In this installment of the well-known Halo franchise, players play as an orbital drop shock trooper. You are put into the shoes of the teams rookie, who, like in most games, is simply referred to as “rookie.” He is the strong silent type\. You and your squad are orbiting earth as you get orders and prepare to take the leap. Before the rookie makes the jump he is introduced to two new faces: Buck the squad leader and Dare, a woman full of mysteries.
The rookie quickly learns why others call those in the
ODST “Hell Jumpers” as he plummets down toward the waiting battlefield of New Mombasa. The jump goes wrong as the Covenant ship makes an emergency escape, sending your squad scattered about the city. The rookie wakes up six hours later to find much of the city in ruins.
The game in and of itself plays very much like the previous editions of the game. The gameplay is smooth and rather simple, what one would expect coming from Bungie. While the game plays like its predecessors, there are still enough changes to make it fun. Gone is the self healing and gravity defying spartan amour, replaced with light combat armor. While your character can still jump higher than most normal people, it is hardly the super-jump of previous Halo games. The loss of regeneration means you have to be much more careful in the urban battle environment as you face the troops of the covenant who are searching the city for survivors. The heads up display (HUD) for the game is built into the visor for our ODST rookie. The HUD in ODST is a rather unique and fun addition. Not only does it work as a form of night vision, it highlights enemies and points of interest. Another addition to ODST is a new game mode known as firefight. It is very similar to horde in Gears of War 2, where you face countless waves of enemies, hoping to survive until the end.
The graphics for the game were stunning, especially the drop scene as you cut through the clouds and come flying towards the city as it is under attack. The detail put into the city is great, including the cities AI, the Superintendent who helps guide you to hidden audio tracks and provides health and ammunition packs at various stations. The game has an in-depth and intense story as you try to piece together all that has gone wrong in the six hours while your rookie has been unconscious. The story is what makes this game, with its in-depth acting and rich content. Without the story it would just be another Halo game; nothing special.
There isn’t all that much that is overwhelmingly bad about this game. There are a few things, like the maps being confusing at times, or that the HUD can be very disorientating at first as it makes everything shiny. My main point of contention with the game is the firefight mode, the mode in and of itself is solid and fun, but the restriction to friends-only can make it a pain to get people together to play it at times. Often times you can find yourself just lurking on the 360 dash board, waiting for someone to get on so you have someone to play with.
My Rating: 5/5
Official Game Trailer.
The live action trailer.
Videos embedded from an outside source.