Halo 3 Initial Impressions

After a brisk day at work on a dreary rainy day, I finally put my Halo 3 disc into the 360 and joined the One Million users online for its first day. My main goal was to meet up with Justin and play through some Campaign levels.

So far, my experience with Halo 3 has been nearly identical to my experience with Halo 2.. Exactly the same gameplay as the previous titles, with very subtle graphic improvements. It's really funny how identical the graphics are. I mean, the textures are far more detailed, but the models looks the same, the animations look the same.

Of course, I'm several months late into this news. Everyone else already experienced and bitched about it when the Beta began.

Story

Halo 3 takes up right after the end of the Halo 2. Master Chief finally lands after destroying another Halo, and Cortana is still missing in the hands of the enemy. Another prophet is hell bent on exterminating humanity, and descends on earth. You begin your assault against this prophet to protect humanity...

Something like that anyways... Despite playing through Halo 1 and 2, I really never paid attention to the story. The actual story portreyed in those games seemed like running from battle to battle. The action is what really drove the game, and all the back story and plot fell behind for me.

That.. and I never cared for Halo at all, so I didn't care to pay attention.

Online Co-op

Well, today is a brand-new day, and once Justin and I got into the same lobby online, we were off into the single player. Unfortunately, Co-op campaign was just a little bit laggy for me to really get into it. It wasn't terribly laggy, but just enough for me to notice. Running side-by-side with Justin was quite entertaining.

We only played a little bit, since staying up all night to buy the game really didn't give us time to sleep. After he took off, I played a bit of Solo.

Solo Player

Solo I found more legible to play. I actually knew what was going on, and could find my way around without too much trouble. I could also stop and look at the environment without getting left behind by Justin.. heh.

Halo 3's beginning is very parallel to the beginning of Halo 2, but without the whole cheesy special effects space battle at the beginning which was quite entertaining. I love being back on earth, but I haven't gotten to any cities or urban areas yet..

One thing I did love about Halo 2 was seeing the metropolis off in the distance, gradually traveling closer, and eventually fighting the covenant inside the city.. fighting in buildings, driving warhogs through the streets.. You actually got to battle the aliens on our home turf and showed them we meant business.

In Halo 3, I'm still on earth, and they're still plenty of aliens to ward away, so hopefully we'll get into urban environments.. then again, it probably doesn't want to copy Gears of Wars too much.

Multiplayer

I didn't want to get too far in the campaign mode without Justin, so I went over to Multiplayer in full expectations of getting my ass kicked and I wasn't disappointed. I didn't get completely killed, though. I was able to pull off a couple wins and gain a few ranks

Halo 3's leveling system is kinda neat. You get so much Experience points for your placement in ranked matches, which will determine who you are matched up against to battle. The matchmaker service does everything for you, and it took me NO time to get into a room and start fighting people. MUCH MUCH better than Lost Planet, which took me 30 minutes to find a decent room on my own, and then be "matched" up against top-level people when I was just beginning.

Levels are kinda screwy at the moment since everyone is just starting out, but by next week or the week after, the top-players will really start to distance themselves for the mediocre players, and games should be quite balanced.

Online Statistical Tracking

Bungie keeps track off ALL Xbox Live ranked matches and will update all your stats online with much more detail than what the game will tell you.

Here are my awesome stats: http://www.bungie.net/Stats/Halo3/RankHistory.aspx?player=DyreSchlock

Whooo... At the time of this writing, they aren't exactly up to the minute. I think I'm a private now, after 6 or 7 matches.

Anyways..

Halo 3 is pretty fun so far.. I think its hilarious how Microsoft is marketing this as the biggest multimedia seller of all time, but, as Tony had pointed out, it's not as big as Harry Potter.

Also, I'm a mere 3 chapters into the story of the game, and there are supposedly a total of 9 chapters.. short, much?




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