Halo 3: ODST is one of my favorite Halo games. It's close contender would be Halo: Reach, which I plan to do a review on in the future as well.
ODST, unlike the main Halo titles, doesn't focus on the storyline of the Master Chief. Instead it focuses on a squad of ODST (Orbital Drop Shock Troopers) who are deployed to the city of New Mombasa, Kenya, to wrest it from the grasp of the alien alliance called the Covenant.
Games like this appeal to me more than the games that focus on the Master Chief, because I've always been a war buff, and ODST is very "tactical". Instead of being a superhuman, you're playing as an operator in a specialized combat unit.
The graphics are excellent in my opinion, even despite showing their age. ODST has a great feel to it, and games like this prove that immersion goes way beyond the visuals. To create a truly immersive game, you need to have a masterful array of music, sound effects, dialogue, and solid gameplay, and I believe that ODST delivers on all these marks.
You start the game as "Rookie" a ODST who is an actual canon character in Halo, but his face isn't shown and he has no dialogue because he is essentially "you" as you play the game. The city is somewhat like an open world and you stroll around, killing or avoiding Covenant and following beacons to specific points in the city. The problem I had is that I thought I was looking for literal beacons, as in some sort of transponder lying on the ground.
Instead, what I was supposed to look for was objects in the general area indicated by the beacon. My misunderstanding of this concept caused me to waste considerable time, to say the least.
|I started getting a little frustrated, but not too much. It was my fault, after all|
Now back to the actual review.
When you locate the objects indicated by the beacons, you start one of the missions where you take control of one of the other characters in the squad, usually at a different time and location. I thought this was really cool because you get to play as each interesting character, not just the Rookie.
The soundtrack is one of THE BEST in my opinion, with some awesome saxophone that really complements the African city and contributes to a very lonely, ominous sort of mood, adding wonderfully to the overall experience.
ODST is not a horror game by any means, but it scared me a little, in a good way. The streets are super dark, police cars and barricades are scattered around, lights flashing, and sirens blooping. Add to it the fact that you are in enemy territory occupied by vicious aliens, and the experience is downright eerie.
|Typical ODST awesomeness|
Typical of classic Halo, the gameplay is super fun. The AI are intelligent, and the enemies all vary in their weapon of choice, durability, and behavioral tendencies. The way you engage them is important, requiring creativity and technique, not just trigger-pulling.
Hunters, for example, are large, armored aliens that are easily one of the most difficult opponents in the game. But instead of just requiring a lot more bullets to kill, (you can shoot at a Hunter indefinitely with a rifle if your not aiming at a weak spot) you have to get the right angles, and exploit their weaknesses.
|Hunters are always deployed in pairs. Twice the fun, right?|
So there are some of the many reasons for ODST being one of my top favorite games. From gameplay to story, it's a well-rounded barrel of fun. It's also backwards compatible, so you can play it on the Xbox One as well as the Xbox 360 it was originally released on. So there's another bonus.
And there ends my review. Now just go and play it!
Also, if you have any specific questions regarding the content or any other aspects of the game, feel free to leave a comment and I'll do my best to answer it.
That's all for now! Remember Reach and watch your ammo!