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Halo 3

Halo 3

Halo 3

Halo 3 is a 2007 first-person shooter video game developed by Bungie for the Xbox 360 console. The third installment in the Halo franchise, the game concludes the story arc begun in 2001's Halo: Combat Evolved and continued in 2004's Halo 2. The game was released on September 25, 2007 in Australia, Brazil, India, New Zealand, North America, and Singapore; September 26, 2007 in Europe; and September 27, 2007 in Japan. Halo 3's story centers on the interstellar war between twenty-sixth century humanity and a collection of alien races known as the Covenant. The player assumes the role of the Master Chief, a cybernetically enhanced supersoldier, as he battles the Covenant. The game features vehicles, weapons, and gameplay not present in previous titles of the series, as well as the addition of saved gameplay films, file sharing, and the Forge map editor—a utility which allows the player to perform modifications to multiplayer levels.

Bungie began developing Halo 3 shortly after Halo 2 shipped. The game was officially announced at E3 2006, and its release was preceded by a multiplayer beta open to select players who purchased the Xbox 360 game Crackdown. Microsoft spent $40 million on marketing the game, in an effort to sell more game consoles and broaden the appeal of the game beyond the established Halo fanbase. Marketing included cross-promotions and an alternate reality game.

On the day before its official release, 4.2 million units of Halo 3 were in retail outlets. Halo 3 grossed US$300 million in its first week. More than one million people played Halo 3 on Xbox Live in the first twenty hours. To date, Halo 3 has sold in excess of 11.5 million copies, making it the fifth best selling Xbox 360 game of all time, the best selling game in the Halo franchise, the best selling Xbox 360 exclusive title and the best selling first person shooter on the console outside of the Call of Duty games. The game was also the best-selling video game of 2007 in the U.S. Overall, the game was very well received by critics, with the Forge and multiplayer offerings singled out as strong features; however some reviewers criticized single-player aspects, especially the plot and campaign layout. A prequel to the game, Halo 3: ODST, was released worldwide on September 22, 2009. A sequel, Halo 4, was developed by 343 Industries and released on November 6, 2012.

Halo 3 Plot

After the events of the comic tie-in Halo: Uprising, the Master Chief crashes in eastern Africa, where he is found by Johnson and the Arbiter. The Chief, Johnson, and company fight Covenant in the jungle and arrive at a UNSC outpost. Here, Keyes and Lord Hood plan a final effort to stop the Covenant leader, the High Prophet of Truth, from activating a Forerunner artifact uncovered outside the ruins of the city of New Mombasa. The Chief clears anti-air Covenant defenses so Hood can lead the last of Earth's ships against the Prophet, but Truth activates the buried artifact, creating a slipspace portal which he and his followers enter. A Flood-infested ship crash-lands nearby; Elite forces arrive and vitrify Flood-infected areas of Earth, stopping the threat. Following a message Cortana left aboard the Flood ship, the Chief, Arbiter, Elites, Johnson, Keyes and their troops follow Truth through the portal. Joining them is 343 Guilty Spark, who aids the Chief as he has no function to fulfill after the destruction of his ringworld.

Traveling through the portal, the humans and Elites discover an immense artificial structure known as the Ark, far beyond the edges of the Milky Way galaxy. Here, Truth can remotely activate all the Halos. The Flood arrive aboard High Charity in full force, beginning to infest the installation. Truth captures Johnson, as he needs a human to use Forerunner technology. Keyes is killed attempting a rescue, and Johnson is forced to activate the rings. Gravemind forges a truce with the Chief and Arbiter to stop Truth. The Arbiter, Master Chief, and Flood forces arrive and overwhelm Truth's guards, rescuing Johnson and halting the installations' activation. After the Arbiter kills Truth, Gravemind turns on the Chief and Arbiter.

The Chief, Arbiter and Guilty Spark discover that the Ark is constructing another Halo to replace the one that the Chief previously destroyed. The Chief decides to activate this Halo; the ringworld would eliminate the Flood infestation on the Ark while sparing the galaxy at large from destruction. To activate the ring, the Chief rescues Cortana, who has the Activation Index of the destroyed Halo, from High Charity and destroys the city. Arriving on the new Halo, Cortana warns that Gravemind is trying to rebuild itself on the ring. The Chief, Arbiter, and Johnson travel to Halo's control room to activate the ring. Guilty Spark explains that because the ring is not yet complete, a premature activation will destroy it and the Ark. When Johnson ignores his warning, Guilty Spark fatally wounds him to protect "his" ring. The Chief destroys Guilty Spark, activates the ring, and escapes the ring's self-destruction on the UNSC frigate Forward Unto Dawn. However, the force of Halo's blast causes the slipspace portal to collapse, resulting in only the front half of Forward Unto Dawn, carrying the Arbiter, making it back to Earth.

Believing the Chief to have perished, a memorial service is held on Earth for the fallen heroes of the Human-Covenant war. After the memorial service, the Arbiter and his Elite brethren depart for their home planet. Meanwhile, the rear half of Forward Unto Dawn floats in unknown space. Cortana drops a distress beacon, but realizes it may be years before they are rescued. The Chief enters cryonic sleep, telling Cortana to "wake me, when you need me." If the game is completed at the Legendary difficulty level, the scene continues to show the piece of Forward Unto Dawn drifting towards Requiem, the planet they land on in Halo 4.

Halo 3 Gameplay

Halo 3 is a shooter game where players primarily experience gameplay from a first-person perspective. Much of the gameplay takes place on foot, but also includes segments focused on vehicular combat. The balance of weapons and objects in the game was adjusted to better adhere to the "Golden Triangle of Halo": these are weapons, grenades, and melee attacks, which are available to a player in most situations. Players may dual-wield some weapons, forgoing the use of grenades and melee attacks in favor of the combined firepower of two weapons. Many weapons available in previous installments of the series return with minor cosmetic and power alterations. Unlike previous installments, the player's secondary weapon is visible on their player model, holstered or slung across the player's back.

Halo 3 introduces "support weapons", which are cumbersome two-handed weapons that slow the player, but offer greatly increased firepower in return. In addition to weapons, the game contains a new class of gear called equipment; these items have various effects, ranging from defensive screens to shield regeneration and flares. Only one piece of equipment can be carried at a time. The game's vehicular component has been expanded with new drivable and AI-only vehicles.

Halo 3 contains non-gameplay additions, including Forge, a map-editing tool. Forge enables players to insert and remove game objects, such as weapons and crates, into existing multiplayer maps. Almost all weapons, vehicles, and interactive objects can be placed and moved on maps with Forge. Players can enter Forge games and edit and manipulate objects in real time. A budget limits the amount of objects that can be placed. Players may also save up to 100 films of gameplay to their Xbox 360's hard drive, viewing the action from any angle and at different speeds. Halo 3 offers a form of file sharing, where items such as saved films, screenshots, and custom variants can all be uploaded to Bungie's official website, Bungie.net. Anyone can browse user created content that has been uploaded to Bungie's website and tag it to automatically download to their console next time they sign into Xbox Live on Halo 3.

Reception
Halo 3 received critical acclaim upon its release. It holds an average of 93.53% and 94/100 on aggregate web sites GameRankings and Metacritic. Pro-G's Wesley Yin-Poole assured readers that Halo 3 lived up to the enormous hype surrounding it, writing that the game was "everything we hoped it would be, and much, much, more". Reviewers including Eurogamer's Rob Fahey, Games Radar's Charlie Barrett, and GameSpot's Jeff Gerstmann felt that the underlying formula of previous Halo games was unchanged, but that this was not a detriment. "Every type of Halo fan, from the hardcore to the casual to the brand new, will find something to satisfy them in Master Chief's third adventure," Barrett asserted, while IGN's Hilary Goldstein referred to Halo 3 as "the most complete game available on any console", specifically stating "the Forge and the replay functionality raise the bar for console shooters so high, it may never be surpassed this generation." The gameplay additions to the game, such as equipment and new vehicles, were praised; Gerstmann and Goldstein noted that equipment had much more relevance in multiplayer matches than the campaign.

Reception of the single-player aspect varied. Yin-Poole wrote that while the cliffhanger ending of Halo 2 was disappointing, the campaign of Halo 3 was much more satisfying. Gerstmann, GameSpy's Gabe Graziani, and Goldstein maintained that the campaign was too short, especially on easier difficulty levels or with three additional players in co-op. Goldstein was highly critical of the eighth level, stating "the penultimate chapter is so bad, just thinking about it puts a rotten taste in my mouth." The New York Times' Charles Herold said the game had a "throwaway" plot and Total Video Games judged the single-player aspect ultimately disappointing. Goldstein and Steve West of Cinema Blend thought a part of the game's story was lost by not having the Arbiter featuring as prominently as the character was in Halo 2.

Most publications agreed that multiplayer was by far one of the best features; IGN said that the multiplayer map lineup was the strongest of the series, and Gamespy added that "each map is extremely well-tuned". The Forge level editor and saved films features were singled out as particularly strong features, in addition to superb voice acting and Martin O'Donnell's rich score.

Other complaints focused on the artificial intelligence; critics praised the enemy AI but complained that the intelligence of the player's allies was far poorer. Bryan Vore of Game Informer said that human faces and some textures were just "embarrassing".

Halo 3 was nominated for seven awards from the Spike TV Awards, of which it won "Best Multiplayer Game" and "Most Addictive Video Game Fueled by Dew". It won TIME magazine's "Game of the Year" and IGN chose it as the Best Xbox 360 Online Multiplayer Game and Innovative Design of 2007. The Visual Effects Society awarded Bungie the "Best Real Time Visuals in a Video Game" for Halo 3. Halo 3 took the Calvin Award for "Best Videogame" as selected by Box Office Prophets. Halo 3 also took the award for Xbox 360 Game of the Year 2007 from GameTrailers, and was voted by fans as Game of the Year on G-Phoria. Halo 3 won the Edge Award For Interactive Innovation in August 2008. In 2010, the game was included as one of the titles in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die.


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