The lights are on
It's been a while since ODST's launch, yet once I played the newest
installment in the series I discovered I had skipped a game. Thank
goodness I went back and found this hiding gem, for that's exactly what
ODST is: A hidden jewel of wonderment.
The main enjoyment I've drawn from this game came from its unique
single-player campaign. Told primarily through the eyes of the
character known as "The Rookie" you wander the streets of a war torn
Earth city after an orbital drop goes bad. The open ended sandbox style
of running around causing mayhem really lent itself well to the series,
offering both a refreshing take on what was starting to become
formulamatic and an entirely different experience from Halo 3's "take on
the world" style. The game knows you are more vulnerable and takes
advantage quickly. The flashback squences that keep the storyline
focused provide some nicely human characters to keep things from getting
stale. In them you discover that Bungie has shrank the scale of events
yet at the same time, they become easier to understand and follow.
The firefight mode is as addicting as ever providing some extreme
challenge in both skill and tactical thinking, though in my opinion it
becomes impossible far to quickly. It is very easy to get through a
round and then think that the next will be just as easy, only to find
that the black-eye skull has suddenly turned on to make your life
miserable. The variety of the maps just lends to the fun too with each
one requiring different tactics and advantages. The only issue with the
firefight appears when you don't have a buddy to play with there to
cover your back as it gets Gravity Hammered.
There are some issues with the game. Firstly, it was intended to be
an expansion pack, thus the graphics run off basically the same engine
as Halo 3. Second, the enemies have a nasty habit of suddenly spotting
you in the dark even though you're well hidden. while this isn't too
annoying on Normal difficulty, on Legendary such an occurence is almost
always a death sentence. Yet despite some minor shortcomings, ODST shows
its true colors well by distinguishing itself from its brtheren but
still retains that Halo feel that makes fans remeber why they love this
series. Considering this review is being written so much later from
ODST's launch, it's price has dropped substantially, making Halo 3 :
ODST not only a requirement for any Halo fan to play, but also a video
game fan as well.
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