In closing, the game is out and it doesn't particularly matter. The game was awesome and is invariably delivers supreme enjoyability. Indisputably, there will be more additions to the Halo franchise, and more to be expected.
Ah yes, the Grav Hammer. Fucking awesome weapon that was wiggled into gameplay rather nicely. My one complaint here is as follows: So we've got this huge fucking hammer
that goes smashy-smashy, splodey-splodey. Obviously, it's already taken care of in the melee department, but we're still missing an actual melee maneuver... I guess we're all out of options, right? I guess we'll just have to resort to leaving the melee attack as a quick forward jab with the pommel, right?
NO, it has a blatantly (almost obnoxiously) obvious secondary attack, the GIANT FUCKING DORSAL BLADE. And not just a simple, potentially negligible blade that you essentially could just leave there for show; no, they had to give it the silhouette of a battle-axe and further embellish it with an undulating edge that ends in a jutting point at the bottom. Oh, and there's a cable-cutting razor notch stuck in there, too. What the hell?
What a tease.
I love this vehicle, simple as that. Although its rocket capacity is kinda unbelievable (yeah, I know... TEH WHOLE HALO UNIVERSE IS UNBELEEVABULL, HURR!!1!), I only have one issue with the Hornet: So we've got this airhopper ground support platform, see? And it's got two jumpseats for passengers on the outside of the craft, follow?
Now, these jumpseats trail somewhat behind the vehicle on either side, and any riders on these jumpseats constantly have to withstand a vertical heated jetstream from the pylon turbines and horizontal wind-tunnel forces from the forward flight of the vehicle at noteworthy heights and speeds considering its size. So at the end of the day, we're at least going to have these hapless passengers grab some kind of handhold bar to prevent them from falling a minimum of thirty feet straight down... right? Ffs, even the 40 mph Scorpion's jumpseats have a handhold of sorts. The Hornet just didn't make sense here.
Great character, looked great in Halo 3. Considering how admittedly (by Bungie themselves) haphazard H2's production was, you'd think the Arbiter's war cry or wail of pain or whatever sounded kinda goofy because it wasn't fully polished by the guys in the audio department, right? Well I don't know what the hell that answer is, but one way or the other it was still in Halo 3. Gfg.
The Brutes can roar, Elites have had awesome voice work since the first game, and Keith David's voice is perfect for the character. Are you telling me they couldn't put a little more effort into this? I mean, he's just killed the Prophet of Truth and it's a resounding moment of triumph in the story's progression, and long behold he sounds like a thirty-year old with autism moaning for the jar of cookies. I was pretty disappointed there.
Yeah, yeah, the Energy Sword. Everyone's already heard me complain in the past that it didn't have any awesome nimbus particles reminiscent of the Halo Wars trailer or the H2-E3-03 Demo. Well, it ended up looking alright (alright; not spectacular) and I'm not at all concerned with how it ended up. In fact I'm quite pleased; it was an improvement on what ended up in H2, it was much more polished, and it was unique against Halo Wars and pre-H2.
However, particles are nonetheless the focus of my ranting. Yes, particles. Bungie has revamped every particle in the game to the point of commanding awe. They've spared no expenses in making old ones look new and making new ones look equally stunning. Couple that with the fact that they added a particle for every conceivable niche it could be applied to in the game. Then return to the scene where Truth is killed, and...
There is an apparent lack of any conceivable attempt at an effort to try and embellish some sort of deactivation energy flourish for the Sword in any capacity. It just poofs into nowhere... sans the 'poof'. The Energy Shields of all kinds have the deactivation flourish, in Halo 1 the Sword had a nice flourish, and in Halo 2 (Another Day at the Beach) the Sword had a great flourish. And then of course it looks kinda goofy when the Sword is pulled out of Truth, but that's not a fundamental problem. Of all the particle uses in the game, this is where they skimp out? I don't get it.
The not-so-important, but still addressable "WTF's"
Michael Wincott as Truth = Awesome Possum
Terence Stamp as Truth = Ditto
However, the fact that the essence of Truth takes a complete U-turn from being the cool and canny personage from Halo 2 to being the zealous, frenetic, deluded, borderline-clinically-insane mockup conglomerate of the since-killed-off Regret and Mercy with a completely different voice (as in, he had a voice box transplant with a chain-smoking seventy year old from the other side of the galaxy) character he is in Halo 3 doesn't make any sense at all.
Stamp brought a lot to the character, but it's a major rupture for continuity's sake, and let's face it... I miss Wincott.
Carrying / Deploying / or Collapsing Turrets
When they introduced turrets in Halo 2 and had NPC's carrying and deploying them, it was almost a sure shot that the player would get to try that out in Halo 3. Yeah, we got two things for the price of one in lieu of this ability (Autoturret and Support Weapons), but it's still sad to have had only a taste of honey when we were staring at the whole beehive.
They were a funky novelty in Halo 2, and even though it was a buggy system, nobody gave a shit because you could get some great laughs out of it from time to time. Now it's Halo 3, and it's just irritating goofyness. It seemingly hasn't seen any much-needed improvement or fine-tuning since H2. *sigh*
The bodies are too limp; they just flop around and slide over the ground (to the point where it sometimes seems to be floating) like a marionette that's been lubed with a half-inch coat of mineral oil. The [lack of] tension in the joints and the reactions between friction and gravity are terribly unrealistic for a game like this.
Bungie opened pretty much all doors for the player in terms of previously unusable content. Except for this. Kinda irked me, seeing as how there were plenty of places they could've worked it in.
Graphically, you can barely even tell if they were given any love because the few times you actually see them they're zipping around in far
-alienated background AI dogfights.
Energy Shield Gauntlet
Bungie opened pretty much all doors for the player in terms of previously unusable content. Except for the Seraph... and this. It could've been a cool dual-wieldable, and if they got the Gravity Hammer to work as a legitimate weapon, then dammit they could've went all the way here as well.
Considering you've already got your personal energy shielding and the two deployable equipment shields, I don't really care about this in being excluded from gameplay. I just care about it a bit when excluded from the many other novelties of the game, as it feels a bit inconsistent.
The Chief was aesthetically far superior in the '06 E3 Teaser in terms of the textures and bumps. September 25th came and went, and this had to be said. Did they bring the Chief down a few notches because other elements (or characters) of the game weren't up to par, or it would've been out of place with the chiaroscuro tone of the game? I don't know. Regardless, it devolved.
As for the visor, whatever. Yeah, RTR is still in the engine, but they had to sacrifice it for the sake of rendering time. Who gives a shit; the dynamic cubemaps are absolutely gorgeous anyway and are lightyears ahead of the placeholders in the Beta. I'm content.