Halo Alpha
Halo Alpha


Prepare to drop.
Halo 3: ODST tagline

Halo 3: ODST (formerly known as Halo 3: Recon) is a first-person shooter video game developed by Bungie for the Xbox 360. Halo 3: ODST was released worldwide on September 22, 2009, at 12:00 midnight.[2] The game is a prologue to Halo 3, which fills in the details of what happened in southeastern Kenya from Halo 2 to Halo 3.[3]

An official five-part prequel comic, Helljumper, was released in the months leading up to and after the release of ODST, starting in July,[4] and ending in November.[5] An Xbox Live invitation to the Multiplayer Beta of Halo: Reach,[6] announced at E3 2009, was included with ODST, and ran from May 3, 2010 through May 20, 2010.

Codes to download Halo 3: ODST's campaign were given to players who played Halo: The Master Chief Collection between its launch and December 19, 2014.[7]

On September 22, 2020, Halo 3: ODST was added to Halo: The Master Chief Collection for PC, available on Xbox Game Pass for PC, Steam and the Microsoft Store.


Characters and setting[]

The Squad

The main cast of ODST.

Taking place in the Kenyan port city of New Mombasa, ODST follows a squad of elite Marine Orbital Drop Shock Troopers during the Covenant invasion of Earth on October 20, 2552. Knocked off course due to the Mombasa Slipspace Incident, these five ODSTs, accompanied by an ONI officer, fight through the waste-filled, destroyed streets in order to link up with each other, evade the Covenant, and execute a top secret mission.

The game occurs directly after the events of the Halo 2 level Metropolis, when the Prophet of Regret performs a slipspace jump in New Mombasa.


H3ODST Campaign 1stPersonVISR02


ODST has the main protagonist, Rookie, searching for beacons across the city of New Mombasa after he awakens from being knocked unconscious six hours earlier when his pod crash-landed on the surface.[8] It is up to the player on how to get to any specific location, and in any order, giving a very open-world feeling to the game; this addresses an issue of linear gameplay style for which the main trilogy has been criticized. The "beacons" are various objects, each linked to a particular squadmate in some way. Finding one of these objects puts the player in the shoes of one of the Rookie's five squadmates (Edward Buck, Veronica Dare, Taylor "Dutch" Miles, Kojo "Romeo" Agu, and Michael "Mickey" Crespo), filling in the blanks for the player as to what has happened to the rest of the squad.[8] Once you go back in time for a short period, you will take control of the player for a single mission, and play the situations that the particular character went through. Unlike the overall game, these flashback scenes go along the path of the linear gameplay that has been common throughout the original trilogy of Halo.

Due to the fact that you are playing as an Orbital Drop Shock Trooper, you do not use the motion tracker or the shielding featured in the Mjolnir Powered Assault Armor, instead using the more traditional health bar/medkit system. The Rookie and his squadmates are not able to dual-wield weapons, such as the M7/Caseless Submachine Gun and the Type-25 Directed Energy Rifle. They also cannot use equipment.

On the other hand, the player receives a helmet-integrated data management system known as the Visual Intelligence System, Reconnaissance (or VISR), which includes a low-light vision mode which identifies allies and enemies through the HUD on his helmet's visor by illuminating and classifying objects; green outline for allies, red outline for enemies, blue for scavengable weapons, vehicles, ammo and grenades, and a thick yellow outline for important objects. Outlines of scenery and objects that will block weapons-fire have a thinner yellow outline. The VISR can also be used to manage waypoints, mission objectives, and information which will help the player. The squad has two new weapons, the M7S Submachine Gun and the M6C/SOCOM, which the protagonist and most of his comrades land with in Mombasa during the initial drop. Also, the grenade limit has been increased to 3 per grenade type.

As stated by Bungie in the January 23rd Weekly Update, the Sangheili do not appear as enemies in ODST.[9] Although, several groups of Sangheili corpses are found throughout the campaign, apparently killed by Brutes. By December 2008, the game was "representational," meaning that players could experience the game from start to finish, albeit in an unfinished state. The entire Bungie staff was pulled from other duties to play through the game and offer feedback. Among the unfinished elements was the lack of finished dialogue delivered by voice actors; storywriter Joseph Staten filled in placeholder audio.[10] Bungie's audio director Martin O'Donnell contributes music for ODST, as he has done for the previous Halo games. Due to ODST's shift to a new protagonist, O'Donnell created new music that was an homage to Halo, though it was taken in a new direction.[11]


Image Mission Description
H3ODST PreparetoDropCinematic Prepare To Drop "Start a new game, drop into the nighttime city."
H3ODST NewMombasa Mombasa Streets "Explore the city, find your ODST team."
Pod right Tayari Plaza "Beat The Covenant to Dare's crash-site."
ODST UpliftReserve07 Uplift Reserve "Lead a Warthog charge, clear hostiles from the park."
ODST Campaign Kizingo01 Kizingo Boulevard "Scorpion rampage through the heart of the city."
94553486-Full ONI Alpha Site "Fall back, deny access to this vital facility."
ODST NMPDHQ-Env01 NMPD HQ "Pelican down. Keep your sniper rifle handy."
ODST Campaign Kikowani03 Kikowani Station "Aerial combat in the flooded city."
A ChasmTen Data Hive "Find Dare, secure the Superintendent."
Fleetwatch Coastal Highway "Escort the asset out of the city."

Opening Scroll[]

Shown after the Bungie and Microsoft Game Studios logos, and before the main menu, is an opening scroll.

Opening Scroll
The year is 2552.

Humanity is at war with the alien alliance known as "The Covenant."

We are losing.

The Covenant have burned our worlds, killing billions in their genocidal campaign.

Earth is our last bastion - a carefully guarded secret.

But not anymore.

A Covenant carrier has breached Earth's defenses and attacked the African mega-city, "New Mombasa."

Initial reports confirm major damage and heavy civilian casualties.

Now military leaders of the "United Nations Space Command" have prepared their response...

Teams of highly-trained "Orbital Drop Shock Troopers" are ready to assault the carrier from Navy ships in low orbit.

This is a near-suicidal mission.

But these troopers are the best of the best.

And saving New Mombasa could be the most important mission of the war...

The Drop[]

H3 ODST - Buck Dare Argument

Gunnery Sergeant Buck and Captain Dare arguing.

“The Navy put up a good fight.”
“'Course they did. It's Earth.”
“Better late than never.”

The game begins at around 4:00pm, October 20th, 2552. The majority of an ODST squad are preparing for the mission on board the UNSC Say My Name orbiting high above New Mombasa, Kenya. They are grouped around a holo-table, which shows the Covenant Prophet of Regret's CAS-class assault carrier hovering near the city's Orbital Elevator. Corporal Taylor "Dutch" Miles, Lance Corporal Kojo "Romeo" Agu, and Private First Class Michael "Mickey" Crespo are gathered around the holo-table. The Lance Corporal "Rookie" is asleep in the back of the room.

Romeo jokingly remarks how the UNSC Navy managed to put up a fight during the Invasion of Earth, but still allowed a Covenant carrier to slip by the Orbital Defense Platforms surrounding the planet. Dutch criticizes Romeo, stating that the navy left the lone ship for the Marines to infiltrate. The ODSTs are soon put on alert when their team leader, Gunnery Sergeant Edward Buck, enters the room with an attractive ONI operative named Veronica Dare. Romeo utters "Hello, beautiful" in response to Dare's appearance, catching Buck's attention and prompting him to order the ODSTs to their SOEIV "drop pods".

While walking to the nearby armory, Buck is stopped by Dare, who remarks that the members of his squad are replacements. Buck acknowledges the problem, but notes that after 27 years of war with the Covenant, very few veterans are left in the UNSC. Conflicted about what she likely told him prior to entering the room, Buck confronts Dare about the objective of his team, stating the Assault Carrier (carrying the Prophet of Regret) is a more vital concern than her covert mission. Dare reminds him that they have orders to follow, and that she should be referred to as "Captain," in keeping with military regulations.

Buck directs the Captain to her pod, where Romeo asks about her; obviously angry about the mission, Buck confronts the curious Lance Corporal, replying that she is their "new boss." He gives a short speech to his men to motivate them for the drop, and hands a SRS99D Sniper Rifle to Romeo, drawing questions from the squad, who were anticipating a close range battle inside the Covenant Assault Carrier. While en route to his own drop pod, Romeo rudely awakens the Rookie, hitting him with the butt of his rifle (at which point the camera changes to a first-person view) while the Rookie lies asleep in his pod. Dutch pushes Romeo out of the way and hands the Rookie a silenced SMG, telling the ODST to relax despite Romeo's obnoxious behavior; the Rookie's pod is then closed, spun around, and lowered into the launch bay to begin drop preparations.

Halo 3 ODST Drop Pod Interior by counterfox

The Rookie approaches the Assault Carrier.

“Troopers, we are green, and very, very mean!”
— Gunnery Sergeant Edward Buck.

Marine forces are informed by Dare that the Covenant Army is massing beneath the Assault Carrier for an organized retreat. Dozens of ODSTs are launched into Earth's atmosphere in a coordinated drop to infiltrate and capture the Prophet of Regret aboard the Assault Carrier. They pass by a few destroyed Frigates in orbit around the elevator, and begin to enter cloud cover above the city. The Captain then orders the squad to adjust their trajectory and drop locations; sending the ODST's way off of their intended course.

Before the ODST's are able to deploy their internal parachutes, however, Dutch picks up a radiation alert in his pod, and the Assault Carrier proceeds to enter Slipspace, closely followed by the Stalwart-class light frigate UNSC In Amber Clad. An EMP emitted by the Slipspace rupture disables the drop pods before they are able to deploy their parachutes; the ODSTs are scattered across New Mombasa. Dare's commandeered squad, farthest away from the Slipspace rupture, manages to survive the fall, but the remaining ODST's aiming for the Carrier are killed in action. During the fall, the Rookie's pod collides with Mickey's pod, sending it out of control. The impact knocks the Rookie unconscious.

The Rookie Awakens[]

“Hey, Rookie? You out there? Respond, that's an order.”
— Buck, sending a transmission over the COM.
“Give it up, Gunny. Even if he ain't dead, he's lost in that soup. Our com chatter can't cut through that.”
— Romeo
“Oh, give up, huh? What if it were you down there?”
— Buck
“Just saying. I ain't dead.”
— Romeo

The Rookie emerges from his pod.

Six hours after the drop (10:02pm), the Rookie awakens to the sound of two Phantoms flying nearby. He soon regains his situational awareness, discovering that his drop pod is lodged in a building at least twenty feet off the ground. With no choice, he jumps out of the pod, and falls to the street, slightly injuring himself when he hits the ground. After combing the area for medical supplies, he heads in to the city to find his squad.

Almost immediately after starting out, the Rookie encounters a few Covenant patrols covering a small area. The Rookie uses his silenced weaponry to eliminate the patrols, after which he is alerted to a ringing data terminal. Upon accessing the terminal, the Rookie is connected to the Superintendent, a second-generation "dumb" AI tasked with maintaining the city's infrastructure. The A.I. provides the Rookie with data that had been previously unlocked by Dare. The Superintendent begins to assist the Rookie, giving him maps, marking notable locations throughout the city, and providing warnings using road signs.

As the Rookie travels throughout the city, he finds clues regarding the fate of his squadmates. When the Rookie finds a clue, the game's perspective shifts to that of the relevant ODST.

Six hours earlier, Buck had landed somewhat safely (if uncomfortably) and made radio contact with Dare, who told him that she had been trapped in her drop pod. With the assistance of Marines in the area, Buck fought his way to her position. Along the way, he noticed a "family feud" within the Covenant, as many Sangheili were found dead and seemed to have been killed by the Brutes. By the time Buck got to Dare's pod, she was nowhere to be found. Buck noticed a Huragok, and saw that it was holding Dare's helmet in one of its tentacles. Curious, the alien began to examine Buck. Having mistaken its curiosity for hostility, Romeo sniped the inquisitive alien, inadvertently triggering the bomb mounted on its back. The resulting explosion threw the helmet out of sight, although the Superintendent recorded a video showing where it landed. Romeo and Buck regrouped, the former stating his belief that Dare was dead. The Rookie later finds the helmet.

Meanwhile, Dutch landed in the Uplift Wildlife Reserve, where he led a Warthog charge in an effort to breach Covenant defenses and secure the long-departed carrier's landing zone. Mickey had landed nearby, and stumbled upon retreating Marines from the 405th. Mickey used a Scorpion to bring the Marines to their rally point: the entrance to ONI Alpha Site. There, he and Dutch regrouped and found a desperate police officer, who was searching for an explosives expert. Mickey, who had originally hoped to dig in at the rally point and wait for backup, was pressed into service, and he and Dutch headed to the ONI Alpha Site with the police officer in tow.

The two ODSTs worked with the officer and several Marines to defend the ONI complex. Dutch and Mickey used explosives to destroy the bridge leading to the base, but the Covenant easily countered by using Phantoms to land troops past the broken bridge. The courtyard was quickly overrun by Covenant forces, prompting the besieged humans to retreat to the structure's interior. The humans are eventually forced to retreat from the building using a police Pelican. As they fled, they destroyed the base using remotely-detonated explosives, preventing the Covenant from using the structure and it's contained information. While in flight, Dutch and Mickey managed to re-establish communication with Buck; they headed to the NMPD Headquarters to pick him up.

Upon arriving and attempting to land on a rooftop to pick up Buck and Romeo, Mickey, Dutch and their NMPD allies are attacked by Banshees, and their Pelican is shot down. Buck and Romeo fight their way across the rooftops of the NMPD HQ to the downed Pelican and their squadmates. There, the four ODSTs used missile pods, heavy machine guns, and rocket launchers to defend the building from Banshees and Phantoms with landing parties. They were successful in repelling the Covenant assault, but in the process, Romeo was badly wounded by a Brute Chieftain, and their Pelican was damaged and left inoperable.

Buck led the group to Kikowani Station, planning to use the tram system to escape the city, stabilizing Romeo with biofoam along the way. Upon arrival, however, the group discovered that the tram tunnels had been flooded. They proceeded to hijack a Phantom and escape the city, fighting their way past enemy Banshees and even a Scarab in the process. Along the way, they noticed several CCS-class battlecruisers moving toward the crater left by the Assault Carrier's Slipspace jump. After escaping the city proper, Buck realized where Dare was, and ordered Mickey to turn back and set him down.

Reunited with the Team[]

Meanwhile, the Rookie, having made his way to the Superintendent's Data Center, finds Captain Dare locked in on sub-level nine. She reveals that her orders were to fight her way to the A.I.'s data center and retrieve the information that had recently been discovered about what lay beneath the city, and deny access to the Covenant. The data center, however, had been infested with an entire hive of Drones, which in turn were supported by numerous other Covenant forces. She explains that this was why she requisitioned a whole squad for her mission: it would have been suicide to fight these forces alone.

Dare and the Rookie fight their way to the data center, arriving just as the severely damaged Superintendent finally shuts down. Closer inspection of the AI's core by the pair reveals a lone, hiding Huragok. Dare reveals an ONI discovery: the Huragoks were enslaved by the Covenant, and have little love for their overlords. She also reveals that this particular Huragok, named Vergil (due to its absorption of the Vergil subroutine in the Superintendent), has combined it's knowledge with the information possessed by the Superintendent, information that can aid humanity in the war.

The two convinced the Huragok to follow them just as the Covenant arrived; Buck arrives at the same time. They escape the data core and fight though hordes of Covenant troops before reaching an elevator, which takes them to the city's coastal highway. Buck informs Dare and the Rookie that he has his stolen Phantom waiting in the shipyards down the highway. Vergil powers up an Elephant; Dare drives, while the Rookie and Buck provide supporting fire from a Warthog, and later, a Scorpion.

More Covenant ships enter the city, and the fleet begins to glass the area in an attempt to uncover the buried Forerunner Portal to the Ark. Buck, having witnessed glassing during the Fall of Reach, is particularly disturbed by the sight. A Scarab manages to score a direct hit on the Elephant, damaging it severely and forcing the ODSTs to abandon their vehicles and take cover inside the building entrance to Uplift Wildlife Reserve. Buck orders Mickey to provide extraction instead of waiting for them to arrive.

The ODSTs endure multiple Covenant attacks while waiting for Mickey to arrive. When Mickey and the rest of the squad reach their position, the group boards their captured Phantom, narrowly avoiding a Covenant Carrier's glassing beam.

A month later, Admiral Terrence Hood gives Sergeant Major Avery Johnson clearance to interrogate Vergil on an ONI orbital facility. Dare warns Johnson to be careful. As the two enter the room, they see Vergil toying with the optics for a drone fighter. The squad is clustered around the Huragok, with the Rookie asleep in a corner. Johnson casually tosses his lighter to the delicate (and flammable) creature, much to Dare's alarm, which Johnson ignores. Johnson expresses the mutual loathing that humans and Huragok share towards the Brutes, and appeals to Vergil to help the human cause, stating that "You're (Vergil) gonna tell me exactly what they're looking for. And then, you're gonna help me stop 'em." Vergil raised the lighter, flicked it open, and lit the cigar that Johnson just placed in his mouth, suggesting that this Engineer is friendly and willing to cooperate with the humans.

An additional scene plays upon completing the game on Legendary. The Prophet of Truth is seen in the chamber that houses the Superintendent's core, smiling as more Huragok uncover an extensive Forerunner complex beneath the dirt. There is no clear indication as to whether this structure is part of the previously uncovered portal generator or something else entirely.


Major Characters[]

United Nations Space Command


  • Vergil - A Huragok with the data and memories of the Superintendent's subroutine "Vergil" transferred into him. (First appearance)
  • Prophet of Truth - The de facto leader of the Covenant Empire, he leads a fleet to Earth in order to find the Ark. Truth can be seen during the Legendary Ending in a cave that goes underneath New Mombasa to a Forerunner artifact hidden beneath the city.
  • Prophet of Regret - One of the three Hierarchs of the Covenant, his only known role in the game is at the beginning where his CAS-class assault carrier enters slipspace over New Mombasa. (Mentioned only)

Minor Characters[]




  • New Mombasa, Kenya
    • Data Center - A significant location throughout the game, the data center is where the Squad's ultimate objective lay. It is also where the Rookie finally reunites with his squad. (First appearance)
    • Lumumba District
    • Mbaraki District - Most of Dare's squad landed in this district after they diverted their course from the Assault Carrier to the area surrounding the ONI facility directly across from the Space Tether. (First appearance)
    • Kikowani Station - One of NMTA's train stations in the city. It was flooded with water during the battle. Buck and his team arrived here to try to escape the city and ended up stealing a Phantom. (First appearance)
    • Kizingo (First appearance)
    • Tanaga District (First appearance)
    • ONI Alpha Site - This Section Two facility was the site of a fierce battle that pitted New Mombasa Police and the UNSC Marine Corps, against a Covenant assault from across the bridge. This building was destroyed shortly after the battle to prevent the Covenant from getting any important information. A Firefight map, known as Security Zone, takes place in front of the entrance to the facility.[17] (First appearance)
    • Tayari Plaza (First appearance)
    • Uplift Nature Reserve (First appearance)
    • New Mombasa Orbital Elevator - Severely damaged by the Slipspace Jump caused by the Prophet of Regret's Assault Carrier, snapping due to the tremendous stresses put on the tower, wreckage from this space tether can be seen all across the city. Only the base of the tether and the bottom few rings survived the jump, though the structure can be seen from most places in the city, still blazing.



United Nations Space Command



United Nations Space Command




ODST Controller

Controls for ODST gameplay.


Main article: Firefight

Firefight, a brand new feature to the Halo franchise announced at E3 2009, is a cooperative campaign gameplay mode. Four players over Xbox Live or System Link play to complete a series of Human vs. Covenant matches. All features from the Campaign Scoring, as well as skulls, achievements, and leaderboards of Halo 3, are featured in ODST. Firefight in Halo 3: ODST is relegated to an invite-only gamemode, and does not support matchmaking, due to time constraints.[21]


Image Map
ODST Firefight AlphaSite03 Alpha Site
A ChasmTen Chasm Ten
Tayari plaza Crater
A LAstExit Last Exit
Lostplat 2 Lost Platoon
Image Map
ODST Firefight RallyPoint-Day environment Rally Point
Alphabase new 1 Security Zone
Windward header Windward
ODST Firefight CraterNight Crater Night
N/A Rally Point Night

Halo 3: Mythic multiplayer[]

Also included with Halo 3: ODST is the Halo 3: Mythic disk. This includes all of Halo 3's multiplayer modes (Matchmaking, Custom Games, Forge and Theatre) but not its Campaign. In addition, all the DLC for Halo 3 is included on the Halo 3: Mythic disk for free. This includes the Heroic, Legendary, Mythic and Mythic II map packs, as well as the level Cold Storage, which was released for free on Bungie Day, 2008.

Marketing Promotions and Release[]

Viral Campaigns[]


Main article: Superintendent (Viral Campaign)

On May 29, 2008, a viral campaign for Halo 3: ODST started which focused around the AI of the same name, New Mombasa's janitorial second generation dumb-A.I. construct that aids the Rookie and his squad in surviving the Covenant occupation of New Mombasa.

ONI Candidate Assessment Program V5.02A[]

Main article: ONI Candidate Assessment Program V5.02A

On September 4, 2009, a second viral campaign was released on Xbox.com, letting fans watch interviews of the main characters of ODST.[22] These videos go into the background of each character, with Buck and a various teammate talking about their past, military career, their education, and about the mission ahead. Clips directed by Rupert Sanders can be seen via a marker the Marines place on their right temple.



Main article: Keep It Clean (Trailer)

First, different screens of areas of New and Old Mombasa come on screen, followed by HEV pods entering the atmosphere. Here you can see the Prophet of Regret's carrier on the right, then it moves behind buildings. The pods come into view as a large explosion (Caused by the Prophet of Regret's carrier entering Slipspace) appears, sending the pods off-course. Then, the Superintendent appears, and shows warning signs and then reboots. All the screens from earlier flash onto the screen, but heavily damaged from the blast. Then, a single HEV pod falls through the sky, when the Halo 3 logo appears. The pod then crashes into the camera and goes black, followed by the words 'Prepare to Drop'.

The second part to the trailer, released on the 8th of October, followed on from this - the Superintendent reinitialized itself, attempting to assess the catastrophic devastation and tries to identify the object that survived. Later, after a Covenant Phantom dropship has passed by, the object opens to reveal The Rookie climbing out, wielding a modified M7S Caseless Submachine Gun. The ODST narrowly avoids a Jiralhanae patrol, before encountering messages from the Superintendent, presumably leading him to safety.

Elements from this trailer have dramatically altered from announcement to the present day.

E3 2009 Gameplay[]

Main article: Halo 3: ODST - E3 2009 Gameplay Trailer

Shown to the press at Microsoft's E3 '09 Media Briefing, the first gameplay trailer showcased the events surrounding the campaign and the new Firefight mode. It focuses mostly on the Rookie wandering around the streets of the city and looking for his lost squadmates, along with Dutch who fights during the Battle of ONI Alpha Site.

This trailer also shows the very first glimpse of Firefight, the brand new cooperative game mode designed specifically for ODST.

ViDoc: Desperate Measures[]

Main article: Halo 3 ODST ViDoc: Desperate Measures

The first ViDoc of Halo 3: ODST, Desperate Measures takes a look inside the squad that consists of the main characters in the game. It summarizes the skills that each Marine has, along with what equipment they'll be using in-game.

Also shown are little clips of the flashback missions, namely, featuring Gunnery Sergeant Buck and Lance Corporal Agu on a landing platform at NMPD Headquarters, where a police Pelican dropship was extracting the two Marines, before getting chased off by two Banshees.

ViDoc: Bip. Bap. Bam.[]

Main article: Halo 3 ODST ViDoc: Bip. Bap. Bam.

The second ViDoc, which is more of an advertisement, for ODST, first shown at the 2009 Games Convention in Cologne, Germany. Bip. Bap. Bam. shows off the new Firefight mode, which was announced earlier at E3 2009.

Avery Johnson is the narrator of the ViDoc, making a stylish entrance in a Drop Pod over the Security Zone map. During the video, Johnson explains the details of this new gametype in ODST, along with explaining how players can play as him by pre-ordering Halo 3: ODST at a number of participating retailers.

ViDoc: Terra Incognita[]

Main article: Halo 3 ODST ViDoc: Terra Incognita

The third ViDoc for ODST released on Bungie's website, focuses on the development of Halo 3: ODST.

The game developers at Bungie were entering unfamiliar territory, making the largest environment they ever created as the freely-explorable level of New Mombasa. It also says the differences and similarities of the ODSTs and the SPARTAN-II soldiers, such as jumping height and the fact that no motion tracker is present in ODST.

ViDoc: Dramatis Personae[]

Main article: Halo 3 ODST ViDoc: Dramatis Personae

The fourth ViDoc for ODST released on Bungie's website, focuses on the cast of the characters featured in ODST.

Originally intended as an 'Extra' for people who played through the game, the ViDoc was posted on the Bungie website and on the Xbox Live Marketplace. It introduces the viewer to the cast behind ODST, and Sadie's Story and explains how the voice actors helped to bring life to their characters in the game.

We Are ODST[]

Main article: The Life

A 2-minute live-action short made exclusively for the launch of Halo 3: ODST was released on September 7, 2009 on Spike TV with a run-time of 2 minutes and 30 seconds.[23] This short is directed by Rupert Sanders, who previously directed the Halo 3: Believe series.

This short showcases the 19th Shock Troops Battalion during their operations in the Human-Covenant war.

ODST Tour[]

ODST tour vehicle

A render mock-up of the tour truck.

To promote the release of the game, Bungie and Microsoft started an "ODST Tour," showcasing the game's Firefight mode to fans all across the United States.[24] Beginning August 22 in Redmond, Washington, this tour lasted for nearly a month, coinciding with the release of the game.

Merchandise and promotions[]

ODST Collector's Pack

The Collector's Pack edition of ODST.

Additionally, a Halo 3: ODST Collector's Pack was made available alongside the standard version. This includes the game itself, along with a limited edition UNSC-style Xbox 360 controller. The Collector's Pack was available in most stores across the world.

Prima Games released a 272-page strategy guide alongside Halo 3: ODST[25][26]

McFarlane Toys released a 6-inch figurine replica of the Rookie as a part of their "Medal Edition" line of Series 6, due out in October 2009.[27][28][29]


Main article: Halo 3: ODST Original Soundtrack

Like previous games in the series, Halo 3: ODST was released alongside an Original Soundtrack comprised of music heard in the game. This soundtrack features seventeen new tracks, composed by Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori, on two discs.[30] Though over three hours of music was composed for ODST, only two hours were released on the soundtrack.[31] Upon release, the soundtrack received near-unanimous praise from critics,[32][33][34] and won the Spike Video Game Award for "Best Original Score."[35]


Gaming Websites
IGN [36] 9/10
GameSpot [37] 9/10
GameTrailers [38] 8.9/10
GamesRadar [39] 3.5/5
1UP [40] A-
Joystiq [41] 3.5/5
Polygon N/A
Gaming Magazines
Official Xbox Magazine [42] 9/10
GameInformer [43] 9.25/10
Compilation Websites
GameRankings [44] 84.77%
Metacritic [45] 83/100

On release, ODST became the top-selling Xbox 360 game worldwide. The title received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised the atmosphere, music, and story approach. Critics were divided on whether the relatively short campaign and included extras were enough to justify the full-game price tag.

IGN noted that playing on co-op during the campaign ruined the atmosphere of the game, and that the campaign went into "simple shooting galleries" too often. However, they praised the Firefight addition.[46] Gamepro called it the "best Halo game yet," but mentioned that if the flashbacks were played in a random order, the story did not transition as smoothly. They also stated that the marine A.I. had "major issues" in the game.[47]

Team Xbox stated that it was the "same game at heart, and Firefight mode is an enhanced version of a game type that others have done before." Others mentioned that other games, such as Call of Duty and Gears of War, had much better graphics than ODST, which was based on the older Halo 3 engine.


  • In the beginning of ODST, as the Rookie's drop pod is plummeting towards Earth, it is possible to see the UNSC In Amber Clad going through slipspace with Regret's carrier, therefore providing a different viewpoint on the Halo 2 event.
  • A teaser trailer for Halo 3: ODST called Keep It Clean was released on September 25, 2008, at 07:07:07 am PST, which coincided with the one year anniversary of the launch of Halo 3. The trailer was viewed through the many security cameras around New Mombasa. The time at which this trailer was revealed is a reference to seven.
  • The "Road to Recon" challenge, as named by Bungie, gives players the chance to unlock the MJOLNIR Mk.VI Recon for use in Halo 3 multiplayer.[48] This challenge requires unlocking the current Vidmaster Challenges from Halo 3 and three more Vidmaster Challenges only available through purchasing ODST.[49]
  • On November 25, 2008, Bungie LLC. renamed the in-development Halo 3: Recon to Halo 3: ODST.[50]
  • Marketing for ODST encompassed a broad range of mediums, including print ads in magazines, with television spots taking center stage "with multiple ads prepared and sponsorship of key shows arranged."[51] Advertisements were shown up to Christmas 2009 and into early 2010. Such ads could already been seen in the American version of the Official Xbox Magazine and even here on Halo Alpha. GameStop had already began their advertisements, showing off both UNSC and Covenant in the Firefight mode dancing to SgtMaj Johnson, a bonus unlock item for those who pre-order the game.[52] Spike TV has designated September as the "Halo Month," with five programs lined up over the course of sixteen days.[23] One such show marked the debut of a live-action ODST short and a preview of Halo Legends's ODST-centric film The Babysitter.
  • Copies of ODST were sold early in France, to which Microsoft responded by investigating and threatening to ban any players on Xbox Live playing ODST before its official release of September 22.[53] Head of Xbox Live Enforcement Stephen Toulouse later stated that they would not ban legitimate buyers of the game.[54]
  • In an interview with Microsoft Game Studios' Ryan Crosby on Joystiq.com, a sequel to Halo 3: ODST would be considered if fan and media reception exceeds expectations, and the need arises for a follow-up.[55]
  • As a bonus feature for those who pre-ordered ODST at select retailers (including such stores as GameStop and Amazon.com), a token to play as Sergeant Major Avery Johnson in Firefight was included.[56]
  • If you've played on this game with your current LIVE account, you will unlock the ODST nameplate in Halo: Reach.[57]
  • During the end credits, the two specific lines of text appears at regular intervals in the lower left corner of the screen. The lines read 'DIVIDED HIGHWAY' and '777-LL7L', the latter of which is call number of a book titled 'The Ancient Parish of Prestbury'. On pages 21-22, it discusses the archeological discovery of a burried collection of cairns in a circular arrangement, located half a mile from Prestbury. Ironically, the cairns were removed since its original dicovery for the construction of a highway.



  1. Steam Halo 3 ODST on Steam
  2. Halo 3: ODST - E3 2009 Gameplay Trailer
  3. Team Xbox Interview
  4. Marvel.com Catalog - Halo: Helljumper #1
  5. Marvel.com Catalog - Halo: Helljumper #5
  6. Bungie.net : Invitation to the Halo: Reach Beta
  7. Halo Waypoint - A Thank You to Our Fans from Bonnie Ross
  8. 8.0 8.1 Game Informer: December 2008, page 3
  9. Bungie Weekly Update - 1/23/09
  10. Bungie Weekly Update: 12/19/08
  11. Bungie Podcast: 10/31/08
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Game Informer: December 2008, page 1
  13. GameTrailer TV: E3 2009 Special
  14. 14.0 14.1 Game Informer: December 2008, page 5
  15. Halo 3: ODST Credits
  16. Halo 3: ODST, level Tayari Plaza
  17. Bungie Weekly Update 6/12/09
  18. Halo 3: ODST, level Data Hive
  19. Bungie Weekly Update 10/14/08 - CJ Cowan just made a Brute Chieftain introduce the business end of his Hammer to some dudes.
  20. Bungie Weekly Update 1/16/09 - At one point I found myself inquiring aloud if the Brute Shot had been powered up.
  21. Kotaku.com Australia - Bungie: Why Halo 3: ODST Firefight doesn't support matchmaking
  22. ONI Candidate Assessment Program V5.02A
  23. 23.0 23.1 Reuters.com - Prepare To Drop! Spike TV Gears Up For 'Halo Month'
  24. Xbox Press.com - “Halo 3: ODST” Transport Vehicle embarks on a nationwide tour
  25. Halo 3: ODST Official Strategy Guide on Amazon.com
  26. Halo 3: ODST Official Strategy Guide on GameStop.com
  27. SPAWN.com - Product page for the Rookie
  28. SPAWN.com - First Look at 'The Rookie' ODST Action Figure
  29. SPAWN.com - Halo Series 6 'Medal Edition' Photography Revealed
  30. Martin O'Donnell's Twitter "MartyTheElder"
  31. Music 4 Games - Behind the Music of Halo 3: ODST - Interview with composer Marty O'Donnell
  32. OXM: Halo 3: ODST review
  33. Halo 3: ODST Original Soundtrack Review on IGN
  34. Halo 3: ODST Soundtrack Review - Music for Repelling the Covenant
  35. 2009 Spike TV Video Game Awards Winners, Nominees
  36. IGN - Halo 3: ODST
  37. GameSpot - Halo 3:ODST
  38. GameTrailers - Halo 3: ODST
  39. GamesRadar - Halo 3: ODST Review
  40. 1UP - Halo 3: ODST Review
  41. Joystiq - Halo 3: ODST Review
  42. Official Xbox Magazine - Halo 3: ODST Review
  43. GameInformer - Halo 3: ODST
  44. GameRankings - Halo 3: ODST
  45. Metacritic - Halo 3: ODST
  46. IGN: Halo 3: ODST Review
  47. Gamepro: Halo 3: ODST Review
  48. Bungie.net : Road to Recon
  49. Game Informer: December 2008, page 4
  50. Bungie.net Blog - Halo 3: ODST
  51. MCV.com Gaming Industry - Microsoft plans Halo 3: ODST marketing blitz
  52. YouTube.com : Gamestop Video - Halo 3: ODST
  53. Kotaku.com - Microsoft Taking Action Against Those Who Buy and Play Halo 3: ODST Early
  54. Kotaku.com - Early Halo: ODST Players Won't Be Banned (So Long As They Bought A Copy)
  55. Joystiq.com - Video Interview: Inside Halo 3: ODST
  56. Bungie.net - PRE-ORDER BONUS: Brings Sgt. Johnson into the Firefight
  57. Bungie.net: Express Yourself

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