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Posted on May 30, 2007 in Electronic Games, Front Page Features

Halo 3 Beta Impressions

By Jamison Lanum

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Halo 3 Beta

Love, Bungie

These are the words that greet players along with the new and improved user interface, which is a sleek and simple to figure out. A few key bits of usability added include the ability to access personal settings while matchmaking along with the ability to "veto" a game as long as the majority wins the vote, after which your party is assigned to another game that cannot be vetoed. After the match, players can choose to stay together by pressing the X button to party up with the people they just finished playing with.

File sharing allows the player to save videos of themselves, upload, and even download a few of their friends’. This was not fully functional at the time but proves to be an excellent extra that Bungie has managed to squeeze in along with a wider selection of logo and color scheme choices.

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From the get go, Halo 3‘s gameplay has proven to be more tactical than what it has been in the previous two installments. This is due to the addition of equipment that can be found strewn about the maps, and mainly the fact that the guys over at Bungie have rebalanced the arsenal of weaponry. This balance will more than likely act as a catalyst to begin a new era of how to fight in Halo 3.

In Halo 3, unlike its predecessors, each weapon feels strong enough to accomplish victory with. Any weapon is a competent killing utensil. Be it the brute spiker, plasma rifle, or the once frail SMG, anything you pick up now, backed by grenades, is a formidable option for winning. Of course there are situations where certain weapons are ideal, but for the most part there won’t be much scurrying for a competent gun.

Another thing that is sure to be noticed right away is that the right bumper has become the action button, whether it’s picking up a weapon or getting in or out of a vehicle, RB is the way to do it! Reloading while dual-wielding means you’ll need to hit the RB as well as the LB to reload both. The X button has been replaced to use whatever equipment the player has managed to pick up.

The sound was as excellent as ever with one honorable mention being that other players’ gunfire can be heard echoing throughout the maps. On the flip side of the coin, the graphics, at this point, are less than stellar. In fact it wouldn’t be false to say that the game almost looks like high-resolution textures and techniques have been wrapped around Halo 2. Although an improvement, there is definitely still work to be done on the graphics end.

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