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Halo 3 Reviews

Halo 3

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#1 quickshade

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Posted 19 September 2007 - 07:43 AM

Figured we could post all the reviews we see here in this thread. Since they have to be spoiler free of any story I don't think anything needs to be spoiler tagged or moved to a different place on the forums. But if a mod thinks so then go ahead and move or delete this topic. Anyways most reviews won't be out till the 23rd but heres the Weekly Famitsu's review of the game.
*note: this was translated by 1up*


In this week's game reviews, Halo 3 scored 37 out of 40 on the Japanese publication Weekly Famitsu, earning the platinum award (scores over 35 are given the award).

Reviewers seemed to appreciate it is a more well-balanced game saying, "there are many checkpoints and it is easy to retry the game." and it is "more accessible to FPS beginners".

The game is also strongly recommended in their "Best Picks of this Week" column of the review section:

"Halo 3 is undoubtedly the best FPS game in the Japanese console market."

"The key parts in a game - sound, visuals and drama - are all top notch. The fun factor and appeal of a game as a form of entertainment can be seen in Halo 3. This is highly recommended."

Amazing, this is very good to hear coming from a Japanese magazine. Now gamers there need to buy more 360s and Finish The Fight!

link
anyways post any reviews you find.

Edited by quickshade, 19 September 2007 - 07:44 AM.


#2 Va1or

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Posted 19 September 2007 - 07:55 AM

Cool, so that's a 10,9,9,9. Same score Gears got I believe.

Edited by Va1or, 19 September 2007 - 07:55 AM.


#3 quickshade

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 07:46 AM

Get ready for the 10 or so reviews that are going to go up in about 4 hours. But heres one I just found.

It?s just a game.

You may have forgotten this, sat in the eye of the marketing storm (oooh, look at that pretty model! Isn?t it big!), but when it comes down to it, Halo 3 is merely another release - albeit one that demands to be measured against its well-over-the-weight-limit baggage. It?s near impossible for Bungie to ?finish the fight? and keep everyone satisfied. Make it too much like Halo: CE in high definition and people will scream that it?s not enough of an advance. Change the experience and people (probably the same ones, you know how this works) will still react with fury, asking where ?their? Halo has gone.

With that in mind, then, what of the campaign mode itself, the final chapter of a trilogy that misfired badly with Halo 2?s overlong Klingon Council? sorry, Covenant scenes? Refreshingly, the overriding lesson that Bungie has learnt in the intervening period is that less is more. Not only is the story engaging, both in terms of plot and the visuals, but it?s also rather well written in places and an exciting rollercoaster of a yarn. It still pales in comparison to the best movies or TV shows, of course, but as far as videogame stories go it?s up there near the top, and the production values are terrific.

Newcomers to the series could have done with a quick plot recap onscreen (although the scene is set in the manual to a certain extent), but overall the narrative is one box well and truly ticked on the redemption list, with the usual array of funny one-liners from marines and enemies when you encounter them contrasting with more serious material in the darker scenes ? a pleasing juxtaposition of dialogue elements, and it?s all very well voice-acted.

Thankfully this time around the rather affecting ending is pitch-perfect, coming as it does off the back of one of the most exhilarating final levels since? er? the original Halo, in fact. Gaming geniuses may be able to polish off the campaign mode in short order, particularly if they play it on a low difficulty level, but it took me a solid twelve hours to finish on Heroic - as before, the second highest of four difficulty levels - which is just about perfect length.

Gameplay is very similar indeed to the first two games in the main, but that?s far from being a negative: indeed, the impression is that of playing Halo: CE with the benefit of six years? worth of added tech bolted on. It's recognisably pure Halo - not reinvented as such, but built upon to make it smoother, more intense and with an even larger sense of scale than before. The addition of deployable equipment adds a new edge to the battles (some of which even dwarf the big set pieces like Assault on the Control Room from the original), with the safety inside a bubble shield or the panic induced by a nearby blinding flare providing yet more emotional involvement in the organised chaos going on around you, as well as an extra layer of strategy.

Enemies regularly use the various equipment options themselves, often making the battlefield more even-handed than you might expect, and there are many approaches possible to complete most levels, both in terms of the route you take and the weaponry you use. Despite worries about the Brutes replacing the Elites in the bad guy cast list, given their irritant factor in Halo 2, their new armour configurations, AI and general lack of bullet-sponge mentality make them feel very much like Elites in sheep?s clothing ? a welcome outcome to a potential banana skin. The infamous ?30 seconds of fun? is still very much present and correct, but this time it?s been infected: not by the Flood (though it?s no shock to see them turn up in fine next gen ?hordes? form), but by the Energiser Bunny.

Often the feel of a level will change greatly throughout, as close-quarters interior fighting morphs into massive, vehicle-strewn landscapes around the next corner, and this variety within each stage is one of the campaign mode?s greatest strengths. Even the heaviest encounters come with very few framerate drops, and while the visuals aren?t as impressive as the likes of Gears of War in static shots, the HDR lighting, attention to detail in the art direction and the sheer amount of stuff going on at once makes Halo 3 more of a looker than it may first appear.

What could be loosely described as ?boss battles? are in, but anyone recoiling against the frankly horrible examples in Halo 2 ? so that?s everyone, then - will be relieved to hear that rather than lamely thwacking a geriatric in a floating chair, the rare encounter with a screen-filling Scarab plays out like Michael Bay?s wettest dream crossed with Shadow of the Colossus. It?s one of those pad on the floor, giddy euphoria, inexplicable laughter moments when one finally goes down - a real high point of the game and a glorious visual spectacle.

There are a few isolated difficulty spikes, mind, and this is one of the only minor flaws with the campaign mode, along with the level near the end that felt like I was playing one of Halo 2?s worst bits again, and the fact that there is no complete remake of the Silent Cartographer from Halo: CE. (Downloadable content, anyone?) Some encounters in the early levels are very hard indeed on the higher difficulty levels if all your marine helpers are killed ? and they will be killed. Nonetheless this does also bring out one of the game?s strengths: namely that no two battles are ever the same, and the right strategy for success is always just at your fingertips despite the incredible odds laid against you in certain sections. However, if all fuel-rod-cannon-equipped Brute Chieftains happened to be cast into a pit and forced to listen to Guilty Spark impersonators for the rest of eternity, I wouldn?t exactly be weeping at the edge. More like pointing and laughing.

So while frustration does rear its Iain Dowie head sometimes, it?s more than cancelled out by the immense feeling of achievement when you finally get past the bit you?re been stuck on for half an hour. Besides, if you ever get really stuck you can always call on your friends to help you out in the full campaign four player Live co-op mode, an addition that will extend the game?s life ? along with the metagame points scoring ? for years to come, and this will be properly reviewed on PSO in a few days? time along with the rest of the multiplayer modes, when we?ve had had enough playtime on them to deliver a definitive verdict.

While the story mode is being played, it is also being saved in its entirety for replay on your 360 later in the Theater (sic. Where?s your UK localisation now?) mode, and while you won?t be able to record and upload short campaign clips to Bungie?s website due to problems with the implementation ? a problem that will hopefully be patched after much head-scratching to find a solution ? it?s still astonishing fun to free up the camera and take a trip around the current section of the level that Master Chief is in, to watch the various battles from any angle. It?s not possible to advance past the next checkpoint, which is presumably another technical limitation, but the existing scope is more than enough to dazzle.

The screenshot tool is working, though, and complete films can be uploaded to Bungie Net and recommended to friends for download, so there is still much potential here for sharing campaign moments. Functionality overall isn?t perfect yet, by any means ? only having roughly a 4x speed-up control and no chapter search function for a film that can last upwards of 90 minutes is a problem that limits the mode?s potential at present ? but again, a solution may well be being worked on as you read, and the above issues do not exist in multiplayer, where chapter jumps and full recording functionality are both present and correct.

The music deserves more than just a passing mention. The game?s score is absolutely exceptional: an enticing mix of orchestral bombast and menacing, atmospheric synths that ebbs and flows with the action, complementing the gameplay in ways that few videogames ever manage. Pleasingly, the wailing guitar fretwankery of some of Halo 2?s more excessive moments has been consigned to history. This is officially a good thing.

I can only assume that the Bungie staffers have been on a research trip to Spain at some point during development, as their baggage handlers are most definitely on strike. Halo 3 is very much its own animal - a game that has had everything but the kitchen sink (I?ve checked, I haven?t found one yet) thrown at it, with community feedback from previous titles acknowledged without compromising the overriding vision.

Usually, when so much mud is chucked around only some of it sticks ? just look at Halo 2?s campaign mode compared to its sublime multiplayer component for proof of that ? but 3?s smorgasbord of expansive components: Campaign, Matchmaking, Custom Games, Forge and Theater (yep, still feeling sic), have not diluted the single player story mode one jot.

Everything has come together in Halo 3 to form a comprehensive product that has been developed without fear of failure; a game that corrects the vast majority of the mistakes of the past; a game which combines user creativity and interaction across the campaign itself and Bungie?s own website to an extent never before seen in a console release. It?s not a Return of the Jedi, then, but a triumphant Return of the King.

Halo 3 is just a game, yes. But what a game. It?s probably the easiest Gold Award we?ll ever give, as well as being the first. Bungie will be sleeping in beds made of dollar bills after this, and their comfy currency duvet is well deserved.

Hail to the Chief. Believe.

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#4 Kinetic

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 10:39 AM

lol, Gamespot Korea: 9.7

TeamXbox's review got leaked a little bit ago. Apparently they gave it a 9.7 as well.

Edited by Kinetic, 23 September 2007 - 10:48 AM.


#5 Syracuse022

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 10:44 AM

That British reviewer didn't look very hard - there are at least two sinks in The Pit...

#6 quickshade

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 10:52 AM

That British reviewer didn't look very hard - there are at least two sinks in The Pit...

LOL.

#7 Nightshade

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 11:14 AM

Gametrailers.com Review.

CONTAINS MINOR SPOILERS!

Edited by Nightshade, 23 September 2007 - 11:25 AM.


#8 Gamble

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 11:15 AM

Gametrailers.com Review.


Don't watch unless you like spoilers.

9.8

#9 Nightshade

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 11:21 AM

It has spoilers? I had not watched it yet. Thanks Gamble.

#10 Gamble

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 11:32 AM

It has spoilers? I had not watched it yet. Thanks Gamble.


Lots of them


1up review

10

Gamespot Review

9.5

#11 quickshade

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 11:48 AM

IGN 9.5
link
Teamxbox 9.7
link


And don't watch the gamespot one, it has some minor spoilers and shows off some unseen levels.

#12 Drew

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 12:07 PM

My advice? Don't watch any reviews (or read them, for that matter) until you play the game.

#13 urk

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 12:10 PM

ArsTechnica gave it a 7. Unless I can confirm that they're giving the nod to Bungie's favorite number by this time tomorrow, I'm canceling my preorder. And I don't care that they didn't try out anything beyond the single player campaign. That's irrelevant.

#14 Kinetic

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 12:27 PM

Metacritic

Halo 3 currently has 6 perfect 100's out of 13 reviews.

#15 quickshade

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 12:40 PM

The campaign, which is very good, is Halo 3's weakest point. It doesn't capture the cavalier spirit of the original Halo, but you'll still have fun playing through it. There's no first-person shooter on 360 that can equal Halo 3's blend of cinematic action, adrenaline-pumping shootouts, and male- (and female)-bonding gameplay. Look beyond the gameplay and you have a rich feature set unlike anything ever delivered in a videogame.


From everything I've read this IGN sum up seems to describe all the reviews in one. Besides the lame graphics rant by one reviewer.

#16 Kinetic

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 02:35 PM

The IGN video review is actually pretty good if you skip the first 4-5 minutes where they show cut scenes, although I really don't agree with some of the reasons why they marked it down.

#17 Drew

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 03:01 PM

Halo 3 most underrated game of this generation - confirmed. And I'm being serious, some of the reasons it's getting marked down for are ridiculous.

Edited by Drew, 23 September 2007 - 03:01 PM.


#18 quickshade

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 03:10 PM

a 97% average is nothing to complain about. We all know Halo 2 was way over hyped. This game had more hype than both Halo and Halo 2 combined and still manages to be a really great game. Where Halo 2 should have gotten 8.? Halo 3 is getting the score it deserves.

#19 Drew

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 03:13 PM

No. It deserves nothing less than perfect. Trust me.

Edited by Drew, 23 September 2007 - 03:13 PM.


#20 Syracuse022

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Posted 23 September 2007 - 03:16 PM

a 97% average is nothing to complain about. We all know Halo 2 was way over hyped. This game had more hype than both Halo and Halo 2 combined and still manages to be a really great game. Where Halo 2 should have gotten 8.? Halo 3 is getting the score it deserves.

Very well said.

Drew, we all know how big of a fanboy you are, and you're certainly allowed your opinion (which was decided, it seems, years ago), but there is no reason to complain about 97's.

Edited by Syracuse022, 23 September 2007 - 03:17 PM.




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