Bungie Weekly (Mega)Update
“Don’t call it a comeback. I’ve been here for years.”
Although many of us are waiting impatiently for probably what is considered this year’s first BIG game release, Bioshock; that many more (and then some) are impatiently waiting for what they would consider the THE biggest game release ever known to mankind. Ironically, the abnormal cult status of either title will undoubtedly ring in the trolls and haters. Regardless of which cult you’ve chosen to embrace (or as the typical rebel you’ve chosen the dark side paths of hate and apathy) deep down, even secretly, you have to admit that both titles will probably kick more ass than Jim Kelly in a blaxploitation film. Seriously, it’s ok to secretly admit that Halo 3 will kick ass. I certainly do. Just don’t let your best friend, who wears Master Chief replica armor to bed “because Master Chief sleeps in armor”, know that you do. Back on topic.
In a timely fashion, Bungie have provided a weekly update that teeters on the edge of Halo 3 information overload. Many of the topics discussed in this latest update were hinted earlier. Bungie seems to have gone in great detail discussing a lot of these new features that will probably make it into the final game.
I’ve summarized most of the topics covered in Bungie’s update as well as provided several brand new screenshots after the break:
First thing covered was the game’s near completion, or more accurately “the game is roughly 99.9% complete”. The epsilon testing is now closed and will most likely be the last chance anyone has at playing the game before it is released (sans the priviledged few in private testing). Next topic is Halo 3′s Forge mode:
“Halo 3â€™s Forge is a mode that allows for both play and design to co-exist and cooperate. A multiplayer focused tool, Forge will allow players to customize multiplayer maps, changing and resetting spawn points, weapon spawns, weapon timers, vehicle spawns and timers, vehicle spawn points, and add existing geometry to the mapâ€™s existing structure in the form of crates, boxes, fusion coils, lifts, teleporters and more. The amount of items you can drop is regulated by an economy budget system, with different items having different values and each map having an overall Budget that the items you place cannot exceed. By deleting existing things off of a given map, you can actually place more things. Players can modify and create their versions of maps, save them and share them with their friends, but thatâ€™s only half or so of what Forge allows.
In addition to functioning as creation-driven tool, Forge is also a playspace. Up to eight players can be on a given map at a time, shifting back and forth between their chosen multiplayer model and the Forge model â€“ a Monitor. Players can play actual games in Forge, goof around, kill each other, play Slayer where each team designates a Monitor to supply weapons, vehicles, equipment and cover on the fly.”
Who said the 360 wouldn’t get mod’ing? Way cool. Bungie goes on discussing more about the various new maps and things found in the epsilon test that we obviously will not get to experience until the game hits the shelf. So skipping the obvious teasing there, Bungie does mention about getting to play Halo 3 on IMAX. Yes, you read that right, IMAX. As if not getting to play Halo 3 was bad enough, being teased about something that we couldn’t do even if we had Halo 3 in hand is worse. Just reading about the Halo 3 IMAX experience is comparative to sex. Great googly moogly….
Bungie then discusses the possibility of an optional bonus feature that could be described as a MySpace/YouTube for Halo 3. Basically, anyone (with Halo 3) can upload their custom content to their public Halo 3 space (alluded to being stored on a Bungie server). Content such as custom game and map variants, screenshots, saved films, film clips, links, etc. The catch is there are a limited number of slots and space for this. Live’s Gold members by default will get 6 slots within 25MB of free space. If you require more than that, you will have to fork over the MS points to upgrade to a Bungie Pro membership status. Pro membership will cost 750 points per year and allot members up to 24 slots within 250MB of space. Live’s Silver members will also be eligible for Bungie Pro. Everything will be viewable and remotely manageable via Bungie.net. So if you’re on a PC, you can queue things up the next time you log into to play Halo 3. The saved films, which are nothing more than recorded game data, will not be viewable on PC. This means you’ll still have to make your own low-tech YouTube videos. This is probably why the 25MB space will not seem as bad as one might think since real video (the likes you see on YouTube) consume space like crazy. One final thing to note is that your local/private space (XBox hard drive) is not limited. This means you can cycle your gigantic Halo 3 Library of Archives out to the public at will. Great, now everyone will want to be an amateur film student.
A brand new multiplayer map titled Narrows was also revealed. A few screenshots of said map can be viewed below.
Finally, as if there wasn’t enough stirring of the Halo cauldron, the update also alluded to a soon emergence of Neill Blomkamp’s next Halo short.