Reviews: Halo 3

First Impressions of the franchise

If someone asked me to show them what the physical representation of 'meh' is, I'd show them my copy of Halo 3. I have missed out on all the exclusives to the Xbox 360 and have never before played the system's biggest franchise Halo, but now I've finally played all the way through the third instalment for the first time.

First and foremost; the game is technically fine. Just... ok. The running, gunning, graphics, music, all of this is what I expect of a typical FPS. Rather what bothers me is where the hell all the critical praise is aimed at, for as far as I can see the game is as bland as vaseline on toast. As a newbie to the series I admit I'm completely alien to the story, the characters and what the hell is going on, and kinda hoped with it being the the first new Halo title on the console it would sell the story and make me want to play all the other games in the series, rather it has had quite the opposite affect; I couldn't wait for the game to end and having finished it I've no yearning to play it again any time soon.

I felt no emotion for Master Chief or any of his stock friends, I stopped listening to the dialogue after a few hours and seemingly missed nothing since most of the objectives were usually 'go here, press this, go over there, press that', with the wonky vehicle sections every now and then. Speaking of the vehicles, who the hell thought using both analogue sticks to drive and steer was a good idea? My car rolled over, smacked into walls, and fell into pits more times than I can remember. The enemy tanks and bikes seem to have main character sense as 99% of the time they aimed for me and only me, though that might have something to do with me being the only competent guy on the battlefield, my allies often driving in circles and completely missing the gigantic walking purple monstrosities not 10ft away.

The weapons bugged me too, the alien grunts seem to take over half a magazine before finally succumbing, usually with little or no reaction to being shot at, though since many of the high-tech space lasers are bright green and purple and make very unsatisfactory PEW PEW PEW noises I really can't blame them. Even for the time I fail to see how this game earned so many awards and high scores when at it's core it's a barely competent sci-fi shooter. 3 and I still feel cheated.