Halo 3: ODST Review
Halo 3: ODST box art
System: X360 Review Rating Legend
Dev: Bungie Software 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Microsoft 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Sep.22, 2009 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-16 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Mature 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

The mix of the Rookie segments and the action-packed ODST potions worked rather well and kept me interested in seeing what came next the entire way through the campaign. Although the game grew in scope since its initial announcement, the campaign still rounds out at only about six hours. This may seem like a letdown to some but honestly, the shorter run-time has allowed for a well-paced, tight experience that lasts long enough to be enjoyable and rewarding but doesn't overstay its welcome and become tedious. In any case, the Halo series' longevity has always been found in its multiplayer and ODST is no exception.

Halo 3: ODST screenshot

Halo 3: ODST comes packaged with two discs. The second disc in the case contains exactly what it says on the box, which is "the complete Halo 3 multiplayer experience." Aside from the original maps included at the release of Halo 3, ODST's second disc comes complete with the Heroic, Legendary, Cold Storage, and Mythic Map packs as well as three new maps. These new maps are Longshore, Citadel, and Heretic, which is the updated version of Halo 2's Midship that fans have been begging for since Halo 3's release. Everything on this disc functions exactly the same as it would if you were playing it using the Halo 3 disc including video sharing, matchmaking, and Forge customization. Thankfully, ODST also comes with the remaining Vidmaster achievements that finally make it possible for every player to score the once exclusive Recon Armor for use in multiplayer.

While having the entire spread of Halo 3 multiplayer maps in one place makes a great multiplayer package by itself, there is an additional surprise tucked away on the campaign disc of ODST. Scrolling past the campaign you'll find a Firefight mode, which is a new take on Halo multiplayer. That's not to say it is a completely new idea, as the concept has already been seen in Gears of War 2's horde mode and to a lesser extent in Call of Duty: World at War's Nazi Zombie mode. Firefight consists of one to four players controlling ODSTs and struggling to survive against ever-increasingly difficult waves of enemies with very limited supplies or time to seek shelter. While it may not be the most original idea, it is incredibly fun and has a distinct Halo flavor to it. To further spice things up, certain rounds will even have differing conditions, such as not being able to recharge stamina until you melee an enemy, thrown in just to keep players on their toes. The only real downside to this mode is that it lacks a matchmaking feature, meaning if you wish to fully enjoy it, you'll need to have some friends ready and willing to play with you.

With the overabundance of multiplayer goodness combining with a somewhat short, but incredibly well done and interesting six hour, single-player and/or co-op campaign, Halo 3: ODST's sixty dollar price tag is more than justified for newcomers to the series. However, if you've already paid for most of the included multiplayer maps it may be a little harder to get past the game's price tag. Even so, the new Firefight mode, three new multiplayer maps, a Halo: Reach beta invite, and an excellent six hour campaign should definitely be more than enough to make any Halo fan happily slap down sixty dollars for ODST.

By Adam Brown
CCC Staff Contributor

The Halo 3 engine is beginning to show its age, but the newly done art assets keep ODST looking great.
Everything feels as it should including the slightly floaty jumps Halo fans are used to.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
A great musical score and fantastic voice work, provided in large part by several members of the classic sci-fi Firefly television show, make ODST a joy for the ears.
Play Value
While ODST is my personal favorite Halo single-player campaign to date, it is a tad short at only six hours. Luckily, it is still excellent despite its length and has a ton of great multiplayer content to fall back on for replayability and longevity.
Overall Rating - Must Buy
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • ODSTs: Follow the story of the legendary ODSTs or Orbital Drop Shock Troopers as they drop into the ruined city of New Mombasa, looking for clues behind the Covenant's catastrophic attack on the city.
  • A new hero: Prepare to drop. Known for their courage, valor and at times, insanity, Orbital Drop Shock Troopers are among the fiercest UNSC soldiers, priding themselves on being the first unit deployed into hostile situations. While not as large or supernaturally gifted as their Spartan comrades, these Hell Jumpers more than compensate with their ferocious attitudes and unwavering nerve.
  • Multiplayer: All the traditional features of Halo 3 multiplayer will be included in the new game, including full-featured integration with the Forge map editor.

  • Screenshots / Images
    Halo 3: ODST screenshot - click to enlarge Halo 3: ODST screenshot - click to enlarge Halo 3: ODST screenshot - click to enlarge Halo 3: ODST screenshot - click to enlarge Halo 3: ODST screenshot - click to enlarge Halo 3: ODST screenshot - click to enlarge Halo 3: ODST screenshot - click to enlarge Halo 3: ODST screenshot - click to enlarge Halo 3: ODST screenshot - click to enlarge Halo 3: ODST screenshot - click to enlarge Halo 3: ODST screenshot - click to enlarge Halo 3: ODST screenshot - click to enlarge

    "Like" CheatCC on Facebook