Review: Halo: ODST

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Molten Water:
Its Orbital Drop Shock Troopers i Thought...

You be corret.

The campaign took about six hours to finish. The story was really good, interesting to get this kind of view outside of the Master Chief's role and I'm a Firefly fanboy so I loved the acting and hearing all the lines. In spite of that, I'm not happy with the way this thing turned out. A fair amount of money to drop on something that, for all intents and purposes, is really just a side story that could have been sold for about twenty dollars cheaper.

I did a few rounds of Firefight and sorry, it doesn't work for me. I really do like the concept of multiplayer vs AIs but Gears of War 2 beat you to it. Hell you could argue that Left 4 Dead did it first. All the extra DLC maps is a nice bonus, but even packing all this stuff together it isn't worth the cost. I find myself enjoying the multiplayer in Gears 2 over Halo, I DEFINITELY prefer Horde mode over Firefight, and because this was one of the big games of the season that I'm looking forward to, I really hope that better things will come of the rest of the line up.

Good effort, bad follow through.

Nathan Fillion is bloody epic.

Plus the thing between Buck and Dare is the only real romance in any of the Halo games (the thing between Johnson and Miranda Keys doesn't count).

If it aint broke dont fix it, thats why its more of the same halo fun

The Random One:
EDIT: Holy crap, I hadn't watched the video yet. Russ Pitts, your voice is awesome. How do you manage to live sounding that great?

It's not easy out here for a pimp ...

I played a few seconds of it at a friend's house and I can't say I'm impressed. I was psyched to experience the Halo universe from the eyes of a squishy, vulnerable ordinary human being; however, I can't say I got much of that from the few baddies I shot. Maybe I was playing on easy, but I don't think there was much of a difference between how many bullets I could soak up and how many MC can take.

awsome117:

Kalezian:

05rutterb:

Hardcore_gamer:

Ohten:
Halo 3 ODST: More generic plot line, more ten-year-olds shrieking over X-Box Live, and more gameplay that's been done better elsewhere.

Can't wait.

The biggest problem i have with the game is that it has a high price tag even though it's really just a level pack with a new story for Halo 3. According to the review, there are NO new enemy's!

There aren't new enemies, but there's harder versions of the enemies already in halo.

yea, its called legendary difficulty.

this game? its halo 3 multiplayer without shields, add in two new weapons [atleast those that I found and used] and you have a DLC pack thats in the guise of a game, congratulations Bungie, you gave us another half assed game. Halo 2 was strike one, Halo Wars was strike two.........

Again, I would like to point out the engineers...

And Halo Wars was made be ES, not Bungie. Bungie had no role in halo wars what so ever.

They had to have some role in Halo Wars, if not then call up the copyright infringement lawyers, maybe this time they wont have to dick around with the whole Edge controversy.

the point is this game is a let down......a real bad let down. sure the story has some sliver of origonality, but it just feels like your the MC who got hit by a Metroid ray. you are supposed to be a regular soldier [special forces though] but still you are able to beat down wave after wave of enemies, add in the 4 player co-op and there really isnt any difficulty save for the nice plasma grenade throws the grunts provide on legendary. this game could of been more, had it actually been a game by itself.

lets hope Reach is atleast a little different.

the only reason you would want this really is for firefight mode im gunna wait for a price drop until its atleast 30 quid

Culnaej:

EquinoxETO:
*bows head in respect to THE MAN*
just as i thought - halo 3 again, just with a couple different guns and a naturally harder difficulty

and completely different story? from a perspective of a soldier that isn't god-like?

but its going through the motions. the story is basic - enemies in town - you kill their ass(ets).
bunjie had to admit that the only difference in the characters is their starting equipment. everyone can use every weapon from the off

Russ Pitts:
It's not easy out here for a pimp ...

you actually reply to posts on your video? that beats basically ever forum ive been in! most just ignore the scum scuttling around at their feet. id be looking pointedly at yahtzee right now, but his greatness blinds me :(
Russ Pitts = Respect++
[nerdy joke on my behalf = coolness--]

You know, as a fan of the Halo universe, I'm finding the bitching about a "short campaign" absolutely hilarious. The Halo games have never had a campaign any longer than 6-8 hours, just like ODST. Halo 3 was essentially Halo 2 with a new campaign and a couple new or revamped multiplayer maps. I guess you could add in four player online co-op, but still.

I know for sure that I'm picking up ODST. Yeah, sure, play it on the lower difficulty settings and I'm sure it's exactly like the original Halo, but things (from what I hear from my friends) get much more complicated as the difficulty increases. I'll definitely get back to this thread as soon as I have the game in my hands.

I want to say this. Video games are meant to be a device used for entertainment. Really video games are just complex board games. And board games are just a toy so video games are just a really complex toy. If the toy is fun and entertaining then it has fulfilled its job. Halo is just meant to be fun, and that is what it is. ODST is no difference.

It turned my roommate into a slobering zombie. *throws shoe* Yep, he's dead to this world. I would pick up the controller for firefight but I might get my hand nawd off.

Susan Arendt:

We're not most reviewers. :)

Thank goodness. I mean that in the sincerest way possible.

maantren:

Susan Arendt:

Indeed. Companies want you to buy the game the day it comes out, so they want to have the reviews at the ready. The only way to coordinate that is to get copies to reviewers early. No big conspiracy at work, just timing. Same with the adverts. It's really not all that different than movies. Movie reviewers are either sent the movie before it's released or allowed into an advanced screening of the film.

It's a little more complicated than that. I worked on 2 magazines and a TV show that did videogame reviews, and saw firsthand the subtle & overt pressures brought to bear by publishers and PR firms. They have swag, previews, access, and advertising money to play with: it's usually not as simple as 'give us a good review and we'll buy $x worth of ads', but it is fundamentally their job to try and get positive coverage. Good outlets like The Escapist resist or ignore the pressure, but there's a reason so many prominent sites give 'blockbuster' games (ie those with a large PR budget) such crazy high review scores in their first week...

Cheers

Colin

Well, yes, I'm quite aware of all that, having been writing about videogames for almost ten years now. I never said such pressures didn't exist, merely tried to point out that not everything is a conspiracy.

Gametrailers review says "drop ship troopers" too. Huh.

Chad Brumfield:
I really do like the concept of multiplayer vs AIs but Gears of War 2 beat you to it. Hell you could argue that Left 4 Dead did it first.

Or you could even go back a little more and remember the invasion mode in ut04 ;) (i guess there are some older games out there, who did that too)

I prefer firefight over horde mode, simply because of the skulls and the fact that you can't just camp in spot anymore and have an easy win

Here's hoping for a review of the Reach beta. That's the main reason I'm buying, I'm a big Ghost Recon fan.

i feel the game was lacking to be honest as you cant play it like normal halo as your not the master chief so theres no running into a large group of covenant and then putting boot to ass.

That took me a while to get used too but as soon as i did i felt it was a nice change of pace as the story had started to pick up and then as i thought here we go some proper halo action the game ends.

Next what happened to the vehicles was it just me or do they all not turn properly anymore i noticed this mostly with the warthog as i gave up trying to drive the damn thing and jumped on the turret.

Also i thought the game was called "Orbital Drop Shock Troopers" as you only orbit drop once and that goes horribly wrong as i was expecting a few more drops the way bungie hyped it up so much.

but having mael from firefly as the squad leader was a great choice.

So to be honest i was quite disappointed with Halo 3 odst.

Well i cant wait.. Seriously.

I want this game now.

Utarefson:

Chad Brumfield:
I really do like the concept of multiplayer vs AIs but Gears of War 2 beat you to it. Hell you could argue that Left 4 Dead did it first.

Or you could even go back a little more and remember the invasion mode in ut04 ;) (i guess there are some older games out there, who did that too)

You're forgetting the Multi-Man Brawls in Super Smash Bros. Melee!!11!one1!

Or we could ignore "x did it before y" as a valid criticism of anything. For shame that so many games copied whoever originally invented the idea of deathmatch, team deathmatch, CTF, king of the hill, etc, etc, et cetera.

Debate the merits of their implementation, by all means, state preferences even, but lay off the "Spasim did it first, these copy-cats are teh sucks."

I really didn't mind the game. I'm not a die hard fan, but I thought it was a lot more fun than actual Halo. The characters felt a lot heavier, so I didn't get the impression that I was walking on the moon, which I really enjoyed!
They also fixed the PISS slow movement rate that you walked when you grabbed a turret on Halo 3.
I've been having fun with it. I really enjoy fire fight mode which I find to be a good way to kick back and have some insane fun with friends in a generally noncompetitive environment.

I will give it to you, the campaign is short. I dont mind too much though. It's fun, I enjoyed it. That's that I reckon.

Hardcore_gamer:

Ohten:
Halo 3 ODST: More generic plot line, more ten-year-olds shrieking over X-Box Live, and more gameplay that's been done better elsewhere.

Can't wait.

The biggest problem i have with the game is that it has a high price tag even though it's really just a level pack with a new story for Halo 3. According to the review, there are NO new enemy's!

He's wrong. There are some new flying projectile enemies that explode when you shoot them.

I wasn't really gonna pick this up, but since hearing the voiceovers from the folks from Firefly, I'm definitely gonna at least rent this.

Eh. I'm willing to try this game out, but it looks really lazy. From what I can see there are only two weapons here that weren't in Halo 3, and both are simply rehashes (a silenced version of a mediocre gun and the brute plasma rifle returning). I've seen one new enemy type. The gameplay, despite touting being a "weaker human", looks largely the same. I simply cannot fathom how this is enough new content for a $60 price tag. It especially doesn't make sense when you look at the outcry against L4D2.

JugglerPanda:

Geo Da Sponge:
Wow. It's amazing how many people can look at a recommendation like this:

Recommendation: If you're a slave to multiplayer, then you need this game. Everyone else will be playing it, plus it comes with the complete set of Halo 3 downloadable maps as a bonus freebie. If multiplayer isn't your thing, then you might give this a rent to see if it hooks you. You'll probably still enjoy it, even if you're not a Halo fanboy, but the price is a bit high for such a short game.

and still say this review proves the game isn't any good. Say hello to the internet's biggest demographic which hates a game without playing it, everyone! The Halo hater!

It helps when you read the thing that you quote before boldly stating the exact opposite of what the message was trying to convey.

I beg your pardon? The quote indicates the game is very good for anyone who focuses on multiplayer, but any other player would probably enjoy it as well. Hence it saying:

If you're a slave to multiplayer, then you need this game

and

If multiplayer isn't your thing, then you might give this a rent to see if it hooks you. You'll probably still enjoy it, even if you're not a Halo fanboy

The only complaint in the summary is that it's quite short, and while that's a pretty big complaint this still sounds like a positive review overall. The review summary says it's good (above average at least) yet people fill up the comments section saying how this review shows the game is terrible. It certainly isn't saying the "game isn't any good".

Unless there's some kind of layered meaning in the summary? Some kind of hidden message?

Kalezian:

They had to have some role in Halo Wars, if not then call up the copyright infringement lawyers, maybe this time they wont have to dick around with the whole Edge controversy.

the point is this game is a let down......a real bad let down. sure the story has some sliver of origonality, but it just feels like your the MC who got hit by a Metroid ray. you are supposed to be a regular soldier [special forces though] but still you are able to beat down wave after wave of enemies, add in the 4 player co-op and there really isnt any difficulty save for the nice plasma grenade throws the grunts provide on legendary. this game could of been more, had it actually been a game by itself.

lets hope Reach is atleast a little different.

Not Really, Bungie doesn't own the halo IP, MS does. If Bungie said no, and MS said yes, then that's what's added.

I'm going to guess you hated CoD 4? Hell, most FPS games in general right? Anyway, for all the bads things that (you think) halo did, it does a lot of good things.

I don't understand your point here. It started out as an expansion, and became much more than that. Do you want it get up, and play it all by itself? You say you want different, but different came around, and this is what you say. I truely don't understand. It's fine if you don't like halo, to each his own. But, saying that there could have been more seems a little dickish don't you think? They made more because of the player(s). Also, if it's the price thing, Bungie doesn't make the price, MS does(with about every xbox game to date).

I know I'm ranting, and probably won't change your views on it, but I just had to bring up these points.

Russ Pitts:

Molten Water:
Its Orbital Drop Shock Troopers i Thought...

Yeah, that was my bad. Mea culpa. "Drop shock troopers" is so ghey, my mind refused to accept it. Apologies to anyone who considers this a terminal error.

What why is it ghey

Geo Da Sponge:

JugglerPanda:

Geo Da Sponge:
Wow. It's amazing how many people can look at a recommendation like this:

Recommendation: If you're a slave to multiplayer, then you need this game. Everyone else will be playing it, plus it comes with the complete set of Halo 3 downloadable maps as a bonus freebie. If multiplayer isn't your thing, then you might give this a rent to see if it hooks you. You'll probably still enjoy it, even if you're not a Halo fanboy, but the price is a bit high for such a short game.

and still say this review proves the game isn't any good. Say hello to the internet's biggest demographic which hates a game without playing it, everyone! The Halo hater!

It helps when you read the thing that you quote before boldly stating the exact opposite of what the message was trying to convey.

I beg your pardon? The quote indicates the game is very good for anyone who focuses on multiplayer, but any other player would probably enjoy it as well. Hence it saying:

If you're a slave to multiplayer, then you need this game

and

If multiplayer isn't your thing, then you might give this a rent to see if it hooks you. You'll probably still enjoy it, even if you're not a Halo fanboy

The only complaint in the summary is that it's quite short, and while that's a pretty big complaint this still sounds like a positive review overall. The review summary says it's good (above average at least) yet people fill up the comments section saying how this review shows the game is terrible. It certainly isn't saying the "game isn't any good".

Unless there's some kind of layered meaning in the summary? Some kind of hidden message?

My apologies, I misinterpreted your post.

JugglerPanda:
My apologies, I misinterpreted your post.

It's cool, my orginal post was a bit unclear.

OT: Having now played the game for myself, I have to colmpliment the game on atmosphere; it does an excellent job of making you feel human when compared to Master Chief, and the game is very well designed aesthetically. It certainly manages to make you feel lonely, moving around the burnt out streets in the night.

RadioActiveChimp:

Hardcore_gamer:

05rutterb:

There aren't new enemies, but there's harder versions of the enemies already in halo.

Heh.

Well that's not very creative. Harder versions of the same enemy's don't count as new enemy's in my book.

one thing i'll say about the enemy's is that the A.I. is far FAR better. firefight feels like a different game with the same visuals.

The AI is superb in this game. Jackyls strafe together in an almost phalanx sort of fashion. Grunts don't run around the entire time like little sissies, their suicide bombing is more often and more precise. Brutes still run at you head strong but it's much harder to deal with than when you were playing the chief. Snipers are much harder to deal with now. Ammo (especially human) is very scarce and resource management is a larger part of the game than before. The VISR mode works very much like Arkham Asylum's detective mode, it's a cool little addition. Too bad they couldn't have given us infrared or something else cool, too. The review is a little light on content. It seems sort of rushed.

Things left out of the review that are extremely relevant:

*No regenerative health. To heal, the ODST must find a medical station.
*Your shield can only take 1-2 shots on heroic.
*VISR mode outlines relevant objects and targets for you to bring them out against the often dark backgrounds. It works much like the Batman:AA detective mode.
*The return of the Halo: CE tactical magnum.
*Vastly improved AI.

Hi guys, Escapist forum noobie here.

I picked up ODST when it came out and I have to say it's exactly what was promoted by Bungie. You shouldn't be suprised by what you do or don't find as far as content goes. They informed everyone about the details of the campaign/multiplayer/2 disks well before the release and tried their best to justify MS's price point. I do not feel cheated.

I really like the replay value. The AI is more challenging. It is much harder than Halo 3. Three of my buddies and I could last about 2 hours on Heroic in firefight, but only 4-5 minutes on Legendary (not tooting my own horn but we are very good Halo 3 multiplayer players). My same team could breeze through Halo 3's co-op campaign on Legendary. The skull-modification is a great feature. I can only imagine the techniques and tactics that will emerge over time to get the best run in firefight.

Susan Arendt:

maantren:

Susan Arendt:

Indeed. Companies want you to buy the game the day it comes out, so they want to have the reviews at the ready. The only way to coordinate that is to get copies to reviewers early. No big conspiracy at work, just timing. Same with the adverts. It's really not all that different than movies. Movie reviewers are either sent the movie before it's released or allowed into an advanced screening of the film.

It's a little more complicated than that. I worked on 2 magazines and a TV show that did videogame reviews, and saw firsthand the subtle & overt pressures brought to bear by publishers and PR firms. They have swag, previews, access, and advertising money to play with: it's usually not as simple as 'give us a good review and we'll buy $x worth of ads', but it is fundamentally their job to try and get positive coverage. Good outlets like The Escapist resist or ignore the pressure, but there's a reason so many prominent sites give 'blockbuster' games (ie those with a large PR budget) such crazy high review scores in their first week...

Cheers

Colin

Well, yes, I'm quite aware of all that, having been writing about videogames for almost ten years now. I never said such pressures didn't exist, merely tried to point out that not everything is a conspiracy.

Sorry, wasn't trying to lecture :-) It would be cool to see a site go out on a limb and do a detailed piece about those pressures, though, in the absence of good info it's easy to see why people go straight for the conspiracy angle.

Cheers

Colin

The game is exactly what I assumed it to be, another Halo remake will all that was good taken even further out and more crap pushed in. Halo 1 is the only one I ever liked, it had a good balance of single and multi playing so if you tried to tackle the game alone you never felt empty or unrewarded.Halo 2 I still bought it but that was the decline in quality on the game. Story mode was about half the length and easy even on hard settings, it started aiming at only multiplayer and thats the only thing they supported. Halo 3 came out and i dident waste my money but friends did and I gave it a fair go, played the story...in 4 hours, 3 with friends. The multiplayer was the same retake of big map X slayer or big map Y CTF and that was 90% of game play right there. And even to standards of FPS games its very shallow and lacks a good amount of featured all for making the backround look nice. I bought this game ODST and returned it the same day because its identical to Halo 3 aside from the fact your not a Spartan. You can down thing quick with no real challange, your allies don't help a whole lot and the game is still once again short, but at least they kept there very shallow and boaring multiplayer well supported. There are many things I can go on about on how Halo is very short, limited and shallow in so many was, and lacks qualitys of a good FPS (a.k.a. Call of duty, Gears of War, even Army of Two was more fun) but I won't, mainly becuase most of Halo's fan bace already know what i'm talking about and the only defence they will trow to it is that it's awsome and sold a lot of copys. So before you spam me with hate mail, take a good long time to think about why you like it and why it is a good game to you then send me good hard facts and things that could be used as a real debate.

LordKraven:
The game is exactly what I assumed it to be, another Halo remake will all that was good taken even further out and more crap pushed in. Halo 1 is the only one I ever liked, it had a good balance of single and multi playing so if you tried to tackle the game alone you never felt empty or unrewarded.Halo 2 I still bought it but that was the decline in quality on the game. Story mode was about half the length and easy even on hard settings, it started aiming at only multiplayer and thats the only thing they supported. Halo 3 came out and i dident waste my money but friends did and I gave it a fair go, played the story...in 4 hours, 3 with friends. The multiplayer was the same retake of big map X slayer or big map Y CTF and that was 90% of game play right there. And even to standards of FPS games its very shallow and lacks a good amount of featured all for making the backround look nice. I bought this game ODST and returned it the same day because its identical to Halo 3 aside from the fact your not a Spartan. You can down thing quick with no real challange, your allies don't help a whole lot and the game is still once again short, but at least they kept there very shallow and boaring multiplayer well supported. There are many things I can go on about on how Halo is very short, limited and shallow in so many was, and lacks qualitys of a good FPS (a.k.a. Call of duty, Gears of War, even Army of Two was more fun) but I won't, mainly becuase most of Halo's fan bace already know what i'm talking about and the only defence they will trow to it is that it's awsome and sold a lot of copys. So before you spam me with hate mail, take a good long time to think about why you like it and why it is a good game to you then send me good hard facts and things that could be used as a real debate.

When you said Gears of War was a good FPS, I lol'd hard.

8 hour campaign time? Halo 3 was longer than that and Halo 3 was a pitifully short half assed load of wank. I might buy this when it costs me £4.99 from a pre-owned bargain bin but im damn sure not gunna pay £39.99 for one nights worth of play. Honestly, i cant believe i thought for a second that bungie had come to its senses and made something even remotely as good as Halo/Halo 2, i hope they pull thier collective heads out of thier asses for Fall Of Reach.

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