Ok, let's be honest: Halo 2 sucked. It was not just bad, it SUCKED. Bungie took the good name of "Halo" and ground it into the dirt with its sequel. The question that burned on everybody’s minds was "Could they turn around?" Could they pull out of this downward spiral of a video game series?
Halo 3 starts off slightly after the second. The storyline and plot, I am sad to say, still follows the Halo series way: get from here to there, kill this, survive, ect. But being the end to a trilogy, it did have many more plot twists than it's redundant predecessor 2. As for the graphics, they really are not all that great. That is, for the humans. The terrain is great, the Master Chief is (obviously, for the sake of fans) well animated, the covenant are ok, but the humans are just sad. It almost seems like they were trying something new with the lighting, and it didn't work out. This seriously discouraged me considering I was expecting something better than Gears of War.
Though very important, a games worth is not completely measured on plot and graphics. The game play is what truly matters. Another question that burnt in everyone's mind before its release was if it was going to be like Halo 1, or 2. The answer, surprisingly enough, is neither. This game is not like the realistic Halo 1, nor the unrealistic Halo 2, but settles nicely in between.
The main flaw of Halo 1 would be the lack of variety in weapons. Where Halo 2 failed, Halo 3 succeeds. It brings 8 new weapons, two new types of grenades, a few new vehicles, and an entirely new category of tools entitled "equipment". It also gives new features such as ripping turrets off their stands, and the “death-to-vehicles” missile pod. Overall, this game has new stuff bustin' outta every hole; but somehow, it still retains its Halo-ness.
The new maps are amazing well detailed and designed. The lack of classic maps is somewhat disappointing though. A plus in the map department of this game would be the new level editor, called “Forge Mode”. “Forge” basically means “takes ten times longer that it should”. In Forge mode, you gain the ability to turn into a monitor, like Guilty Spark, and fly around and poof things up. The bad news, that’s the only way to make a map. If you want everything cleared off a map, you must fly around, deleting everything –weapons, vehicles, spawn points, EVERYTHING- then you can start making your map. In addition, it’s a waste of time to rotate something to the way you want it, and gently put it in place. So Forge Mode is quite an annoying way to edit levels, but it’s not a major set back for this game; and I always do love a game of “Spartan Laser vs Guilty Spark”. ;)
Xbox live is much improved, with new features like vetoing the map, recent players list in the 360 dashboard, and lack of extreme connection’s host. Not exactly a downside, but a major retarded part of Live would be the ridiculous names that Bungie gives game types, such as “Eliminatio”. (Nope, not “Elimination”, there’s no “n” there.) In this game setting nobody gets eliminated. Period. Dur, Bungie. Just dur. On the opposite side, they did add the new “Infection” game setting.
Another nice thing about it would be the customization of armor. You can earn, and choose from several types, mix and match, and make a unique looking character. It's a nice change from the same ol' MC everyday. Same goes with the Elites.
When compared to Halo 2, this game looks almost like the best game of all time. But when compared to other shooters, it’s good, but not that great. Still, I highly recommend it as on of the best games out there for the 360.