So I have had Halo 3 ODST for about half a week and so I thought I would express my views on the game and comment on my likes and dislikes about the game. I'll also fill you in a little about the storyline but be warned there may be spoilers so if you do not wish to ruin it for yourself then don't read.
Halo 3:ODST see's you take the role of an Orbital Drop Shock Trooper, amongst others your team is usually the first to be sent into hostile positions and as mentioned by the name, you are literally dropped in pods right into the action. However something goes wrong and you get seperated from the rest of your squad mates, therefore your objective is to find out what happened to them.
Throughout the story you will find clues as to the whereabouts and happenings of your teammates but rather than just see it, you play it, you take control of one of the teammates and play out their side of the story. This means that you are constantly switching between your standard ODST character and that of another.
The gameplay itself in my opinion is spectacular, because you are not a Spartan like in the previous Halo titles, you aren't as strong, agile and as tough - meaning that not only do the weaker enemies stand more of a chance at hurting you, but you also take longer to kill them and longer to run to safety. The new health mechanism see's you with two types of health, your main health and your stamina. Your stamina is rechargeable once you get to safety if it is decreased, however the weaker your stamina, the more prone you are to taking damage to your main health, which cannot be revived by simply hiding - you must find medikits to heal this.
The weapons are pretty much the same as Halo 3 as are the controls, albeit a few subtle button changes such as the X button doesn't deploy shields etc... as far as I am aware you cannot wield these. Instead you get something called VISR mode which makes the surroundings a bit easier to see in the dark and covers enemies and weapons with a coloured outline for an easier time spotting them.
No new vehicles to boast about means if your experienced with Halo 3 then you'll take to this quite easily, however hijacking is a lot harder since your not as tough as Master Chief was. It is due to this fact that a majority of the game see's you hiding and picking off enemies a lot more stealthily, the game feels way more tactical than it's predecessors and for me, I think is a great change which you will either like or dislike. Consider it more of a challenge.
A new mode called Firefight is looking to become one of the popular online multiplayer modes, it's pretty much just a hoarde mode which pits you and/or 3 other people against wave after wave of covenant. You are given limited supplies of weapons and you are given 7 lives to share between you all - this to me is kind of what lets this mode down - let's picture 3 experienced gamer and one careless noob, the noob will undoubtebly keep getting killed thus wasting lives whilst when it comes to the more experienced players, who die less often, there aren't as many lives, if any, to use to keep the game going, meaning the noob will probably waste that life quicker and screw everyone over.
There is a limited supply of ammo you get given but once that is gone you must reap the dead covenant of their weapons to use against the others. You are also allowed 4 medipacks per round in case you need them. The thing that sets this mode apart from other similar game modes though is the skulls, every round a selection of skulls are activated - meaning enemies may throw more grenades, drop less ammo, have more health etc. However when the Catch skull is on, the game feels too much like a triple jump contest as the only way to minimize the amount of damage taken from grenades is jump around like a bunny on viagra.
Even on easy, firefight can and will kick you in the ass at some point, which is ideally why to survive you need 3 or 4 experienced players and a failsafe strategy...
Which brings me onto the achievements aspect, put it this way, in one day I had gotten 31 out of 47 achievements. So figures that most of them are pretty easy. However the firefight achievements which require you to get 200,000 points in various levels are worth a measly 10G and they are pretty hard to get. Whilst it is possible to get it solo on easy, it took me 3hours+ to get the crater achievement solo on easy. If you stick it out you can make it but it is advised that you get help and maybe raise the difficulty to Normal or even Heroic (I dread to think what Legendary is like). Also the lack of a matchmaking feature means that to play Firefight, you need to have pre-arranged a match with other people.
Last but not least is the multiplayer aspect, a lot of confusion was felt at first due to people thinking that the multiplayer part of the game would actually be on the ODST disc itself, it isn't, it is on a seperate disc which features every map to date. This means that unless you still wish to keep your Halo 3 disc for the Campaign mode, you can pretty much trade it in as it will be obsolete. Those who pre-ordered the game also got a code to unlock Sgt Avery Johnson in the firefight mode - although he boasts no extra qualities it is fun to hear him diss the covenant after a kill. You also get an invite to join the Halo Reach Beta when it is released.
Overall the game is great, however the price is a little too hefty for considering that the story can be completed on Normal in about 2 hours - what you have to remember that the price does cover the cost of the map packs too but if your like me and decided to shell out for the legendary and the first part of the mythic map pack, you have been severely ripped off. What I suggest to those people who wish to try it, is to rent it, bag your achievements and give it back, if you like it then buy it... but if your a Halo fan then chances are you already either have it or have your heart set on it. So you don't need me to tell you what to do.