Bungie first started to develop Halo 3 as soon as Halo 2 was shipped and it was officialy announced at E3 2006 with a trailer of the Master Chief. Another trailer was a live action trailer shown at E3 2007, just 3 months before its release. Within the first week it made $300,000,000 in sales and in the first twenty-four hours of its release, more than 1,000,000 people were playing online.
The campaign consists of ten levels, of which nine are playable and tell the the story of Halo 3.
- Arrival - "Brace for impact" (Cutscene/tutorial in single player)
- Sierra 117 - "Rise up. Start the fight"
- Crows Nest - "Clear the base, whatever it takes."
- Tsavo Highway - "Mount up. Get to Voi
- The Storm - "Reclaim the city. Make a hole."
- Floodgate - "Stop the infestation. Find Cortana"
- The Ark - "Search the waste for the Cartographer"
- The Covenant - "Breach the barrier. Stop Truth"
- Cortana - "Cleanse High Charity. Find Cortana"
- Halo - "Light the ring. Destroy the Flood"
On November 17th 2552, two weeks after the events of Halo 2, John-117 plummets through Earth's atmosphere using a fragment of the Foreruner dreadnought as a heat shield. He crashes into an east African jungle and is soon found by Sergeant Major Avery Junior Johnson on a rescue mission to collect the "Chief". Seargent Johnson, Thel 'Vadamee and a handful of Marines head towards the extraction point. Covenant forces are sighted in the area and Johnson splits up the group so they are les likely to be spotted. John-117 and Thel 'Vadam make their way through the jungle with second squad, fighting of the numerous Covenant forces in the process, but when they reach the extraction zone, Johnsons Pelican group consisting of two Pelicans, are spotted and amushed by Banshees. Johnson and his men are then captured by Brutes led by a Brute Chieftan. John-117, Thel 'Vadam and second squad fight their way through hordes of Covenant and eventually rescue them, after which a pelican piloted by "Hocus" arrives and picks them up.
The Pelican brings them to the Crows Nest, a local UNSC base of operations. Here, Commander Miranda Keyes and Lord Hood plan a last ditch effort to stop the Covenant from activating a Forerunner artifact known as the Ark, uncovered outside the ruins of New Mombasa. If activated, it will activate the Halo Array and wipe out allk sentient life in the Galaxy. Theri plan is to have John-117 and a small group of Marines punch a hole in Truths anti-aircraft defenses so that Lord Hood can initiate a low level airstrike against the artifact. Their planning is quickly interupted when power is cut and the High Prophet of Truth broadcasts an announcement to all surviving human forces that their doom is inevitable. Soon after, Covenant Loyalists discover the facility and mount a heavy assault. After a brief struggle, the outpost is lost and is destroyed by a bomb activated by John-117. Deep underground, John-117 regroups with the survivng Marines and makes his way into the African city of Voi, Kenya via the Tsavo Highway. Sometime afterward, John-117 along with a handful of Marines take out the Covenants Anti-Air defenses and Lord Hood leads the last of the UNSC's military ships against Truth and the Artifact. As Hood leads his assault on the Prophet, Truth activates the Artifact and creates a massive slipspace portal through which the Covenant ships retreat.
At the same time, a Covenant cruiser controlled by the Flood, a parasitic species that nearly wiped out the Forerunners, arrives suddenly via slipspace and crashes into Voi, the parasite quickly spreads throughout the entire city. As Human forces attempt to fight off the invasion, many are infected by the Flood. The Covenant Seperatists led by Shipmaster Rtas 'Vadum, arrives at Earth and assists with the struggle against the infestation. The Elites inform Commander Keyes that there is a UNSC construct aboard the Flood-infested ship and is identified as Cortana. After Retrieving Cortana, John-117 returned to the Shadow of Intent to oversee repairs made by 343 Guilty Spark. However it is only a recorded message from her. Cortana says that the Gravemind is sending an army of Flood to Earth and that there is a solution to the Flood on the other side of the portal without having to fire the Halo Array. Lord Hood questions Cortanas plan, saying it could be a Flood trap but John-117 firmly tells Lord Hood that he trusts her.
Lord Hood and his UNSC forces remain on Earth to defend it from any oncoming Flood invasion whilst Commander Keyes, John-117 and the Elites journey through the portal. Arriving at the Ark, Covenant Separatists battle against the Covenant Loyalist fleet whilst the UNSC launches a ground campaign. After landig on the Ark, 343 Guilty Spark helps lead John-117 and the UNSC forces to the Arks Cartographer, the map room of the Ark, to locate the control room of the Ark. In order to acces the Control room, they needed to deactivate three shield generators which are inside three seperate towers. SPARTAN-117 and the Arbiter succeed in deactivating the first and second towers, Johnson then radios Keyes and tells her that he must retreat due to heavy enemy assault. When John-117 and the other Elites arrive at the third tower, Johnson and his men are nowhere to be seen, after deactivating the final shield generator protecting the Control Room, the Flood-infested High Charity arrives via slipspace and crashes onto the Ark, releasing many Flood dispersal pods and flood infested rocks as it falls, causing the Covenant to be even more prone to lighting the Rings.
After handling the nearby infestation, John-117 leads the emaining UNSC and surving Sangheilo forces via an armored assault on the Citadel containing the Conrol Room, which is heavily defended by Covenant Loyalists. Once inside the Citadel, Truth broadcasts his sermon and reveals the captured Johnson to his followers. Just as Truth attempts to force Johnson to activate the Rings, Keyes crashes into the Control Room with a Pelican. Knowing she can't kill all of the Brutes, Keyes realizes that she must kill Johnson and herslef to stop the rings from being activated. From behind, Truth kills Keyes with a Spiker and forces Johnson hand onto the nearby terminal, activating all the remaining Halos in the Galaxy.
Just as Jhn-117 and Thel 'Vadam reach the top, they are confronted by two Flood Tank forms. The Gravemind, communicatong communicating through the two Flood forms, urges the two to join forces in stopping the initiation of the Halos and Truth. The Flood help John-117 and Thel 'Vadam reach Truth, taking out the Covenant defenses. With the Flood's help, John-117 and Thel 'Vadam slaughtered all the Covenant forces defending Truth. Upon arrival to the Ark's Control Terminal, they find Johnson mourning over the loss of Keyes, and Truth partially infected. Thel 'Vadam, after a short confrontation with Truth over the true purpose of the Halos, executes Truth with his energy sword, claiming he is too dangerous to be kept alive, just as John-117 deactivates all the Halos. Shortly after the deactivation of the Halos, the Gravemind betrays them and prevents the duo from escaping, although Johnson manages to escape using Keyes' crashed Pelican.
John-117 and the Arbiter manage to escape from the Citadel via an access tunnel near the elevator they used earlier. John-117 then experiences a hallucination of Cortana and follows the figure to a control panel. He then activated the panel, surprised to see that the Ark was manufacturing a replacement Halo after the destruction of the previous one. Knowing that the threat of the Flood is undeniably apocalyptic, John-117 decides he will activate the new Halo. Needing an Index in order to fire the ring, SPARTAN-117 journeys into the crashed High Charity to retrieve Cortana, keeping his promise and knowing that she still has the Index she acquired from the original Installation 04. Once retrieved, Cortana instructs the SPARTAN to overload High Charity's engines in order to destroy the Gravemind. Thel 'Vadam arrives via Banshee to assist the SPARTAN in fighting the Flood. The two escape from High Charity before it explodes using a damaged but still flyable Pelican.
The surviving Sangheili and UNSC personnel return to Earth, leaving only Sergeant Johnson, John-117 with Cortana and the Arbiter to make their way to the new Halo. As they make their way to the new Halo's Control Room, Flood forms arrive via Flood Dispersal Pods to prevent the activation of the Halo. From here, they quickly discover that Gravemind is attempting to reconstruct itself on the new Halo. As Sergeant Johnson tries to activate the ring, 343 Guilty Spark fires his defensive laser at him, mortally wounding Johnson, after realizing that it will destroy the installation. The Monitor then turns against John-117 and the Arbiter, blasting the Arbiter out of the Control Room, leaving the SPARTAN to destroy Guilty Spark by himself. John-117 successfully destroys the Monitor with the Spartan Laser and tries to mend Johnson. Mortally wounded, Johnson urged the SPARTAN to send him out "with a bang".
With the Halo activated, John-117 and Thel 'Vadam race towards the frigate Forward Unto Dawn using Johnson's Warthog. With no time to reach the cockpit, John-117 uploads Cortana into the frigate to start taking off before the Arbiter is able to take the controls. The front half of the Dawn, containing the Arbiter, makes it through the portal. However, as Halo shakes itself to pieces during its firing sequence and damages the Ark, the portal deactivates as the other half of the Dawn containing Chief and Cortana enter it. This causes them to rip off from the other half of the ship and be sent to an unknown area of space far enough from the Halo's blast, however, since they didn't come out of the other side of the portal, they never made it back to Earth. Back on Earth, Lord Hood holds a memorial service in honor for those who died in the Human-Covenant war, with the Arbiter and many Marines in attendance. With Truth dead, the Covenant defeated, and the Flood wiped out, the long and devastating war is finally over. Though he says he can never forgive the Arbiter for what the Covenant did to the human race, Lord Hood sincerely thanks him for standing by John-117 until the end. After the service, the Covenant Separatists returned to their home planet.
After the credits, it is revealed that John-117 and Cortana are still alive aboard the rear section of the Dawn, which had apparently torn off before going through the other side of the portal. The SPARTAN floats to a cryotube and as he climbs in, Cortana comments "I'll miss you." He replies "Wake me, when you need me." If the last level is completed on Legendary difficulty, the section of Forward Unto Dawn that Cortana and John are aboard is seen drifting towards R
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