Long-and-wide (halo 3) versus short-and-good (heavenly sword)

The new generation of game consoles is slowly getting up to speed. While Nintendo does its thing free of prere, Sony and Microsoft put on high trumps

Almost two years ago, the new generation of game consoles began, but real bangers, memorable entertainment experiences that are not forgotten immediately after switching off the console, have been rare so far. On the Xbox 360 side, the sci-fi monster shooter Gears of War (which wasn’t even released in this country) and the underwater super-drug nightmare Bioshock reached this level and, in the case of Gears, provided exciting extra hours of gameplay in multiplayer online matches. Those who own a PlayStation 3, on the other hand, couldn’t get past the racing game MotorStorm, and on Nintendo’s Wii, Wii Sports was and is bowled and boxed until you go limp. With the wave of new releases rolling since the beginning of autumn, the main competitors Microsoft and Sony finally present further highlights. Two exclusive titles stand out in particular: Halo 3 and Heavenly Sword are considered system sellers and also have some next gen power to offer.

Ending the battle: The Master Chief is the hero of the Halo game trilogy. In the recently published part three, his story ends

Both games don’t reinvent computer games, only Nintendo seems to be called for this job anyway. As blockbusters with different strengths, however, they polarize and contribute more than average to the struggle for market leadership. The most perfect game types hit the heart of the most known consumer group of male action fans. At the forefront is one of the most famous game brands of our time.

"Halo 3" is the final part of a trilogy about super soldier Master Chief, also called Spartan 117. Just how rampant the hype around the game is is shown by a record from the United States, where the title brought in $170 million in sales on day one alone. Halo’s story began about six years ago on the first Xbox and takes place in the year 2552. The plot revolves around an alien invasion of Earth and is indeed so intricate and complicated that even in part three you’re left guessing until the very end as to how the saga could possibly end.

Graphically, "Halo 3" is very nice to look at, especially the lighting effects and explosions are breathtaking and contribute a lot to the already dense science fiction atmosphere. The campaign mode with its four difficulty levels can be played through in just under 15 hours, but it’s nice that developer Bungie has also thought ahead in this regard and offers the possibility of playing through the entire story mode in a team of four via Xbox Live. Only online does "Halo 3" show why it stands out from other shooters.

Long-and-wide (halo 3) vs. short-and-good (heavenly sword)

Only in the multiplayeronline mode "Halo 3" unfolds all its strengths. In the Capture the Flag game type, red fights blue: the teams are challenged to capture an enemy flag in order to place it in their own camp.

The "normal" multiplayer mode contains nine game types on eleven maps for up to 16 players, and the innovative level editor "The Forge" provides further variations. Instead of the usual programs of this kind, the levels cannot be reshaped in their structure, but "only" the furniture can be moved: Here one cannon less, there one more, here a cross-country vehicle (Warthog), there a flying jet ski (Ghost). In this way, Bungie expands traditional basic settings, which give broad design possibilities to the defined game type. Halo’s servers will be populated for years to come – 60 euros worth it.

Heavenly Sword" costs ten euros more for PlayStation 3 – a modern action adventure game that does without an online mode and doesn’t take much longer than six hours to play, but offers an intense gaming experience that deserves the name Next Gen for visual reasons alone. Graphically, the game is a splendor and even if the story did not win an Oscar, the overall experience still captivates with cinematic quality.

Virtual babe Nariko and her clan see themselves as guardians of a powerful relic: the heavenly sword in the hands of a brave leader mows down entire armies and does quite well on the main character. Unfortunately, it also drains precious life energy from its holder, which is why Nariku practically consumes herself in high mabe during the combat-heavy search for her father, who is in the grip of the evil King Bohan.

Long-and-wide (halo 3) vs. short-and-good (heavenly sword)

The red-haired Nariku is the heroine of Heavenly Sword. Armed with a "heavenly sword" she pursues the kidnappers of her father.

"Heavenly Sword" thrives on its uniquely cinematic production, which raises the erzahlerischen entertainment level of games to a new level. Developer Ninja Theory used motion capturing to better portray emotional facial expressions. British actor Andy Serkis, who played Gollum in Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, does a great job as King Bohan. While the German dubbing of Halo 3 appears to have been done by amateurs, the top-notch voice acting of all the Heavenly Sword characters adds tremendously to the atmosphere in compelling cutscenes.

long-and-wide (halo 3) vs. short-and-good (heavenly sword)

One of the in-between bosses in "Heavenly Sword" is this slightly brassy human giant oat that hits hard, but also has weak points.

Whoever expects a gameplay revelation will be disappointed, because there are no innovations in this area. Actions to be executed are limited to dumb button hammering on the one hand and following quicktime sequences on the other: Thus, z.B. one of the intermediate bosses, General "Flying Fox", can be taken down with spectacular filmed moves towards the end of the fight. While the film is running, the buttons displayed on the screen should be printed at the right moment. If this does not succeed, the battle starts all over again.

The PlayStation 3’s motion-sensitive controller, the Sixaxis, also comes into play at some points in the game. Cannonballs are directed into turrets by balancing the controller, or arrows are shot at onrushing enemies. All in all, Heavenly Sword makes a stronger-than-average case for buying Sony’s high-end console – a short but tasty treat that will hopefully soon be followed by more chapters available for download from the PlayStation Store.

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