Halo ODST: Hands-on with the new killer co-op mode

To keep things fresh, Halo’s skulls are randomly thrown in between rounds. These either give baddies extra powers – the Catch skull sees Grunts throw more grenades - or weaken your group of Troopers - Famine halves the size of your ammo clips.

The enemy holds the advantage in numbers, weapons and powers. So you and your stocky squad have to work together if you want to get the big points tallies that’ll see you shoot up the online leaderboards. This means sticking together, covering each other’s backs and shouting out for help when you get overwhelmed.

There%26rsquo;s more room for glory hunters here than in its co-op competitors

Teamwork is definitely important, but there’s still a place for points whores who’re all about the personal glory. Nabbing the best guns, taking on enemy vehicles (like Wraiths) and stealing portable turrets before your pals gets you loads of points that improves your online ranking (like in Halo 3). And, more importantly, lets you rub their faces in your Covenant-killing ninja-ery.

But it's not exactly a looker compared to its three rivals

ODST’s engine is a couple of years old and it’s aged like a 60 cigs a day smoker. Thankfully, avoiding all the Plasma Grenades, jet pack-toting Brutes and Needler-happy Grunts usually distracts your peepers from the poor anti-aliasing and low-res textures.

July 24, 2009