Now I have always liked the Halo series of games, they are one of the few series of console FPS games that I think actually ‘work’ on a console but I do think that Bungie lost their way a little on this one.
The decision to move away from the main hero Master Chief of the previous games was a brave one, instead in ODST (Orbital Drop Shock Troopers) you are a rookie member of one of these drop shock troopers. A drop goes a bit wrong and your character then spends his time wandering the city finding clues to what happened to the other members of the team, and when you do find a clue you then play a mission in that team members shoes to show you what happened. This obviously leads up to the final levels of the story once you find out what happened to each.
It is not that bad a concept except the wandering around the city to the next clue does get boring after like the second one, a more linear approach would of been more interesting (for once) I think. The actual proper missions were fun though, especially the ones where the whole team were together… however there are very few of these which also lets it down.
As you are no longer the super marine that you were in the previous games you now have proper health that doesn’t regen by itself, at first I thought this would be quite a nice change and make combat a bit more of a challenge.. which it did… but not in a good way I feel. All it tended to do was slow down fights when you were low on health, at least before you could go find cover and recover before and keep the game flowing but now you find yourself just dying alot to allow you to carry on faster.
I realise that this game was a bit of a stop gap title, but it had some nice ideas. I have always liked the working in a team aspect, its just it didn’t use it enough. ODST is a fairly enjoyable game if you like the Halo universe but if you were new to the series you wouldn’t be very impressed. It’s worth noting that I never played this multiplayer but that’s because my idea of being of fun is not being killed over and over and over again against people who play Halo day in, day out!
Lets hope Halo: Reach does a better job.