Aside from its criminally short length, ODST is up there for one of my favorites of the Halo series. Taking what fans were clambering for in Halo 2, ie; wheres the battle for Earth?
ODST takes place in the war torn and bombed out African metropolis of New Mombasa just as the Prophet of Truth Slips out of the city, and the effects of this devastating event on a wayward team of shock troops sent in originally to secure the cities superintendent ai from the invasion force.
The game plays like classic expansions of old, using the contemporary graphics of Halo 3, ODST mercifully doesn't feel as clunky to control.
One of my main gripes with the third Halo entry was just how buoyant and bloated the Spartans felt. Its a weird feeling to describe but the gameplay honestly felt like you were playing a slayer match as the Michelin Man. ODST mercifully rectifies this and is a much better game for it, but to be honest it also tragically feels off with regards to the titular special forces. Halo is meant to be an over the top power fantasy, as you mainly star as a 7 foot tall, 2k pound cyborg super soldier going against equally fierce and aggressive alien infantry. Here, the ODST play almost exactly as the standard spartan and that really ruins the feeling of how unique the Master Chief was. Few little details like nixing energy shields and duel wielding are meant to reduce the ODST in stature but arent convincing enough to sell how utterly helpless you should feel going against the Brutes, who even in the superb live action ads for this game, are meant to be these terrifying, indomitable beasts (see attached photo, https://i.redd.it/izgohg1ud0y51.jpg
what would have been a much more terrifying experience).
Aside from how wonky the characters are presented, the game is a gorgeous and atmospheric set piece in a lost and obscure corner between games, and that is where I think the game excels. And with an ample helping of vehicle missions, the game keeps you engaged. But man these levels feel unfairly truncated and further replays make it evident how small some of these missions really are. Easily the best soundtrack of the series, I just wish that there were more stealth based missions and that your silenced arsenal actually worked. and finally, who could forget the addition of firefight. While its following on the heels of COD's zombie mode, Firefight finds you fighting against endless hoards of Covenant. Simple and fun arcade mode that is elevated by how memorable the set piece maps seen in the campaign. From Alpha Site
, and Rally Point
to Lost Platoon
, some absolutely fun times playing with a friend holding the line against the purple bastards.