**I WILL DO A HALO 3 REVIEW SOON. I JUST DON'T WANT TO.**
Originally going to be a DLC for Halo 3, and Bungie stated that it was going to be a different experience than the previous Halo game, but bravely admitted that it was still very Halo at it's core of gameplay. Now today, ODST is a stand-alone expansion pack and the content it feature, is it a purchasable product?
The story focuses on five characters: Dutch, Romeo, Buck, Micky, and The Rookie (AKA Gordon Freeman). You start playing as the Rookie and you're dropping into action in New Mombassa and something went wrong and you're team are separated. Once you land in the location, you're awaken in New Mombassa and everything's completely dark and dead. You're all alone and surrounded by hordes of Covenant. You fight your way to find clues to figure where your squadmates are and the game will continue to tell the story by forcing you to playing each character throughout the game. Once you find clues, you will go into a flashback mode. Overall, it's a very nice idea for the storytelling in a Halo game and the story itself is interesting enough to keep you engaged-It's also the best storytelling that the series have to offer.
Looks familar to Halo 3? Because it is!
The storm is coming...
Graphically, the game is exactly the same in Halo 3, but it still looks solid enough and a couple of scenes the game looks amazing. Unlike the Halo games, it has noir feel and it's easily the darkest game. Most notably New Mombassa or any dark areas. The visor mode really makes the visual very cool to look at. It's cool to see your environments with some small and flash lighting effects around the edges. The sound is very similar to Halo 3 except there's new music, voice acting, and a couple of weapon sound effects. They're all fine and there's not really much to say about it. However, the music by Marty is outstanding just like most of his work. It really shows his versatility and it fits the game really well. You'll hear dark and sad piano songs in New Mombassa or you'll hear something that's more adrenaline pumping when it comes to day time with intense firefights.
The Rookie in combat.
BRING IT BRUTE!
Daylight missions are usually ridden with lots of action.
Halo 3: ODST is basically there for the Halo fans so if you're tired of the Halo formula, this game will disappoint. The gameplay of ODST is very similar to Halo 3 with a some differences. It's still a run and gunner. It's not a tactical shooter or something like Splinter Cell (it has some stealth elements). You do have two new weapons. The new pistol is a grenade tribute to the Halo: CE pistol, but it's not as powerful. It's a horrible against shielded/armored enemies, but it's a lethal weapon for pulling head shots and ammo is quite common to find at times. The scoped SMG is more accurate than the SMG in Halo 3 and it's a perfect medium-ranged weapon. Although it can be used at close range, but it's recommended to be used at mid range if you have a Shotgun or an Assault Rifle. Also I find the chuggy gun shots to be a reference to the old Halo: CE Assault Rifle. However, it still has similar recoil problems. Since you're an ODST soldier, you are quite vulnerable to groups of Covenant. You take a lil bit more damage, and fall damage is in game. Not only that, you can't dual-wield, jump higer than a spartan, or throw grenades as accurate like a Spartan. However, you do move support weapons faster, you can carry three grenades, and you have health so that mean health packs are back in the game. The enemies are exactly the same in Halo 3 except the Brutes' shield or armor and life are a lot tougher to take down. This forces you to do a bit more tactical on your decision. So most of the time you want to to stay a bit in range towards the Brutes instead of rushing in like you would when you play as a Spartan. Some weapons have been upgraded from Halo 3. The Assault Rifle is more accurate. It's accuracy is almost up to par to the Battle Rifle (oh and BR is taken out) when you burst shot at mid range. The Spiker do slightly more damage to shields/armor and life with slight increased range. The Brute Plasma Rifle doesn't overheat as much with little improvement on its damage overall and there's a couple of more like the Mauler ammo is more common to find. The game is played like you're in New Mombassa finding your next clue and taking down enemies and this is where you visor mode (night vision) is handy. Once you find the clue, your visor isn't as reliable because most of the missions are day time. Once you finish a day time mission, you're back to the Rookie and you pretty much repeat untill you get to the near end where the whole story starts wrap up. The whole campaign will last around 6-8 hours long, but it's very enjoyable and it's possibly the best campaign that Bungie has to offer for the Halo series. It's very fresh yet it's really fun to play.
Firefight mode is pretty much Horde mode from the Gears of War series. It's your typical survival mode with a Halo twist and this twist are the skull. Each round will add a skull to make the game harder, chaotic, and more interesting. Firefight mode will challenge you most of the time and it's a blast to play if you got friends online. Sadly, there are no match-making option, but I find this mode to be focused more on teamwork what team can you trust other than your friends you know?
ODST is a great expansion to any Halo owner. It does a lot of good throwbacks to fans of Ce and it's campaign is very polished despite of having a short campaign compared to its previous games. There will be a couple of moments you will enjoy from this game or atleast have fun since it will do a fine job in that department. ODST is simply another great game to the Halo franchise. 9.0/10