Halo 3: ODST reminds me of the most recent "Indiana Jones" movie. It's got the vibe of its predecessors down pat, and I find myself reminded that I just love the world it inhabits. But on the flipside, it also serves as a reminder that the Halo games are too few and far between, and when you put out a half-hearted effort like ODST, what you're left with is a bit of a letdown. If Microsoft shipped a product like Halo 3: ODST every year, and charged us a reasonable fee (say $30 or less), this thing would be a no-brainer. But at the premium $60 price tag that ODST commands, it just feels like a rip-off.
That said, I must be in the minority when it comes to Halo fans, because I've always preferred the single player campaign stuff to the multiplayer. And ODST delivers a decent single player experience that winds up being at least as satisfying as Halo 3 in that regard. When it comes to multiplayer, however, ODST is literally just a recycled version of Halo 3 with one very minor perk thrown in. And it just should have been so much more.
I also think it's telling that ODST started as a low-cost expansion pack for Halo 3 but then was recast as a full-price product. When it comes to opening their wallets, only Apple fanatics can give Halo fans any competition. And Microsoft knows these guys would buy anything that was foisted on them with a Halo logo. Anyone who tries to position this game otherwise is a sap.
Suspiciously repackaged as a $60 premium title, Halo 3: ODST is worth far less.
That said, ODST is still Halo. And, well, Halo is special. So I can kind of understand the willingness to accept less, sort of. I just think that after Halo 3--which critics were correct to deride as "Halo 2.5," Microsoft should have done better by the fans.
None of whom, of course, could care less what I think.
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