Halo 3 at E3 '07Halo 3
Posted 11 July 2007 - 09:21 PM
Posted 11 July 2007 - 10:46 PM
Posted 12 July 2007 - 09:16 PM
Posted 12 July 2007 - 09:34 PM
Only new thing I read there was that the Hammer can knock a vehicle over.
E3 2007: Halo 3 Saved Films Preview (Xbox 360)
By: Will Tuttle - "KingTut"
As you probably read yesterday, we had a chance to check out a bit of the single-player campaign in Halo 3, the highly anticipated first-person shooter from Bungie and Microsoft. We certainly liked what we saw, but we loved what we saw when it came time to check out a little multiplayer action. What we were checking out actually wasn’t a multiplayer match in the traditional sense of the word, as no one was playing the game. No, what we were doing was watching a video of a match that was played last week, and we somehow couldn’t stop talking about it after the movie was done. Why was this, you ask? Well, probably because we had finally seen the much-anticipated “film” feature that was hinted at during the recent multiplayer beta.
If you played the beta, you probably spent a little time watching videos of yourself in action, but there really wasn’t much more to it than just a recap from your perspective. We’re here to tell you that everything will change once the final game is released. We were taken on a tour of the saved films feature of Halo 3, where you’ll be able to play back matches, edit them, share with your friends, and do a host of other things.
Always good to pause the action and get a good look at yourself.
The guys from Bungie decided to show us a new multiplayer level called Sand Trap, which takes place in a desert environment that also appears to be centered around some large ruins. Right off the bat, the demoer paused the action and left his body behind, detaching the camera to fly around the map and look at the opposing team. You’ll be able to play everything out no matter where the camera is, and you can watch from any angle or from the body of any player. Basically, you can do just about anything you can imagine.
We were very happy to hear that not only can you watch entire matches, you can also edit out chunks of footage, enabling you to make minivideos of your greatest moments. You can also pause the match at any time to take a snapshot of what’s happening, which will immediately be uploaded to Bungie.net for the world to see. Naturally, this means you can also send the image to friends or use it as your desktop or whatever, so we’re sure that we’ll be seeing some cool stuff. The video feature is also useful as a training tool, allowing you to see what the good players do (or find out where the campers and cheats hang out).
As for the multiplayer map itself, we got our first look at the Brute Chopper in action. This motorcycle-like vehicle has large serrated wheels on the front, making it perfect for running down foes. You can even destroy Warthogs just by running into them! We also got our first look at the Brute Hammer, a huge mallet that can do some serious damage in the hands of the right person. The Hammer is powerful enough to knock a charging vehicle off its course, although we didn’t get to see it being used enough to make a judgment on its usefulness.
All in all, we’re really excited to see what people are going to do with the Saved Films feature in Halo 3. With things like Roosterteeth’s “Red vs. Blue” series all the rage, this should lead to a bunch of new machinima for the Halo set. It’s also a great way to learn the ins and outs of each map or find the secrets to the success of the best players. We’ll definitely be spending more time with this in the coming months leading up to the game’s release.
Posted 12 July 2007 - 10:23 PM
E3 07: Halo 3 Updated Impressions - Single-Player Campaign
Bungie shows off the first single-player gameplay for Halo 3, and yeah, it looks great.
By Jason Ocampo, GameSpot
Posted Jul 11, 2007 4:39 pm PT
With 11 weeks to go before release, Microsoft and Bungie showed off Halo 3's single-player campaign for the first time at the E3 Media and Business Summit. The demo, held behind closed doors, showcased the graphical improvements in the sequel, which is one of the most highly awaited games of the year.
Bungie showed off the first level of the game, titled Sierra 117. Not wanting to spoil some of the plot developments revealed at the beginning, the action picked up about one-third of the way through the level. What's interesting is that the Master Chief and the Arbiter have now teamed up, and they and a small escort of Marines must make their way through a Covenant-infested gulch to rendezvous with Sergeant Johnson and a couple of Pelican transports.
Though the opening level lacks what Bungie's Frank O'Connor said are the large-scale vehicle battles of later levels, it still packed an intense amount of action as the Master Chief and his friends battle their way through waves of opponents that included grunts, brutes, and what looked like to be some elites. The presence of the grunts and elites alongside the brutes is a bit puzzling considering the fractured state of the Covenant at the end of Halo 2, so we imagine that the answers are to be found in the exposition that we skipped over.
A number of things just stuck out to us as the battle unfolded. First, the combat looks to be as wild and dynamic as in other Halo games. The artificial intelligence of both the enemies and your allies pretty much guarantees that each battle can unfold differently. Second, the amount of intelligent chatter going on does a lot to add atmosphere and humor to the game. You hear the alien grunts cry, "What a world!" before a grenade explodes next to them, or another remark "I'll revenge my brother!" as he throws a plasma grenade at you. The chatter is constant and with the cacophony of gunfire and explosions, it makes for a symphony of battle. Speaking of symphonies, the music was missing in the work-in-progress version that we played, though it has been composed and recorded and is awaiting insertion.
So how it looks is a question that's undoubtedly a question on millions of Halo fans' minds. Keep in mind that after some grumbling by fans about the graphics in the recent multiplayer beta, Bungie stressed that what was seen did not represent the final look of the game. Well, what we saw wasn't quite final, but the graphics were undeniably better and more advanced than those seen in the beta. The game pops out right at you. The visuals are clear and crisp, as well as bright and colorful. There's a lush quality to the forest gully, with lots of ground clutter and towering trees. Most noticeable is the almost lifelike sunlight poring through the forest canopy. Halo 3 makes considerable use of high-dynamic range lighting so that shadows look dark, but at the same time, sunlight looks almost saturated. The animations and character models are also well done. The Master Chief encountered alien brutes in green camouflage armor that looks really cool and plausible, and it's possible to strip a brute of his armor with gunfire or explosions.
After battling through a section of the forest, the Master Chief and allies make it to a riverside clearing where the Pelicans await them. Unfortunately, a horde of Covenant is also there, so a desperate battle erupts to clear the landing the zone. However, it's all for naught as one Pelican, looking to avoid ground fire, collides with another, sending one crashing to the ground and the other spinning in a different direction. Your new mission: locate Sergeant Johnson's crashed Pelican; so it's like Black Hawk Down, only with aliens. An alien Phantom suddenly appears and hovers over the river, laying down suppressive fire, so O'Connor, playing the Master Chief, grabbed a canon off of its mounts and used it to shoot down the alien craft. Another large-scale battle erupted between arriving brutes and the Chief, and that's where the demo ended.
Bungie next showed one of the neat multiplayer features of Halo 3, which was the ability to record and play back gameplay movies of both multiplayer and the single-player campaign. While this was a feature that was somewhat crippled in the multiplayer beta, we got to see the all-but-final version of the film system. Basically, Halo 3 records game data as you play, and then when it plays it back, it reenacts all the events. Only now, you can move the camera around anywhere to change the angle, as well as pause and slow the action
To demonstrate, Bungie showed off a five-versus-five multiplayer match that was recorded last week on the sand-trap multiplayer level. We watched as the battle was reconstructed and replayed. The members on one team boarded Warthogs and Brute Choppers, which are basically hoverbikes on steroids and had a head-on clash with the opposing team on their vehicles. The action was then paused and explosions were caught in all their fiery glory. It looks awesome, and even better, you can take high-resolution screenshots of your finest moments. You can then take screens or movies and upload them to a special shared space on Xbox Live so you can show off. This is going to be a great feature because it has implications for everyone, from whether you want to rub it in to your friend about a certain kill or you want to make machinima to or user-created movies.
Bungie has the next couple of months to polish and bug fix, though what we saw looked to be almost ready for primetime. All we can say is that it's going to be a long 11 weeks until September 25.
Nothing too different from the other ones. This is the only time I've seen mentioned that your mission is to go save Johnson after the Pelican crashes. It's impressive how much the press really likes this game, and they're even digging the graphics.
Posted 13 July 2007 - 06:10 PM
See the Marathon symbol on the AR?
Posted 13 July 2007 - 06:54 PM
It's almost like they wanted us to see it. Like some sort of homage to something. Nah, that?s just crazy talk.
This is taken from the H3 screen titled, "Through the Eyes of the Chief."
See the Marathon symbol on the AR?
Posted 13 July 2007 - 08:49 PM
Updated: Thursday, 12 July 2007
E3: Halo 3 Bets on User Generated Content
Bungie gave journos an up close look at a small piece of Halo 3?s single-player campaign, but new details on the game?s video sharing aspect were impressive as well.
Bungie?s Frank O?Connor played through an area in the single player campaign on Heroic difficulty level, exhibiting a game that seems much more visceral than its predecessors. The level shown was a swampy, tropical forest where the Covenant enemies attacked the hero Master Chief and ducked behind rocks, trees and other plants. Melee is again a handy component of combat.
Squadmates speak often, commenting on the action in the battlefield. Covenant enemies are even more talkative than before. (One lamented, ?He was my best friend!? after Master Chief dispatched his little buddy.)
One sequence had Master Chief taking a mounted gun off a turret, which he used to blast a Covenant warship until it dropped out of the air into the water below, all performed in third-person.
Bungie also had more details on the game?s ?Save Films? feature, which originally debuted during the Halo 3 multiplayer beta earlier this year.
Save Films is exactly that?it allows players to save footage of multiplayer or single player battles to the Xbox 360 hard drive. Users can then upload this footage (which is actually saved in the form of game data, not video, in order to save space) and share it with other player on Xbox Live.
Users can perform all of the standard video functions such as regular playback, fast-forward, slow-motion and pause. Gamers can take screen shots and share those as well.
Users can also edit clips of footage, extracting small pieces of an overall battle to upload and share.
Pausing and rotating around an explosion?with particles, vehicle parts and other players suspended in mid-air?is particular attractive.
Bungie expects the sharing aspect to allow for a whole new venue for trash talking. One gamer can extract a clip of a final winning shot, such as an impressive snipe, and send it the victim just to pour a little more salt on the wound.
Gamers can upload content such as replays, screens and customized game types to what?s essentially a ?folder.? User-generated content will be viewable via Bungie.net, where others can flag content. This flagged content would then automatically download to your Xbox 360 the next time you turn it on, assuming you?re connected.
Save Films is shaping up to be a good tool for creators of machinima and competitive gamers (this would be great for reviewing strategies).
Interesting that what you select on b.net will auto download to your 360. I wonder if that's just screenshots or vids as well.
Posted 15 July 2007 - 12:47 AM
We've just returned from our first up-close look at Halo 3's trilogy-capping single player campaign. You probably don't need or even want us to waste time on eloquent introductions... this is the biggest game of the year, after all. So on with the goods, in easily digestible and always popular bullet point format.
* The build we watched being played by the Bungie guys today was the same one used to capture the footage shown at the Microsoft press conference on Tuesday. Yes, every shot in that gorgeous trailer was taken using the game's current engine. If you haven't seen it yet, do yourself a favor and hit the Movies tab above... or head to the last page of this article, where we've embedded it again for your convenience.
* The first mission in Halo 3 is called "Sierra 117" and refers to a crashed Pelican that you've been tasked with locating. First, you've got to save the ship's captain, Sergeant Johnson, gruff and tough co-star of the last two games. A female character that sounded like Miranda Keyes was providing voice over the entire level, shouting action hero one-liners like "Nice shot!" and "Am I supposed to be intimidated?" While Master Chief was silent, she was laughing and cursing like a drunk and deranged sailor looking for a fight.
* The combat begins on a cliff in a lush jungle environment. At first, the Master Chief employs stealth, smacking sleeping Covenant Grunts on the back of the head and sending them plummeting to their death... just like the old days. Eventually, the Covenant and Brute in the area become aware of his presence and, when they do, the action becomes fast, intense and noisy. The Halo series is finished holding your hand; this looked like one tough and dangerous re-introduction to the gameplay, with enemies swarming all over the place within minutes. Keep in mind, however, that this was set on Heroic difficulty.
* Halfway through the demo, the Master Chief entered a clearing in the vegetation and we witnessed an in-game cut scene of sorts. Standing on a fallen log above the player's head were a gigantic Brute and a UNSC Marine, possibly Sergeant Johnson. The alien was clutching the human by the throat, threatening to drop him to the ground below. When the soldier simply responded with "Kiss my ass" (yeah, sounds like Johnson), he was flung aside violently.
* Eventually, the Master Chief exited the dense foliage and, as the fighting shifted to a series of stone docks, it grew absolutely frantic. Grunts were being blasted through the air, Brutes were crashing into large wooden crates and multiple drop ships were hovering over the river's edge, adding their own barrage of laser fire to the din.
* The appearance and behavior of the enemies will be very familiar to Halo fans. The Grunts are as lightweight and comical as ever, squeaking and squawking more than they actually shoot. The Jackals' shields still seem like a bitch to get around. And you can still knock off the Brutes' armor with a well placed shot or two. The creatures underneath are a lot scarier, however - with next-gen graphics, you can see every nasty hair, distinguish every battle scar and feel the menacing heat of every glowing red slit of an eye. While the other aliens are still slightly cartoonish, the Brutes look frighteningly real.
* Also real is the blood. In one of the random Master Chief deaths we witnessed, the Spartan was smashed against a wall, splattering a surprising volume of blood into the air and leaving quite the nasty stain behind.
* The graphics look great. No joke, no puff. We wouldn't say they look as detailed as the new screenshots suggest, but Bungie has found the perfect balance between fantasy and reality. Trees, sunlight, clouds, water and the textures in general look beautifully believable, but not to the point where neon-colored aliens look out of place. This is how Halo should look on the Xbox 360.
* Halo 3's campaign will be approximately the same length as those in Halo and Halo 2. Bungie hinted at the possibility of future downloadable content for multiplayer ("We have a history of supporting our games"), but there are no plans to add anything extra to the single player.
* The demo did not contain music, as it has not been put in yet. But the orchestra has finished scoring the soundtrack.
* What else? Do you care about the loading screen? If you do, it's a bunch of silver particles slowly filling in the shape of a Halo ring. Actually quite mesmerizing.
There's more on multi player stuff but that's not important.
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