This is a post I had been meaning to write last weekend. But I was busy with another project and with work that it got moved to the back burner. I bought Halo 3 the night it came out – I was in line until about 1 am to pick it up, then I came home and played it for a couple of hours before going to work. Since I was working hard to prepare a conference that was running that Friday, I didn’t get play much more Halo 3 during the week. An hour here, 30 minutes there, 10 minutes before work – you know how it goes.
Then on Saturday (afternoon, of course, no way I was getting up in the AM), after my conference had ended I sat down in front of the XBox 360 and dug into what I expected to be a couple of days of enjoyment.
Four hours later I said “What? After three years? That’s it?!?”
The credits were rolling, I had “finished the fight,” as the Halo 3 tagline had put it repeatedly during the ramp up for the game’s release. But it seems like Bungie didn’t put up much fight for me to finish. While the other two games had provided hours and hours of entertainment (and I even play them repeatedly now), Halo 3’s storyline seemed incredibly short.
The game appears to have been designed for those who are more interested in playing online with their friends over Xbox Live. That’s great, because there are a lot of spectacular multiplayer levels in Halo 3. But for those of us, like myself, who have been fascinated by the storyline (essentially Larry Niven’s Ringworld meets an alien invasion meets the Man-Kzin wars – replacing the Kzin with big lizards), I was left wanting. I couldn’t believe that the game was over that quickly, and in such a dissatisfying way. And I was surprised, because in Halo 2 and 3 you kept hearing mentions of the “Ark” and a “Divine Wind” and the big bad aliens were called the “Flood” and I had expected there to be more of a religious angle that Bungie was going to play. I’m glad they didn’t.
Although I did hang around after the credits to see the video clip afterwards – and on Legendary – so I did catch the allusion that Master Chief and Cortana will be back, in a possible Marathon trilogy (or is this the start of the second trilogy reported on earlier – the one being co-designed by Peter Jackson – he of Lord of the Rings fame) … I just don’t know if I can wait another THREE years for a game.