Getting familiar Halo 3
If you are completely new to the Halo franchise and begin playing the game's single player campaign....well, you might get a bit lost. Microsoft has a brief synopsis of the Halo storyline in the game's included manual but if you don't read that you will likely be very confused as to what is going on when you begin the game. Basically the storyline picks up immediately after the cliffhanger for Halo 2. The game's central character, the Earth super soldier Master Chief, crash lands on Earth after the events of Halo 2 and meets up with his old pal Sergeant Johnson, some marines and the Arbiter, the Covenant Elite leader who is now going against his masters, the Prophets, who want to activate all of the Halo constructs in space (in reality massive weapons which will destroy pretty much everything).
Master Chief's battles take him from Earth to crashed space ships and other locations as Master Chief and the Arbiter team up to prevent the Prophets from completing their plans. Oh and there's the matter of rescuing Master Chief's AI companion Cortana, left behind on a Covenant ship at the end of Halo 2. And of course the parasitic Flood are always a looming threat for both Earth and the Covenant. To say anything more would give out some pretty massive plots. Overall the game's storyline is a solid completion to the Halo trilogy with some surprises along the way that will likely be debated by Halo fans for some time to come.
The game's single player campaign is a bit more linear than in Halo 2, where you got to play as both the Master Chief and at times as the Arbiter. Here it's all Master Chief in the solo single player campaign although the Arbiter does join you for some of the game as an AI "buddy". Indeed the single player AI remains one of the best aspects of the Halo series.
Your AI companions aren't dummies waiting to be cannon fodder; they think on their own quite well and even drive the vehicles in Halo 3 pretty well on their own if you just want to ride along. The enemy AI is also exceptional with your foes flanking you, running away if they get scared or, in the case of the Covenant brutes, charging at you when their armor has been smashed. However, It's a shame that Bungie decided not to add offline bots for multiplayer in Halo 3. We don't think it would have been terribly hard to do so considering the excellent programming of the single player AI.
Let' face it; not all Xbox 360 users go online or have offline multiplayer parties so to leave out one of the biggest aspects of Halo 3 for those people doesn't seem very fair.