Review: Halo 3 is impressive

Blogger Andy Moon was one of the privileged few invited by Microsoft to preview <em>Halo 3</em> before it was released. He breaks down the good, the bad, and <em>teh awesome</em>—and shares an entirely gallery of hi-res preview pics—in this Geekend game review. New weapons, new maps, new vehicles, new game features, Andy breaks them all down in detail. Only Master Chief knows more about Halo 3.

Multiplayer is, if it is possible, far and away better than H:CE or H2. The button glitches seem like they have been laid to rest and some of the new maps are fantastic. I was a little disappointed that there were only 11 maps, but I suspect that we will have downloadable content fairly quickly. (If I recall correctly, Foundation was downloadable the first day you logged on to Xbox Live.)

MP Maps:
  • Construct (2-8 players)
  • Epitaph (2-6 players)
  • Guardian (2-6 players)
  • High Ground (4-12 players)
  • Isolation (2-10 players)
  • Last Resort (4-12 players)
  • Narrows (2-8 players)
  • Sandtrap (6-16 players)
  • Snowbound (2-8 players)
  • The Pit (4-10 players)
  • Valhalla (6-16 players)
Reviewer's pick: Narrows - I am going to have a LOT of fun with this map. The man-cannons are a lot of fun, the encounters get hectic, and Joust with gravity hammers is just teh awesome. New Gametypes:
  • Slayer: Elimination - Highly tactical team slayer with five rounds to five kills each.
  • Slayer: Duel - The kills leader has a waypoint over his head so that he cannot camp.
  • Capture the Flag: Attrition - Highly tactical CTF with very long respawns
  • Capture the Flag: Tank Flag - The flag carrier is very tough, but very slow
  • Assault: Attrition - Highly tactical assault with very long respawns
  • Territories: Territories - Four rounds, offense/defense, offense has to take as many flags as they can in their two offensive rounds
  • Territories: Land Grab - Every territory is up or grabs, but once one is captured, it is locked
  • Territories: Flag Rally - Just like Territories on Halo 2
  • Infection - Various gametypes derived from the "Zombies" gametype
  • VIP: VIP - Each team has a VIP, first team to kill the other VIP 10 times wins
  • VIP: One Sided - One team has a VIP and the teams take turns defending their VIP
  • VIP: Escort - Once team has a VIP who scores by reaching a destination before he dies
  • VIP: Influential - Staying near your VIP makes you stronger
Reviewer's pick - Slayer: Duel. This gametype tightens up scores and makes for competitive gameplay as the leader cannot run away with the game since he is marked on everyone's HUD. New weapons:
  • Mauler - A single handed, dual wieldable weapon with the properties of a shotgun. Very short effective range, but fantastic stopping power at close range.
  • Gravity Hammer - A large battle hammer with an area of effect attack. One good hit will kill with this one.
  • Flamethrower - Shoots a stream of flaming liquid at a target, which leaves flames coating the floor where it is shot.
  • Missile Pod - A large missile gun that tracks on vehicles.
  • Gun Turrets - Can be removed from their bases, but once you do, ammo is limited.
Reviewer's pick - The Mauler can be dual wielded and has almost the power of a shotgun. What more could you ask? New Vehicles:
  • Brute Chopper - Vehicle with a large wheel on the front and twin cannons that are nicely powered. The chopper is a little slow, but does have a boost like the Ghost and Wraith.
  • Brute Prowler - Two man vehicle with a driver and a turret gunner.
  • Mongoose - Two man ATV.
  • Hornet - One man human flyer that is a cross between a plane and a helicopter.
  • Behemoth - Large vehicle found only on Sandtrap. It moves extremely slowly, has two turrets mounted on it, and can hold a Scorpion or all of the other vehicles that normally spawn on Sandtrap (two Warthogs, a Brute Chopper, and three Mongooses.
Reviewer's pick - The Mongoose is extremely speedy and the ability to have two people on a speedy vehicle makes for some nice fast attack options. Equipment - Items that are deployed with the X button.
  • Power Drainer - A blue sphere that drains shields, knocks out vehicles for a short time, then explodes.
  • Portable Grav Lift - A grav lift you can deploy wherever you like.
  • Trip Mine - A mine that activates when you deploy it and destroys whatever sets it off.
  • Bubble Shield - A deployable shield in the shape of a sphere.
  • Deployable Cover - A deployable shield that covers one direction.
  • Regenerator - Recharges shields very quickly.
  • Flare - Creates a bright light that affects everyone looking in its direction.
  • Radar Jammer - Creates many false positive blips on radar.
  • Invincibility - The user does not take any damage.
  • Custom Powerup - With Forge and the multiplayer options, you can create your own custom powerups that can do virtually anything
Reviewer's pick: Radar Jammer - pop one off in the base and listen to the defensive team scramble to guard the flag or bomb arming point. Section III - Forge