Halo 3 – Review

Halo 3

Adding to Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2, the epic saga continues with Halo 3, the amazingly anticipated sequel to the highly successful and critically acclaimed Halo franchise. Halo (2001) and Halo 2 (2004) sold 14.5 million copies worldwide.

In this third chapter of the Halo trilogy, Master Chief returns to finish the fight, bringing the epic conflict between the Covenant, the Flood, and the entire human race to a dramatic, pulse-pounding climax. Halo 3 picks up where “Halo 2” left off. The Master Chief is returning to Earth to finish the fight. The Covenant occupation of Earth has uncovered a massive and ancient object beneath the African sands – an object who’s secrets have yet to be revealed. Earth’s forces are battered and beaten. The Master Chief’s AI companion Cortana is still trapped in the clutches of the Gravemind – a horrifying Flood intelligence, and a civil war is raging in the heart of the Covenant.

Is this how the world ends? Can Halo 3 (2007) live up to what you’ve been waiting for the past three years? Let’s check out some of the new features in Halo 3 as well as the hype, initial announcement and massive promotion of this gaming juggernaut.

Game Features:

  • Halo 3 expands on the franchise and adds a wealth of technical and game play advancements
  • Unparalleled first-person shooter experience and the most compelling and engrossing story of the trilogy
  • Halo 3 will builds upon the unique social multiplayer experience and innovative, evolving online game play of Halo 2
  • Game developer Bungie announced that Halo 3 will be released for Microsoft’s Xbox 360 sometime in 200
  • The game is loaded with high-definition visuals, enhanced A.I., an advanced lighting engine, and new weapons, characters, and challenges

[information]Halo 3 features up to four player cooperative game play over Xbox LIVE or System Link and two player cooperative split-screen.[/information]

The Halo 3 Announcement

Halo 3 was revealed to the world at a Microsoft press conference held at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood, CA in May 2006. To gamer’s delight, the announcement was a complete surprise. The rumors have been abound for the past year, as everyone wondered when the next installment would be ready. Bungie and Microsoft did a stellar job keeping their lips sealed, and fans benefited from their first glimpse of the hallowed third and final installment.

The short presentation was delivered in real-time on the Xbox 360 using the current version of the Halo 3 game engine. That’s right, no studio production video, Bungie and Microsoft delivered the real deal: what they showed at the announcement is what gamers will see when they play Halo 3 in 2007. The HDR lighting, self-shadowing, GPU-run particle system and many other effects are rumored to show up in full effect in the final game. Needless to say, the gaming community is salivating.

CJ Cowan, Bungie’s director of cinematics discussed one of the most startling moments of the presentation: the return of Cortana.

“Given the variety of character and story arcs at the end of Halo 2, we wanted to boil down our announcement to a few key threads. Cortana and the Chief being a galaxy apart is a situation we haven’t seen before, and is something that is a powerful component to Halo 3. We are using her transmissions in the demo to give the viewer a few subtle clues to her situation and state of mind, without revealing any specifics we want to save for the game itself.”

Halo 3 Graphics

Graphically, the game closely follows in the tradition of Halo 2, although it has been upgraded to take advantage of the Xbox 360‘s more prodigious visual abilities. As art director Marcus Lehto explained…

“[The presentation] was intended to be an understated announcement of Halo 3 — the tone is that of mystery and suspense — the calm before the storm. I wanted to make sure that we reintroduced the Chief, showed that Earth was thoroughly conquered, with Covenant everywhere, and that there is a glorious, ancient artifact buried under the Earth’s crust which will provide Halo 3 with the epic journey which we all want.”

Taking full advantage of the power of Xbox 360, Halo 3 expands on everything that has made the franchise great, adding a wealth of technical and gameplay advancements. The game design has evolved with next-generation, high-definition visuals, enhanced A.I., an advanced real-time lighting engine, and, of course, new weapons, characters, and challenges.

Halo 3 Promotion & Sponsors

Corporate sponsors played a big part in fueling the hype around Halo 3. Even if the last video game you played was Pong in the 1980s, Microsoft still wanted everyone to know about Halo 3. Everyone from Burger King, NASCAR, Pontiac and even Mountain Dew had promotional deals with Microsoft for Halo 3 that rival such theatrical franchises as Harry Potter. I even saw a ‘limited edition’ Halo 3 Mountain Dew 12-pack labeled as “Game Fuel.” I guess there’s probably enough sugar and caffeine in a 12-pack of Mountain Dew to keep even a Polar Bear up all night.

[information]Because there was so much anticipation and hype around the release of Halo 3, corporate employers and school systems feared that their staff and students would spontaneously be call in sick the first week of its US release.[/information]

Final Thoughts

Halo 3 promises an unparalleled first-person shooter experience and, in the end, the most compelling and engrossing story in the franchise’s history. Last, but certainly not least, Halo 3 builds upon the unique social multiplayer experience and innovative, evolving online game play of Halo 2. Rest assured, you’ll still be able to run with your clan and battle with (or against) your buddies from coast to coast.