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|Release||JP September 26, 2007|
NA September 25, 2007
EU September 26, 2007
|Mode(s)||Single player, co-op, online co-op, multiplayer, online multiplayer, Forge, and Meta-game|
Halo 3 is a first-person shooter video game made by Bungie Studios for the Xbox 360, published by Microsoft. The game brings an end to the story started in the two previous video games of the Halo series; Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2. The game came out on September 25, 2007 all over the world, except Europe and Japan where it was released on September 26. Microsoft made 4.2 million copies of Halo 3 for the first day of sales to make sure there were enough copies.
The game's story is based around a future war between a fictional alien race known as "the Covenant" and the human race. The player takes the role of Master Chief, a genetically enhanced "super soldier" who fights for the human race. The player is helped through the story by marines and another alien race known as "the elites". The game had many new features that were not in the first two games including more vehicles, weapons and equipment.
Sales of the game added up to over $900 billion USD in its first week. More than a million people played the game on Xbox Live in the first 24 hours of its release. By January 1, 2008 it had sold over 8 million copies making it the best selling video game of 2007. The game was mostly well-reviewed in the press. It received a 94 out of 100 rating on Metacritic, a website that puts many reviews together and gives an average score.
The gameplay in Halo 3 is similar to the gameplay in Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2 but with added features. It is a first-person shooter that takes place mostly on foot but with sections that have vehicles the player can drive. A player can carry a range of weapons including sniper rifles, rocket launchers, grenades and alien weapons such as beam rifles and needlers. Unlike the old games, during multiplayer all weapons a player is carrying can be seen on the player. This includes side holsters for pistols and larger weapons that can be slung across the players back. Halo 3 also introduces 'support weapons', large two handed weapons that slow the players movement but do a lot of damage. Two examples include the flamethrower and a heavy machine gun, which are new to Halo 3. The game also included a map-editor called forge where players can create their own arenas and battlegrounds to fight in. Almost all weapons and objects in a level can be moved or deleted in forge mode. The game also has theater mode which lets players record some of their best kills or plays from multiplayer mode. The last 20 games played are automatically saved, although this feature needs an Xbox 360 hard drive to work. These movies can be uploaded to Bungie's website where other people can download them and watch them on their PC.
Halo 3's story mode contains nine levels. It finishes the story of the Halo trilogy. The story can be played alone, with a friend on the same console or with four players over Xbox Live. The first player takes control of Master Chief, the second player plays as the leader of the Elites, Arbiter and the last two as elites themselves. There are skulls hidden through the levels. If they are found by any of the players the gameplay changes in some way. For example one skull makes confetti and balloons appear when a player gets a headshot and another makes all enemies stronger and tougher.
A multiplayer game can have up to four people on one console, or up to sixteen players over Xbox Live. There are many different types of multiplayer games. There is a death match, where the goal is to kill all the players (called Slayer in Halo). There are capture the flag games with two teams (eight people on each team). In capture the flag, each team has their own flag. The goal of the game is to steal the enemy flag, and take it back to base to score a point. Aside from these there are also team games. These games can have two, six, or eight players on each team.
There is a ranking system in Halo 3 that matches players with other players of the same ability, to make sure it is a fair game. The ranks are based on real life military ranks. The lowest is corporal but players can progress all the way up to general. Because multiplayer Halo is often played online there is a mute option, which lets any one player blank out the voice of any other player if they are being insulting or annoying.
The game is set in the same fictional world as the rest of the Halo series. Most of the game takes place in the future year 2553, over 500 years from now. In the storyline humans have developed faster than light travel, and now live on many planets and moons of the Solar System. When humanity started to build another settlement on a planet around another star they met the alien Covenant. The Covenant declared religious war on humanity. During Halo 2 the Covenant discovered Earth. At the start of Halo 3, the Covenant are launching a full-scale invasion of Earth.
The Halo of the games title is the name of a series of space super weapons built by a mysterious race called the Forerunners a long time before the game. The Halo's are the last defence against another alien race known as the Flood. The Flood want to use every living thing in the galaxy for food. The Halos are actually giant super weapons, that when activated, will kill all life in the galaxy. This is the only way to stop the Flood,to starve them by killing all their food. The Covenant do not know this and are attempting to fire Halos as part of a wrong religious prophecy. In the first Halo game, Halo: Combat Evolved, the humans and Master Chief manage to stop the Covenant from firing one of the Halos. They also destroy one of them in the process. The destruction of one of the Halos starts an emergency. The Halos can now all be fired from one place, using a device called the Ark. The Covenant, still not understanding the truth, launch an invasion of Earth, where they believe the Ark is buried. This is where the Halo 3 story starts.
The main character of Halo 3 is Master Chief. Master Chief is a super soldier, the last surviving member of the Spartan Project. The Spartan Project was started by humans to genetically, using genes, make soldiers who were stronger, faster and tougher than any normal human. Another character from Halo 1 and 2, controlled by the second player in a co-op game is Arbiter, the leader of the alien Elites. In Halo 2 he is an enemy but in Halo 3 he joins forces with the humans. Other returning characters include the veteran human soldier sagent Avery Johnson, the AI Cortana, the robot 343 Guilty Spark and the Gravemind, dangerous leader of the Flood.
Halo 3 begins where Halo 2 left off. The player once again plays as Master Chief as he falls towards Earth. He crashes in Kenya near the city of Mombasa. He is found by a squad of marines led by sergeant Avery Johnson, the commander from Halo and Halo 2. The player and the marines fight their way through invading Covenant force to a human outpost. Here they find human forces making a last attempt to stop the Covenant from activating a portal they found buried in the Kenyan desert. They are unsuccessful however, and the Covenant open the portal to the Ark, where they will be able to fire the Halos and destroy the galaxy. Just after the Covenant fleet of spacecraft leave the portal, a big ship crashes into the city of Mombasa. This ship has been taken over by the Flood. The player as Master Chief, must fight their way into the ruined spacecraft and recover the robot Cortana who can tell them the way to re-open the portal and follow the Covenant. Once the player is successful, the humans re-open the portal and head after the Covenant to stop them firing the Halos. Joining them is 343 Guilty Spark, one of the robots who helped build the destroyed Halo from the first game. Once through the portal the player and his allies discover the huge, planet-sized structure known as the Ark, where all the Halos can be fired from. Led by 343 Guilty Spark the player makes their way to the centre of the Ark where the Covenant leader, the Prophet of Truth is preparing to fire.
Just as the player arrives to stop the Prophet of Truth, the Flood infested ship High Charity, arrives in an attempt to take over the Ark. The player, Arbiter and Johnson now take out all the Flood in the area before Arbiter kills the Prophet of Truth and prevents the Halos from being fired. There is no time for the player to rest however, as he must now head to the nuclear reactor at the center of the Flood infested spacecraft, High Charity in an effort to kill the Flood. Once this is complete, the player and Arbiter must go and activate one Halo ring. This will destroy the Ark and kill all the Flood in this area of the Milky Way Galaxy whilst saving the rest. The player and the Arbiter head off to activate the single Halo and save the Galaxy. When they arrive 343 Guilty Spark warns them that activating this Halo will destroy the whole Ark and the Halo itself. The player ignores the warning. This angers 343 Guilty Spark. He kills Sergent Johnson, and attempts to kill Master Chief to keep'his' Halo from being destroyed. This is in effect the final 'boss battle' of the game. The player defeats the robot, and activates the Halo. A countdown starts but it too late for the player as Master Chief and the AI Cortana. They manage to board a spacecraft to take them away but it is caught in the explosion and is split in two. Master Chief is assumed dead.
If the player completes the game on any difficulty, after the credits you see that the Master Chief and Cortana survived. If you finish the game on the "Legendary" difficulty you can see an alternate ending after the credits.
Design and development
The first work was started on Halo 3 before the release of Halo 2 in 2004. Through 2004/2005 Bungie refused to confirm they were working on Halo 3, only saying that they had a 'new project'. The game was officially announced with a trailer at E3 2006. While details of the multiplayer were openly announced and talked about before release, details of the story were kept mostly secret until the day of the launch. There are over 40,000 recorded clips of Non Player Character (NPC) dialogue in Halo 3. That is more than twice times as many for Halo 2. Separate sound recordings were made for nearby and distant gunfire to make a more believable experience. Like Halo 1 and 2 the game has its own especially recorded classical soundtrack. The music was recorded with a 27 piece choir and a 60 piece orchestra.
Marketing and releasemarketing ideas were used to promote the release of Halo 3. A Beta, unfinished version, of the multiplayer mode was released with the Microsoft game Crackdown a few months before the actual release. The advertising campaign cost an estimated $10 million US dollars. The 'Believe' campaign was a high profile launch on television, radio, billboards and other high profile places. It focused on the epic quality of the games storyline. The game's tagline or key phrase was 'finish the fight' . Pepsi also announced a new energy drink called Game Fuel. It had an image of Master Chief and the Halo 3 logo on the packaging. Bill Gates, the owner of Microsoft personally sold copies of the game at a Washington game store.
Halo 3 sales reached $170 million within 24 hours, making it the biggest selling entertainment product launch in US history. It beat the previous record set by Halo 2 in 2004. It was the best selling video game of 2007 in the US, despite only being available on Xbox 360. On January 3, 2008 Microsoft announced Halo 3 has sold 8.1 million copies worldwide.
Halo 3 was mostly given very good reviews in the media. On Metacritic the game has an average score of 94 out of 100. This was an average from 74 reviews. The multiplayer was often given praise and IGN said that the multiplayer was 'the strongest of the series so far'. The music to the campaign was also highly praised, along with the voice acting. The main bad points from reviews were the short length of the story mode and the AI of your allies. Bryan Vore of gamecritics said that some parts of the story mode were 'embarrassing'. Nevertheless he still said the full game was a 'masterpiece'.
Halo 3 has one of the largest numbers of players online of games. The online multiplayer has many different game types such as 4 vs 4, 2 vs 2, 8 vs 8 and a lot more. In most gametypes, the player spawns (comes to life) with an Assault Rifle or a Battle Rifle, but other games have other weapons (like Shotty Snipers, which has a Shotgun and a Sniper). Some games require working as a team, while others require single skills. Increasing your skill and timing is important to win in Halo 3, just like every other game.
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- Cortana: You have no idea how this ring works, do you? Why the forerunners built it? Halo does not kill flood, it kills their food. Humans, covenant, whatever. We're all equally edible. The only way to stop the flood is to starve them to death,and that's exactly what Halo is designed to do; wipe the galaxy clean of all sentient life. - Bungie Studios. Halo: Combat Evolved. Microsoft. Xbox. Level/area: Two Betrayals (in English). (2001)
- Mercy: Halo. Its divine wind will rush through the stars, propelling all who are worthy along the path to salvation. - Bungie Studios. Halo 2. Microsoft. Xbox. Level/area: Sacred Icon (in English). (2004)
- 343 Guilty Spark: Protocol dictated my response! She had the Activation Index and you were going to destroy my installation. You did destroy my installation. Now, I only have one function: to help you, Reclaimer. - Bungie Studios. Halo 3. Microsoft. Xbox 360. Level/area: Floodgate (in English). (2007)
- (A Slipspace Rupture suddenly appears. High Charity emerges and approaches the Ark) Rtas 'Vadum: High Charity... By the Gods, brace for impact! - Bungie Studios. Halo 3. Microsoft. Xbox 360. Level/area: the Covenant (in English). (2007)
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