I played through the entire Master Chief Collection, one game at a time, in order. I don’t often finish playing video games I start, so this was a personal challenge — I succeeded. It was great fun revisiting these games, some I hadn’t properly played since I was a kid. Halo 3: ODST was one such game, a game I had vague memories of. The excitement of a new Halo campaign is what originally had me glued to the screen, though in retrospect, not much was new. Unfortunately, nostalgia itself does not improve this mediocre Halo title, it only makes it more disappointing.
In every Halo game, there is a tweak to the original formula. One of Halo 3: ODST’s tweaks was the ability to see in the dark. Cool, right? It should be, though is mainly used for search and find sections that have you searching desperately for an item — you’re not told what the item is. This should’ve been a minor gripe, but these sections are in every chapter. The action is stopped, and the frustration begins. It’s like finding a needle in a haystack — in the dark. Whoever thought that would be a fun addition to the game deserved to be fired. The other more notable change is a map. Useful, considering how needlessly open the environments are. Indeed, there are many sections that feel lifeless, and as such, does not feel like a completed game.
The limited variety in the game is surprising. Despite large, open sections the same weapons, vehicles, and enemies keep popping up. I can’t tell you how many Brutes I gunned down, but it felt like genocide. Wave after wave come after you, copy and paste segments that have no nuance in the slightest. Further, I can barely remember any new weapons that were added for this game. This title seems to be Halo’s answer to Call of Duty in terms of generic, derivative action.
What truly sinks the game is what a mundane slog it is. Most of the memorable moments are nowhere near as interesting as previous titles visually, all while endlessly killing enemies. There’s a certain bridge scene that looked good, and is a highlight. For every highlight though, there’s a slog through a long, ugly tunnel, or a boring looking street. Compared to the normally colourful, space-y look of Halo games, this one reeks of cash grab.
Trust me, if you own Halo 3 it’s all you need, don’t bother with this title. You can get much more enjoyment from Halo 3, in fact, this is one of my least favourite Halo games. Its repetition is painful to gruel through, and the story is not as interesting as advertised. There’s a mediocre amount of enjoyment to be had from playing this title, and just as much frustration. Nearly everything in this game can be played in a different game, a better game. This is completely skippable and has not survived the test of time.