In Response To: Day 3 Halo Overload - reminiscences (Louis Wu)
I just wanted to thank everyone for the absolutely wonderful time I had at the Halo booth. From Case's very personal instruction and Pallor's 'insights' into my playing ability *grin*, to the vast multiplayer fun we all had (I SWEAR I didn't mean to jump into the jeep) it was truely the most fun I've had fully clothed in public for quite some time.
My favorite moment:
I'm defending the base and am just getting the hang of the grenades when an enemy jeep comes barreling directly at me. I aim up for range and toss two nades that explode at exactly the right spot (fast moving target!) to blow the jeep up and barrel roll TWICE (!!!) through the air (during this part I'm screaming and laughing)... before miraculously landing squarely on it's wheels and speeding off to our take the flag from our base. (thwak). In my mind I think.. "oh yeah.. under the jeep there's _armour_."
I'm starting to think that the real criticism Halo will recieve is 'the game is too realistic'.
And isn't that a beautiful thing. *big assed grin*
Thanks again Case, Max and the rest of the team. I think you've got a winner.
: On the plane home yesterday, I wrote out some thoughts about the last day of
: the expo (I stayed pretty close to the Bungie booth all day - I'd seen
: most of what I wanted to see in the other parts of the expo in the
: previous two days). It's a little disjointed - blame the guy sitting next
: to me, who felt the need to talk pretty much continuously through the
: flight. I hope it conveys the fun we had, though.
: We arrived in the Microsoft enclave near 11 am, and immediately checked the
: large plasma displays for an S-Video Out port - we'd looked at some of
: these displays in another section of the Expo, and realized that we could
: plug into this port and capture net or solo play directly to a DV camera,
: providing an awesome view for those not fortunate enough to be at E3.
: Unfortunately, the displays Microsoft used had source inputs only - no
: outputs. Apologies, therefore, for being unable to bring you the
: crystal-clear footage we were hoping for.
: In a conversation with Max Hoberman (Yeroen), the Bungie Online Team Lead, we
: learned that the light bridge visible at the beginning of the xbox.com
: video footage was near the top of the second demo level - in an area that
: Max believed nobody had reached in the three days of the Expo (nobody from
: the general public, that is). He jumped onto a Solo machine to demonstrate
: this area. He quickly ran through the beginning of the level, and passed
: into unseen territory - he proved unable to pass one critical juncture in
: the time allotted, but we got to see some amazing gameplay in the process.
: The stumbling block was a battlefield deep within the underground base, on
: a large staging platform before a tight bottleneck - your first job was to
: clear out the covenant in the open area. This was no small task - the
: enemy did a great job of using the local environment to shoot at you from
: cover; Max entered the area in a jeep, with a chain gunner for assistance,
: but manouvering room was tight, due to large drops on two sides, and
: warehouse equipment littering the floor. Once this area was clear, he
: entered a tighter corridor - the jeep had to be abandoned. The first rule
: of combat in these quarters - be careful where you throw your grenades -
: throw them at a wall in front of you, and they'll bounce back. On the
: second runthrough, he decided to forgo killing all the Covenant troops in
: the lower open platform... and though he was successful at wiping out the
: guards in the corridor, and avoiding his own grenade blasts, he was taken
: out from behind by those he chose to ignore. Subsequent runthroughs showed
: tactics such as blocking the entrance to the corridors with the jeep
: (effective in keeping out the lower Covenant - success would have been
: possible but for the indiscriminate pattern of the chain gun, fired from
: behind at the Covenant horde swarming towards you from in front), and
: using the jeep as cover, wedged into a corner (almost successful; the
: chaingunner took out the corridor guards, and the jeep provided safety
: from almost all directions... but the Covenant elite found a notch between
: two structures with a clear shot at Max, and the battle was lost again).
: We surrendered the machine to other Expo-goers, and moved around to the
: Multiplayer side of the wall. Here, a rotating phalanx of Bungie employees
: provided guidance and encouragement to the two ever-changing teams playing
: in a continuous stream of first-to-three Capture the Flag games. At one
: point, a team made up of Louis Wu (HBO), Freewill (Bungie Sightings),
: Noctavis (Rampancy.net) and Santa's Head (Mumbo Jumbo) took on Yeroen and
: three unnamed teammates... and were beaten soundly. (In our defense, it
: was Noc and Santa's first runthrough on Halo - and we provided some decent
: entertainment anyway.) Multiplayer proved to be seriously addictive (the
: adrenaline rush that hits you when you drop a grenade in front of a jeep
: barreling towards you, only to see it spiral through the air above your
: head, landing upright behind you and continuing to your base, intent on
: mayhem, was unmatched by anything else we ran across at the Expo), and
: Miguel and I stayed pretty close to the booth for the next few hours,
: jumping in as often as possible. Meg Sagi (Pallor) stopped by periodically
: to snicker at our mishaps, and cheer us on when our skills began to
: improve, and at 3:30, we jumped into our final game. The match took far
: longer than usual, due to a mistake near the beginning in which one player
: flipped a jeep and wedged it into the back entrance of one of the bases -
: this effectively took that jeep out of play (leaving only one), and made
: flag capture in that base far, far more difficult (there was now only one
: exit, which was easily covered by the defenders). We fought valiantly,
: nonetheless, and after a hectic 35 minutes, we lost by a single flag
: return (just in time - the lights came up, signaling the end of the Expo,
: and folks began to come around, turning off machines in preparation for
: display breakdown). Whatever complaints people have about the changes that
: have occurred in Halo development over the past year, it cannot be denied
: that 8-person team play is just flat-out fun.