After three days of staring at the box for Halo 3: ODST, I finally broke down last night and gave the game a whirl. It was overdue — after two very long days of work, I hadn’t been able to rustle up the energy or concentration to play. But yesterday, I stopped working at around 6:30, met up with Thijson, Aaron, and Anthony online, and jumped into the fray.
It was absolutely worth every bit of inane rambling I’ve devoted to it in recent weeks.
If you’re a fan of first-person shooter video games, you’re probably already excited about (or already playing) Halo 3: ODST. If you’re not, reading this is unlikely to change your mind. But I can’t help myself — I’ve got to gush about how amazing this game is. I only got to play for about two hours; frankly, I had more work I needed to finish later in the evening, but I insisted on trying it with my friends when they were available to play. Those two hours were magnificent, though.
I can’t get over how much fun the new “Firefight” mode offers. It’s a multiplayer game, where you and your teammates are on a small map and fending off wave after wave of enemies. Each wave gets progressively more difficult, and your team collectively has a limited number of “lives” between you. So if you are a terrible player, and keep dying, then your teammates then won’t have any lives left when they finally die. It’s a hell of a motivator to not screw over your friends.
“Firefight” is like the love-child of regular Halo 3 matchmaking (you and your teammates, battling together while chatting through your headsets about life, love, work, etc.) with the new “Survival” mode of Left 4 Dead (hundreds and hundreds of enemies piling in after you, you desperately trying to survive until they’re all dead) in a really creative way. It’s a lot of fun, and really forces a dedication to teamwork.
The best part? It’s you and your friends, versus the computer. No little bastard 12-year-olds kicking your ass and then using language no 12-year-old should be allowed to use. GOD I hate them so much… (shudder)
There are even twists that are randomly applied, such as “Catch” where the enemies have an unusually high number of grenades and throw them at you like crazy. These wildcards are announced when they go into effect, so you hear the collective groan from your teammates as the awful truth sinks in about how much more difficult the round is about to be. Still, it adds variety to the match, making sure no two matches are exactly alike.
I haven’t gotten to play the campaign yet — I’ll probably wait to do that for quiet times when the gang isn’t available to play Firefight with me. But then, I still haven’t finished the campaign on regular Halo 3, so who knows if I’ll ever get around to it… Either way, Halo 3: ODST is bound to be a ton of fun.
First-person shooter fans, rejoice. You can finally join the ranks of the Orbital Drop Shock Troopers.