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Halo 3 IMAX Show in Seattle on 8/21/2007

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#61 Nightshade

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Posted 22 August 2007 - 04:23 PM

Information, so much, so fast. It's glorious.

#62 RetroShadow

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Posted 22 August 2007 - 04:45 PM

More Single-Player action
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#63 Va1or

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Posted 22 August 2007 - 04:46 PM

Information, so much, so fast. It's glorious.


lol

#64 Drew

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Posted 22 August 2007 - 05:07 PM

The final portion of my impressions:

Alright! We're finally onto the final part of the demo. Save Films. Frankie asks Lars to pull up the E3 build for him, and explains to the crowd that the reason they were using an old build is because they had a cool saved film on it. This is the same build that the press saw behind closed doors at E3. Honestly, I wasn't expecting much when we were going in. I'd read the impressions, I'd been "eh, that's pretty cool". Boy, have I never been so happy as to be so wrong. When the build first started up we got to see the loading screen for the first time. Let's just say that everything you've read and heard about it is true. Hell, I don't even think that mere words can do it justice. This shit is incredible. Imagine a giant cloud of eerie luminescent blue-green particles, all in the shape of tiny squares. From the left side of the screen, lines that begin to form a wireframe of a Halo ring streak out of the inky black background and collect the particles as they do so. The lines shoot ahead of the already materialized left side of the ring, the particles attaching themselves and coating the wires, making a complete, solid ring. The camera gently sweeps around the ring as the process finishes, and we fade into the E3 menu. The crowd is rightfully awestruck by the sight of the loading screen, and were dead silent as the menu came up. The menu is a view of the Ark, just like the one we saw at the Halo 3 announce. It remained un-activated, flush with the ground and stretching out for what seemed like miles. Frank then selects the Theater lobby and we see a Covenant Cruiser floating over the Ark. Frankie goes on to explain how saved films work, and that you select them by type. Those types being "Campaign", "Multiplayer", and "Forge". He selects multiplayer and drills down further in the menu. Films are now organized extremely well, and are sorted by map. Frank highlight Sandtrap, upon which two saved films pop up. I can't remember their names for the life of me, other then the fact that they both carried the same name, except one of them had the number "1" after it. We selected the one with no suffix and again witnessed that awesome loading screen. And here starts the demo...

As the film began to play, a couple of things became immediately apparent. Frankie wasn't kidding when he said this was an old build. The aliasing that was so blissfully absent during the previous two demos hit you full force right off the bat. It's how we witnessed during the beta, with little or no Anti-Aliasing to be found. The framerate also took a hit, dropping down to the familiar, but now somewhat bland, 30FPS. Another thing I noticed was the time bar at the top of the screen, seemingly counting seconds. If I remember correctly, the film was 217 seconds (about three and a half minutes) long. Frank went into explaining that you could do a lot of things, and he was going to show us the first feature of many, "pause". He paused (the demo started from the first-person viewpoint of a Spartan, by the way), and then he promptly disconnected the camera from the first-person viewpoint, and started hovering the Spartan in third-person. A small rotation of the camera and all of the initial disappointment with the graphics was decimated in a heartbeat. The HDR and lighting in this game are FANTASTIC. The crowd exploded, whether at the detachable camera, the HDR, or a combination of both, I couldn't tell. I didn't really care, either, as I cheered myself, unsure even of what impressed me the most. There was something magical about the way the visor caught the sun, glinting off and blaring into the camera as the parched sand below gently diffused the entire level in an eerie yellow glow. It was incredible, and another of the many defining moments of the night. Frankie then explained that you could completely detach the camera from players and roam free as well, slowly panning over to another Spartan, who was decked out in the CBQ armor permutation. He completely ignores the massive vehicle in the background, while staying quite aware of the crowd's interest in said hulking piece of hardware as he says "As you can see, this is one of our cool new permutations, I'm sure you guys want a closer look..." and he zoomed it on the helmet and shoulder, putting the Elephant in plain sight. The crowd went crazy again (these Bungie guys are really good at this, almost to a point where it's scary), and Frankie innocently says "Oh, what? You guys are interested in that thing? Noooo." Everyone laughed as he moved the camera over to the Elephant and flew through, explaining how it was the single largest vehicle that they've ever done in Halo before. Enough room to fit park a tank in it "believe us, we've done it before" and get all members of both teams in "as long as they're willing to cooperate, that is". The thing is massive, with a Mongoose parked on the lower level, which was about three times the height of the small quad. Directly behind the Mongoose was an interesting information panel that I really didn't get a good look at, and on the left side of the vehicle was a ramp that led to the second level. Man, this thing is huge. Anyway, Frank tears off from the Elephant (which is parked at the back of this team's base, behind a large ruin that juts awkwardly out of the surrounding desert sand). Red team, whom the base belongs to, takes off in a gaggle of vehicles (two choppers and a Warthog) as Frankie unpauses the game. He reattaches himself to the player he was previously observed (who now happens to be piloting a Chopper), and pauses the game again, rotating around the vehicle in third person. Unpausing and detaching the camera, he follows the trio of vehicles into a large side-canyon, which appears to run the length of the map, slightly interrupted by a sloping hill around the middle. For a better idea of the map's layout (and later, the layout of Tsavo highway) stick around. I'll be drawing some top-down diagrams for you guys, giving a general outline of the map, as well as some key locations. Anyway, Frankie moves away from the group as we approach the second part of this demo.

Frank approaches the large gorge which bisects the map in the middle, and we see the approaching Blue Team, in a similar gaggle of vehicles as the reds. Meeting head on in the large area just off of the gorge, red team is promptly decimated and the Choppers from Blue make short work of the vehicles. Frank splits off from that battle and flies to the opposite side of the map. If you were to travel through the gorge from the side where the vehicular carnage had just occurred and emerge directly on the other side, this is the area I'm talking about. Frank follows himself in a Warthog as his attempt to grab the Banshee parked on a raised ruin next to what appears to be downed Phantom goes horribly awry, a swarm of vehicles and anti-armor fire descending on his position, annihilating him and the Banshee in the process. The crowd laughs as he explains that he always tries to go for the Banshee, and someone is always expecting him. Old habits die hard, I guess. Anyway, he pulls away from that, saying that this is a pretty hectic battle but he knows that something bad is about to go down. He pans over to a lone red in a Warthog heading for the center of the map in a large open area quite similar to the one on the other side of the map. He explains that this will be the perfect time to demonstrate some more of the pause feature and the red gets sight of the enemy forces beyond, and whips around, attempting to make a quick getaway. Much to his dismay, a frag grenade clinks off of the cockpit and lands in the sand next to him. Frank then says, "but wait, that's not all - this guy has got it really bad." Sure enough, we can make out the tell-tale targeting beam of the Spartan Laser, as a Blue takes aim on the already-doomed Warthog. The Laser and the grenade go off in unison, as they both impact the 'Hog Frankie pauses the game and shows another very cool feature. He explains "So now, this is really cool. Say you want to make your friend remember their moment of being owned for the rest of their life, all it takes is a simple click of a button." Bringing up the saved films menu (you've probably seen it in a couple of screenshots), he rotates around, getting a good angle on the Spartan who's being rocketed from the flaming wreckage, and hits the screenshot button. A menu of ways to save it "Name and Save", "Autoname and Save", "Name, save, and upload", "Auto-name, save, and upload". He hits the last option I mentioned and explains that the screenshot has been taken and uploaded to Bungie.net at twice the resolution, ready for desktops, screensavers, what have you. He then quickly explains a very cool feature where you can cut a small clip from the film, containing just a few seconds of ownage. That way you don't have to sit through the entire thing just for a couple really cool moments. Moving away from the burning wreckage and again unpausing the game, Frank moves back to the large gorge, as another Warthog approaches. Fankie explains that this person is going to demonstrate "how not to get out of a Warthog," adding that it's the perfect time to demonstrate slow motion. As the hapless Spartan attempts to remove himself from the now-stationary jeep, a Chopper zooms up from behind, unbeknownst to the poor bastard who just wants to get away. Moments before contact, Frank slows the scene down to an almost frame-by-frame play speed. Another really, really cool moment as the 'Hog is tossed aside like a toy, the now lifeless driver being slammed into the side of a nearby ruin. So awesome. That was to be short-lived, though, as Frankie went to another Spartan standing on a nearby ruin who was armed with a missile pod. The wielder fires three missiles at an incoming Mongoose from the opposite side of the gorge, and Frankie pauses. He says "This guy is pretty honed in on that Mongoose he's trying to kill, unfortunately for him..." rotating around, revealing another tracking laser, the crowd all laughs and whoops as Frankie turns toward the source, finishing up quite matter-of-factly "...Spartan Lasers are really abundant on this level." He unpauses just long enough for the laser to be loosed on its poor victim, watching the impact in slow motion as the previously missile pod-wielding Spartan is engulfed in a massive explosion. Another huge round of applause and Frankie moves onto the final part in the demo.

Frankie continues to show us more multiplayer mayhem as he moves to a small skirmish in the bottom of the gorge. A Chopper zips into a small area to the side of the massive canyon, in between some ruins and narrowly misses a Spartan. He hops out of the Chopper and turns to engage the guy he failed to squash earlier, only to be foiled by yet ANOTHER Spartan Laser, this one on top of the ruins opposite of him, a hundred feet above. Frank splits off again, starting to explain how Lars Bakken is an excellent shot with the Rocket Launcher. So much so, that it's earned him quite the reputation around the office. He then goes on about how we're going to see a rare occurrence in multiplayer, and brings to camera up to Lars, who is sporting a Battle Rifle, and, sure enough, he's got a Rocket Launcher strapped to his back. Frankie explains that Lars can never miss out on an easy target, and Frankie pans up, revealing a Warthog traveling along the top of the large ruin that runs the length of the map, interrupted only by the large gorge in the middle. "And what's stupider than driving a Warthog on rooftops, hundreds of feet in the air?" The crowd laughs as Frankie zooms out to show both Lars and the approaching 'Hog, going into his best wildlife hunter impression (no accent, just style). "And here we're going to witness a really rare occurrence!" Lars run up, meeting the Warthog on the spine of the ruins, merely feet away from the 'Hog. He fires a rocket, and... misses. He literally misses the 'Hog at point blank range. Frank pauses it as everyone laughs. He goes into explaining how they have a cool ambient sound system now, so even when the game is paused you'll here the low rumble of engine or the hissing of an airborne plasma round in full 5.1 positional surround. He demonstrates this us by circling around the off-course rocket, and I must say, it's pretty damn impressive. Anyway, the Warthog reaches the end of the ruins and flys off down into the gorge, somehow landing right-side-up and starting to drive off. Lars won't be fooled twice, though, and makes one of the most incredible shots I've seen with the Rocket Launcher, tagging the speeding Warthog with the slow-moving rocket when it's hundreds of yards away. Good show. Frankie then goes onto say we're also going to witness the first saved film betrayal shown to the public (I don't know if the first group didn't see this or what), where there was several Blue guys in vehicles about to pass beneath him as he prepped to drop the Power Drain up on the ruins, above the gorge. What he didn't see, as Frankie pointed out, was he teammate who was just about to jump down and attempt to board one of said incoming vehicles. Frankie uses the saved film controls to great effect here, zooming around, pausing, and going in slow motion in the ensuing orgy of death. Right as the guy activates the power drainer, his teammate jumps down, and starts boarding the Warthog, which slams into the oncoming Chopper as the Power Drain explodes, killing everyone. Laughter and hoots all around. Finally, as we near a close, Frank brings us to final battle of the demo. Back to where the very first one I described occurs. There are at least four or five vehicles, and at least two Choppers. Frank tells us that the Choppers have a new boost feature, and he's going to help show that off here. One of the Choppers approaches an enemy Warthog, whipping around to face its adversary, and rapidly increases it's speed. I'd liken it to a snake bite, of sorts. The Warthog is completely demolished. Frank then explains that they have ways of reliving these glorious moments, as well. He hits left trigger (I think) and it skips him back a little, to a couple seconds before impact. And plays it, and does it again. "And, again, and again, and again..." He closes out the demo by explaining that you can share these with anyone who has an Xbox Live account. And since it's game data, it only takes a couple megs. The one we got to see was apparently only 3MB. He explains that it's quick and easy, and can be done almost instantly. He then explains to us that every-time he looses, his guide notification pops up with a brand new saved film from Luke. Everyone laughs as they close out the demo with a "Thanks for coming, hope you guys enjoyed it!" and another standing ovation.

So yeah. Excellent stuff. Yet another feature that Bungie knocks clean out of the park. Save Films have a huge potential to really change the Halo community, and the way they showed it to us really hammered that home. Machinima will be easier than ever to make and distribute, with the possibility of linking films on Bungie.net. Now you can actually brag about how good you are and have proof to back it up. Now your friends can see that cool little Carney Hole you found on your favorite map. Now the community won't have to baffle over how to grab that last, hidden skull. It's brilliant, simply put. I can't wait. Great job, Bungie. You've truly made the defining game out this generation, no, of our generation. I salute you, and wish you well on whatever future endeavors you choose to partake in. This fan will there all the way, as I can't wait to see the next big thing you manage to cook up.

Well, there you have it. I'm finally finished with my impressions. There's a couple little things that I missed, and I'll be adding in a little while, but for the most part I'm finished. I'll be getting on those diagrams soonish, and hopefully it'll help clear things up for those of you who are confused by my descriptions. Thanks for sitting through all this, and I really appreciate all of the support I've been getting. Thanks a ton, everyone!

#65 vociferous

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Posted 22 August 2007 - 05:24 PM

Drew, I will read your walls posthaste (once I've taken a shower and settled in), but that being said, I think these videos speak for themselves. I want a complete refund of my pre-order money for Halo 3. They said the game was going to be "bad ass" when they sold it to me. Instead, it appears as though it's going to be "the most bad ass game to ever touch the planet in the history of video games period." False advertising. I could create a list of all of the things I like that I've seen, but I've got a short story to work on and not enough internet space to write a list that long. Very impressive and well done Bungie. I think the Xbox 360 paid for itself five fold.

#66 RetroShadow

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Posted 22 August 2007 - 06:18 PM

Multiplayer Montage
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#67 Drew

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Posted 22 August 2007 - 07:26 PM

Jesus Christ, somebody tell armubaba that I've been registered for months. I'm still awaiting activation. Anyway, if any of you guys from GAF are reading this, I just made room on my friends list. Feel free to add me.

#68 quickshade

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Posted 22 August 2007 - 07:28 PM

It's not like Bungie to let itself be outdone by other media outlets with crappy cams and such. If I know Bungie, Which I don't they will release something good soon. Well Drew you seem like a good guy...sent you one....from quickshade. Plus you have duff in your name....which makes me laugh cause I think of duffman...oh yea!!

Edited by quickshade, 22 August 2007 - 07:31 PM.


#69 Drew

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Posted 22 August 2007 - 08:10 PM

Okay, so a couple of things I missed. I was originally planning on fleshing out the definition of "Brute Packs" (as you can see, I still have the "**" in the original post). If the allegation that they're randomly placed is true (which I have reason to believe that it isn't), it seems that they also spawn "context" with them. For example, throughout the campaign demo we witnessed various downed Phantoms, which were, 99 times out of a 100, accompanied by one or two packs of Brutes. It seems what Bungie is doing is actually giving context to the battles this time around. We saw a little of this in Halo 1, to pull an example, when we met up with the marines on AoTCR. Their Pelican had been downed and they were holed up fighting for their lives. We saw a little of this in Halo 2 as well, but it seems that it's really coming to a head in the third iteration. The fact that Bungie is specifically putting context behind their encounters (such as Brutes securing a UNSC supply depot, or a marine convoy that was set to deliver backup to a besieged base, but instead ended up being ambushed and having their backs pushed up against a wall) is something that we need to start seeing more of. It's far too often that we simply are met with an empty building with no purpose and no story and a bunch of nameless foes with no real purpose. Bravo, Bungie, for breaking the trend and once again setting the standard. A few other random things that I didn't touch on. We also saw the Forge menu, which was (once again) located on the edge of the Ark crater, this time with a monitor bobbing gently up and down as he suspended a Warthog in midair. I don't remember if I fully explained it before, but basically you can pull up a list of maps and select which one you want to edit. If you already have maps that you've Forged previously, they'll appear when you highlight the correct map. It works much like the saved film menu does, and it seems to flow really well. Props to the UI designers for turning something boring and monotonous into what could be called an art. Also, I did see the portable shields in action. They're HUGE, much larger than I was expecting. It's kind of like if you cut a good 1/6th of the Bubble Shield out, and made a small slit in the middle (think of how the old castles had those thin slits where archers could fire arrows through, but it was nearly impossible for the enemy to get a shot back at said archer). It looked really small, enough only to accommodate small arms. When it takes damage, it begins to glow orange and then, shortly after (this is an assumption) the shield will break and go down, much like the stationary shields in the previous two games. It's appearance outwardly appears very much like an over-sized stationary shield from the previous games, except it's now more opaque and seems to use the Jackal's shield shader. Now I think I've pretty much covered anything. Again, I'm open for questions, so if there's something you want to know feel free to ask. Accepted you BTW, shade.

#70 Va1or

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Posted 22 August 2007 - 08:54 PM

Did the flashlights last for a decent amount of time before shutting off?

#71 NJ Shlice

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Posted 22 August 2007 - 09:52 PM

Drew, I will read your walls posthaste (once I've taken a shower and settled in), but that being said, I think these videos speak for themselves. I want a complete refund of my pre-order money for Halo 3. They said the game was going to be "bad ass" when they sold it to me. Instead, it appears as though it's going to be "the most bad ass game to ever touch the planet in the history of video games period." False advertising.

I could create a list of all of the things I like that I've seen, but I've got a short story to work on and not enough internet space to write a list that long. Very impressive and well done Bungie. I think the Xbox 360 paid for itself five fold.


I approve of this post.

At this point, I cannot be more impressed/excited for this game. These campaign videos were just the tip of the iceberg. It's to the point where I just watch the videos and I have this shit-eatin smile on my face and I just shake my head... "How did you guys do it? I don't deserve this game"

#72 Drew

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Posted 22 August 2007 - 10:01 PM

Did the flashlights last for a decent amount of time before shutting off?

It seemed like it was unlimited, even in the areas where it wasn't dark. (There was some idiot in one of the recent off-screen videos who was running around the middle of a sun-baked plain with it on for some time.)

#73 Drew

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 02:01 AM

54 seconds of off-screen footage from Gamersyde: http://www.gamersyde...ws_4852_en.html

Edited by Drew, 23 August 2007 - 02:01 AM.


#74 Cuckooo

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 02:14 AM

Ahh I wake up to mass amounts of new Halo 3 media, I'm going to have some sort of breakdown!

#75 Va1or

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 06:02 AM

It seemed like it was unlimited, even in the areas where it wasn't dark.


Aw man I hope so. I'm pretty sick of the 5 second crap-out of Halo 2's.

#76 Kinetic

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 06:34 AM

54 seconds of off-screen footage from Gamersyde: http://www.gamersyde...ws_4852_en.html

Anybody who shouts "Halo 2.5" after seeing those interior textures needs to have their eyes gouged out, because they're obviously not using them right anyway.

#77 vociferous

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 06:41 AM

Aw man I hope so. I'm pretty sick of the 5 second crap-out of Halo 2's.

In a world where there a magnetically accelerating cannons and space tethers exist, long lasting batteries are tough to come by.

#78 urk

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 07:23 AM

In a world where there a magnetically accelerating cannons and space tethers exist, long lasting batteries are tough to come by.


It's a balancing act. You DO NOT want to drain power from the MJOLNIR waste disposal system.

#79 Drew

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 03:00 PM

It's a balancing act. You DO NOT want to drain power from the MJOLNIR waste disposal system.

Hahaha, oh man. How did we ever live without you around here? <3

#80 MasterChief2829

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 11:09 AM

Is the FlameThrower first person like in Halo 1 or is it a 3rd person support weapon? I hope it's 1st person, would look and feel weird shooting it in 3rd person... o.o



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