I'm going to give a brief overview of Halo 3 and Halo Wars both of these games are for the XBox 360 and utilize Xbox Live. Halo Wars is a little bit different than the other Halo games. It is an RTS game. In other words, it's like Starcraft. In the last part of the series, I will go over Halo 3: ODST and what we know about Reach.
Halo 3 had the tagline "Finish The Fight". This is the end of the Human Covenant war. Master Chief teams up with the Arbiter and take it to the covenant. As always, the Flood shows up and makes things difficult. Halo 3 definitely has the hardest levels of any Halo game so far (Reach promises to be even more difficult). The level "Cortana" extremely difficult do to the constant swarm of Flood and the maze of a map.
They brought back the Assault Rifle to accompany the Battle Rifle. The game has a great arsenal of weapons. The Needler is no longer a dual wield weapon, but is very powerful. The Needler is so much fun to shoot. There are some cool new vehicles too.
If you could only own one game on XBox 360, this should be it. The campaign is long and challenging. There is a new multiplayer feature called Forge. Forge allows you to custom build maps to play on. I've gotten to play on a giant Jenga tower, a packman maze, and a "duck hunt" level. Duck Hunt is a linear level were one player has a sniper rifle in a cage above the arean and the other players must run through an obstacle course with out getting killed. The sniper rifle has unlimited ammo and does one hit kills. This match type is a ton of fun.
This game did a great job of wrapping up the over all story. Completing the game on Legendary shows a secret ending that can possibly be explained by reading the books. The ending is eventually going to be explained. Bungie doesn't say weather it's in a game or in a movie.
Halo Wars is the black sheep of the Halo series because it's not a first person shooter and there is no Master Chief. I haven't played through the entire game yet, but I understand the basic setting. It occurs shortly after the invasion of the planet Harvest at the beginning of the human and covenante war. I think the year is 2530 something.
The game plays smooth. There are plenty of familiar baddies and vehicles. There are also some cool new ones.
I've played several matches with friends online, but I haven't played any ranked games yet. I've heard a lot of not so great things about the matchmaking.
The price of this game has dropped around $30 and is worth checking out if you enjoy the storyline of Halo. If you're big into the first person Master Chief shooter, leave this one on the shelf at Game Stop or borrow it from a friend.