Halo Three, or, how I stopped hating and learned to love the ring.

Before you write this off as another "Oh great halo fanboy, avoiding this review like now" I'd like to first mention I was not at ALL excited for Halo 3. Infact I went into launch downright miserable, playing it only to say "I played it, it was trash".

Was I in for a surprise? You bet I was. Lets get into the meat.

Graphically, this game has never gone for photorealism. Halo has a very specific art style and it sticks to it. Armored chitin on all of its players, from spartans to elites to brutes, flashing plasma, and all the other hoopla, its all a staple of halo. I couldn't stand Halo 2 looking like a can of oil, but Halo 3 has at least toned it down, with more detail added while not making everything look overly greasy. Perfect? No. More detailed than U3 Engine? No. Is that a fair comparison? No. Its comparing WoW's stylized graphics to games like EQ. Art styles vary, but I like Halo 3's direction.

Audio: Excellent, excellent, EXCELLENT original score by the game's returning composer. The sound effects? Eh. Flat. But survivable.

Now I'm going to give campaign two scores. One of them is for tackling it alone, the other is for tackling it with three other friends as I did over XBL. Score for the single player: 5/10. Score for friends: 8/10.

The reason? Singleplayer is solitary and point to point, but when you play with friends, its satisfying to load up into a warthog and go cruising, or trick your friends and kill them for fun. The formula works. And stability was spot on, lagless, and perfect.

Multiplayer gameplay is more like halo 1 than halo 2, and its a small miracle that they made the starting weapon a 2h gun. Thank the lord, melee is back in the fray. Bottom line, to sum it all up?

If you have friends who also buy this game, you will adore it. If you don't have friends, this might be a bit unpleasant.