly, I can't say I'm much of an admirer of Halo ODST. It's ridiculously short (when doing a run through to grab the 5g achievements and audiophiles, I completed it in a paltry 3 hours) and doesn't really feel all that substantial. The bundling of the multiplayer disk with all the DLC really is the best thing about this. The story is average, a nice change until you start to pine for the recharging shields and super jumping of master chief. The jumping between characters is interesting, but not that compelling. In the end, this feels like what Microsoft said it was, an expansion rather than a full blown game. The Halo universe would be no poorer for it's absence. I eagerly await Reach.

 Does not deserve the Halo title

| | See all Bigbramble's reviews (1)

Well I think on this occasion, Bungie got in the B... ...no wait Z team to create this game. This game suffers from so many flaws; uninteresting plot, lack of originality, cliched characters that you care little or nothing for, boring game play and total repetitiveness, dull level design. In essence its an extremely uninteresting game that unlike every Halo game before it (including Halo wars) I never actually bothered to finish.

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Rating16+ (PEGI)
Players1-4