What was wrong with Halo 3?

On these forums, occasionally I see people comment about how Halo 3’s campaign was poor and one of the worst in the series. with respect to story telling, the only problem I really had with Halo 3’s campaign was the fact that it was short. My brother and I beat it in on heroic in about 4 hours. Game play wise, I really disliked the mission where you’re on High charity rescuing Cortana. The gravemind bit was annoying in my opinion. There were also complaints that what happened to the forward unto dawn at the end of the game didn’t make sense. There was a thread from the early pages of the forum talking about it. If I can find it I’ll edit this post to include it.

Other than these two things I found it an enjoyable, fun and interesting campaign. However I feel I’m in the minority and would like to know what exactly people found bad about Halo 3’s campaign.

It was never really explained how High Charity made it to the Lesser Ark. I think, years later, Catalog explained that there was another portal on Mars that High Charity took.

The only issue I have is Miranda’s apparent stupidity in trying to rescue Johnson. Other than that, I got nothin’ :confused:

> It was never really explained how High Charity made it to the Lesser Ark. I think, years later, Catalog explained that there was another portal on Mars that High Charity took.

Really? Where the hell did that come from?

Quite a few uninteresting parts.

Honestly I love the ending. The tribute is one of my favorite Halo moments.

  1. Characters that were competent and interesting in Halo 2 were reduced to foolish tropes that made laughably stupid decisions with every chance. Truth went from a manipulative genius to a stereotypical madman and don’t even get me started on Miranda’s “to war” statement.

  2. High Charity appeared on Installation 00 in a way that made zero remote sense in any way shape or form. In fact, it wasn’t until 2014, seven years later that we finally got a vague explanation on what had actually happened.

  3. Despite Truth having an enormous fleet and a Keyship that were busy uncovering a portal, the Sangheili Separatists decide to only send one person to help the UNSC stop Truth from reaching the trigger for the galactic death ray instead of their entire fleet that probably could have given Truth’s ship a significant beating.

  4. It took the UNSC around three missions to discover that Truth had uncovered a portal despite it being clearly visible since ODST’s ending.

  5. The plot completely forgets about itselft when we are led to believe that there’s a non-Halo solution to the Flood by Cortana only to have us activate Installation 04b at the end of the game.

  6. The Gravemind’s competence seems to have vanished when it consistently fails to stop Chief from walking through High Charity when all he had to do was surround Chief in biomass.

  7. Despite Rtas claiming that he had destroyed Truth’s fleet during The Ark, in The Covenant, a pair of Scarabs deploy from orbit.

  8. Miranda Keyes, despite having access to plenty of weapons mounted on her Pelican, decides to crash through the window of the Citadel and attempt to kill a ton of Brutes with a shotgun and a magnum instead of using the Pelican’s chaingun and missiles.

And much, much more.

The question isn’t what was wrong with Halo 3’s story, but rather what was not wrong with Halo 3’s story.

> It was never really explained how High Charity made it to the Lesser Ark. I think, years later, Catalog explained that there was another portal on Mars that High Charity took.

So High charity came to the sol system to go to Mars then went to the lesser Ark? You’d think they’d take a trip to earth before leaving for the Ark.

It was hinted at in Human weakness and Cortana’s message on the flood ship but I always figured that the gravemind had a change of plans. But if they were right in Earth’s backyard why not go the extra 100 million miles right?

> 1. Characters that were competent and interesting in Halo 2 were reduced to foolish tropes that made laughably stupid decisions with every chance. Truth went from a manipulative genius to a stereotypical madman and don’t even get me started on Miranda’s “to war” statement.

You brought up all very excellent points but I’m going to have to give Bungie the benefit of the doubt on this one.

After the events of Halo 2 with Regret and Mercy being killed (He could have saved Mercy but nonetheless). The elites joining forces with Humanity, and the fact that every thing he knows with respect to his religion is a lie. Then there is High Charity being over run with Flood. I feel it’s at least understandable if Truth is beginning to lose his composure.

With Miranda, I always felt that because of her young age and the amount of pressure there is for her to live up to the legacy of her father she just couldn’t handle the weight of everything. Her rash and somewhat odd decision making can be attributed to her trying to out do her father so to say who was also known for risk taking. She may not have coped very well with always being in Jacob Keyes’ shadow. Ultimately, I see it as she was under qualified for her position but the UNSC needed every able bodied person they could get.

> > It was never really explained how High Charity made it to the Lesser Ark. I think, years later, Catalog explained that there was another portal on Mars that High Charity took.
>
> Really? Where the hell did that come from?

It didn’t say there was a portal on Mars, just that a slipspace anomaly was detected above the red planet. What that means is open to interpretation at this point.

Beside the Gravemind bit, there are other glaring plotholes. Why doesn’t the Gravemind destroy John or the Arbiter? Considering John is rummaging through a Flood colony, it should have been easy. And forgetting for a second the -Yoink- excuse that it was “trying to learn Cortana’s secret”, the Gravemind could have, should have, destroyed John immediately after he recovered Cortana.

Also, why didn’t the Gravemind drop off some Flood pods in the Sol system? It wouldn’t have taken very long, and only could have helped it out. High Charity is literally trailing Flood disperal pods when it emerges from slipspace. Why couldn’t it have dropped a few on Earth or Mars?

Get I Mendicant Bias, JSA343, or Andycu5 in here. I’m sure one of them has a list.

EDIT: Seems Andy does have a list XD

> 3. Despite Truth having an enormous fleet and a Keyship that were busy uncovering a portal, the Sangheili Separatists decide to only send one person to help the UNSC stop Truth from reaching the trigger for the galactic death ray instead of their entire fleet that probably could have given Truth’s ship a significant beating.

Well, there was a problem with that if I remember. Ghosts of Onyx. Remember what a curious Grunt decided to play with?

That part really made me facepalm.

The only issues I ever had were with Miranda’s dialogue “To war.” It was one of the worst replies I have ever seen in entertainment. I was also hoping to see more fighting on earth in an urban environment to make it feel as if you were truly fighting for humanity but alas.

> The only issues I ever had were with Miranda’s dialogue “To war.” It was one of the worst replies I have ever seen in entertainment. I was also hoping to see more <mark>fighting on earth in an urban environment to make it feel as if you were truly fighting for humanity</mark> but alas.

I also was kind of let down by this in Halo 2 and 3. I felt the whole invasion of Earth was lackluster at best. I’d be really happy if they made it into a novel because books are much more better at telling stories than video games. Wouldn’t have to have MC as the main protagonist but he would show up occasionally.

^
What Andy said.

Seems Halo 3 was madly rushed perhaps? Like they had so many ideas and time ran out so they through things together with plotholes and poor character dialog.

Though Johnsons death was solid.

Also for those who did IRIS we got nothing from it. IRIS pretty much said we were going to find out where the flood came from what they really are Oh wit 343 did both things. Truth says “I brought us to this hollowed place a shelter from Halo’s fire” Except your goal is to activate the rings. If you read the script that was not used Halo 3 makes so much more sense.

Halo 3 will always be known to be as the Plot Hole game. The disc is Swiss cheese.

Having amazing material such as IRIS or the Terminals… and then not including them in any part of the story whatsoever.

I always describe Halo 3 as trying to focus on drama, rather than the story and a sensible plot.

Numerous issues on top of Andy’s list too.
Truth’s entire plan doesn’t make sense. Aside from suddenly being a religious zealot rather than a greedy mastermind, his plan is to activate the Halos so that the Covenant can go on the Great Journey. The Ark is where he can activate all the rings.
Then he starts going on about leaving brothers behind, and the Ark being a shelter from Halo’s fire… which completely negates the entire part of the Great Journey requiring interaction with the rings. How did the Loyalists listen to all of this and still go along with it? What was Truth actually trying to do?

I also disliked the part where the Flood pods arrive on the last mission… where it seems like they’re being shot from the other side of the ring or something.

I must say after reading through the posts in this thread I’m going to pay much greater attention to the finer details.

Its been awhile since I’ve played halo 3’s campaign but I’m still surprised I didn’t pick up on some of these things.

My biggest problem with it, in addition to everything Andy said, was that the missions didn’t really feel important. Everything before the Covenant just felt like one big “Where the Hell am I going?” journey, then just dropping us off to stop the entire Covenant army after looking at a big map of the galaxy.

Agree with your opinion 100%! The amount of times I had completed the campaign on legendary with/without friends was just too fast! Enjoyable campaign none the less :slight_smile:

> My biggest problem with it, in addition to everything Andy said, was that the missions didn’t really feel important. Everything before the Covenant just felt like one big “Where the Hell am I going?” journey, then just dropping us off to stop the entire Covenant army after looking at a big map of the galaxy.

That’s because the plot doesn’t show up till Foodgate.

My biggest problem was with the characters. They all just changed completely to suit a moment. Miranda went from interesting, young and inexperienced commander to catch phrases dumb decisions. Truth went from sly, devious, cunning manipulator to all out religious zealot, and Johnson started the game much the same as he’d always been but then, within the space of one scene, suddenly became old and worn out. Johnson’s change would have made sense if they built up to it properly, but instead it was just sudden.

There’s also the Chief-Arbiter development… or rather, lack of development.

In the first few minutes, Chief is about to put a bullet through his skull. He’s uneasy about working with him for a while… and then suddenly the Arbiter and Chief are back to back, a perfect example of bros, Arby charging into High Charity to save his “friend”.
While it’s not illogical that they grew to trust and rely on each other by the end of the campaign, we see absolutely no development building up their relationship.

For Halo 3 to be “finishing the fight”, it didn’t feel that intense, end-of-the-world to me. Halo 2 didn’t feel like Earth was being invaded, and Halo 3 didn’t feel like Earth had been under siege for a month, with billions killed. The plot didn’t really pick up until certain moments, and wasn’t quite steady. Take Halo 4 for example, starts out slow in the beginning and the threat level begins to rise and so does the atmosphere of importance. Once you get to Composer and parts of Midnight, you really feel like millions of lives are at stake.
Halo 3’s first real moment like that was when Hood’s fleet attacked the Dreadnought, but that effect quickly vanished with Floodgate. We did some joyriding in tanks for a level, then engaged in one of the most fulfilling levels in Halo (gameplay and atmosphere wise). Then it didn’t really pick up again until the Warthog Run. The pacing just wasn’t quite what I would have preferred the “stunning conclusion to the Halo trilogy” to be.