The Story So Far…
In the year 2552, humanity is at war with the Covenant, who sees humanity as heresy against their religion. The Covenant discovers details of a “Great Journey,” and set out to fulfill their destiny. The key are the Halos, which are scattered throughout the galaxy. Built by the Forerunners, these ring like weapons are terraformed on the inside, and now the Covenant is exploring them.
Led by Spartan 117, a select group of soldiers are able to land on one of the Halo installations and destroy it before the Covenant can begin to activate the rings. A second Halo is found, and the battle waged once more. This time an Elite Spec Ops soldier was tasked to be the Covenant’s righteous sword, but in the process learned the truth about the Halos’ purpose. This truth led to a civil war within the Covenant that led the Elites to join forces with humans to prevent the “Great Journey.”
The Halos were created by the Forerunners not to ascend to a higher plane of existence, but instead as a weapon to defend against the terrible Flood. The second Halo now sits on standby, ready to be activated at The Ark. Wherever that may be. The Covenant has discovered the location of Earth, and are now preparing to mount an attack intent on eradicating our species. With the Arbiter and Elites helping out, humanity has a small glimmer of hope. But now the one man who could be the key to humanity’s survival has hitched a ride home on a Forerunner vessel. Spartan 117 is getting ready to finish this fight.
Halo 3 Campaign
For obvious reasons we don’t know too much about the story of Halo 3, but we do have some bits of information. If you’re interested in playing the game with absolutely no information on what is coming, be warned that there are very minor spoilers in this section. Only info Bungie has announced is included below, but for the purists that is your only warning to stay away from spoilers.
Tsavo Highway – The third level in Halo 3 has been shown off by Bungie for awhile now, but the cinematics are removed. It takes place near the Kenyan coast, near New Mombasa where you fought in Halo 2. The goal is to traverse the Tsavo Highway, which wouldn’t be difficult if those Brutes and Grunts would just let you pass. Getting in a Warthog and trying mow through doesn’t work, because Brute Choppers will stop you quickly. For full details on the Tsavo Highway level you can check out 1Up’s walkthrough here.
4-Player Co-Op – You will be able to play with up to 3 of your buddies as you go through the main story Campaign. To keep the story going, and not do that weird multiple Master Chief thing from Halo 2, Bungie has created two new characters. You can play co-op on System Link, Xbox Live, or split screen. The split screen play is only for two players, but they can go online to get two more players to join them.
Bungie had to do extensive testing and tweaking to get this to work. Because of the vast amount of space in the single player maps it would be easy for one or two characters to get left far behind. When the lead player hits the next advancement checkpoint, the other players will jump forward. Bungie does promise that those in the lead will not be pulled back if a partner is falling behind.
Meta Game – This is an optional feature you can turn on to put some more competition into campaign co-op. You will get points for kills, style, and other techniques. At the end of a level you’ll get to compare how you did with your buddies. At the end of the game you’ll know just who pulled their weight. All of these scores will also appear on the Bnet site for you to look through.
Skulls – Skulls return from Halo 2. They are hidden throughout the levels and offer players a unique advantage or disadvantage, depending on the skull. These are now a bigger part of the overall Halo 3 experience than in the last game. Getting through the game on Legendary with all the skulls turned on will be the ultimate goal of Halo freaks.