Halo 3 is a shooter game where players primarily experience gameplay from a first-person perspective. Much of the gameplay takes place on foot, but also includes segments focused on vehicular combat. The balance of weapons and objects in the game was adjusted to better adhere to the "Golden Triangle of Halo": these are weapons, grenades, and melee attacks, which are available to a player in most situations. Players may dual-wield some weapons, forgoing the use of grenades and melee attacks in favor of the combined firepower of two weapons. Many weapons available in previous installments of the series return with minor cosmetic and power alterations. Unlike previous installments, the player's secondary weapon is visible on their player model, holstered or slung across the player's back.
Halo 3 introduces "support weapons", which are cumbersome two-handed weapons that slow the player, but offer greatly increased firepower in return. In addition to weapons, the game contains a new class of gear called equipment; these items have various effects, ranging from defensive screens to shield regeneration and flares. Only one piece of equipment can be carried at a time. The game's vehicular component has been expanded with new drivable and AI-only vehicles.
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This is the big one. I actually got into Halo and Xbox because of this game. When this game was announced I had friends that were hotly anticipating it and before it was out one of them made sure to play though the first two with me.
Eventually we got to the day before launch and I had gotten not only the special edition that came with the replica helmet but also I got the Halo 3 variant Xbox 360. I got introduced to the series months before and suddenly I'm this hardcore fan about it. Then we got to this wild game and beat it in one sitting. Such an experience going through the campaign that had been the culmination of the crazy events of the first two games and there we were having "finished the fight".
It didn't end there for me though. This and the Xbox 360 itself was also the gateway to playing online with my friends. Prior to this I had always played either in person couch co-op or online against random people in libraries or LAN spots on PC. Halo 3 was the first big at home online experience. I put so many hours into the multiplayer with friends. We would squad up and just play for hours. I eventually got all the achievements for this game even. Unfortunately, like with all multiplayer PvP games, the hype eventually died off and we moved on to another game. There's no going back to that experience but I'll always cherish that I had it.
Sure there's dumb shit like two dudes emptying a whole mag into each other and then getting close enough that they both punch each other to death. Maybe also the story didn't live up to the hype. You can even say the gameplay as a whole didn't improve much and wasn't anything real special. Nothing can bog down the good times of just enjoying things with friends. Had I been a stubbornly solo player of games my experience would be much different. I absolutely consider myself to be lucky I got what I got. I'll always remember it fondly.