Halo, the juggernaut of Microsoft's Xbox platform, is one of the most profitable games of all time. With Halo and Halo 2 the stage had been set for one of the worlds largest retail events in history with Halo 3. With a marketing campaign of epic proportions set to make sure every living soul who owned an Xbox 360 or was contemplating getting an Xbox 360 would know of the exact date that this supposed gem of the console would be released there was no way that the creators of Halo, Bungie, would be able to fail in what was set to be the final telling of the Halo story.
Bungie was set with a huge development team and almost limitless funds to make good on the promise of making Halo 3 a masterpiece. With any full retail game the single player experience would need to be a complete package, and to complete this Bungie decided to concentrate on a mostly combined telling of Master Chief and The Arbiter. This approached worked well in most instances but the single player campaign seems to have been not the concentration of the game and in certain areas shows. The fact that the AI and difficulty of the game is erratic enough to make jumping on a pogo stick seem like a more steady ride is almost undeniable. Though with adjustable difficulty this annoyance can be evened out slightly.
*Main story spoilers*
The plot in Halo 3 may be a cause for concerned because Halo 3 offers nearly no twists or curves. Rather than trying to keep gamers intrigued with new additions to the story or rapping up existing plot lines in an unusual manner, Bungie chooses to be so straight forward that within twenty minutes of playing the ending is clear once again and this story is the same one from the first two Halo's except, wait sorry I can't think of an except. I'm not saying that the campaign is bad because the gameplay is engaging and baddies will keep you on your toes the entire way through. You may say that Halo 3 is the end of trilogy and should not expected to do anything new. While I understand this argument any game must be able to evolve to stay with the current market and merely retelling the same story over three times won't be getting the job done which is exactly what I feel Halo 3 has done in many ways.
*End of main story spoilers*
Another particular point that shows that Bungie's dedication to the campaign was not to the level that was expected is the highly trumpeted four player cooperative mode. The level of difficulty does not increase as players are added. Meaning that while you may crank this game to the highest difficulty which will drive a single person insane, that once you add your three buddies with you the game will nearly roll over for you and your entourage and beg to be spanked harder.
With all Halo's though the campaign is not the lasting appeal of Halo 3. Bungie wanted to get one thing right above all else, world class multiplayer experience. This is what they set out to do and there is no denying that with the new features and fantastic additions to the multiplayer that this is exactly what they accomplished. The core multiplayer experience feels much like an melding of Halo 1 and Halo 2 multiplayer's, with old and new weapons and maps making a return Halo 3 pulls off an engaging multiplayer that will have you coming back for more for years to come.
With Halo 3 though the multiplayer games is just the beginning. Halo 3 takes the next gen step by introducing features never done with so well on a console before beginning with their video capture system. This system allowed recording of small clips of recent matches or entire matches with a very small file sizes allowing for large number of matches being recorded without fear of filling up precious hard drive space. They also introduced a map editor system called forge. This system while not a true editor in the sense of allowing change to the map itself. Forge does allow for moment of all in map objects which can create an infinite number of ways to change and modify gameplay on any given map. Then tieing the video and forge aspects together is a file sharing program that allows members to show video, images, and forge options with the entire community. This is a truly one of a kind experience.
This era of "next-gen" that is now the current generation of consoles have a higher than ever before emphasis on graphics and sound. With Halo 3 these two aspects have not been overlooked. While Halo 3 doesn't have a stunning realism too it that most of come to expect from this generation Halo 3 keeps true to it's origins and graphically is stunning in detail but not in overall style. Never will the graphics detract from your Halo 3 experience which is all that really can be asked. While the audio of Halo 3 is well done with new original scores there is nothing particularly stunning about their audio in this edition but with the original score of Halo redone yet again this puts audio above par, barely.
Halo 3, though with faults that can not be overlooked, is still one of the best games of this generation of console and should be played by any that consider the FPS genre to have enjoyable games. With so many options and variants in multiplayer Halo 3 will have you coming back over and over again even if the single player may leave you yearning for more.