Any flaws in this game are minute and easily overlookable.
stebbinsd wrote this review on .
Bad: unintuitive multiplayer interface; short single-player mode; custom game-making makes legal cheating too easy.
A true jewel comes around about once in a console's lifetime, the one that defines the console's entire life; the one people will associate with that system the way they associate Micheal Jordan with basketball. For the Atari 2600, it was Yar's Revenge; for the NES, it was Super Mario Bros.; for the Genesis, it was Sonic the Hedgehog; for the N64, it was Super Mario 64; and for the Xbox 360, it's Halo 3, the ULTIMATE blend of action, excitement, and fun.
Even the beginning is nice and fun. After a short, three-minute opening video where Cheif wakes up from a suicidal jump from his spaceship and learns that some covenant creature has switched sides, it cuts right to the action, which the game has in spades. After about thirty seconds of walking, bullets fly past your head. This isn't one of those games with a high learning curve; you get in, blow some alien brains out, and get out. It's that simple.
And as boring as it sounds, it's actually pretty exciting. You'd expect this game to get old and stale after a few minutes, but it doesn't. I can't describe what kind of magic this game has, it just has that special feel to it.
The story is fun, too. It turns out the covenant and the humans have a common enemy called the "Flood," and they team up to face them. Why is this good? Well, not only is it an unexpected turn of events in the Halo trilogy, but it provides room for another sequal, one where the Humans and the covenant finally can settle their original differences, the ones they had in the original Halo. The only problem is it's short. Even on your first time through, you can blow through the game in about ten hours on the easiest difficulty, and that's coming from a guy who sucks at shooters.
The presentation is just as well done. There are hardly any hickups in the framerate, and the soundtrack is absolutely phenomenal, and when I say phenomenal, I mean AJ Styles phenomenal. It truly sets the mood for the story; it gets me pumped up, in the rythem. That's hard to do with me.
The difficulty is perfect. I don't care who you are, what your preferences on difficulty are, you'll definately find the best one for you. Insane mode is on par with Ninja Gaiden when it comes to difficulty, while the easiest mode can be beaten in ten hours (as stated before), with three levels of difficulty in between, so if you're a shooter fan, you WILL find a difficulty level that best suits you.
The multiplayer is where this game is less than perfect. Of course, it's still fun and addictive, but it's getting there that's the tough part. Where other online games allow you to choose just about everything about the game if you want to, including the map, the mode, max and min number of players, etc., Halo 3 online lacks that. You basically choose between free-for-all and team matches, the relative number of players (small, medium, and large), and whether or not it's a slayer (deathmatch, for those who've never played Halo online). The first two aren't that bad, but the third is just a pain in the ass. You want to play a Juggernaut and ONLY a juggernaut? You need to start one yourself, buddy, because there's practically no way to garentee whether or not it's juggernaut, CTF, oddball, etc., until you actually get matched up. It's a real pain in the ass.
On top of that, Bungie has included a game editor, where you can customize the rules of your game. This looks like a good idea on paper, but it makes legal cheating WAY too easy. Even in the small amount of time I've played this, I've come across a variant of the Juggernaut that literally garentees the game-starter the victory. I'm not going to tell you what it is because I don't want anyone else to get any ideas, but I swear to you, there's no way to beat the guy, and it was legal. It was perfectly within the programming code of the game, like the infinite lives trick in Super Mario Bros.; I was just SOL. Maybe Bungie will fix this (in fact, as soon as I finish this review, I'm going to Bungie's website to address this), but right now, cheap victories are just too easy to obtain.
All in all, though, this is a great game, and I can't see any game in the 360's future that will top this. It truly is the 360's franchise title.