Critics Loving Conclusion to Halo Trilogy

Dennis Faas's picture

Realistically, it's no big surprise. Considered by just about everyone in the video game industry to be Microsoft's 'bread and butter,' Halo 3 is indeed a glorious success according to the majority of critics. The final saga in Master Chief's quest kicked off yesterday, and it sounds like just about everyone is loving every last minute of it.

So, yes, it's no big surprise that the game is good, but to many it might be a shock that it's being considered great. That's because its predecessor, Halo 2, disappointed many gamers with its recurring graphical bugs and cliff hanger ending. Granted, the first is a legitimate complaint, but the second? Did everyone see Empire Strikes Back?

Most reviewers argue that the game has nixed its graphical flaws and simply expanded what did work so well in Halo 2: incredible multiplayer, immersive sound, and ridiculously memorable single player battles. The latter largely stems from the franchise's approach to balanced weapons and their limitations, a trait Gamespot's Jeff Gerstmann calls "a unique feel in the genre". (Source:

Of course, that's about the least you can say for a franchise that has almost single-handedly put the Xbox and now Xbox 360 on the map. If this is indeed the final chapter, it should be an emotional, though impressive, ending.

So, why else is Halo 3 a winner?

Although the gameplay recipe has largely stayed the same -- and if you've played either of the previous entries, you'll know why -- there are a few new features getting gamers all worked up. One is an all-new multiplayer map editor, which allows Live junkies to change the location of different items, warp points, and more. There are also a few new weapons, including a "brute" gravity device that simply hammers anyone caught within its swinging radius. Perhaps the coolest addition, however, is the addition of 4-player co-operative campaign mode, even online, which makes the experience truly unique.

With a current rating of over 96% on Game Rankings, Halo 3 is arguably (ahem, Bioshock) the game to beat in 2007. Anyone expect any different? (Source:

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