Sep 302007

(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.

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 Posted by at 10:52 pm

  2 Responses to “Halo 3 again”

  1. I’m thinking this winter I’ll get a Wii and/or Xbox 360. And the HD glory of Halo 3 shall be mine.

  2. Man, it’s a true tour de force–something to savor. I just finished it about 20 minutes ago and am looking forward to going back through it at a higher difficulty level.

    Santa Claus is bringing us a Wii. I got nervous about availability, so it’s already in my closet. I set it up just enough to verify that there was no shipping damage, etc., and it sure was tough to put back in the box!

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