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Halo 3 Preview

Author: Laura Parker
Friday, 17 August 2007
Waiting for the arrival of Halo 3 has been a little like waiting for the arrival of my first-born. I have felt the same kind of love towards this little bundle of joy as I suspect I would feel towards my offspring – I have spent all my waking hours thinking about it and talked of nothing else to my friends. But as the official release date of Halo 3 nears, just what can eager and expectant gamers like myself hope to find-
To start off with, the final instalment of the Halo trilogy has, undoubtedly, some very big shoes to fill. But Bungie set to work early and, utilising every aspect of new technology, Halo 3 promises to have better, faster and more advanced gameplay than its predecessors.
Plot wise it’s simple enough: Master Chief and Arbiter are back, this time fighting together, trying to get rid of the Covenant bastards who have taken control of Earth. To fight them off players get some new kick-arse weapons called ‘support weapons’ – a group of exceptionally large, powerful two-handed weapons, similar to the rocket launcher, that when carried change the player’s view to a third-person perspective. To top it off, the totally awesome Assault Rifle from Halo makes a much-needed comeback (there’s no denying how crappy the SMG was).
Halo 3 also features some new gameplay tools: Forge and Saved Films. Forge allows players to insert game objects (weapons, vehicles and interactive objects) into existing maps – meaning you can spawn a grenade right on top of an opponent, or strategically place a Ghost where you know it will come in handy. Saved Films will allow players to save a copy of the game data of a multiplayer match to the Xbox 360 hard drive, so that they may watch the battle later on like a mini-movie (handy for watching funny physics stuff-ups in the game or, more usefully, training in tactics).
However, the really exciting thing about Halo 3 is the game’s multi-player functions. Unlike Halo or Halo 2, the game will feature a four-player cooperative play over Xbox Live, and players will no longer be forced to play as identical Sparatans (thank Christ) but will now play as Master Chief, the Arbiter and two newly-created Elites.
The game also features a campaign ‘meta-game’, in which a player is awarded a score based on their performance when completing a certain level of the campaign. Scoring points in this is simple enough – number of enemies killed, headshots, progressing quickly through the level.
With so many things going on, I don’t think it’s too early to say that Halo 3 will be the best first-person shooter of our time. The final version of Halo 3 will be released on September 25 in Australia.