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Old 12-18-2003, 05:50 PM   #1
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Halo! Halo!! Halo!!!

Well, tonight I had a choice of staying at home and listening to the MacShow or attending the Bungie FanFest. I chose the latter (apologies to Shawn King).

Well, after a fun slideshow, soda, pizza and trivia contest, we were treated to the following spectacle: they had brought along two prototype Xboxes, and showed single player Halo for about ten minutes!

I am quite impressed at the graphic quality of Halo. When you look at the sun, you see flares. Pine trees have so much detail—it seems like you could see individual needles on the branches. A waterfall looks like a real waterfall. Its a real visual treat!

They then displayed two Xboxes networked together, each with four controllers attached. Each of the two screens showed the viewpoint of four players (four quarter screens per physical screen). They mentioned that with four Xboxes, four TVs and sixteen controllers, sixteen players could play simultaneously!

Then came the coolest part: They let us play! It rocked! You won't believe how fun it is to ride in the dune buggy like vehicle. One driver, another guy shotgun, and a guy in back manning the turret! It was just amazing driving rapidly over hills bouncing around while one's teammate was firing away. If the buggy gets caught in an explosion, it rolls over! You can run down people! The grenades looked astounding, as they created a green mist like explosion that was somewhere around twenty feet tall (assuming that the character's scale is around six feet). Players caught in the explosion fly away from the force, and it looks utterly realistic. There is a cloaking item that looks stupendous. When you get hit, you fade into view and then out again. When you are carrying the flag (we were playing a capture the flag game), you move slower. If you fire, you drop the flag. I won the game for my team. I'm not such a great player, but everyone else was too busy firing at the dune buggies and each other. So I snuck the enemy flag back three times. LMAO.

Even though it was still very much an alpha version, I think Bungie has another hit on their hands.

I got a chance to speak with one of the programmers, and he informed me the the Xbox version would be out first in November. Then the PC and Mac version will follow. They plan to have a carbon version assuming no unforeseen snafus in the programming.

Bungie gave us free passes to E3, so they are now going down in my book as the coolest game company I know of.

So, I won a game of Halo before most people have even seen it, I'm going to E3 tomorrow, and I'm going to be at the Glendale Apple store on Saturday for the grand opening.

Sometimes life rocks! Woohoo!

Jim
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