Halo 3: ODST
Developer(s) Bungie
Publisher(s) Microsoft Game Studios
Release Date(s) September 30, 2009[1]
Genre(s) First-person shooter[2]
Mode(s) Single player, co-op, online co-op, multiplayer, online multiplayer
Platform(s) Xbox 360[2]

Halo 3: ODST (formerly named Halo 3: Recon)[3] is a standalone expansion for Halo 3, based in the fictional Halo universe.[4] In the game, players take on the role of a UNSC Orbital Drop Shock Trooper (ODST) during the events leading up to Halo 3.[2]


Although the gameplay of Halo 3: ODST bears a strong resemblance to previous Halo games,[5] the player does not assume the role of the Master Chief as in the Halo trilogy. Instead, the player controls a lone UNSC soldier in the city of New Mombasa, Kenya.[6] Since the soldier, known as an ODST or Orbital Drop Shock Trooper, does not possess Master Chief's advanced armor, reflexes and strength, he is more vulnerable to gunfire; players are forced to act more cautiously. While the game is not focused on stealth gameplay, some elements of stealth will be incorporated. It will also include an open world environment.[7]


The main objective of ODST is to lead the soldier through the ruins of New Mombasa and discover what happened to his missing teammates. After finding a piece of evidence left behind—a sniper rifle hanging on a lamppost, for example—a flashback is triggered and the player assumes the role of the missing soldier.[6] After players find the first beacon, the choice of where to go next is up to the player.[8]


ODST's multiplayer offering is similar to Halo 3's, and will ship with a total of 24 maps. This consists of the original eleven Halo 3 maps (Construct, Epitaph, Guardian, High Ground, Isolation, Last Resort, Narrows, Sandtrap, Snowbound, The Pit, Valhalla), the Heroic map pack (Foundry, Rat's Nest, Standoff), the Legendary map pack (Avalanche, Blackout, Ghost Town), the "Cold Storage" map, the first part of the Mythic map pack (Assembly, Orbital, Sandbox), and the second part of the Mythic Map Pack.(Citadel, Heretic, Longshore).[9]



The game is set during the events of Halo 2 in the fictional city of New Mombasa.


The game's protagonist, referred to as "the Rookie", is an unnamed member of the UNSC Marines' Orbital Drop Shock Troopers (ODSTs) or "Helljumpers". ODSTs often deploy in small, one-man Human Entry Vehicles (HEVs), launched from spaceships in the upper atmosphere.[10] During the game, The Rookie is separated from his four teammates (Romeo, Dutch, Buck, and Mickey) and must find out what happens to them with the guidance of a city maintenance AI known as the Superintendent.[11][12]


Pre-production and trailer

ODST began development in March 2008.[13] Bungie community director Brian Jarrard stated in an interview that the game "was a labor of love to [Bungie's] fans" who wanted more Halo-related content. Bungie veterans wanted to flesh out story elements, and fans wanted more action on Earth. "At the end of Halo 2, fans wanted to know what happened back on Earth, how humanity was defending it," Jarrard explained.[14] Because Bungie did not want to do "more of the same," the main character was made an ODST. "The ODSTs have always been fan favorites and the events that unfolded on Earth is something fans still clamor for after being 'short changed' in Halo 2," Jarrard said,[15] in reference to complaints that Halo 2 left the Earth setting early in the game.[16]

In an interview on MTV on July 16, 2008, Microsoft’s head of Xbox business, Don Mattrick, stated that Bungie was working on a new Halo game for Microsoft, independent of the franchise spinoffs Halo Wars and Halo Chronicles.[4] An announcement of the new Halo project was expected at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2008 game exposition, with Bungie unveiling a countdown on their web site, but the announcement was shelved by Microsoft.[17] Microsoft stated that it wanted the game to have its own event. On September 25, 2008, a year after the release of Halo 3, Bungie debuted a teaser for the new project on their web site.[18] A full trailer was released during the Tokyo Game Show on October 9, 2008, officially unveiling the game's name as Halo 3: Recon and a release date of Autumn 2009. In an unusual approach for Bungie, the trailer was comprised of pre-rendered graphics, instead of being created using the game engine or existing assets; story director Joseph Staten explained that it was too early in the game's development to spend a large amount of time on the trailer, and it would not have allowed Bungie to add touches for fans to discuss.[13]

In post-trailer interviews, Bungie staff members told gaming press that ODST was the last installment in the Halo trilogy.[19] Though Bungie does not consider the ODST a full game[20] (community manager Luke Smith compared it to The Frozen Throne, an expansion to Warcraft III), the game will ship with all Halo 3 maps (including ones released in map packs) as well as new maps,[21][22] and will not require Halo 3 to play.[23] Smith made sure to point out the game would not be a crossover into the stealth and squad-based genres, noting "This isn't Brothers in Arms: Halo or Splinter Cell: Halo."[14] On November 25, Jarrard announced the game had been retitled to Halo 3: ODST as a "more straightforward" description of the game.[3] By December 2008, the game was "representational", meaning that players could experience the game from start to finish, albeit in an unfinished state. The entire Bungie staff was pulled from other duties to play through the game and offer feedback. Among the unfinished elements was the lack of finished dialogue delivered by voice actors; story writer Joseph Staten filled in placeholder audio.[24]


Bungie's audio director Martin O'Donnell will contribute music for ODST, as he has done for the previous Halo games. Due to ODST's shift to a new protagonist, O'Donnell wanted to create new music that was evocative of Halo but branched in a different direction.[13]


  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Staff (2008-10-09). "TGS 2008: Halo 3: Recon Facts". IGN. Retrieved on 2008-10-09.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Halo 3 : ODST". Retrieved on 2008-11-25.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Totilo, Stephen (2008-07-16). "Microsoft: Bungie Is Developing A Halo Game". MTV. Retrieved on 2008-07-23.
  5. "A New Look at the Halo Universe" (HTML). Microsoft (2008-10-08). Retrieved on 2008-10-10.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Robinson, Andy (2008-11-17). "Halo 3 Recon goes open-world". Computer and Video Games. Retrieved on 2008-12-05.
  7. Geddes, Ryan (2008-10-10). "Halo 3: Recon Preview". IGN. Retrieved on 2008-10-10.
  10. "Urk", Bungie Online Team (2008-11-21). "Bungie Weekly Update: 11/21/2008". Bungie. Retrieved on 2008-11-22.
  11. Leahy, Brian (2008-11-17). "'Halo 3: Recon' Story And Voice Talent Details". G4tv. Retrieved on 2008-12-04.
  12. Leyton, Chris (2008-11-17). "Halo 3: Recon Detective Details News". Total Video Games. Retrieved on 2008-11-29.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Jarrard, Brian; Luke Smith, Chad Armstrong. (2008-10-31). The Bungie Podcast 10/31/08: With Joseph Staten, Martin O'Donnell, and Jim McQuillan (.MP3 (zipped)) [Podcast]. Washington: Bungie. Retrieved on 2008-11-02.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Staff (Christmas 2008). "'Halo 3: Recon'; Please remain calm, the ODST are here to finish the fight". Official Xbox Magazine UK (41): 40–41. 
  15. Burg, Dustin (2008-10-15). "Bungie's Jarrard talks Halo 3: Recon, new weapons, details". Joystiq. Retrieved on 2008-10-17.
  16. Staff (2007-01-01). "Inside Bungie - Edge Online". Edge. Archived from the original on 2008-07-12. Retrieved on 2007-02-09.
  17. Smith, Luke (2008-07-07). "E3 Announcement Shelved, For Now". Retrieved on 2008-07-23.
  18. Geddes, Ryan (2008-09-25). "Bungie Video Teases New Game". IGN. Retrieved on 2008-09-25.
  19. Elliott, Phil (2008-10-10). "Bungie: Recon is our last Halo trilogy project". Retrieved on 2008-10-11.
  20. McWhertor, Michael (2008-10-10). "What Is Halo 3: Recon? Here's What It's *Not*". Kotaku. Retrieved on 2008-10-10.
  21. Geddes, Ryan (2008-10-09). "TGS 2008: Halo 3 Recon First Details". IGN. Retrieved on 2008-10-10.
  22. Bungie (2009-02-06). "Bungie Weekly Update". Bungie. Retrieved on 2009-02-07.
  23. Totilo, Stephen. "'Halo 3 Recon' will have several bonuses for 'Halo 3' players". MTV. Retrieved on 2008-10-10.
  24. Urk (2008-12-19). "Bungie Weekly Update: 12/19/08". Retrieved on 2009-02-10.

External links