Halo 3: ODST

So, a guy that works at the Gamestop next to my Starbucks has graciously slipped me a copy of ODST pre-release. Here’s some thoughts:

VISR - The helmet contains an electronic readout of the area, called the VISR, which highlights bad guys in red, weapons and health in blue, and friendlies in green. Great for the night missions, not so great for the sunlight. Really bad glare throws off all the benefits, which only makes this tool half as useful. For the main difference between a Spartan and a ODST, I’m hoping it’s more useful in Firefight.

New Weapons - Awesome. Some familiar weapons are around, the assault rifle, needlers and plasma pistols, there are new silenced weapons for the ODST. The pistol rocks, and the dot seems far more pronounced as well making headshots a breeze. I’m glad there’s no ODST vs ODST multiplayer mode for just this reason. The rifle is nifty too. You can carry 3 of each grenade as well.

The Hub - The Hub is where the main character strolls around and finds interactive clues as to what has happened to his squad. It’s filled with Covenent patrols (yes, patrols) and items that send you to flashback sequences where you play as the other members of your squad and see what has become of them. These missions add a different kind of pace to the game and are fairly action heavy. This offers a lot of fun contrast to the hub, making both fun and exciting.

Game seems fun. I’m playing it on Heroic and I haven’t completed the first flashback yet, nor have I played Firefight. Since it’s not out yet I’m not sure I’m gonna sign onto live, but I probably will, so I’ll post more later.

Should I get this for the single player / co op with my gf?

Since playing Firefight and discovering that A) It’s a blast with just 2 people and B) You can only play over live with people on your friends list (a costly design error, I must say; although Bungie has said that they are only releasing the bundled maps with the game and not as DLC - this makes me hopeful of being able to find players) then yes, although the price tag is pretty steep for just that.

I’ve only played a little bit of the campaign. I’ll say this though: I think it’d be a fun game experience to share with your girlfriend. It sometimes seems very much like a night at the movies in terms of how you percieve the experience. There’s some great music, which sets a great mood for quiet, dark exploration. Contrasted sharply by classic Halo scenarios (in the sunlight no less) makes for a fun time. I revel simply in the idea of the game and it’s execution. The addition of guerilla style warfare and shoot, hide, move and shoot ect in the Urban environment is something of a change from the other Halo games, which take place on mostly uninhabited planets or singular stellar structures like the Halo rings or [place you go at the end of Halo 3]. ODST takes place in a city and is fairly open world in that there are lots of routes you can go to get around and flank your enemy, hit them from the side and split them and so on. In this regard the gameplay changes even further in the contrast from Rookie in the Hub to squad mate in the field, as since the Rookie encounters occupying forces, their tactics are generally to stay put and hold their posistion, which makes baiting them and confusing them more difficult (even more fun is to hear the actual order being given by the brute; it really adds to the combat experience).

All in all, I think you and your girlfriend would like it. Since you’ve mentioned you’re not fond of Halo 3 multiplayer I think you might want to stave off until the price drops or a used copy pops up. At least half of the game value is attributed to Halo 3 multiplayer maps, which is included on a Halo 3 multiplayer-only boot disc that contains every DLC map pack, as well as the exclusive one. So if you don’t have at least half of those map packs, then this is a real bargain. However, if you don’t want to play Halo 3 multiplayer then I would see it as over priced.

I enjoy it, although I’ve only gotten to play Firefight with someone else once. The thing that sucks about getting games early is that theres nobody else to play with!

So I can’t play firefight with my friends on split screen? Not even 2p?

Oh no, you can totally do that. I meant matchmaking, like Halo 3 matchmaking or Warcraft 3 matchmaking. The pairing of random, evenly skilled players to play a match together over the internet. Split Screen Co-Op and System Link are totally possible. I’m just confused as to why matchmaking isn’t.

I agree, that is surprisingly strange.

Its fun though, and for me the value was that the campaign was $40 and two map packs at $10 a piece (and if you count firefight, I guess I’d pay like $10 for that, so it’s really $30… maybe).

I dunno, so far parts of the campaign are pretty rough. Some parts are a little confusing, like I’m helping someone defend a rally point in the city for all the troops right now, but the guy I’m helping isn’t even there. It’s me against a whole ton of people, and this is a little tougher without shields. I never really realized how fast the chief was :o

Sorry, to double post but I beat the game. It was pretty fun, with some tight moments there, but overall I wanted more. In the realm of video games, that’s the best feeling there is. Firefight, unfortunately, doesn’t do it for me in this regard. Man, I really wish there was matchmaking! I played an almost 2 hour game of firefight with some people from another forum and it was a freaking blast! I died 15 times, killed like 600 baddies (224 headshots :)… it’s a fun game mode to play with 4 people. I wish more people here played shooters :\

By the time I buy it (ie price drop - it IS on my buy list) , you probably won’t be playing it anymore :S. I agree the lack of fps players here sucks. I played a bit with RPT back in the day, but not often enough to really get good at online fps.

rpgclassics2.com with shrines on various game rocket launchers?

I’ve played firefight twice for hours at a time with 3 and 4 players present, respectively. It’s an absolute blast that strikes the right balance between taking out an army with Master Chief and the Gear’s of War emphasis on teamwork.

I have yet to play through the campaign co-op.

I dunno man, I keep my shooter games unless the multiplayer sucks (like Unreal Tournament 3 and Gears 1).

I can’t stand controller shooters. I just horribly suck at it. Finishing Killzone 2 was a herculean effort.

That’s kinda my issue right there. I don’t really play console shooters, and I haven’t played Halo since the 2nd one. Even then, I got no Xbox. (Though I’ve been spying a good $200 deal for an Elite through Dell.)

I’m more at home with PC shooters. Stuff like CS, Wolfenstein:Enemy Territory, and of course, Team Fortress 2. I love me some TF2.

See, I like console shooters better. I used to play TFC and CS, and eventually cheaters ruined the game. Early on, in TFC (which came out before broadband internet), having a better connection was grounds for beating people. Later on you could be beaten very well just for not having as good a computer. I just find that the level playing ground and the intermittent network hacking that occurs on Xbox Live to be more than satisfactory. As for what you guys are talking about, the controls, I find no problems with them. Honestly, Sinistral is one of the more stubborn people I’ve known and if HE can get used to it, I believe it to be possible for all to get used to it.

Got it. Played it. Beat it.

My verdict? Not worth $60. The campaign is way too short and easy (on Heroic, at least), and although Firefight is awesome, it just doesn’t motivate me like other modes do. I already sold off Halo 3, so having the maps back is nice, I guess. Then again, if I was still playing Halo 3 multiplayer, I wouldn’t have gotten rid of it to begin with, now would I?

There was stuff I liked. The atmosphere in the early hub areas is a nice change from the overly colorful, frat boy-inspired trends of previous Halos. I also digged the idea of playing a slightly more normal soldier, and not “One Man Army” Master Chief. Hell, even the “playing through flashbacks” thing wasn’t all that bad. But then the game goes and shoots itself in the foot.

The gloomy atmosphere dies off the further you go. (Rather strange, considering this is supposed to be when humanity’s getting their ass handed to them.) Nobody really bothered to stick to the “normal soldier” routine; a few more restrictions might have made things feel a little more different and helped the difficulty. And of course, the flashbacks quickly degenerate into the same “hoop and holler” crap that led me to shoot every goddamn human I saw in the other Halos. (Except on the higher difficulties; then they were slightly useful meat shields.)

In other words, good ideas, subpar execution.

If the online multiplayer atmosphere was different I’d probably play online. Nevertheless, I find it so much more enjoyable to be able to sit on my couch in front of a tv with my surround sound than to be crouching over a my keyboard staring at a small screen. I got used to the controls. My gf is actually better at console fps games than she is at pc ones.

See, I kind of agree and disagree here. I played the game in order and I found that the atmosphere shifts from the Rookies perspective to the group of ODST’s perspective. It moves from being environment based atmosphere to event based atmosphere, which was that of confusion and a constant battle to escape the city before it’s inevitably destroyed. When the Rookie reunites with Buck in the last level and you escape down the highway, watch the skies and you’ll see the Covenent Cruisers coming into posistion over the city, waiting to fire and ‘glass’ it, uniting the perspectives and the qualities of both atmospheres. This is probably where the game loses itself - because it’s so short, both atmospheres seem rather abbreviated as you constantly shift between the Rookie and the team.

As far as being different from the Spartans, the game really makes itself more like other shooters in this regard by limiting the shield. I’m confused as to why ODSTs can carry turrets but can’t duel wield. They also jump pretty high, I found no discernable difference (but the environments are mostly different that what the Chief encounters). So, in this regard, I think the game pretty much fails, even if you do die quicker.

And the only way to play Firefight is on legendary with more than 2 people. Any other way is pretty easy to get far in.