Halo 3: ODST may be my biggest gaming disappointment this year

Unfortunately, with all the recent events I have not been able to give Halo 3: ODST any decent write-ups. That’s probably acceptable though because I simply cannot give the game enough time to do a decent write-up. Not that I haven’t been playing games, I’ve just been playing everything except this. Halo 3: ODST may be the biggest disappointment this year. The game is chock full of good ideas but is extremely poor in its overall execution.

What I really blame for this is the idea you can incorporate standard Halo gameplay without Master Chief. Bungie gave me the impression combat would have to be more strategic, perhaps more stealthy. Nope. The game is pretty much straight up Halo, except you’re not anywhere near as tough nor can you wield the same kind of firepower.

So here is a pretty decent story hamstrung by an incredibly frustrating play experience. I’m sure the game will sell like gangbusters because its Halo, people will love it because it is Halo, and the game will still continue getting decent reviews simply because it is Halo. If you’re not invested in the Halo franchise? I’d recommend steering clear.

I do want to get back into the game because I want to see how the story pans out. I just don’t have the frustration tolerance for it right now.


  1. I’ve not played the game, but let me mention this:

    You’re not hearing an awful lot about it.

    I was hoping that it would have that strategy element, but one of my die-hard friends (2-3 hours a DAY Halo gaming) mentioned to me that it was a big disappointment for him and his online buddies. They went back to H3.

  2. I would like to try ODST at some point because I never really cared for how the Halo games played and have heard that ODST is a bit more of a throwback to older-style FPSs. The fact that it actually has a great story, from all accounts, is probably the biggest reason for me to want to try the game.

    That said, you’re absolutely right that the game has just hit and fizzled out fairly fast. Even the Firefight mode, which I heard was a lot of fun, seems to have dropped off the radar.

  3. Firefight is really just a very unstructured Left 4 Dead. That might be oversimplifying it, but that is the definite impression I get. I liked Firefight, it’s a neat game mode and a welcome change from Deathmatch/Team Deathmatch. What I would have preferred was something more akin to the terrorist hunts from Rainbow Six Vegas 2.

    As for “older style” FPS? Nope.

    Strategy element? You might get that impression from the claims of “open world”, but I’m just not feeling it. The open world just feels very empty and I feel like I’m stumbling over the story in the wrong order. I don’t think it matters, it just feels like it matters.

    The real tragedy is the cast. The voice actors are all top notch and is a real treat if you’re a Firefly fan.

  4. I find the very wide range of opinions on this game to be very interesting. On one hand, we’ve got Jason calling it his biggest disappointment of the year, and on the other hand we’ve got my buddy (who was really worried about getting it because of the title’s short length and somewhat limited appeal) calling it his greatest Halo experience.

    I have to agree that Bungie made it seem like the game would be strategic and somewhat stealthy, and that this suggestion is a complete lie. ODST is straight-up Halo with a much weaker lead character. There are several encounters in the game that S117 would have walked through, but the Rookie can barely survive.

    ODST fizzled out because Bungie initially made the mistake of referring to the game as an expansion, then threw Firefight and the complete multiplayer experience in there, and then slapped a full price tag on the box. Reviewers were so caught up with answering the question “Is this game worth US $60?” that it negatively impacted the game’s image. I have a number of people on my friends list who are Halo fans who refused to buy it because the reviews they read made them think it wasn’t worth the money.

    (A lack of matchmaking in Firefight certainly didn’t help either.)

    While I believe that the full package is worth US $60, it would have been smart of Bungie to drop it to a more budget-friendly price of US $40, just to counter the image they helped create. But what do I know? It sold two million units in its first week. I guess my fellow Halo fans will keep this franchise running, no matter what Bungie puts out.

    By the way, how do I get an avatar for my comments?

  5. I was all geared up to grab this day-one, and revel in it in my full Halo-fanboyism.

    Then early reviews trickled out that weren’t exactly flattering. After watching the Halo fans come out and attack the reviewers, I was tentative. Now, like Nat said, we’re hardly hearing anything about this game is telling.

    When this game drops into the “Cheap Game of the Week” zone, I’ll definitely grab it, I still love the Halo universe and look forward to another story, but I can wait.

  6. Shoot. I got Halo Wars from Gamefly for $10 and it’s my favorite Halo game.

  7. Ah, Halo Wars. My favourite Halo game because, well, it’s not a ‘real’ Halo game 🙂

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