If your reading this I'm sure you know the history of the Halo games, one of the most critically appraised FPS series of all time. Now lets look at Halo's retarded younger brother, with a heart of gold.
At some point Bungee decided to scrap making an expansion to Halo 3 and instead make Firefly: The Game. The characters of Buck, Dutch and Mickey were filled by three main characters from Joss Whedon's cult hit. This act was simply Bungee playing mind games with us. Why did they do it? Because they can.
The opening crawl describes the squad of ODSTs as "the best of the best." What's their ammunition, cliches? You've got the charismatic leader, the comic relief, the fiesty woman, the black guy. All that was missing was some spunky kid sidekick. Now part of the game's selling point was its new protaganist, the mysterious "Rookie". He never takes off his mask, never talks in game and is blessed with fast reflexes, Remind you of anybody?
That's right, Bungee really pushed the boat out this time. But don't worry, according to their documentaries they took a huge leap forwards. This time's different because the ODSTs are real people. They don't have super strength, they don't have Spartan armour. However, apparently this is a list of things real people can do:
Bungee, if you're going to design a new character system, at least remember to design a new character system. The only difference between Master Chief and the ODSTs is that the ODSTs have crappy night vision. Night vision that makes objects have bold yellow lines around them for some reason.
So you drop down into New Mombassa, crash your pod and wake up at night. That's it, the last time you use your drop pod. They named the game after something that happens in the first minute of gameplay. Apparently there's some shit going down and despite Earth posessing an army of millions your supposed to beleive this one soldier can make a difference.
Most of the game is spent finding clues as to where your team are. When you touch these clues you get to play as them to find out what happened. This is never really explained and implies the Rookie is some sort of a magical wizard.
To be fair this is actually the cleverest part of the game. ODST is modelled after old film noirs and its trying to use an interesting narrative technique to further the story. Unfortuently your average gamer is not a fan of puzzling mind fucks and most of your time is spent attaching plasma grenades to Grunts and watching them squeal.
There's fighting, comedy, high adventure. All the makings of a classic game, then this happens:
Its name's the Engineer, or put simply, a floating brain with a large penis. In ODST the penis is even more pronounced than in the picture, and standing in the right place on "Coastal Highway" will make the penis go inside your mouth. It's insulting to the player to suddenly realise what they've been risking their life for in this game is simply a mutated Brain Spawn from Futurama.
Here's a segment taken from a Bungee meeting room discussion:
CEO: So, in Halo 3 you guys created one of the most highly regarded and enjoyable levels of all time as the finale. How is ODST's finale going to top the thrill of escaping an exploding lava planet?
DESIGNER: Well, we were thinking maybe you've got to protect something. People hate escaping danger, what they really want is to drive slowly and protect a MacGuffin.
CEO: I don't see how that competes at all. This expansion is supposed to add more fun to the franchise.
DESIGNER 2: We'll add doors that you constantly have to stop at. We'll also have a Brain Penis
CEO: Bingo, lets get this show on the road.
The new multiplayer mode was called "Firefight". It's definitely nothing like Horde mode in Gears of War, except it is exactly the same. This involves fighting ever increasing waves of enemies as your attention wanes more and more. Halo 3 was fast frantic and fun, so it made sense to add a game type in which rounds lasted up to four hours.
You can now also unlock the magical Recon armour that for years had been reserved for only a select few Halo players. Achieving it however means completing the Endure Vidmaster Challenge, otherwise known as the most annoying piece of shit idea of all time. You have to complete four sets on Firefight mode with three friends. If one of them loses connection on the third hour, you all lose. If you run out of lifes you start all over again. Common phrases heard screaming down your mic during this include
What if it's not worth it? You achieve Recon only to find you feel hollow inside. Its only armour, all that time spent could have been spent with loved ones. There's brown stains in your pants. You missed your brothers funeral because you were on the worlds biggest kill streak.
Only joking, its fucking Recon. Of course its worth it.