Sunday, May 11, 2008
Halo 3 Complete for the 5th Time
Well it took me a while, but I finally finished playing through Halo 3 for the 5th time (2nd on Heroic), which marks the first time I've played through the complete Halo Trilogy from beginning to end. Though my criticism's of Halo 3 found in my review still stand, Halo 3 is a solid shooter with some excellent gameplay, though it is too bad it doesn't innovate in any way (on the Single Player front).
Though I consider it to be the lesser game of the trilogy, that word there is the key term, now isn't it. Trilogy. Think about that for a second, would you: How many first person shooters have seen a full fledged trilogy, on any platform, that follows a consistent story arc? Please, tell me how many you can think of.
The long standing Doom and Quake franchises are out because their series is not a consistent story. You could count the Half-Life franchise, though that depends whether you a) consider the Half-Life 2 Episodes to be the third game, and b) consider the Half-Life franchise to actually have a story instead of just being a bunch of obscure stuff that happens and never gets explained.
You could count the Star Wars: Dark Forces/Jedi Knight series, since they all follow or feature Kyle Katarn, otherwise, that's it, that's all I can think of. Certainly, there are no shooter trilogies as high profile as the Halo Trilogy, and to that, I take my hat off to Bungie and Microsoft Game Studios.
Taken as a whole, the Halo Trilogy is amazing, simply one of the best video game series that I have ever played, and truly a justification of gaming as an entertainment and storytelling medium. It does feature a rich and deep storyline filled with history, conflict, and politics, and it proved to PC fanboys everywhere (even though many of them are still in denial) that a first person shooter can be done, and done exceptionally well, on a console.
While Halo 3 didn't exactly end the trilogy in a bang, it did close it out nicely and presented us with some nice emotional ties at that. It did complete the story arc, it did provide closure while leaving the universe open for more, it did feel like Halo to a T.
While I did find that Halo 3 tried to capture the feel and style of Halo: Combat Evolved a bit too much, sacrificing a lot that was good from Halo 2 (shorter cinematics, re-hashed soundtrack, cutting of the detailed Arbiter storyline, etc.), it was still a rush driving that Warthog, playing cat and mouse with a pack of Brutes, and blasting the Flood to bits. I also enjoyed seeing the franchies' true enemy finally brought to the forefront.
While Microsoft Game Studios retains the rights to the Halo franchise, I certainly hope that they enlist Bungie to continue this excellent saga, to keep the story consistent, and of the overall quality that we've come to expect from the franchise. Thank you Bungie. Thank you for making the Halo Trilogy.