Halo 3 ODST (Xbox 360)
In the weeks leading up to the launch of Bungie’s hotly anticipated Halo 3 ODST
, a bleak and cynical trend manifested itself on the Web. ”Is Halo 3: ODST Really Worth $60?”
asked GamingUnion.net, with clear rhetorical bias. ”$60 for an expansion pack? Halo 3 ODST underwhelms”
claimed Ars Technica — their minds presumably made up before even seeing the game. ”Worst Halo Yet!”
stormed TechUnion.us (er, since when did Comic Book Guy review video games?)
...Okay; so the game was initially conceived as an expansion pack, we get it. But that doesn’t mean it’s a rip-off at full price. From the polished and plentiful CGI cut scenes to the endlessly playable four-player Firefight mode, there was more than enough content here to justify your 60 smackaroos. In terms of new and original content, it certainly trumps most of EA’s annual sports titles.
In fact, ODST might just be the most original Halo game since Combat Evolved
(we’re not including Halo Wars
as it was produced by a different developer
). It’s obvious that Bungie has gone to great pains to offer gamers something new, instead of just refitting the same game in slightly different body armor. The eerie open-world cityscapes, the shifting in-game timeline, the hunt for hidden items — this is unlike any other game in the Halo canon. It might not have been a classic, but it's far from medicore.