The new content will include a Halo 3 theme and exclusive gamer pic at first, followed by "Inside Bungie: Halo 3 -The Story," (a series of interviews with the development team) on September 27 and "Inside Bungie: Halo 3 – New Features" one day later. The new content will be available until September 30.

There is a catch with this new offer. Microsoft plans to make this offer available only for Xbox Live Gold members. Basically, the move aims to lure more gamers to join the paid tier of the service, given the game’s current popularity.

But let’s put aside the Halo 3 hype for the moment and take a look at one review that forgets to praise the game, and with good reason. Tom Chick has been shooting his way through the single player campaign and his conclusion is far from what the regular Halo fan would expect:

For instance, what happens to the the rest of the world. Earth, you know? That place we live that could have given this game some sort of emotional hook? Cutscenes opt instead to show people planning something, or talking about what’s going to happen if this lever isn’t pulled, or mentioning what presumably must have happened in the previous games.

It’s hard to look past the blatant corridor level design. I use the term quite literally. Bungie gets a lot of mileage out of reusing entire areas. You’ll get a few instances of "go here and do this", followed by "now go back where you were before through respawned monsters, which will save our level designers some time". At one point, you have to revisit a copy of an area. Bungie makes no bones about it. Three teams split up, each to pull a lever in an identical area. What do you know? One of the teams couldn’t make it so you get to replay exactly the same area to pull exactly the same lever!”

Finally, the BioShock factor can’t be overlooked. Irrational’s "masterpiece of the art form" (if ever there was a game deserving that phrase…) raised the bar for what we can expect not only from our shooters, but from our games at large. Halo 3 is five years behind in terms of clearing that bar.”