Praise the lord, today we get the exciting news! Halo 3 has been reviewed!!!
Halo 3 has been reviewed by IGN! They think it's good.
My father once told me, "Never start a fight you don't intend to finish." Master Chief's pappy must have said something similar to him long before John-117 became a Spartan, because in Halo 3, the iconic action hero does indeed finish the fight. There is no cliffhanger ending that will have you screaming at your television, no doubting that this is Chief's tale and everyone else is along for the ride, and no question that it is a worthy conclusion to the most successful trilogy in videogame history. But just like that girl you dated in college, Halo 3 has some issues. Don't' worry; the good far outweighs the bad. This is Halo 3, and it is indeed the game you've been waiting for the past three years.
When last we left Master Chief, he was headed towards Earth, determined to stop the Prophet of Truth and his cadre of Brutes from destroying the universe in a blaze of zealotry. Cortana had been captured by the Gravemind, a disgusting creature intimately tied to the Flood. The Arbiter and his Elites, once bitter enemies of humankind had made an uneasy truce in order to conquer a greater evil. Frankly, things didn't look so hot for Earth and its inhabitants. For three years fans have been waiting to find out what comes next. Most won't be disappointed, as the story eschews some of the ambiguity of Halo 2 and tells a more straightforward narrative. Events play out like a sci-fi action blockbuster.
Lost, though, is the intriguing side-story of the Arbiter and his Elites. The focus is clearly (and perhaps deservedly) on Master Chief. That means in the single-player campaign you will be Chief and Chief only. The Arbiter is just a dude with a weird mandible and a cool sword. While keeping players locked in as Master Chief is a wise decision on Bungie's part, it's a shame that the Arbiter's story fades so far into the background. That's not to say I want to spend half the adventure following the Arbiter and leaving Chief to twiddle his thumbs, but it would have been nice to see such a prominent storyline from Halo 2 have more weight in the cinematic telling of Halo 3.
Clearly Bungie was listening to the criticisms of Halo 2. Not only is Chief in the driver's seat once more, but the environments are varied enough that each level feels distinct. Though you will still need to backtrack in a few areas, it's not as tedious as in previous iterations. The levels in Halo 3 lend to spectacular pacing that weaves from close-quarters, intense battles with Chief and a few soldiers, to more epic arenas. It does feel as if the marine presence is lighter than it should be, but there's enough chaos in the field to at least make it appear as if Master Chief is part of something grander.
It should be noted that the difficulty level is a bit out of whack, though done purposefully. Bungie has to service an enormous casual crowd who (let's face it) suck at games. There are millions who will play Halo 3 and only Halo 3 this year. All they want is to finish the fight and take a nap on the couch. But at the same time, there are an equal number of hardcore gamers who have become immensely skilled at Halo over the past six years. For these folks, the single-player version of Heroic and Legendary difficulties has been ratcheted up just a tad. Many will immediately jump into Normal difficulty, and never see the more aggressive AI that calls in reinforcements and makes better use of its weapons and equipment. Frankly, Normal on Halo 3 is too easy for the average gamer and that lack of challenge may actually bore some.