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Opinion Trailer GameSpot - Why Halo 3: ODST Is The Best Halo Game

IbizaPocholo

NeoGAFs Kent Brockman
Dec 1, 2014
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ibiza

From Halo: Combat Evolved to Halo Infinite, Xbox’s biggest franchise has been defined by battle rifles, explosions, and murdering Elites. Yet in 2009, Bungie delivered a more somber FPS experience with Halo 3: ODST. And, for producer Jessie Earl, Halo 3: ODST is far and away the best campaign in the entire Halo franchise.

Yes, better than Halo 2, Halo Reach, or especially Halo 5: Guardians.

Halo 3 ODST is the game that should not be. Not only is ODST a complete tonal shift for the franchise, focusing on a more somber, small stakes story, it was also created out of the ashes of a completely different Halo project and made in basically a single year. This game should be a complete mess.

Yet, instead Bungie’s Halo 3: ODST is a masterclass in tone, storytelling, and game design that resonates, even more, today than it did back when it was released. So let’s break down why this underappreciated gem still holds up amidst its blockbuster siblings.
 
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Topher

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Not that this is definitive, but here are the metacritic scores, highest to lowest

Halo: Combat Evolved: 97
Halo 2: 95
Halo 3: 94
Halo: Reach 91
Halo 4: 87
Halo 3: ODST: 84
Halo 5: Guardians: 84
 

njean777

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I can see an argument for it (and don't instantly disagree), but I am an outcast and my favorite is Halo 2.
 

Northeastmonk

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I have too many nostalgic memories from Combat Evolved. I thought 2 was better than 1, but 1 had better levels. I’ve had the same feeling with each Halo. The games get better, but I never feel like I had a remarkable time like I did with 1 and 2. I tried ODST and I wasn’t hooked. It was years later after finishing H5 that I played ODST. I have enjoyed Halo since day 1, but ODST looked awful to me. The wide open city and how we had to play as the soldiers really turned me off. I waited in the cold for H2 for 6 hours, but I turned off ODST after the first hour.
 

Rykan

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Jul 26, 2021
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This should have been called Halo 3: ODLC. Overpriced downloadable content.

The fact that they charged full price for this is completely ridiculous. It is a cool sidestory that would have been great if it was released as a 30$ downloadable content expansion. Instead, they charged 60$ for it and tried to justify the price by including the Halo 3 multiplayer with all of its DLC, so suck it if you already purchased the Halo 3 DLC seperately. You get to pay for it twice.

Firefight was pretty cool but I'm pretty sure there was no matchmaking, which is a shame because it was one of the best horde like modes around.
 

SkylineRKR

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Jun 22, 2011
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I agree. ODST has an amazing atmosphere and an excellent soundtrack. During some of the dark stages it even feels a bit like a survival horror. Its great how the story is pieced together as well. If you think this is just more Halo 3, this isn't it. Its the most unique main Halo game probably.
 

bender

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Apr 12, 2010
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CE > Reach > almost all of the rest > Billy Graham's Bible Blaster > Halo 2
 
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//DEVIL//

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I hated ODST more than anything . From the moment I got to play with the stupid funny looking armor soldier and not MC it was a turn off for me.
MC is about bad ass kicking aliens ass. This dude on ODST was boring as hell
 

Marty-McFly

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I remember how disappointing Halo 2's campaign was.

Only game I ever purchased at a midnight launch.
 
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Diddy X

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I never liked the fact that you could jump so high or punch brutes, you are suposed to be a regular soldier unlike MC who has superhuman strength, they should have made it feel more different but that would have been too big of a project, this was meant as an expansion at first and they ended up selling it for full price, still great game.
 

IDKFA

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Halo:CE is still my favourite Halo.

Some of the best level design ever put into a game.
 
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STARSBarry

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If you want to see the steady progression on how bad games scores creeped up over the years look no further than Halo 4 scoring higher than ODST despite it being dreadful although not as god awful as what ever 5 was supposed to be.
 

Lone Wolf

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Jan 8, 2014
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I hated ODST more than anything . From the moment I got to play with the stupid funny looking armor soldier and not MC it was a turn off for me.
MC is about bad ass kicking aliens ass. This dude on ODST was boring as hell
What “dude”? You play multiple characters in ODST.
 

RAIDEN1

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Aug 2, 2013
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This should have been called Halo 3: ODLC. Overpriced downloadable content.

The fact that they charged full price for this is completely ridiculous. It is a cool sidestory that would have been great if it was released as a 30$ downloadable content expansion. Instead, they charged 60$ for it and tried to justify the price by including the Halo 3 multiplayer with all of its DLC, so suck it if you already purchased the Halo 3 DLC seperately. You get to pay for it twice.

Firefight was pretty cool but I'm pretty sure there was no matchmaking, which is a shame because it was one of the best horde like modes around.
...Bit like Spiderman Miles Morales
 

Shut0wen

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Oct 29, 2020
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Personally thought it was the worst bungie game imo, its short and lacks of content, only pro i have with the game is that it brought firefight to halo and that some flashback missions were better then most of reaches campaign but thats about it, was disappointed that that playing and odst was just like playing as masterchief but with less health and with less height with jumping, something that can be altered in halo 3 custom games lmao
 

Spaceman292

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I only played the first half of it before getting bored but I've listened to that soundtrack on repeat literally for the past 10 years.
 

Thaedolus

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Reach is criminally underrated. What they did with the 360 in its latter years as Bungie’s swan song was amazing. I couldn’t get into 4 and hadn’t really touched the series until MCC came to PC and now that Infinite is fun as hell, I’m back.

ODST was good but you could tell it was an expansion pack. Firefight was cool though
 
Feb 20, 2021
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ODST is the worst Halo game, IMO. I played through them all recently with the 4K/60 FPS patches. It's a smaller, low stakes affair with a really bad hub city.
 

Nikana

Go Go Neo Rangers!
Jan 26, 2016
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I am a Halo 3 person.

ODST to me has some great missions but they are short and the "open world" aspects are shallow and add nothing. I feel like a lot of times ODST gets praise simply because its different. Not because its this well designed phenomenon.
 

NinjaBoiX

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Aug 2, 2009
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I always really loved ODST, I really liked the more chilled vibe.

I enjoyed Reach for its ambition and bombast.

I loved 4 for its technical merits and an actually engaging story.

Honestly, against public opinion I always found Halo 3 to be the weak point, Halo 1 was obviously groundbreaking and Halo 2 was a solid sequel but I found Halo 3 to be the “difficult third album” of the franchise. Incredible multiplayer but a frankly boring and slightly annoying campaign.
 
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Deerock71

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Gamespot:
Edgelord Smile GIF by Dorian Electra