Halo ODST XBox 360 Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Gameplay 9.0
Graphics 9.2
Sound 8.0
Value 9.1
Distributor: Microsoft
Review Date:
October 2009
Reviewer:
James Wright

9.1


HALO ODST

Originally this game was developed as an add-on to the Halo franchise, however a decision was made to make this a standalone game. Using the powerful Halo 3 engine, HALO ODST is set during Halo 2 and 3  and revolves around the Orbital Drop Shock Troopers that while the Chief was running around saving the world, these “grunts” so to speak were fighting their own battles.

Unlike Master Chief, the ODST are more like the mortar in the war, however without them, the battle would have been lost. Interestingly enough, they are also considerably weaker than Master Chief, however considering the story of this current game, it actually works quite well.

Features:

  • All-new campaign content. The "Halo 3: ODST" campaign explores mysterious events leading up to the Master Chief's return to New Mombasa in "Halo 3." Experience the fate of Earth from the brand-new perspective of a special forces ODST (Orbital Drop Shock Trooper), adding a unique outlook and new gameplay elements to the events that unfold in the trilogy's finale. This new chapter captures the same great feel of previous "Halo" experiences while offering fans new tactics, tools and weapons to defeat the Covenant.

  • A new hero: Prepare to drop. ODSTs or "Orbital Drop Shock Troopers" are highly-trained special forces operators. Known for their courage, valor and willingness to tackle missions no sane soldier would, ODSTs pride themselves on being the first unit deployed into hostile situations, often in one-man drop-pods that burn through planetary atmospheres at break-neck speed.

  • Expanded multiplayer experience. No "Halo" game would be complete without groundbreaking multiplayer content. "Halo 3: ODST" introduces an entirely new way to play "Halo" with Firefight, a cooperative multiplayer mode included on the campaign disc that lets up to four people jump immediately into combat. As an ODST squad, you will face increasingly challenging waves of enemies together, striving to earn the highest scores possible, while various "Halo 3" "Skulls" are progressively activated. The experience is intense and ever-evolving. "Halo 3: ODST" also includes a separate, standalone multiplayer disc which includes three new "Halo 3" multiplayer maps, all original "Halo 3" maps, as well as the "Legendary," "Heroic," and "Mythic" Map packs for a total of 24 maps.

  • Ever-growing community options. Players will continue to enjoy all the great "Halo 3" technological innovations, including Saved Films, screenshots, Campaign Scoring and four-player co-op over Xbox LIVE. All of the new "Halo 3" multiplayer maps fully support the Forge editor, offering near endless gameplay customization possibilities for fans.

  • Key to "Halo: Reach." As a special bonus for fans, all copies of "Halo 3: ODST" will provide access to the "Halo: Reach" multiplayer beta when the beta goes live. More information about the "Halo: Reach" multiplayer beta will be shared at a later date.

The story of Halo ODST revolves around the grunts of this military force and begins with five of these soldiers jettisoning into the city of New Mombasa, led a commander named Dare.

Unfortunately during your entry into the city, a Covenant ship causes your pods to go off course which causes your team to separate and this is where the gamer begins, with the character known as “The Rookie”.

Cleverly done by the developers, Halo ODST uses flashbacks to assist with the story and thankfully you will not just play as Rookie during your adventures which does assist in the story telling. In relation to the story which seems a little forced and contrived is your team mates which have some really bad voice acting moments at times. Can someone say CAPCOM?

The soul of the game is the shooter aspect that has the player exploring a variety of environments in order to defeat the enemy and engage in a variety of missions. With a variety of weapons at your disposal, your characters also have stamina which works like a shield and if you manage to hide while in battle, your stamina will slowly recuperate.

As opposed to Master Chief, your headgear is also different and is more of a light source in the game that is perfect for those dark areas which basically highlights the objects and is an impressive looking effect. There is also a map to assist you with your mission (waypoints) and to inform the player of where the enemies are located.

Apart from fighting the Covenant and progressing through your “missions”, Halo ODST have some Easter eggs hidden throughout the gaming environment with audio clips. These audio clips help the gamer get an understanding about the invasion of the Covenant and the computer known as the Superintendent which assists you in progressing through the city, thanks to its clever manipulation of the cities video screens.

For most gamers, the campaign mode will easily be finished by most in around 8 hours or so hours, give or take. There are some difficulty options and by increasing the difficulty to “Legendary”, it really makes the combat quite difficult. As per other Halo games, Halo ODST allows for up to four players to play via XBox Live in cooperative mode which is fun, especially because you have someone else along for the ride.

Of course, where the multiplayer aspect comes into its own is through the new multiplayer mode called firefight that pits the humans again an unending wave of Covenant soldiers.  Very similar to Gears of War 2.

Graphically, the title is quite reminiscent of Halo 3 and is pretty much a clone. There are some new areas, however the Halo 3 engine has always been quite decent from the gaming environment to the characters themselves and the special effects. The soundtrack suits the game perfectly, especially the science fiction war story, however the voice acting is really bad which is a shame.

In conclusion, Halo ODST is definitely a must have game for fans of the series or the genre and although the campaign mode is rather short, the game does come with a bonus disc which contains all the online map downloads and this goes back to when Halo 3 was first released. Even though you’re not playing the boss man himself, Master Chief, the game does have some “wow” moments that is matched with the traditional sturdy Halo 3 gameplay.






 
 



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