Halo 3 is going to be the biggest game of 2007. Microsoft has already boasted over a million preorders of the game, which are just the gamers that have already paid some of their cost for the third Halo. There are a large number of gamers that will pick up the game without a preorder after the game is released, so it isn't even a question that the final game sales will push Halo 3 sales into uncharted figures. But what exactly is it that makes Halo such a popular game? Is it the single player campaign that keeps gamers coming back, or do they love Halo because of the multiplayer fragfest?
Halo's single player campaign has a number of things going for it. Even despite the notorious cliffhanger ending of Halo 2, the Halo games have woven an enthralling science fiction story that has captivated gamers since the original was released. A large part of the appeal comes from Master Chief's manly mystique, the sassy and likeable Cortana, and the realistic banter of the space marines juxtaposed with the religious fervor of the various species of the Covenant. The Halo series creates another universe that feels believable, crafting a storyline that absorbs the audience, partially because the tale is so interesting and partially because you are personally involved in the story.
On the other hand, the multiplayer requires no story at all, with customized Spartans and Covenant aliens running around battling for no reason at all. There is something viscerally satisfying about outmaneuvering and outsmarting other individuals that makes it feel more satisfying than putting a bullet in an A.I. controlled Brute. After the single player campaign is finished, the multiplayer provides hours upon hours of continued enjoyment of the game without the need for exposition. Even with cheaters and the obnoxious and precocious children that live and breathe Xbox Live, online multiplayer still offers a varied experience that, when considering the millions of people on Live and the numerous game types offered by each Halo, is uniquely fun each time.
So, while Halo is an incredible package offering both single player and multiplayer, which offering, if separated from the whole package, is more appealing?
Single player - Matthew Walker
I have played many games in my lifetime and I always feel that if the story cannot hold my interest there is really no point to the game. With the growing popularity of online multiplayer, it seems to some that the single player mode's importance and appeal is declining. I say that this popular belief is untrue and the Halo series is a perfect example of this.
The truly involving storyline of the first one became the reason behind my purchase of an Xbox and then ultimately the Xbox 360. Without the feelings of honor and self-accomplishment that I felt playing through the single player of Halo: Combat Evolved, I do not think that Halo would have been in mine nor anyone else's must own games. Although you can get online and play your friends, you still need some sort of substance to back up the overall appeal of the game.