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Why was Bungie lazy with H3:ODST?

OP Geth Pathfinder

Now before people jump on me for not loving ODST, let me explain. I really like some parts of H3: ODST and thought that the quiet lonely streets were cool and semi open-world.

My problems:
1. Why is this game called Halo 3 ODST when it takes place during Halo 2? Why not just call it Halo ODST?
2. Why no Elites? The Great Schism didn’t start till the end of Halo 2 and ODST takes place at the beginning of Halo 2.
3. Why copy the same gameplay of Halo 3? The laziness of gameplay could be justified for a cheap DLC add-on for Halo 3 but not for a $60 game.
4. Why can ODSTs pick up turrets, hijack Wraiths, and fall 30 feet? Not just gameplay but in the first mission Rookie falls from a building. The H3 description of weapons says that “A Spartan, however, is strong enough to tear off these weapons and use them almost like rifles”. This implies typical humans can’t. Why can’t ODST duel wield or use equipment? Using a Bubbleshield sounds easier than punching a Wraith to death.
5. The campaign is far too short. Again, this doesn’t justify $60. I litterly just completed the campaign in less than two days. No competitive ODST multiplayer. Why not?
6. Why do I feel tougher as an ODST than Master Chief? Stamina is a rip off of shields with no lore explanation. Stamina should have been replaced with armor integrity or some other excuse. Maybe have armor repair kits and medkits, essentially two health bars.
7. ODSTs should feel drastically weaker than Spartans, slower, less powerful melee attacks, barely any jump heights, and less accuracy. None of these are true of H3: ODST except for, maybe a slightly lower jump height.
8. Finally, no different gameplay mechanics. They should have distinguished it from other Halos. Maybe a slower walking speed and sprint. An ADS similar to Halo 5. It would actually make sense for an ODST to have ADS since their armor doesn’t lock guns in place. Sprint would work too since ODSTs can’t move as fast while aiming.

Pros: I enjoyed VISR and exploring the city. Almost reminded me of RPG games like Deus Ex: Invisible War and Human Revolution. Silenced SMG and Magnum were fun to use. Playing as an ODST was a good change of pace from playing as MC. ODST allowed players to explore Earth after H2’s story.
  1. Good point. Reach didn't have a number associated with so I see what you mean
  2. Halo 2's timeline is actually super short. The battle of Delta Halo only spans a couple days, if that. So the schism did start pretty much right then and there and continued only a few hours later on Delta Halo (I might be wrong about this what with slip space travel times).
  3. It didn't feel like a copy to me. I actually felt quite vulnerable without shields. And the enemies looked much larger, which makes sense for playing as an un-augmented soldier. And as you shoot, recoil affects you a lot more than when playing as a Spartan
  4. This was likely a game play decision, but I see what you mean
  5. Agree with you on this one. This game was far too short, but you can make it longer if you really explore the Mombasa streets. I actually got this as a $5 DLC when I bought my Xbox One with MCC so for me it was a DLC of sorts
  6. I think stamina was the best way to get rid of shields without making you totally useless on the battlefield. Call of Duty felt too easy when you could just heal magically from a bullet wound as opposed to having to find med packs
  7. ODSTs are highly trained special operations soldiers with years or even decades of experience, so their accuracy should be pretty close to a Spartan, who has had decades of experience as well. Plus, the VISR and heads up displays would help out quite a lot for even the most novice of shooters.
  8. If the game was TOO different form the mainline games, I'd be worried that it would lose interest among certain fans, but I get what you mean. It's also just asking a lot of a developer to make a game vastly different from the game it is meant to be paired with (Halo 3)
You bring up some good thoughts OP! Always fun to see some different opinions on Halo, especially when discussing a universally loved aspect of it.
  1. Good point. Reach didn't have a number associated with so I see what you mean
  2. Halo 2's timeline is actually super short. The battle of Delta Halo only spans a couple days, if that. So the schism did start pretty much right then and there and continued only a few hours later on Delta Halo (I might be wrong about this what with slip space travel times).
  3. It didn't feel like a copy to me. I actually felt quite vulnerable without shields. And the enemies looked much larger, which makes sense for playing as an un-augmented soldier. And as you shoot, recoil affects you a lot more than when playing as a Spartan
  4. This was likely a game play decision, but I see what you mean
  5. Agree with you on this one. This game was far too short, but you can make it longer if you really explore the Mombasa streets. I actually got this as a $5 DLC when I bought my Xbox One with MCC so for me it was a DLC of sorts
  6. I think stamina was the best way to get rid of shields without making you totally useless on the battlefield. Call of Duty felt too easy when you could just heal magically from a bullet wound as opposed to having to find med packs
  7. ODSTs are highly trained special operations soldiers with years or even decades of experience, so their accuracy should be pretty close to a Spartan, who has had decades of experience as well. Plus, the VISR and heads up displays would help out quite a lot for even the most novice of shooters.
  8. If the game was TOO different form the mainline games, I'd be worried that it would lose interest among certain fans, but I get what you mean. It's also just asking a lot of a developer to make a game vastly different from the game it is meant to be paired with (Halo 3)
You bring up some good thoughts OP! Always fun to see some different opinions on Halo, especially when discussing a universally loved aspect of it.
5. I actually got ODST as $5 DLC as well but purchased it previously on the 360. It’s more about the idea of it being a $60 launch game than a personal complaint. I wouldn’t mention it if it was originally released as cheap DLC. I’m right there with you, my favorite part of the game is exploring Mombasa streets. I have even loaded up Mombasa streets just to explore the city and ignore the flashbacks.
6. I think they needed to rethink stamina. I felt like stamina made ODST feel like COD health. How can ODSTs magically recharge health.
8. I get what your saying about changing it too much. Maybe no sprint but I think that a hybrid ADS/Smartlink would allow it to feel a little different without changing Halo too much.

My primary problem is that a lone ODST can take on 5 Brutes at once. It should not be as easy to charge into enemy troops. Melee attack’s should not work well on Brutes. That is like a Navy Seal punching a bear.
ODST started out as an additional DLC for Halo 3 (initially titled as "Recon"), but eventually grew into something larger than that. As Bungie needed another 2 games to fulfil their contract with Microsoft, this fit the criteria during a time where they had resources available (this was around the time the initial development of the Halo film broke down). The reasoning for Halo 3 being in the title is partially due to the game being based on the Halo 3 engine.

There's a lot more info out there on the like of Halopedia or in the ODST ViDocs is you look up YouTube that would likely answer your questions in more depth
stckrboy wrote:
ODST started out as an additional DLC for Halo 3 (initially titled as "Recon"), but eventually grew into something larger than that. As Bungie needed another 2 games to fulfil their contract with Microsoft, this fit the criteria during a time where they had resources available (this was around the time the initial development of the Halo film broke down). The reasoning for Halo 3 being in the title is partially due to the game being based on the Halo 3 engine.

There's a lot more info out there on the like of Halopedia or in the ODST ViDocs is you look up YouTube that would likely answer your questions in more depth
I think that the “3” should have been dropped for simplicity. It might seem confusing for someone unfamiliar with Halo to know the difference between Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST. Halo ODST would have sounded more streamlined. When I first bought H3: ODST, my dad thought that it was the same thing as H3, lol.

All my my complaints of H3: ODST come down to wishing the game was more independent. I found the reskin of shields into stamina to lessen the intensity of playing as a normal human. Apparently ODSTs can do everything Spartans can do. Why do Spartans even bother with shields, when stamina can do just as well? Instead of making me feel vulnerable it made me feel like Master Chief is just an ODST with a motion tracker and no VISR.
Now before people jump on me for not loving ODST, let me explain. I really like some parts of H3: ODST and thought that the quiet lonely streets were cool and semi open-world.

My problems:
1. Why is this game called Halo 3 ODST when it takes place during Halo 2? Why not just call it Halo ODST?
2. Why no Elites? The Great Schism didn’t start till the end of Halo 2 and ODST takes place at the beginning of Halo 2.
3. Why copy the same gameplay of Halo 3? The laziness of gameplay could be justified for a cheap DLC add-on for Halo 3 but not for a $60 game.
4. Why can ODSTs pick up turrets, hijack Wraiths, and fall 30 feet? Not just gameplay but in the first mission Rookie falls from a building. The H3 description of weapons says that “A Spartan, however, is strong enough to tear off these weapons and use them almost like rifles”. This implies typical humans can’t. Why can’t ODST duel wield or use equipment? Using a Bubbleshield sounds easier than punching a Wraith to death.
5. The campaign is far too short. Again, this doesn’t justify $60. I litterly just completed the campaign in less than two days. No competitive ODST multiplayer. Why not?
6. Why do I feel tougher as an ODST than Master Chief? Stamina is a rip off of shields with no lore explanation. Stamina should have been replaced with armor integrity or some other excuse. Maybe have armor repair kits and medkits, essentially two health bars.
7. ODSTs should feel drastically weaker than Spartans, slower, less powerful melee attacks, barely any jump heights, and less accuracy. None of these are true of H3: ODST except for, maybe a slightly lower jump height.
8. Finally, no different gameplay mechanics. They should have distinguished it from other Halos. Maybe a slower walking speed and sprint. An ADS similar to Halo 5. It would actually make sense for an ODST to have ADS since their armor doesn’t lock guns in place. Sprint would work too since ODSTs can’t move as fast while aiming.

Pros: I enjoyed VISR and exploring the city. Almost reminded me of RPG games like Deus Ex: Invisible War and Human Revolution. Silenced SMG and Magnum were fun to use. Playing as an ODST was a good change of pace from playing as MC. ODST allowed players to explore Earth after H2’s story.
1. ODST was set to be an 'expansion' for Halo 3, basically story DLC like in the way Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion got The Shivering Isles etc. It was Microsoft's choice to sell it as a full price standalone title.
2. I can't remember the lore reason but outside of lore, you can argue that it was to not confuse casual Halo 3 players. If you'd just played Halo 3 as your first Halo game, the Elites were your allies, so to remove them from the game helps make it easy to get into for newcomers.
3. Same as 1, it's an expansion and uses the Halo 3 Engine so the gameplay and feel of the game should be similar to Halo 3. There were some updates like Brute Power Armour now displaying when they were taking damage unlike Halo 3.
4. ODST's can do all this so as to not regress gameplay mechanics from Halo 3. I don't have a lore explanation though for dual wielding, the armed forces doesn't do it in real life and they don't in the Halo Universe either.
5. Same as 1.
6. Similar to 3. As for the suggestion about Armour pickups, Health and Armour pickups were considered dated by this point, with almost all major titles picking up Halo's regenerating health system. There are exceptions like Half-Life 2 but the Stamina system is as close to the regenerating system the series popularised as they could get.
7. Same as 3.
8. It would take longer to build the game. ODST uses Halo 3 as a base, most weapons and vehicles are balanced based on the Master Chief's core mechanics and these are also balanced with AI behaviour. Changing too much such as increasing player move speed through sprint could break certain elements. Think of this as a potential example, if you could sprint in an enclosed area, the extra movespeed may allow you to get extra shots/melee in on an enemy who are only just reacting to your presence once you enter their line of sight. The same could be said of slowing down the ODST, the AI may become a little too powerful etc. There's alot of variables that can cause issues here.

Basically ODST was supposed to be a budget expansion for Halo 3 - cheaper to make, good value, additional lore whilst keeping much of the gameplay elements that made Halo 3 great in-tact and for the most part it worked out great. The issue comes with when it was sold as a full price experience by Microsoft, which arguably it wasn't so they added all the Halo 3 multiplayer maps to try and compensate for this.

I still enjoyed the game but I do understand the critics.
stckrboy wrote:
ODST started out as an additional DLC for Halo 3 (initially titled as "Recon"), but eventually grew into something larger than that. As Bungie needed another 2 games to fulfil their contract with Microsoft, this fit the criteria during a time where they had resources available (this was around the time the initial development of the Halo film broke down). The reasoning for Halo 3 being in the title is partially due to the game being based on the Halo 3 engine.

There's a lot more info out there on the like of Halopedia or in the ODST ViDocs is you look up YouTube that would likely answer your questions in more depth
I think that the “3” should have been dropped for simplicity. It might seem confusing for someone unfamiliar with Halo to know the difference between Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST. Halo ODST would have sounded more streamlined. When I first bought H3: ODST, my dad thought that it was the same thing as H3, lol.

All my my complaints of H3: ODST come down to wishing the game was more independent. I found the reskin of shields into stamina to lessen the intensity of playing as a normal human. Apparently ODSTs can do everything Spartans can do. Why do Spartans even bother with shields, when stamina can do just as well? Instead of making me feel vulnerable it made me feel like Master Chief is just an ODST with a motion tracker and no VISR.
But it uses the Halo 3 engine. It wouldn't make sense if the game was called Halo 2: ODST but used the Halo 3 engine. Furthermore I think naming it Halo ODST may have put some people off buying it as they have thought it was a spin off, like Halo Wars of something.

Regardless, I do understand some of your points but I think the main reason is that, as stated above, Bungie needed to ship another game in addition to Reach in order to officially become independent and this was the quickest way. Reuse an existing engine rather than build a new one and therefore cut production time and costs.
Yazite wrote:
stckrboy wrote:
But it uses the Halo 3 engine. It wouldn't make sense if the game was called Halo 2: ODST but used the Halo 3 engine. Furthermore I think naming it Halo ODST may have put some people off buying it as they have thought it was a spin off, like Halo Wars of something.
I never said it should be called Halo 2: ODST, only that “3” shouldn’t be in the name. Halo 2: ODST would have been just as confusing(if not more) but at least the story would be consistent. H3:ODST is a spin off. How is calling a game Halo ODST worse than calling a game Halo Reach? I think that a true independent Halo ODST game could have been done really well if given a large budget and resources. I get what some people are saying about Bungie reusing the H3 engine for a cheaper game, however, it should have been reflected in the original price.
Yazite wrote:
stckrboy wrote:
But it uses the Halo 3 engine. It wouldn't make sense if the game was called Halo 2: ODST but used the Halo 3 engine. Furthermore I think naming it Halo ODST may have put some people off buying it as they have thought it was a spin off, like Halo Wars of something.
I never said it should be called Halo 2: ODST, only that “3” shouldn’t be in the name. Halo 2: ODST would have been just as confusing(if not more) but at least the story would be consistent. H3:ODST is a spin off. How is calling a game Halo ODST worse than calling a game Halo Reach? I think that a true independent Halo ODST game could have been done really well if given a large budget and resources. I get what some people are saying about Bungie reusing the H3 engine for a cheaper game, however, it should have been reflected in the original price.
Yes, unfortunately that’s a Microsoft issue and not a Bungie issue as Microsoft publish and set the RRP for the game, not Bungie itself.

A full fledged ODST would be nice, I envisioned a unique squad based shooter but obviously that’s not Halo.

Another possible reason for Halo 3: ODST having the ‘3’ in the name other than the game engine and origins as an expansion, is that the game was to be called Halo 3: Recon - the only way to get Recon without Bungie awarding it to you.

Still, calling it simply Halo: ODST wouldn’t have made sense given the price and how it wasn’t a major overhaul like Halo: Reach was.
Now before people jump on me for not loving ODST, let me explain. I really like some parts of H3: ODST and thought that the quiet lonely streets were cool and semi open-world.

My problems:
1. Why is this game called Halo 3 ODST when it takes place during Halo 2? Why not just call it Halo ODST?
2. Why no Elites? The Great Schism didn’t start till the end of Halo 2 and ODST takes place at the beginning of Halo 2.
3. Why copy the same gameplay of Halo 3? The laziness of gameplay could be justified for a cheap DLC add-on for Halo 3 but not for a $60 game.
4. Why can ODSTs pick up turrets, hijack Wraiths, and fall 30 feet? Not just gameplay but in the first mission Rookie falls from a building. The H3 description of weapons says that “A Spartan, however, is strong enough to tear off these weapons and use them almost like rifles”. This implies typical humans can’t. Why can’t ODST duel wield or use equipment? Using a Bubbleshield sounds easier than punching a Wraith to death.
5. The campaign is far too short. Again, this doesn’t justify $60. I litterly just completed the campaign in less than two days. No competitive ODST multiplayer. Why not?
6. Why do I feel tougher as an ODST than Master Chief? Stamina is a rip off of shields with no lore explanation. Stamina should have been replaced with armor integrity or some other excuse. Maybe have armor repair kits and medkits, essentially two health bars.
7. ODSTs should feel drastically weaker than Spartans, slower, less powerful melee attacks, barely any jump heights, and less accuracy. None of these are true of H3: ODST except for, maybe a slightly lower jump height.
8. Finally, no different gameplay mechanics. They should have distinguished it from other Halos. Maybe a slower walking speed and sprint. An ADS similar to Halo 5. It would actually make sense for an ODST to have ADS since their armor doesn’t lock guns in place. Sprint would work too since ODSTs can’t move as fast while aiming.

Pros: I enjoyed VISR and exploring the city. Almost reminded me of RPG games like Deus Ex: Invisible War and Human Revolution. Silenced SMG and Magnum were fun to use. Playing as an ODST was a good change of pace from playing as MC. ODST allowed players to explore Earth after H2’s story.
. Because it was not only intended to be DLC for Halo 3, but also to be transparent about the fact that it wasn't a completely new game
. Elites weren't programmed to be hostile towards the player in Halo 3, so changing that with a deadline of a mere year probably wouldn't be easy
. See point #1
. See point #2
. See point #2 again
. I suppose that's a good point
. See point #6
. See point #2 again, but it may have worked
The outstanding issue in this game is that stamina makes ODSTs at least as tough as Spartans. I’ve seen other forums where people are praising ODST for being difficult and playing as a weaker character, lol. H3: ODST is the easiest Halo on Legendary. I feel tougher as an ODST than Master Chief in Halo 3(same engine).
The outstanding issue in this game is that stamina makes ODSTs at least as tough as Spartans. I’ve seen other forums where people are praising ODST for being difficult and playing as a weaker character, lol. H3: ODST is the easiest Halo on Legendary. I feel tougher as an ODST than Master Chief in Halo 3(same engine).
I beat Halo 3: ODST, solo, on Legendary in two sittings.
The outstanding issue in this game is that stamina makes ODSTs at least as tough as Spartans. I’ve seen other forums where people are praising ODST for being difficult and playing as a weaker character, lol. H3: ODST is the easiest Halo on Legendary. I feel tougher as an ODST than Master Chief in Halo 3(same engine).
I 100% agree. H3 ODST is way too easy. It would have been nice if they somehow made the game harder without simply adding health packs and making the enemies tougher. The latter of which isn't even the case.
Now before people jump on me for not loving ODST, let me explain. I really like some parts of H3: ODST and thought that the quiet lonely streets were cool and semi open-world.

My problems:
1. Why is this game called Halo 3 ODST when it takes place during Halo 2? Why not just call it Halo ODST?
2. Why no Elites? The Great Schism didn’t start till the end of Halo 2 and ODST takes place at the beginning of Halo 2.
3. Why copy the same gameplay of Halo 3? The laziness of gameplay could be justified for a cheap DLC add-on for Halo 3 but not for a $60 game.
4. Why can ODSTs pick up turrets, hijack Wraiths, and fall 30 feet? Not just gameplay but in the first mission Rookie falls from a building. The H3 description of weapons says that “A Spartan, however, is strong enough to tear off these weapons and use them almost like rifles”. This implies typical humans can’t. Why can’t ODST duel wield or use equipment? Using a Bubbleshield sounds easier than punching a Wraith to death.
5. The campaign is far too short. Again, this doesn’t justify $60. I litterly just completed the campaign in less than two days. No competitive ODST multiplayer. Why not?
6. Why do I feel tougher as an ODST than Master Chief? Stamina is a rip off of shields with no lore explanation. Stamina should have been replaced with armor integrity or some other excuse. Maybe have armor repair kits and medkits, essentially two health bars.
7. ODSTs should feel drastically weaker than Spartans, slower, less powerful melee attacks, barely any jump heights, and less accuracy. None of these are true of H3: ODST except for, maybe a slightly lower jump height.
8. Finally, no different gameplay mechanics. They should have distinguished it from other Halos. Maybe a slower walking speed and sprint. An ADS similar to Halo 5. It would actually make sense for an ODST to have ADS since their armor doesn’t lock guns in place. Sprint would work too since ODSTs can’t move as fast while aiming.

Pros: I enjoyed VISR and exploring the city. Almost reminded me of RPG games like Deus Ex: Invisible War and Human Revolution. Silenced SMG and Magnum were fun to use. Playing as an ODST was a good change of pace from playing as MC. ODST allowed players to explore Earth after H2’s story.
In the Bungie Documentary: O Brave New World at 40:28, CJ Cowan states that two more Halo games were promised to Microsoft before Bungie would leave and gain its independence. He said, "What can we do in one year with the engine we already built (Halo 3)? Not a whole lot of engineers, just a handful of artists. What can we do in a year to get a game out the door?"Most of Bungie's focus was on Halo Reach at the time so given the limited resources and manpower they had at the time, Halo 3: ODST turned out to be pretty great given the circumstances. I understand the various things you dislike but keep in mind the restrictions they had.
  1. It was called Halo 3: ODST because it was built with the same engine that Halo 3 was built on so the gameplay and graphics were basically the same. Not to mention it came with a second disk with all the Halo 3 multiplayer maps, DLC included.
  2. ODST takes place in the middle of Halo 2 which was when the Brutes were in the process of pushing out the Elites. It makes sense to see Brutes because any/all remaining Elites were either fighting for their lives and desperately trying to maintain their status in the Covenant.
  3. The gameplay was copied because it was built on the same engine that Halo 3 was built on. I know I've repeated myself a few times but if you go and watch the documentary, starting from 40:28, it'll make more sense. Keep in mind that the campaign and Firefight might now have been worth $60 but you were getting all the Halo 3 multiplayer maps including the four DLC Map Packs that you had to pay for at the time. It was a great deal.
  4. I really don't know how to answer this. It's the same type of question that can't really be answered like how you a player (ODST or Spartan) can flip a 10 ton tank but can't knock ammo crates out of the way.
  5. Watch the documentary.
  6. Watch the documentary.
  7. Watch the documentary.
  8. Watch the documentary.
Sorry for repeating myself. It really would be easier just to watch and it'll make more sense.
I still love the game. Halo campaigns are worth the price. And I LOVE firefight.
I’ll admit that the game felt limited at launch, especially for the retail $60 price tag. But the compelling story and excellent multiplayer map additions made to Halo 3 justified my purchase. I do still wish the campaign was a bit longer though.