I’m far from being the biggest Halo fan around, but as someone who played the original from day one, going in without any expectations beyond a “we shall see” attitude about the stellar advance reviews, I do have some special sentiment for the series. And - as one game the first, or a series taken in whole - Halo is second only to Azel and Panzer Dragoon as the most successful any games have been in making me care about a story and characters.
I believe I am with the majority in being disappointed with Halo 2 on the story side, but I was also at least as disappointed with the second campaign from a pure gameplay standpoint, which does not seem to be the consensus. I would love to hear from any forum members who have enjoyed the series about their take on the finish of this fight, whenever you may get the chance to play Halo 3.
Without getting into details, I will say it more or less redeems the series from where my feelings were after Halo 2. I can’t help being a little let down by how much shorter the campaign seems, by the series’ previous standards at least. But in the context of being the part of Halo 2 that got cut, it is perhaps respectable that Bungie didn’t try to pad the narrative with too much more stuff if they weren’t honestly feeling it.
Haven’t been in the right mindset to seriously brave the bloodbath on Live yet, so I wont comment on that other than that the new equipment seems sure to have a massive effect on the depth of tactics possible. And Forge, at the very very least, perfectly addresses one of the main failings of Halo 2… that everyone knows exactly where they need/want to go on every map. And with game updates already established on 360, even if any gamebreaking exploits made it through the Beta they can actually be fixed this time.
And yeah, the game looks absolutely jaw dropping sometimes, though in an understated way more in line with the original. Which makes me really happy, it’s easily the ‘cleanest’ looking game on XBOX 360. Ergonomically sound visuals don’t seem to be the norm for this eye-candy obsessed console generation, Halo 3 really has it’s priorities straight there.