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Bungie Celebrates 2-Year Anniversary Of Halo Release 93

Thanks to Bungie.net for their feature commemorating the second anniversary of Halo's Xbox debut. The piece starts: "What started life as a pseudo real-time-strategy game for the Apple Mac has turned into the number-one-selling Xbox game of all time and a driving force behind much of the console's overall success", and goes on to elicit Ed Fries of Microsoft's remembrances of the scary moments ("Our first E3 press event went REALLY bad. The Xbox didn't even power up. Halo was the grand finale and we had some serious framerate issues and hiccups"), and the Bungie developers, fans and media's favorite anecdotes ("Halo rage is a beautiful thing. My plaster walls are free from damage now, but the amount of controllers I go through is atrocious.")
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Bungie Celebrates 2-Year Anniversary Of Halo Release

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  • I was just playing Halo today- it is still a fantastic game, and has legs that will carry it until the end of the Xbox (first version).

    Halo has its detractors, but I have yet to play a first person shooter that I ENJOYED more.

    Other games may have better graphics, better levels, etc, etc- but overall, Halo is a great game.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Halo is so utterly repetitive and tedious. Oh, wow, another corridor exactly the same as the last corridor with Flood jumping out exactly the same air conditioning vents! How exciting!

      If you want a good FPS, play Medal Of Honour or Call Of Duty.
      • I agree. The single player isn't so hot.

        But in all seriousness, those who hate Halo's multiplayer mode have probably never played it with a large group of people. It is an absolute BLAST!.

        • Yeah, i agree. I'm not a big fan of FPSes, and i can't stand Halo on the Xbox, but Halo is a riot on PC, especially when you get certain vehicles going in there (not the cheesy ones). Doing flips in the buggies is hilarious. Me and my friends just play for hours crashing into each other and stuff, heh.
        • The problem is that the multiplayer mode, quite frankly is not fully developed.

          In a nutshell..

          Where's the bots?

          Just playing 1v1 or even 2v2, is frankly boring.

          Now playing 2v2 while each commanding 6 bots..that's fun.

          No set of multiplayer mode challenges, no bots..

          It's a good game, and a good engine. Not the best 'tho. Timesplitters 2 was overall a much better game.

          (Although I'll stick to Day of Defeat if it's ok.)
        • Agreed. We've been able to get a few full 8 on 8 games going in our lab, and nothing beats the fun of a co-ordinated attack of two full Warthogs, a Scorpion tank and air support provided by a Banshee, going against the like, in that big snow level.
      • Have to agree with Call of Duty. The first FPS... Actually, scratch that, the first GAME in years to make me go "WOW!" There's something that happens in one of the early missions that had my jaw drop it was so cool.

        Halo... Call me in 2001, when I still gave a shit...
  • Just one question... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Stormwatch ( 703920 ) <rodrigogirao@@@hotmail...com> on Saturday November 15, 2003 @10:25PM (#7484122) Homepage
    When - if ever - is the Mac version coming out?
  • Ugh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by aphexbrett ( 220057 ) on Saturday November 15, 2003 @10:31PM (#7484143) Homepage
    This serves as a bitter reminder of how bungie used to be before being acquire by M$. Instead of continuing their tradition of super-kick-ass indy games (started at first by marathon and eventually myth), they ended up selling incomplete games (Oni) and putting all future effort towards lining M$'s pockets in a sector of the market they shouldn't even be in. And now they are gonna release Halo for the PC? Please. Releasing Halo now is a slap in the face.

    • they ended up selling incomplete games (Oni)

      Oni was released before the MS buyout. MS didn't distribute it either.
      • Actually, no.

        Oni was delayed, Bungie went to MS, Oni was spun off and shipped by someone else other than Bungie, as was Myth III.

        I bought Halo for the PC, and wow I was underwhelmed by the game. The single player game pretty much sucked including terrible levels like all the crap in the Library.

    • Halo for PC came out a while ago. Please update your template to say "Halo for Macintosh."
    • The minute you spell Microsoft as M$ your point goes out the window as a anti-fanboy.
    • Re:Ugh (Score:3, Interesting)

      by djNocturne ( 94307 )
      Amen, brother. And MS will continue to have a noxious effect on the entire gaming industry. Don't expect it to end with Bungie, by any means.

      For those of us who don't like MS and won't own an XBox, the fact that we missed out on the whole Halo thing is not even the full extent of the problem. This business of console makers buying large, successful developers/publishers outright ... that's a road we don't want to go down. Not only will it inevitably affect the creativity of indie development houses (whic
      • Good Grief Part II (Score:5, Insightful)

        by superultra ( 670002 ) on Sunday November 16, 2003 @08:34PM (#7490070) Homepage
        At the risk of repetition, "Good grief." You act as if "this business of console makers buying large, successful developers/publishers outright" is a new thing. It's not. It's been happening since day one. You've suddenly noticed it because you're most likely (as I once was) solely a PC gamer, and this is the first notably large buyout of a PC game developer. If you're not, than you haven't been paying attention. My guess is that you haven't noticed this spirit of aquisition up to this point because the video game industry was largely dominated by Japanese companies who bought out - surprise - other Japanese companies. Microsoft, obviously coming from a much more PC-knowledgable position - *"bought out" Bungie. As far as being "locked out," welcome to the console world. Again: a day one behavior (biggest case in point in recent history: GTA3 - why is releasing that once exclusive PS2 game on PC not an insult, but Halo is, btw?).

        I would specifically argue that developing for one console actually enhances creativity, not stifles it. It's easier to develop for a single platform than it is to target 2 or 3, or in the case of a PC technically an infinte number of hardware configurations That's a best case scenario, of which I think Bungie exemplifies. The worst case scenario is that the now-bought-out-company produces crap (say, that crappy Microsoft first party psuedo-RPG that started with an A). Basically, I think it would be fair to say that a creative company will create more creative games, and a non-creative company will inevitably create crappier games. Ooooo.

        So sure, it's all cool and hipster to have indie game houses, but let's be frank. It's all about the benjamins. These indie guys would like nothing more than to do what they're doing, but to have driven to work in a Dodge Viper rather than a 1985 Ford Escort that's 3rd gear works only half the time.

        Two more things. First of all, who died and made you Ms. Cleo of Bungie? How do you know that Bungie's "glory days" are behind them (Oni-cough-cough)? Halo was fantastic. If Halo 2 completely bombs, I might agree with you. But since neither of us has played that, I doubt you can justifiably say that. Bungie and MS have both said that they leave each other alone, so Bungie is doing what they would've done, except that a) it's for the Xbox, and b) they drive to work in Dodge Vipers. Why is that bad?

        Secondly, if you're so adverse to playing good games merely because they might be on a certain console, consider yourself a shameful PC fanboy. You might be slightly more articulate than the forum fanboy trolls (that is to say, using multi-syllabic words and not using wtf once), but the spirit is the same. Shame on you. Good games are good games, whether they have Microsoft on the front or GarageGames. Get over your indie-fetish and have some fun.

        * Isn't it odd that it's always MS doing the buying, not Bungie doing the selling? Maybe - and stick with me here - maybe Bungie wanted to be bought out and have lots of cash for doing something they love. Just a thought.
      • As a momentary exercise in completely extraneous hypotheticals, and to drive the point home with much more force (given the audience), imagine for a moment that MS had decided to acquire Squaresoft instead of Bungie ... *shuter*

        Oh, you mean like Sony bailing [gamersmark.com] Squaresoft out of the post-movie-blues and eventually becoming the second largest shareholder of Squaresoft? That kind of completely extraneous hypothetical?
        • I just wanted to say thanks for cutting through some of the thick fanboy BS around here.

          Much of what you wrote I already agreed with, but little details like the problems with Take 2 and this little factoid are either news to me or I had forgotten. Nice job pulling things together!
    • by otuz ( 85014 )
      Actually, Pathways into Darkness was the first Bungie game. It was released in early nineties, in Wolfenstein 3D era. The Marathon series kicked ass in gameplay compared to Doom. IMHO the Marathon levels kicks Quake ass too.
      • That's actually not the first Bungie game either. The first was called "GNOP" and it was a Pong rip-off. What followed was an RPG game (of which the name slips my mind) and another game (which I believed involved tank warfare.) All of this information is available in the Marathon Scrapbook which was included in the Marathon Trilogy set.
        • What followed was an RPG game (of which the name slips my mind)and another game (which I believed involved tank warfare.)
          The RPG would probably be Minotaur: The Labyrinths of Crete. The other game might be the Mac port of Abuse. Bungie's site [bungie.com] has more details about their gamography. I never knew about GNOP before, looks like my Bungie collection is incomplete...
    • Halo outshines pretty much every other game Bungie ever made. The fact that it was made for and under the supervision of Microsoft changes nothing - if anything, it means the game's far more polished than their earlier work. Bungie are well and truly alive and kicking. It's just that now they have a marketing team and an unlimited supply of blank cheques. Why is that a bad thing again?

      (and dude, writing "M$" is so 1999.)
      • " Halo outshines pretty much every other game Bungie ever made"

        Most people who are familiar with the Marathon series would argue that notion heavily (and probably accurately)
        • Re:Ugh (Score:2, Informative)

          by aanand ( 705284 )
          I'm an absolute Marathon freak, but while its story may well be the best story (and the best-told story - Bungie communicated an amazing amount of information purely through those terminals) in any game ever, it's not the magnum opus of design and balance that Halo is.

          It's the little things. The huge variations created simply by approaching a fight from the other side, or using different weapons. The complete disregard for the Doom mentality that's plagued PC shooters since forever (weapon x is better than
          • It's probably worth noting at this point that Bungie has admitted that Halo is basically an unofficial sequel to the Marathon games and even takes place in the same game universe.
            • To an extent. From what I've been able to garner (with more than a little help from these people [bungie.org]), it's a very tenuous connection (343 = 7*7*7, Marathon fans!).

              Halo 2 is supposedly going to expand on the story in a big way, and will probably reinforce that connection (as well as - Bungie tell us - making us realise just how many Secret Clues were left around Halo. Oh well, any excuse to play the game again...)
    • Good grief. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by superultra ( 670002 ) on Sunday November 16, 2003 @01:49PM (#7487979) Homepage
      Please. Lest us forget that $ony and, um, $intendo aren't exactly laissez faire either. They've done their share of buying out (and not just console devs), and while certainly not as noticably large as either Bungie or Rare, they are guilty as charged. I guess what you're saying is that Microsoft should stick to PC applications, right? Well, Sony should stick to walkmen, and Nintendo to playing cards. Welcome to the video game industry jube. Maybe if you'd bought more dreamcasts, we wouldn't have lost the only pure video game hardware maker. Oh wait, you're a PC l33t gamer. Just know that Dreamcasts were cool, and that you should've bought more.

      And so M_S_ bought out Bungie. Whoopie. I'd think Bungie far more qualified to decide what's best for Bungie than, say, you, and Bungie doesn't seem too upset about the whole deal. In fact, they've said in every interview I've read with them regarding MS that MS leaves them well enough alone, save for random visits by Ed Fries and Ken Lobb who just walk around with their jaws on the floor and then leave. Which seems to work out fairly well, since Take 2/GODgames bugged the hell out of Bungie and the result of that was the abysmal pre-MS Oni.

      Microsoft saw an opportunity to snag a great game franchise, and they took it. Why is that inherently evil? Wouldn't anyone else have done the same thing? Don't think for a minute that someone at Sony wasn't kicking themselves in their proverbial business casual slacks for not having bought Bungie first.

      What's the difference between super-kick-ass indy (sic) games, and super-kick-ass non-indie games? If both are super-kick-ass, what's your problem? Shouldn't good game developers like Bungie be rewarded with the big bucks only the big dogs can cough up? I'm all for indie gaming (hey, I bought Mutant Storm and Starscape), but I'm more for indie gaming developers making it good than indie game developers making $1000 a game. So should you. Return to your comraderie of anti-M$ fanboys at main.slashdot.org, and save the karma for gamers who care about the games. And thanks in advance.

      • Coming from the perspective of a former mac gamer.. I can defintely see this being a slap in the face. Bungie was one of the cool and original game makers on the mac platform.. and had great progress on the mac version of Halo before they were bought out by MS.. now, years later, not only (as I humbly predicted) have they released Halo for the PC as Halo2 was in the works... mac users have gone from 2nd class to 3rd class citizens in the release of the game from a company that would in the past do simultane
        • What do you mean by the "originality that Halo had exhibited in the past?" If you're referring to the RTS feel, that element had been lost long before the buyout. I think that what we see in Halo on the Xbox is very much what Bungie would've released for Mac and or PC, save for the rushed repetition in the middle (negative) and the addition of the co-op mode (positive). Even if you disagree with that, you can't disagree that Halo for PC/Mac would've been THAT fundamentally different than what we see on th
          • What do you mean by the "originality that Halo had exhibited in the past?"

            Typo..should have been Bungie. ..and I guess the nebulous point of this whole thread/argument... is whether MS has sapped the creativity and "soul" of Bungie as a game developer... Which begs the question what made Bungie great..and is it still there?

            I won't argue at all the Oni blew... and I'm willing to give Bungie the benefit of the doubt when it comes to creativity, however, I do have serious doubts about MS being "hands off" w
  • Didn't Microsoft say they had some big ass announcement [gamesindustry.biz] for today? Well, we're waiting.
  • and people wonder why the pc crowd think it sucks?

    i mean really, take the games best gameplay feature away(co-operative), release it 2 years late(a game that depends somewhat on it being 'fresh' too) and wonder why people don't like it. and add a couple of gfx bugs they had 2 YEARS to figure out and test.

    i'm sorry but they really should have been doing some improvements to it during that time(the game ain't nothing special even, quite frankly even if unreal 2 is kinda short it kicks halo's ass soooooooo f
    • I think some logic is in order here.

      IF X is a company owned by/associated with Microsoft
      THEN X and anything it makes/produces sucks

      Bungie didn't develop the PC version of Halo. Gearbox did.

      And the graphic bugs were mostly because people were trying to run the game on old Voodoo5, with all the settings turned up, playing on a 16 player non-dedicated multiplayer server using a 56k modem, while playing Winamp in the background, while downloading pr0n off Kazaa. When it comes to extremely high performance gam

      • dude, there were textures that showed off as transparent making some objects invisible, on cards that had been out those 2 years. graphic BUGS != graphic slowness, there were blatant bugs that they should have catched in q&a. it was ok performance wise on my computer.

        it's nothing to do with ms being the publisher(mechwarriors with ms logo aren't bad), the pc version of halo just sucks even though they had it sort-of ready 2 years ago.. you got any good reason for them dropping the co-operative gameplay
      • No, that is not the case.
        The game runs poorly on new video cards.
        The GeForceFx 5200 doesn't run it well.
        Geforce 4 Ti4200 can only run it at 800x600.

        Gearbox said it was because of the DirectX 9 effects and pixel shader 2.0 effects. However if the game is run in pixel shader 1.1 mode with the -use11 switch, hardly any performance gain is noticed.
    • I had it for Xbox when it was fresh, and the game still wasn't great.

      TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE level design screwed up a game that had beautiful graphics and pretty solid play mechanics (nothing special or innovative, but very streamlined, and play control was amazing for a gamepad-controlled 1st person shooter).

    • Sucks = 85%? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by superultra ( 670002 )
      If by "sucks" you mean an overall 85% rating [gamerankings.com], then I guess you're right. I'll concede that the PC version needed some work, but I think sucks is too strong a word. Add in whatever you mean by "improvements" and the co-op to Halo PC logistically means re-writing the entire code for the single player campaign. Essentially, you're looking at at least another year in development, which is to say another year of PC fanboys whining. And I would venture to say that nearly every single one of those reviewers wo
      • Sorry, but the gamerankings number doesn't mean jack-shit. It's not reflective of player opinions, just an amalgam of mags and newspapers. Not very scientific at all. I finished Halo for PC and I can safely say it's nothing special at all. Nice to look and efficient game design for sure. But it's basically just a 'run around and shoot aliens and flip some switches' kinda game. I have never played the XBox version, so maybe it's much better. But really, if this game is/was the killer app for XBox I will ne
        • Sorry, but the gamerankings number doesn't mean jack-shit. It's not reflective of player opinions, just an amalgam of mags and newspapers. Not very scientific at all.

          Well, I hoped that after saying how unscientific Gamerankings was, you'd follow that statement with a highly scientific statement proving that people dislike Halo. Instead, you said - and quite unscientifically - "Halo kind of sucks."

          So, before releasing any number of the witty quips that popped in my head, I'll go ahead and wait for th
          • All I'm saying is that the Gamerankings number is not reflective of a game's popularity with the Gamers out there - which is the ultimate arbiter of a game's goodness. I hate Tetris, for example, but there's no denying that it has been a popular game (concept). Whatever my opinion of a game is, it's just my own opinion. I played Halo and it held my attention enough to finish, but I expected more from Halo based on the XBox hype. You say that the game was 'magic' on the console, and I have to believe it. A
            • Well said response.

              So, completely OT here: is it just me, or does the whole reinvention of Deus Ex 2 seem like it might be dumbed down for the masses? Maybe it's me just trying to lower my expectations from "Best. Thing. Ever," but it seems like in the recent previews of the final build I'm seeing more of a movement towards that mass market. I think in that video interview with Spector that's floating around, he said they tried to use less tri-syllabic words. Which worries me, because I sure do like he
              • I am getting a very bad feeling about Deus Ex 2 as well. Everything I have read (which is quite a bit lately) suggests that the game is, indeed, dumbed down. Complaints I've heard include annoying HUD, the universal ammo concept, bad AI, and short missions. OTOH, I have read a few reviews that say the atmosphere of the game is very much in line with DX 1 (part of my love for the game I think was 'atmosphere'). Interestingly, I read one post somewhere that outlines .ini file tweaks to fix some of the compla
  • Halo PC, not MAC (Score:2, Interesting)

    by thirty2bit ( 685528 )
    IIRC, Halo was first promised as a PC game, poised to be the next Starsiege/Tribes multiplayer/coop. What's hard to believe is that the Xbox (purportedly) runs a stripped-down version of Windows 2000 and DirectX APIs--- so why couldn't Halo have been ported sooner? Bugs crept in during the port which have yet to be addressed, but again why? The PC graphics are crisper/cleaner than those on the Xbox, but in two years, it could have been polished a lot more. Did Microsoft deliberately hold Halo PC back in
    • From Next Generation game magazine, December 99, (the first I ever read about it):

      By far the most exciting prospect is of multiplayer battles between console and PC players. While Bungie kept tight-lipped about the prospect of a Playstion2 version, Sony insiders have mangaged to confirm that the title will indeed be one of the earlier releases on the its supersystem after it debuts in the fall of 2000.
  • What we really want to know is, have they spent their thirty pieces of silver yet?
  • ""What started life as a pseudo real-time-strategy game for the Apple Mac has turned into the number-one-selling Xbox game of all time"

    Yeah that game that was soo cool it was never released after bungie sold out.

!07/11 PDP a ni deppart m'I !pleH