Crispy Outlook 2009: Halo 3: ODST
Gus Mastrapa: Halo 3: ODST is a chance for Bungie to redeem itself when it comes to the single-player story. Until now its games have lived and died on their multiplayer modes -- which have been so good that they could have shipped without a solo campaign. Right now, while everybody is focused on Gears of War 2 and Left 4 Dead, is a perfect chance for Bungie to step up and surprise us with a great solo adventure. If not, we're in for a buttload of backtracking.
Russ Fischer: I'm honestly surprised that it's taken this long for us to get Halo's version of Half-Life: Blue Shift. I like the flashback storytelling gimmick a lot, as it promises to be more interesting than anything Bungie ever leveraged into the trilogy, and the open-world setup could ease that sense of being shuttled along a theme park ride's rail track that Halo has always given. That setup, plus some new gear, has me cautiously optimistic for ODST. Perversely, I'm far more interested in this than I was in the second or third games in the series -- but I'm OK being the outcast on that point.
Outlook: Multiple pathways point to "promising."