Halo 3

Content review for this game:
Pertaining to the ESRB rating.

Content sum up: This is definitely not for kids under the age of 13, at least in my opinion, as it's just too intense. But for an "M" rated game, it's pretty mild, with tame blood effects, very little language, and it really should have received a "T" for Teen rating. So, taking this and the moderately disturbing "Flood" into account, I recommend this game for ages 14+.

Blood and gore: When you shoot or hit enemy aliens, their blood hits floors in wide, thin puddles and lightly stain walls. Blood also splatters—well, more like trickle. Most enemies in the game shed neon blue, purple or green blood, which isn't too offensive or graphic. However humans and the ape-like alien Brutes do shed red blood with the same effect as above. Blood and bodies do linger, and you see many bloodied, injured or dead soldiers scattered throughout. There is no option to turn blood off.

Mild Language: There's under a dozen uses of d*mn, and three or under uses of hell, a** and bastard. Other than the main script, allied soldiers infrequently spout d*mn, hell, bastard, a** and b*tch while fighting. There is no option to turn language off.

Violence: Halo 3 takes place immediately where Halo 2 left off, as Master Chief falls to earth like a satellite. The Covenant, an extremist (and alien) religious group, have found and invaded earth, and are trying to unearth a secret device that could in some way control the Halo rings (galaxy destroying ring-shaped artificial planets, which the Covenant think are sacred and holy). Master Chief also has to worry about the Flood, hostile to both Humans and the Covenant, who take over and mutate organic bodies. However, this time he has help from of the Elites, once servants and guardians to the Covenant; they have seen the light and have now joined the humans. Time is running out, and it's Master Chief's job to stop them once and for all...

Master Chief has a variety of weapons at his disposal, like pistols, submachine guns, rocket launchers, grenades, etc. You also have access to the aliens' weapons, and can knock enemies with the butt of your firearm. Many vehicles are accessible throughout the game—you can use them to run over enemies with. You can also shoot, run over, and kill your fellow human soldiers, if you choose to do so, that is. The enemy consist solely of the alien Covenant, ranging from "Grunts," who are small and have squeaky, comedic voices, to "Elites," who are over 8 feet tall, and wear full armor. The overall gameplay is heart-pumping, stressful and intense, as you are put in insurmountable, nearly impossible situations throughout. But overall, the game really isn't too graphic or offensive, at least for its "M" rating. And honestly, it's it's all a bit over-the-top and sometimes even cartoony—although an enemy I'm about to explain might change the "not too offensive issue" I was talking about...

They are called the "Flood," and are enemy both to the main character and the aliens. The Flood give a light horror feel, as they scream and howl in disturbing tones, giving the whole area a feeling of despair. They are symbiotic creatures, meaning they take over human or alien bodies as hosts. In default form they're shrimp-like creature that latch onto the bodies of victims, and takes over the DNA, resulting in a large, hideous mass forming from the remaining body. In this new form they have yellowish colored skin, and you can still see what remains of the human and alien body here and there. When hit, they surprisingly break apart into dry, flakey (not bloody) chunks. They are predominantly present in 4 of 10 levels—like one near the end; it is entirely organic, so when doors open and close, they resemble the stomach, and the ship writhes and pumps like it's alive. Another type looks like mutated popcorn and carry shrimp-like types—they'll rush you, drop and explode, leaving the smaller to attack you.

Specific scenes of violence:

  • You come upon an alien Brute holding a human soldier by his neck; it's possible to save the soldier if you're fast enough. But, if you don't, the Brute will punch the soldier twice in the head, and violently throw him down, killing him.
  • Your objective is to rescue your fellow soldiers, who have been captured by the Brutes. You reach their compound, and see a soldier fly and hit into a pillar.
  • Two main characters are captured by the enemy, to be used for activation of a computer interface. When they refuse, one of them is killed with multiple shots to the back. The other's face is visibly bloodied and bruised from being beaten. The surviving one is rescued, and the captor is stabbed through with a sword.
  • Your first encounter with the Flood has you come upon an area that had a visit from them. You see several dead human bodies and a sole surviving, disturbed man, as he yells, "They were all infected! It was terrible! I could see them (the Flood) crawling under their skin!!" As you leave, you can hear his sobs.

Mild Suggestive themes: (The ESRB didn't mention this in their rating, although it is mild) A main characters is an AI construct, whose gender is female. You can see her overall figure quite clearly, as she has what looks like a skin-tight jumpsuit on.

Content review posted: 04/15/08

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