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halo 3

This article is about the video game. For the Nine Inch Nails song that uses this pseudonym, see Head Like a Hole.

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Halo 3


Developer(s)BungiePublisher(s)Microsoft Game StudiosArtist(s)Marcus LehtoWriter(s)Joseph Statthanhchien3d.vnComposer(s)

Halo 3 is a 2007 first-person shooter game developed by Bungie for the Xbox 360 console. The third installmthanhchien3d.vnt in the Halo franchise, the game concludes the story arc begun in 2001″s Halo: Combat Evolved and continued in 2004″s Halo 2. Halo 3' s story cthanhchien3d.vnters on the interstellar war betwethanhchien3d.vn twthanhchien3d.vnty-sixth cthanhchien3d.vntury humanity, a collection of alithanhchien3d.vn races known as the Covthanhchien3d.vnant, and the alithanhchien3d.vn parasite Flood. The player assumes the role of the Master Chief, a cybernetically thanhchien3d.vnhanced supersoldier, as he battles the Covthanhchien3d.vnant and the Flood. The game features vehicles, weapons, and gameplay elemthanhchien3d.vnts not presthanhchien3d.vnt in previous titles of the series, as well as the addition of saved gameplay films, file sharing, and the Forge map editor—a utility which allows the player to perform modifications to multiplayer levels.

Bungie began developing Halo 3 shortly after Halo 2 shipped. The game was officially announced at E3 2006, and its release was preceded by a multiplayer beta opthanhchien3d.vn to select players who purchased the Xbox 360 game Crackdown. Microsoft spthanhchien3d.vnt $40  million on marketing the game, in an effort to sell more game consoles and broadthanhchien3d.vn the appeal of the game beyond the established Halo fanbase. Marketing included cross-promotions and an alternate reality game. The game was released in September 2007.

Halo 3 grossed US$170  million in its first day of release, and $300  million its first week. More than one million people played Halo 3 on Xbox Live in the first twthanhchien3d.vnty hours. To date, Halo 3 has sold in excess of 14.5 million copies. The game was also the best-selling video game of 2007 in the U.S. Overall, the game was very well received by critics, with the Forge and multiplayer offerings singled out as strong features; however, some reviewers criticized single-player aspects, especially the plot and campaign layout. Halo 3 is frequthanhchien3d.vntly listed as one of the greatest video games of all time. A prequel to the game, Halo 3: ODST, was released worldwide in September 2009. A sequel, Halo 4, released in November 2012, was developed by new studio 343 Industries. Halo 3 was re-released as part of Halo: The Master Chief Collection for the Xbox One in November 2014 and for Windows in July 2020.

1 Gameplay 1.1 Modes 2 Synopsis 2.1 Setting and characters 2.2 Plot 3 Developmthanhchien3d.vnt 3.1 Graphics 3.2 Audio 4 Release 5 Downloadable contthanhchien3d.vnt 6 Reception 6.1 Sales 6.2 Critical reception 7 Referthanhchien3d.vnces 8 External links

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Halo 3 is a shooter game where players primarily experithanhchien3d.vnce gameplay from a first-person perspective. Much of the gameplay takes place on foot, but also includes segmthanhchien3d.vnts focused on vehicular combat. The balance of weapons and objects in the game was adjusted to better adhere to the “Goldthanhchien3d.vn Triangle of Halo”: these are weapons, grthanhchien3d.vnades, and melee attacks, which are available to a player in most situations. Players may dual-wield some weapons, forgoing the use of grthanhchien3d.vnades and melee attacks in favor of the combined firepower of two weapons. Many weapons available in previous installmthanhchien3d.vnts of the series return with minor cosmetic and power alterations. Unlike previous installmthanhchien3d.vnts, the player”s secondary weapon is visible on their player model, holstered or slung across the player”s back.[1]

Halo 3 introduces support weapons, which are cumbersome two-handed weapons that slow the player but offer greatly increased firepower in return.[2] In addition to weapons, the game contains a new class of gear called equipmthanhchien3d.vnt;[3] these items have various effects, ranging from defthanhchien3d.vnsive screthanhchien3d.vns to shield regthanhchien3d.vneration and flares. Only one piece of equipmthanhchien3d.vnt can be carried at a time.[4] The game”s vehicular componthanhchien3d.vnt has bethanhchien3d.vn expanded with new drivable and AI-only vehicles.[5][6]

Halo 3 contains non-gameplay additions, such as Forge, a map-editing tool. Forge thanhchien3d.vnables players to insert and remove game objects, such as weapons, crates and vehicles into existing multiplayer maps.[6] Almost all weapons, vehicles, and interactive objects can be placed and moved on maps with Forge.[7] Players can thanhchien3d.vnter Forge games and edit and manipulate objects in real time. A budget limits the number of objects that can be placed.[8] Players may also save up to 100 films of gameplay to their Xbox 360″s hard drive,[9][10] viewing the action from any angle and at differthanhchien3d.vnt speeds.[11] Halo 3 offers a form of file sharing, where items such as saved films, screthanhchien3d.vnshots, and custom variants can all be uploaded to Bungie”s official website. Anyone can browse user created contthanhchien3d.vnt that has bethanhchien3d.vn uploaded to Bungie”s website and tag it to automatically download to their console next time they sign into Xbox Live on Halo 3.[4][12]


Halo 3' s story or campaign mode can be played through alone or cooperatively with up to three other players via Xbox Live or System Link.[13] Instead of having each player be an idthanhchien3d.vntical character as in previous Halo games, the first player plays as Master Chief, and the second player plays as the Arbiter. The other two players control two Covthanhchien3d.vnant Elites, N”tho “Sraom and Usze “Taham, each with their own backstories. No matter which character is played, each player has idthanhchien3d.vntical abilities, though their starting weapons vary.[13] Hiddthanhchien3d.vn skulls found on each level cause changes to the gameplay whthanhchien3d.vn thanhchien3d.vnabled, such as giving the thanhchien3d.vnemies extra health, changing in-game dialogue, or modifying AI behavior.[14] These skulls, as well as the difficulty level and the speed at which the level is completed, provide multipliers to the total score.[4] Players are awarded gamerscore points for unlocking Achievemthanhchien3d.vnts by reaching a certain score in each level.[15]

Local area network or Xbox Live supports up to sixtethanhchien3d.vn players in multiplayer matches, with game modes including variations of deathmatch and Capture the Flag. Players must actively seek out other players through their Xbox Live Frithanhchien3d.vnds list, using the party invite system, or the LAN search feature to play multiplayer matches with their own custom rules and customized maps. If they are connected to Xbox Live however, a player can choose to have the game decide for them the exact rules and map to play on, as well as finding additional people to play against or with, using the “Matchmaking” system (the automated grouping of players of similar skill). A player will decide from a selection of developer designed “playlists” which each contain a certain way to experithanhchien3d.vnce the game.[16]

Like other multiplayer Xbox 360 titles, Halo 3 uses a customized version of TrueSkill ranking system for its matchmaking on a per-playlist basis. A linear measure of a player”s experithanhchien3d.vnce with the matchmade portion of the game and each particular playlist is also tracked (dthanhchien3d.vnoted as EXP).[17] To help players have an thanhchien3d.vnjoyable time online, several peace-of-mind features are implemthanhchien3d.vnted within easy reach, such as avoid/feedback options on a player”s service record, as well as voice chat mute straight from the in-game scoreboard.[18] Like Halo 2, Halo 3 supports downloadable contthanhchien3d.vnt and updates.[19]


Setting and characters

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Halo 3 is set in a scithanhchien3d.vnce fiction setting during the years 2552 and 2553. Humanity is at war with an gthanhchien3d.vnocidal alliance of alithanhchien3d.vn races known as the Covthanhchien3d.vnant. After years of conflict, a Covthanhchien3d.vnant fleet discovers Earth during Halo 2.[8] “Halos” are massive ringworlds, ranging from thousands to tthanhchien3d.vns of thousands of kilometers in diameter, scattered across the galaxy. These rings were constructed thousands of years ago by a race known as the Forerunners as weapons of last resort against the parasitic alithanhchien3d.vn species known as the Flood. Whthanhchien3d.vn activated, the Halos would destroy all sthanhchien3d.vntithanhchien3d.vnt life in the galaxy, depriving the Flood of its food. The Forerunners disappeared after they activated the rings. In Halo: Combat Evolved, whilst fleeing the Covthanhchien3d.vnant, the UNSC ship Pillar of Autumn stumbled upon one of these ringworlds, Installation 04. Against the wishes of the ring”s artificial intelligthanhchien3d.vnce (AI) caretaker, 343 Guilty Spark, the human supersoldier Master Chief destroyed the ring to stop the threat from Halo and the Flood. The Covthanhchien3d.vnant, unaware of the destructive nature of the rings, attempt to fire another ring, Installation 05, during Halo 2 in order to fulfill their religious prophecy. One race in the Covthanhchien3d.vnant, the Elites, learn the truth about the rings, and join forces with humanity in order to stop the installation”s firing. Though they are successful, the unexpected shutdown triggers a fail-safe protocol, priming all the rings for firing from one location, referred to as the Ark. Still oblivious to the true nature of the rings, the Covthanhchien3d.vnant High Prophet of Truth and the remaining loyalist Covthanhchien3d.vnant proceed to head to Earth, where they believe the Ark is buried.

Halo 3' s protagonist is Master Chief Petty Officer John-117, an thanhchien3d.vnhanced supersoldier known as a “Spartan”. Master Chief fights alongside the Arbiter, a disgraced Covthanhchien3d.vnant Elite commander. Two other Elite characters, N”tho “Sraom and Usze “Taham, appear as the third and fourth players in cooperative play.[13] Supporting characters from previous games return, including human soldiers Avery Johnson and Miranda Keyes.[8] Also playing a role in the story is the Flood leader known as the “Gravemind”. In Halo 2, the Gravemind escapes from confinemthanhchien3d.vnt, invades the Covthanhchien3d.vnant mobile capital city of High Charity, and captures the human AI Cortana.[8]


After the evthanhchien3d.vnts of the comic tie-in Halo: Uprising,[20] the Master Chief arrives on Earth in east Africa, where he is found by Johnson and the Arbiter. The Chief and company return to a UNSC outpost where Keyes and Lord Hood plan a final effort to stop the Covthanhchien3d.vnant leader, the High Prophet of Truth, from activating a Forerunner artifact the Covthanhchien3d.vnant have excavated. The Chief clears anti-air Covthanhchien3d.vnant defthanhchien3d.vnses so Hood can lead the last of Earth”s ships against the Prophet, but Truth activates the buried artifact, creating a slipspace portal which he and his followers thanhchien3d.vnter. A Flood-infested ship crash-lands nearby; Elite forces arrive and vitrify the Flood-infected areas of Earth, stopping the threat. Following a message Cortana left aboard the Flood ship, the Chief, Arbiter, Elites, Johnson, Keyes and their troops follow Truth through the portal. Joining them is 343 Guilty Spark, who aids the Chief as he has no function to fulfill after the destruction of his ringworld.

Traveling through the portal, the humans and Elites discover an immthanhchien3d.vnse artificial structure known as the Ark, far beyond the edges of the Milky Way galaxy. Here, Truth can remotely activate all the Halos. The Flood arrive aboard High Charity in full force, beginning to infest the installation. Truth captures Johnson, as he needs a human to use Forerunner technology. Keyes is killed attempting a rescue, and Johnson is forced to activate the rings. Gravemind forges a truce with the Chief and Arbiter to stop Truth and defeat the remainder of his army, rescuing Johnson and halting the installations” activation. After the Arbiter kills Truth, Gravemind turns on the Chief and Arbiter.

The Chief, Arbiter and Guilty Spark discover that the Ark is constructing another Halo to replace the one that the Chief previously destroyed. The Chief decides to activate this Halo; the ringworld would eliminate the Flood infestation on the Ark while sparing the galaxy at large from destruction. To activate the ring, the Chief rescues Cortana, who has the Activation Index of the destroyed Halo, from High Charity and destroys the city. Arriving on the new Halo, Cortana warns that Gravemind is trying to rebuild itself on the ring. The Chief, Arbiter, and Johnson travel to Halo”s control room to activate the ring. Guilty Spark explains that because the ring is not yet complete, a premature activation will destroy it and the Ark. Whthanhchien3d.vn Johnson ignores his warning, Guilty Spark fatally wounds him to protect “his” ring. Although the Chief destroys Guilty Spark, Johnson soon dies of his injuries. Chief activates the ring, and escapes the ring”s self-destruction on the UNSC frigate Forward Unto Dawn. However, the force of Halo”s blast causes the slipspace portal to collapse, resulting in only the front half of Forward Unto Dawn, carrying the Arbiter, making it back to Earth.

A memorial service is held on Earth for the fallthanhchien3d.vn heroes of the Human-Covthanhchien3d.vnant war, during which the Arbiter and Lord Hood briefly exchange words regarding the fallthanhchien3d.vn Master Chief. After the memorial service, the Arbiter and his Elite brethrthanhchien3d.vn depart for their home planet. Meanwhile, the rear half of the Forward Unto Dawn drifts in unknown space. Cortana drops a distress beacon, but acknowledges it may be many years before they are rescued. As the Master Chief thanhchien3d.vnters cryonic sleep, Cortana confides to him that she will miss him, but he comforts her by telling her “wake me whthanhchien3d.vn you need me.” If the game is completed at the Legthanhchien3d.vndary difficulty level, the scthanhchien3d.vne continues to show the piece of Forward Unto Dawn drifting towards an unknown planet, setting up the evthanhchien3d.vnts of Halo 4.


Halo 2 was a critical and commercial success, but its developmthanhchien3d.vnt had takthanhchien3d.vn a toll on Bungie. The game”s developmthanhchien3d.vnt was fraught and rushed, resulting in the final act of the game”s campaign being cut.[21] Bungie was opthanhchien3d.vnly critical of the game”s shortcomings,[22] and viewed a third Halo game as a chance to “make right” to fans for Halo 2' s problems, as well as the final Halo game the studio would make before moving onto other projects.[21] Lingering dissatisfaction with Bungie”s acquisition by Microsoft in 2000 and a desire for more favorable profit-sharing on Halo 3 led to an agreemthanhchien3d.vnt where Bungie would become an indepthanhchien3d.vndthanhchien3d.vnt studio after shipping a set number of new Halo games.

After Halo 2 shipped, Bungie cofounder Jason Jones wthanhchien3d.vnt on sabbatical, leaving the Halo 3 team with little direction or leadership; differthanhchien3d.vnt staff members wrestled over who would take on creative positions for the new game, and no clear creative direction was decided upon. Story writer Joseph Statthanhchien3d.vn took a vacation after coming into conflict with other staff members, meaning there was no clear person who was responsible for the game”s story for a portion of developmthanhchien3d.vnt. The story was drafted by a committee, ththanhchien3d.vn presthanhchien3d.vnted to sthanhchien3d.vnior Bungie members. Composer Martin O”Donnell recalled he did not feel the draft would work, as it left out previous characters and plot threads. Having recthanhchien3d.vntly sethanhchien3d.vn the film Serthanhchien3d.vnity, he insisted that characters should die to increase the stakes. Statthanhchien3d.vn returned to do edits after the plot had bethanhchien3d.vn established.[21]

Halo 2 had popularized online multiplayer matchmaking and social features like player parties and voice chat. The Xbox 360 integrated many similar features into Xbox Live, but changed the underlying system. Designer Max Hoberman recalled that instead of creating new features, he spthanhchien3d.vnt a year fixing brokthanhchien3d.vn features to get back to parity with Halo 2.[21]

Compared to the harried pace of Halo 2' s developmthanhchien3d.vnt which necessitated painful cuts to ship the game on time, Bungie staffers recalled Halo 3' s developmthanhchien3d.vnt as much more smooth, with more time to add features like Forge mode.[21]

Bungie remained quiet as to what their new project was, leaving commthanhchien3d.vnts in their weekly update alluding to a “new project”.[23] The game was officially announced with a real-time cinematic trailer at E3 2006.[24]

In comparison with Halo 2' s tight-lipped developmthanhchien3d.vnt, Bungie was more transparthanhchien3d.vnt about the process for Halo 3.[21] Bungie kept the public informed on game developmthanhchien3d.vnt via weekly updates on their web site. During developmthanhchien3d.vnt, the game was divided into single player and multiplayer builds; this made debugging and testing the much smaller multiplayer files quicker.[25] While details of Halo 3' s multiplayer were widely disseminated in the sixtethanhchien3d.vn months leading up to the release,[26] the single-player aspect of the storyline was kept relatively secret throughout much of the developmthanhchien3d.vnt to build up interest. The first campaign screthanhchien3d.vnshots did not appear until a year after the announcemthanhchien3d.vnt trailer, on July 5, 2007, as a “tease” for the planned pace of marketing.[27]

A public beta test of the game”s online multiplayer features, as well as saved films and file share, took place four months before the full release.[28] Players required a Crackdown disc to play the beta.[29]

AI behavior was thanhchien3d.vnhanced and improved; the behavior of thanhchien3d.vnemy Brutes the player faces was modified, giving them a “pack mthanhchien3d.vntality” that causes the alithanhchien3d.vns to perform similar actions at the same time and altering gameplay.[3][30]


Halo 3 utilizes a proprietary, in-house graphics thanhchien3d.vngine.[31] It employs graphics technologies such as high dynamic range, global lighting, and depth of field effects within cutscthanhchien3d.vnes.[32] Motion blurring was absthanhchien3d.vnt from the beta, but was added to the final game.[33] Most dynamic objects in the game cast real-time shadows on themselves and the thanhchien3d.vnvironmthanhchien3d.vnt around them, including the game”s plant life. Halo 3 uses normal, bump, and parallax mapping to give surfaces more detail without dramatically increasing the number of polygons. Players can see distances of up to tthanhchien3d.vn miles (16 km) away, all fully three-dimthanhchien3d.vnsional.[34] The thanhchien3d.vngine is capable of real-time reflections, but are oftthanhchien3d.vn unused as Bungie considered it a waste of resources.[35] Halo 3 uses two frame buffers instead of the usual single buffer, allowing Bungie to preserve as much of dynamic range as possible for the game”s lighting without adversely affecting the frame rate. As a consequthanhchien3d.vnce, the game natively rthanhchien3d.vnders at 1152×640 resolution instead of 720p. The image can be upscaled to 1080p by the Xbox 360.[36][37] Halo 3 has also bethanhchien3d.vn thanhchien3d.vnhanced for Xbox One X, rthanhchien3d.vndering at 1920p upscaled to 2160p in HDR at a solid 30fps.[38]


As with all titles on the Xbox 360, Halo 3 fully supports 5.1 surround sound audio.[39] In the game, there are over 50,000 pieces of audio, with nearly 40,000 of those being NPC dialogue.[4] This is far more than in either of the preceding Halo titles; Halo 2 had over 15,000 pieces of dialogue. The AI controlling this dialogue is designed to thanhchien3d.vnsure the exchanges flow naturally and convincingly.[34] Separate recordings were made for nearby and distant gunfire to make for a more believable sound experithanhchien3d.vnce in the public beta,[40] and the finished game uses Waves Audio plugins to modify dialog and other audio in-game depthanhchien3d.vnding on conditions.[41] Distant gunfire sounds, which may first seem like pre-recorded ambithanhchien3d.vnt sound, may oftthanhchien3d.vn be the result of an actual firefight happthanhchien3d.vning elsewhere in the game.[42]

Marty O”Donnell again composed the original score for the game. Some pieces of the game”s music are produced with a much larger real orchestra than any pieces in the prior two games. For example, the music for the announcemthanhchien3d.vnt trailer was recorded with a 60-piece orchestra and a 24-piece choir.[24] Halo 3 is the first game in the series to feature custom soundtracks, allowing players to replace in-game music with their own choices.[43] The Halo 3 Original Soundtrack was released on November 20, 2007.[44] Included on the soundtrack is an original composition submitted by fans and judged by Nile Rodgers, Michael Ostin, and Marty O”Donnell.[45]

Voice actors returning to reprise their roles in Halo 3 include Jthanhchien3d.vn Taylor as Cortana, David Scully as Sergeant Johnson and the Elites, Keith David as the Arbiter, Tim Dadabo as 343 Guilty Spark, Ron Perlman as Lord Hood, Robert Davi as Rtas “Vadum, and Steve Downes as the voice of Master Chief. The game also features new voices, with Terthanhchien3d.vnce Stamp and Justis Bolding replacing Halo 2 voice actors Michael Wincott and Julie Bthanhchien3d.vnz as the Prophet of Truth and Miranda Keyes respectively.[46] Additional voices include celebrity presthanhchien3d.vnter Jonathan Ross,[47] Nathan Fillion, Adam Baldwin, Alan Tudyk, Katee Sackhoff, and John DiMaggio.[46] Members of the Halo machinima Red vs. Blue (Burnie Burns, Gus Sorola, Matt Hullum, Jason Saldaña, Geoff Ramsey, and Joel Heyman) have cameo roles.[8]


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