Halo 3 Beta: The GamerNode community speaks!

halo3betaThe Halo 3 beta has finally come upon us and the fortunate few (or many) that have had a chance to play it have come to some conclusions about the game and what we may expect when the full version comes out.

GamerNode has asked for feedback from our loyal forum community and some have actually taken up the challenge of writing their thoughts about the beta. (You gotta love these guys.)

To honor our members, their comments will precede the staff’s two cents on the game. So without further ado, we present to the world, Halo 3 Beta Impressions by the GamerNode Community.


by Andrew Staten, GamerNode forum member (aka BahamutBBob)

I’ve never really been a big Halo fan. I’ve never played Halo 1 multiplayer, and I’ve played Halo 2 multiplayer once in split-screen and a handful of times on Xbox Live. I didn’t find those times to be all that great. Halo 3 is different though. I actually find it fun. Sure, we only get three levels, but they’re all awesome in their own way. One flag for CTF on High Ground? Yes please! VIP on Snowbound? Also yes. Team Slayer on Valhalla? Of course!

The best part of the beta for me is going with a group of 4-8 people from GamerNode and just messing around with each other. The Matchmaking is decent, but it’s not as fun as playing with a group of buddies.

As I’ve said before, I was never a big Halo fan, but this beta has convinced me to pre-order Halo 3. The way I see it, if the beta is this good when it’s not polished yet, the final product is going to be amazing.


by rtranger, GamerNode forum member

Well, what is there to say? If the beta is as great as it is now, then holy crap to the game if it keeps up that quality to release!

The game is undeniably Halo, but they managed to somehow trim down the best concepts of Halo and Halo 2 into a cohesive package that just really feels right all around. From the moment my first game started, it was like, yes, this is Halo. Looks like Halo, plays just like Halo, what’s up? But it’s really in the finer details and the balance and behavior of the weapons that the biggest difference comes through.

Really, the combat isn’t any longer about who can hit the trigger faster and who can empty their clip first, regardless of the weapon. And with a little thought, any weapon combo can beat any other weapon combo at any time, and that’s simply fantastic. I don’t see the potential for cheap, unskilled 30-kill runs with the sword, nor do I see any more big-huge map-games boiling down to who can grab the rockets first, then get the warthog, and generally never die after that.

The gadgets seemed, at first, like a complete gimmick, but again and again, that shield, that drainer, and that mine have proven their uses at the best possible times. Each one gives new and surprising results in the most random of circumstances, and I tell you what, it’s darn satisfying taking down a warthog with that mine several minutes after you’ve placed it and had forgotten about it. Though I bet John Clabo (GamerNode’s CEO) would disagree with me on that. 

The new weapons don’t feel out of place — they feel completely organic to the gameplay that defines the Halo multiplayer experience, though it is quite clear that some will need adjustments as time goes on.
The online play has been nothing but silky smooth. It runs like butter once the game starts, even if the initial matchmaking can be a little wonky once in a while.

All-in-all, this game is off to a VERY promising start. I can’t wait for the final release, but I’ll drive this beta into the ground while I still have the chance!


by Cowfish13, GamerNode forum member

Please don’t kill me for this but there are two things that get me down. First is the all around assault rifle. In Halo 1 and 2 you had the short range weapon and the long range weapon in most games, which added that extra layer of strategy, but now the standard medium range rifle puts a big gap in the balance on defending yourself. Someone may have a battle rifle or a sniper and they will blast your shield away; and you can’t do anything about it. Maybe it’s just me who can’t tell a medium-long/long range weapon at a distance.

Next is the classic "he who shoots first wins" scenario where even melee attacks and added spike grenades cannot make a difference in a face-off. It’s pretty self explanatory –one guy gets attacked randomly, sneaky or not, and that guy usually wins with standard equipment.

Otherwise it’s all good and more! My overall thought is that it’s great in the graphics department and has improved really well in gameplay. If you look at the graphics on first impression, they look phenomenal – they are highly detailed and lighting is very realistic with HDR that simulates eye contrast adjustment. The gameplay is also better with the weapons that Bungie has added such as the Spartan Laser, which adds a layer of tactics in which weapons should be used to defend against it. Also they get it especially right with the ability to wield dual weapons such as SMG’s and/or Spikers. Now I can devastate my opponents with a dual shot and finish them off with one of my weapons while having the other one reload on backup. The support weapons are also very nice.

The maps are also improved and make high ground more strategic. The maps are simple but also complex – each one having advantages and disadvantages for battle. What really makes the difference in this game are the maps.

Overall it all works and it’s all great.


Brian Post, GamerNode Staff Writer

After much hesitation to get some much needed shut eye on Wednesday night, I had taken the opportunity to load up the beta version of Bungie’s big game (you know, considering the fact that it FINALLY became available for downloading at the time). Prior to engaging in a few Team Skirmish rounds before hitting the sack, a couldn’t help but have the immediate notion that the third entry in the Halo series is shaping up to be something special. Now that I’ve invested most of my spare time playing it (which was only possible by telling my friends I had a nasty, twenty four hour stomach virus), I can whole heartedly affirm that it truly is proving itself to be nothing short of pure, first person shooting fun.

The first thing that must be mentioned is exactly how well balanced the game is in its current state, something that’s noticeably absent from its three year old predecessor. After viewing the latest Quisnam Protero documentary that covered everything regarding the multiplayer component of the game, I quickly became concerned with all the numerous implementations (such as the utilization of equipment and the seemingly overpowered Spartan Laser) and how they would affect the overall experience. Much to my surprise, everything just felt downright, well, right. All of the equipment: the bubble shield, power drainer, tripmine, and grav lift pad, are all worthwhile additions to the series, for they compose an incalculable amount of interesting situations.

In one instance, one assailant and I were both wielding the Spartan Laser (and unlike my previous concern with the weapon, it doesn’t disrupt the balance of the game at all) on High Ground in an effort to save my own skin, I tossed a bubble shield on the ground. Staying within the range of its protective bubble, I charged up the firearm, watching the beautiful, blood red beam form at its tip while simultaneously staring down the enemy. My red armored foe was getting ready to fry me with his as well, and as I exited my zone of safety, we instantly shot at each other… and missed. Much to my amusement, the pattern continued until he eventually landed a mean melee blow to my Spartan’s helmet. Despite the fact that I got it real good in the end, I can’t deny the fact it was a classic moment that I will cherish for a very long time.

Even though I’ve only played 55 Live matches of Halo 3 thus far, I recall having a much more enjoyable experience than I’ve ever had in the 3,047 games I played of Halo 2. And what’s more is that what we’re playing isn’t even fully representative of what we’re in store for on September 25th. As I’ve told our Senior Editor, Frank Ling, it’s going to be a rough three months after the Beta closes on June 6th , knowing I won’t be sticking Spike grenades onto an enemy for an unbearably long time. Just the thought of not placing…

Excuse me, that virus is still having its way with my stomach, so I have to play, um, lying down now.


Frank Ling, Senior Editor, GamerNode.com

Everyone has already quite thoroughly explained their reactions to the graphics and gameplay, so I’ll divert myself onto a different direction – the whole experience of playing Halo 3 beta. Some people were born to be good at shooters. They have the skills, the reflexes and the killer instinct to survive any and all onslaughts of the enemy. I for one, am not in that select crowd. I don’t know why.

Maybe there was a piece of important DNA code that was missing upon birth. Perhaps it was sunspots or gamma rays. But traditionally, while I have played shooters, I cannot be considered an expert. I play for fun and admittedly, that is a hard thing to do while surrounded by highly trained killers. And it is in this realm I thought I would enter when I walked through the doors of the Halo 3 beta. But I was wrong…really wrong.

Not only did I have a fighting chance of snuffing the life out of my opponents, it seems as though we were playing on a level playing field where hair trigger reactions didn’t necessarily translate into immediate wins. You had to also think about what type of weapon you were using, shields, how to circle around using the radar, and quick changing weapons for the best situation.

Unlike Gears, where a noob has as much chance of surviving a round as an ice cube in a furnace, the Halo 3 beta was fun not only for those with high skills, but also for anyone just looking for a casual round of play.

Another thing also struck me about Halo 3 – the gamers themselves. Maybe it was the new Halo 3 beta finally coming out or perhaps the gravitational field of the aligned planets, but everyone was having a really good time and to top it off, everyone was actually friendly. You don’t see too much of that in fps where the typical reaction to curb stomping the enemy or getting a headshot on your victim allows you to gloat and taunt.

After a particularly grueling round of Red Team vs. Blue Team, the victors said, "Hey man, good match," instead of saying, "You guys suck! You bunch of [expletive deleted]"

If the beta experience is any indication of the type of people that will be playing Halo 3, you can rest assured that a lot of people who don’t normally play multiplayer will start with the advent of Halo 3.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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