Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Halo 3 ODST: completed!

My home console game of choice for the past couple of weeks has been ODST, the fourth in the Halo series despite the fact it has a 3 in the name. I believe it's considered part of Halo 3, but I can't quite see why since the story as far as I remember doesn't really fit alongside Halo 3's. I could be wrong.

I remember this having a relatively muted reception when it was first released, with people not liking a lack of variety in levels, thinking it was too short, and having a story where you don't play as Master Chief. It does seem shorter than most Halo games, but that's no bad thing since it's actually of a length where I'd consider replaying it. This is helped by the fact that the story is really well told, with an initial scene explaining the game - splitting up the troop - and the rest of the narrative told by an interpolation between Rookie finding clues as to what happened, and flashbacks during which you take control of other members of the team. With you all meeting up in the end, and fleeing a burning Earth.

While the setting was all similar - all around New Mombasa - there was plenty of variety in the types of game, with various levels demanding sniping, explosives, getting past hunters or just a load of grunts and elites. The original Halo required a bit of puzzle solving to work out how to get past different levels, and this is no different - though with the Rookie parts, there's further need for exploration and it's all a bit more eerie. There's a good range of weapons on each level as well - meaning you can often find a beam rifle when you need one.

And as for not playing as Master Chief - so? The only part that grated was when controlling Buck, who kept on shouting idiotic gung-ho phrases which were far too American, which I'd never do. Other than that, the only difference was the need to pick up health kits occasionally, and the fact you can't jump as high. Not a huge problem for a game not designed around jumping.

I've got Reach to play now - but I'll not start that for a while, I think. Halo is good in smaller doses.

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