Sep 262007

(No spoilers.)

The Legendary Edition of Halo 3 is in my possession.

I won’t attempt any sort of comprehensive review. There are plenty of those out there if you want them, and I’d bet 100 new ones a minute are going up as I type. Some folks have actually played the campaign all the way through already, including a (middle-age, productive member of society) guy in my office who Halo 3ed from dusk to dawn nonstop.

Such is the power.

My primary advice to any new Halo 3 owner is to budget a good 20 or 30 minutes to look around before you try to play for real. The visuals can only be described as spectacular. The lighting, textures, and attention to detail must be seen to be believed. I savored the introductory cinematic and then tried to play, but it took me a good while to get past stumbling about with my jaw on the floor.

There are a moderate number of gameplay changes from the earlier Halo games. To me (and keep in mind I’ve only just dipped my toe in, so my opinion may change), some add value, and some don’t. However, to Bungie’s credit, the feel is there. It took me all of two minutes to feel comfortable putting the Master Chief through his paces, even with a couple of control changes. Kudos for keeping that; judging from the relative infrequency with which it’s delivered, it’s not easy.

I’m just two and a half levels in, but so far it’s looking like another grand slam. I’ve played literally thousands of video games, very few of which I would describe as genuinely special. The Halo games are the top of the top.

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