The way my med school curriculum is set up, we have a test every several weeks. It sounds bad, but the silver lining is that the weekend after a test is completely stress free. I took full advantage and was able to finish the Halo 3 single player campaign!
Unfortunately, my time with the game was through a 22″ SD TV and built-in TV speakers, a far cry from the masterful audio/visual combo at home. I’ll have to wait until Christmas break for the true experience, but honestly, all I wanted to do for now was complete the campaign so that I can read messageboards and listen to gaming podcasts without fear.
On a SD TV, the graphics are pleasant but not particularly anything to brag about, so I was able to focus on the gameplay and level design without being distracted by pretty lighting. For the most part, the flow and pacing is Bungie at their finest. There are some seriously awesome set pieces where the music, the environment, and the action sparkle in beautiful harmony. In fact, most of the campaign was great, though I felt the opening was too slow and the penultimate level too annoying and frustrating. Levels 3-7… hoo boy, excellence. I also loved the way Halo 3 ended, with a fantastic homage to the first Halo and a very fitting conclusion to the trilogy.
Now I’m off to check out the rest of the modes in Halo 3. With online multiplayer, online co-op, custom games, Forge, Theater Mode, and total integration with Bungie.net, I’m blown away by how polished and complete this game is. It’s not hard to imagine why there’s all those 10/10 reviews out there when you consider the whole package.
One of the modes I’m most impressed by is how replays of everything I play is saved, from single player levels to online skirmishes. I can share those replays with people or just view them myself from any angle I choose and upload screenshots to Bungie.net.
Here’s one of mine:
A more artsy shot from a member at NeoGAF:
Now I’m off to play some multiplayer! I am a perfect 2/2 so far, winning both Slayer matches I played!