Halo 3 Post Launch Comedown

Words and pictures by Johnus Maximus

Halo 3 multiplayer

“Believe”

The tagline attached to the advertising campaign of the most eagerly awaited game of the year/decade/millenia (delete as appropriate). And the sheer amount of hype behind this game was going to be a lot to live up to. So does it?

YES – believe it!!!

Many a fine citizen of Norwich turned out to get their hands on their copy of Halo on Tuesday night, myself and the gadgetoid included. Despite the cold and the rain, we queued anxiously in the cold and the rain, and at midnight our wait was finally over.

The helpful staff at Gamestation kindly sold me my normal edition and limited edition copies of Halo 3 and a limited edition Halo 3 themed Xbox 360, and after a small detour to Game (the gadgetoid had managed to preorder a copy of the game in both stores) I rushed home to get the game unwrapped and start playing.

Queuing in the cold and the rain

Unfortunately, packaging on the limited edition was of an inferior design to the normal edition, and so the discs were loose when shipped/sold, and this means that there were scratches on both the game disc and the dvd. This did not make me happy. If you have been a victim of this problem, Microsoft do offer a replacement for free under their disc replacement program (link here). Luckily, as mentioned previously, I had bought a copy of the standard edition, and the disc was in fine condition. Let battle commence…

Halo 3, for me, has lived up to my expectations. I will not mention plot specifics, but believe when I say that the campaign mode provides a very satisfying conclusion to the series. It took me approximately 6 hours to complete the campaign on Normal skill level – I was too keen to find out how the fight was finished to play Heroic/Legendary!

After taking a moment to reflect on the excellent finale I had just been a part of, have a sandwich and get some gamer fuel down my throat, I decided to unwrap my new 360.

Game sold seperately

The console itself looks great, the colours and detail look exactly like they did in the technology blogs and reviews I had read, and the wireless controller looks fantastic. I felt a little cheapened when I realised that it did not come with a Halo 3 wireless headset (though the gadgetoid did have a good point when he asked exactly how far away from my body do I hold my controller).Also, despite its HDMI capabilities, there was no HDMI cable included, just the standard component cable. Fortunately there are many places online to buy such things (ebuyer automatically springs to mind), so soon I shall have my first truly legitimate HD product connected to my 1080p Toshiba telly.

After a painless setup, I installed my theme and gamerpics that came free with the console, popped in Halo 3 and loaded up the Matchmaking lobby. The multiplayer side of the game is as good as I expected, and the online community will certainly enjoy it. Those who did not get a chance to play the beta are going to be extremely happy with the improvements that Bungie has made.

After completing my basic training and partaking in a few games, I took a moment to have a play with the saved film/screenshot facility. Feeling proud of a double kill with the sniper rifle, I wanted to show it off to my friends. The saved film tool is very simple to use, yet works in a way that is amazing. Within minutes I had a short clip of the moment, a screenshot of my very first Halo 3 multiplayer kill, and these where added to my file share and uploaded to my Bungie.net account – a must have for those who enjoy the online element of Halo.

My first kill

As you can tell, I had a satisfying first day of Halo 3 (luckily I had booked the day off work in advance) and in conclusion to my comments, I have to say, like I say to all my friends who don’t yet own the game – BUY IT NOW!

It really is worth every penny.

Thankyou Bungie.

PS – my Deviantart gallery contains more images relating to this article