(Number of levels is revealed in this post; no other spoilers.)
One of the only complaints I had about Halo 2 was that after the first level or two, I never had any idea how far along I was in the game. (Actually it probably would have bothered me about Halo as well, had I not been so drunk with the whole experience.) I never sought any online illumination on the issue because I didn’t want to risk a spoiler, which meant that its somewhat controversially abrupt ending hit me extra hard.
I paused my Halo 3 play today and considered all that had happened in the game so far. I estimated I was somewhere between halfway and two-thirds of the way through the game. Hmmm, how to find out? I decided to gamble on Googling a walkthrough, and glancing at chapter headings for the answer. (This was still risky; I read at what I have learned is an extremely rapid pace, and it requires a bit of effort to avoid doing that.)
I pulled it off without spoilers. To my slight disappointment, this evening I learned that I am just starting the eighth of nine levels. So I’ve finished about 78% of the game. The mistake I made was starting on Normal difficulty. I’m hardly ever dying, and as badly as I want to look around, I want to know how the story ends more, so I’m pressing a bit.
I should have played through the first time on Heroic difficulty.
I could rhapsodize about this game nearly endlessly. The visuals, the setups, the enemy AI, the drama…it’s all fabulous. There are multiple scenarios I’m looking forward to playing through again at a higher difficulty, and with more of an eye to exploring every square inch of the joint. I’ve found a few entertaining side bits already—some humorous, others creepy—and I’m looking forward to finding more of them.
If I must muster a complaint, I’ll make it the music. Halo 3 seems like it mostly uses the stock pieces, with any new stuff built around what we heard in the Halo 3 “the way the world ends” trailer. As marvelous as the music for both of the first two installments was, this is a little disappointing. I own both Halo and Halo 2 soundtrack albums, and I suppose I’ll buy the Halo 3 soundtrack when it’s released for the sake of completeness. But I don’t expect much soul-stirring from it.
Still in full sensory overload. Looking forward to the story’s resolution. Looking forward to breaking into the bonus DVD, which I have so far avoided for fear of encountering spoilers. Looking forward to playing again on Heroic and Legendary difficulty levels.
This is such a masterfully done franchise. It evokes a lot of the same depth of wonder I felt at the first two Star Wars films.