Halo 3 - third iteration of the phenomenally successful FPS franchise that started life on the original Xbox - has had some lofty expectations, and some serious hype, loaded on it since its announcement. Its predecessors were critically and commerically lauded, and while there are mixed opinions on the actual quality of the games (Halo haters are rampant on messageboards) the review scores certainly trumpet the game as a paragon of gaming perfection. While not having extensive experience with prior titles in the series, I can conclusively state that whatever preconceptions you may have about the perennial Master Chief and his exploits, everybody will have something to enjoy in Halo 3.
The single player pits players against their ever-troubling foes, the Covenant, in a highly enthralling however not particularly meaty campaign that will see the Chief and his buddies finish the fight across a diverse range of environments, including ruined cityscapes, densely-vegetated woods and within the bowels of a gargantuan creature. There is enough challenge and replay value that would prompt one to give the game a second (or third) run through on higher difficulty levels, although prepare for some ass-handing-to-you if you decide to takcle Legendary alone.
The core of the Halo experience is encumbent in the depth of the gameplay - the balance of weapons, each required and each satisfying; the wicked-clever AI; the vehicular combat. Each fray will play out differently, vastly differently in fact, even when only the smallest variable changes. The controls are fluid and flexible enough to sway even the most steadfast of PC fanboys, although quick whip-arounds still aren't as speedy as you'd hope when you are being beared down upon by swarms of foes.
Multiplayer is as integral to Halo as its campaign counterpart - and in this area, H3 doesn't dissapoint, refining the experience and buffering the content levels with extra modes such as Theater, which allows replays of matches for recordings and screenshots, the Forge - a map editor, and an addictive progressive ranking system that pairs you with companions of similar skill. The battles are as fun as ever.
While there are a few niggling issues - matchmaking speed and jaggies being among them - they do not hamper the sheer fun you'll be having with Halo 3. An absolute must.