Matt Bassos
08 Jun, 2009

E3 2009: Halo 3: ODST Preview

360 Feature | Lock and load marine.
After being kept in the darkness about Bungie’s so-called Halo 3 expansion, ODST finally blasts into view with this year’s E3 giving us an in-depth look.

Say goodbye to Master Chief, because ODST gives us the opportunity to play as the elite marines known also as Orbital Drop Shock Troopers. Unlike the cybernetic benefits a Spartan enjoys, ODSTs are more vulnerable, so players will want to tread more carefully in these new shoes. Health bars make a return under play as an ODST and you can forget about those super Spartan jumps, or even the dual wielding weapons, which will be sorely missed.

It’s not all bad news though, with the troopers having the bonus of a new visor giving them enhanced vision. The visor is actually quite a nifty new feature, because it highlights important things with a tracer. It’s also very handy in low light situations, giving the player an advantage in the dark. The visor is activated by pressing the X button, meaning it now replaces the function of deploying equipment items like the bubble shield. Indeed, it seems ODSTs cannot use items, giving them another disadvantage in comparison to the likes of Master Chief.

Looking on the brighter side of things once more, troopers do get suppressed weapons in the sleek new sub-machinegun. The pistol from Halo is back as well, which is going to make many people happy.

Another beautiful day in the Corps.

Another beautiful day in the Corps.
The campaign takes place before the events of Halo 3, opening up the initial city wide skirmishes faced by UNSC soldiers in the ruins of New Mombasa. There will be many parts where players will play out flashbacks, assuming the role of another ODST for a past event. It fleshes out the story behind the destruction of the city, by letting players take a glimpse of what happened. It’s an original approach letting players swap through multiple points of view, and seems like an intriguing way to show events.

What also distinguishes ODST from Halo 3 is open environment gameplay. As players track down their missing ODST buddies, there will be choices in where to head to next. Due to the greater scope of openness, hopefully we will see some truly massive scale combat in one of the urban set pieces.

The big new game feature coming with ODST is called Firefight and is similar to the Horde mode found in Gears of War 2, and can be played with up to four players. It’s a survival metagame broken into rounds, where scoring is ranked based on kills. Waves are sent out but become progressively stronger, finally kicking into a final climatic battle. The longer you survive, the harder it gets, meaning only the top players will manage to stay alive. Skulls will be included during certain rounds; a mechanic introduced into the Halo series which changes aspects of gameplay, often making it harder. The only way the game ends is when each player loses all of their set lives, otherwise there’s no time limit and no limit to the number of enemies coming.

Optic Blast!

Optic Blast!
Multiplayer will be exactly the same as Halo 3, meaning ODST players will be in the same games. While identical, it will come with all 24 maps which is nice for those without the map packs. Firefight is obviously also offered over Xbox Live, so you won’t always need your friends around for split screen.

We are looking forward to seeing more of what Halo 3: ODST has to offer. In many ways it does look like more of the same, but developed as an expansion and coming with Firefight, it will be hard for Halo fans to resist. A special ODST wireless controller has been confirmed to come with the collectors edition of the game, which is a nice bonus for getting players ready for multiplayer Firefight. It will be released along with the standard version in September of this year.

Check out the E3 trailer to see Halo 3: ODST in action.

Halo 3: ODST E3 2009 Trailer

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4 years ago
sweet preview Matt icon_y1.gif

This game is a day 1 purchase for me, open ended gameplay and lack of dual wielding makes this the sequel to Halo: Combat Evolved I always wanted icon_smile.gif
4 years ago
^What he said.
4 years ago
Halo Combat Evolved was far better than the sequels and this seems great. Not so sure about the open world stuff though.
4 years ago
Firefight looks like its gonna be horde on steroids icon_smile.gif

I'll put down a pre order for it later cause at eb games you get a code to unlock sgt johnson in firefight
(not sure about jb hifi, eb says its exclusive to them)
4 years ago
Baad Woolf wrote
Firefight looks like its gonna be horde on steroids icon_smile.gif

I'll put down a pre order for it later cause at eb games you get a code to unlock sgt johnson in firefight
(not sure about jb hifi, eb says its exclusive to them)
What?!?! Is there a survival mode? Please say there is.
4 years ago
This just became 1000x cooler! Going to preorder it now.
4 years ago
More of the same isn't necessarily a bad thing when it comes to Halo. So, in multiplayer mode, i'm guessing you'll still be playing as a Spartan?

Bring it on!!
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