Today, two recent full-featured Xbox 360 games duel for the FPS crown, and your hard earned cash. Only one will reign victorious.
Graphics: The latest entry in a six-year old trilogy faces off against a three-year old PC game. Graphically, both games are impressive. Some have complained about Halo 3’s 640 pixel vertical resolution, and how the game looks like an upscaled Halo 2. Half Life, one of the five games included in the Orange Box, suffers from the occasional pop-up, which is noticeable during the frequent vehicle driving sections of the game. Both games run at 30 fps, with an occasional drop. Winner: Halo 3
Load Times: Halo 3 presents players with a load time of over a minute when continuing a single-player adventure. Once that initial load is completed however, the game streams data through the levels, causing a 1/2 second pause in gameplay. Half Life 2 and it’s sequels- Episode 1 & 2, frequently pause for 8-10 second levels in level, causing a disruption in game immersion. Winner: Halo 3
Single Player Gameplay: Halo 3 offerers a nine hour campaign. While initially this may appear short, the time spent playing the game is a very enjoyable, refined experience. The Orange Box offers an expansive amount of single player content with the original Half-Life, Episode 1, the newly released Episode 2, and the action-puzzler, Portal. Players can expect at least 30 hours out of gameplay from this compilation. The downside is that puzzles often slow down the momentum gained after a adrenaline-pumping shootout. Winner: Orange Box
Multiplayer Gameplay: Halo 3 presents a time tested, user customizable multiplayer experience. With the Forge, Halo players can adjust options, or add vehicles in a solo or in a simultaneous group setting. The Orange Box features Team Fortress 2, an game with a multitude of player classes and strategies. While multiplayer Halo 3 matches tend to be more of a ‘twich’ affair, Team Fortress 2 requires actual planning, and the occasional element of deception to become victorious. Bonus Points for including sign posts directed the novice player to capture points, and the main battlefield. Winner: Orange Box by a hair.
Shootout Winner: The Orange Box, bloodied and bruised aims the final shot into Halo 3 war-torn body, and wins the match in a narrow victory.