Halo 3 Remains A Monumental Release For First-Person Shooters

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Shooters Would Not Be The Same Without Halo 3!

Story Highlight
  • Halo 3 was released in 2007 but was ahead of its time.
  • The game redefined FPS gaming on consoles, much like its predecessors.
  • Thanks to the boom of online gaming and Xbox Live, Halo 3 is remembered as one of the greats of first-person shooters today.

Gaming has always been full of adventures, stories that stay with you forever, and experiences worth all the hours spent engaged in your favorite universes.

Nothing evokes such feelings for me more than my time with the Xbox 360. Looking back at this era, I couldn’t help but reflect upon Halo 3. This was easily the biggest game on the console in 2007, one that you just needed to buy If you were lucky enough to own an Xbox 360.

Even in the packed release schedule of 2007, Halo 3 stood out. What Bungie achieved with this entry was nothing short of remarkable, making it a monumental moment for console first-person shooters.

Why it matters: Halo 3 was the big next-gen experience from this IP in 2007, and it lived up to this promise in every way possible.

Bill Gates selling the first copy of Halo 3 at a Best Buy (2007)
byu/Swag420BlazeItUpBruh ingaming

A Headstart For The Xbox 360

In 2007, Microsoft was clearly doing better than Sony. However, it needed just one big move to guarantee its lead was maintained for several more years.

Bungie answered the call and unleashed Halo 3 in September 2007. Millions lined up outside their local GameStops for the midnight launch, happily going home with a next-generation first-person shooter experience.

Halo 3 was so good that it had over 1 million concurrent players on the opening weekend. For a game to do this in 2007, on top of being exclusive to Xbox 360, was nothing short of a miracle.

Even Bill Gates was part of this launch, making it feel like a major event in gaming history.

Halo 3
Halo 3 Was A Technical Marvel For Its Time

The Peak of FPS Gaming

Halo 3 may not be the greatest first-person shooter in the world, but I stand by the fact that it certainly stands among the best of the genre. Back in 2007, it practically changed first-person shooters and online gaming, even though IPs like Call of Duty were making major strides themselves.

So, what did Halo 3 do that left such an impression on me? For starters, the game didn’t feature sprint, and the TTK was extremely slow, unlike Call of Duty. This meant that there was a major element of skill in each encounter.

Why was Halo 3 so good?
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Positioning, aiming, and weapon choice mattered much more than most FPS games. Gunfights often came down to the wire; one headshot typically became the difference between life and death.

Memorizing the spawns of power weapons gave multiplayer another element of skill, adding to the satisfaction of leveling up after each match. However, Halo 3’s genius lies in how well it balances casual and competitive play.

Halo 3
Halo 3 Was Just The Game Xbox 360 Needed In 2007

The community was at the heart of Halo 3, making the game a social experience, one that is often lacking in modern multiplayer games. You could always count on a relaxing session of Griffball with your friends, whether online or at a lan-party.

Let’s also not forget how feature-packed this game was from the beginning. A co-op campaign, Forge, file share, and so much more. Bungie’s work from 2007 practically puts most modern AAA titles to shame, including its own releases like Destiny and Destiny 2.

Halo Infinite
Halo Has Never Been The Same After Bungie Left

The Downfall of Halo

This is, yet again, my opinion, but I believe the franchise went downhill after Halo 3. It added sprint and different features that weren’t the best fit for a Halo game. For me, the third game in the series was its peak, and nothing came close.

When Halo Infinite was released in 2022, I was excited and decided to give it a go. However, I was disappointed, and it seems like the poor leadership of 343 industries was the main reason behind this lackluster entry.

With that said, I do believe it blended classic and modern Halo surprisingly well. 

Ironically, after Halo 3, not only did the series lose its touch, but Xbox as a brand began to falter. After the Xbox 360, the gaming giant’s sales have been embarrassing.

Meanwhile, the franchise itself faces an identity crisis under 343 Industries. Amid the chaos, I find myself returning to the comforting embrace of Halo 3, losing myself in the nostalgia of a different time and era.

The game sold 14.5 million units, and it makes me happy to see that millions still remember it fondly to this day.

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