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XBox (Games)

Halo 3 Beta Impressions 209

Yesterday in New York City Microsoft held an invite-only preview of the Halo 3 Beta, and passed out early Beta keys to a group of game journalists. The result is a barrage of coverage about this most-anticipated title. Notable features beyond basic previews include Dan Hsu's take on the game, Dean Takahashi's 'I got my butt kicked' perspective, the San Jose Merc's interview with Bungie Community Lead Brian Jarrad, CVG's hosting of the official Beta Movie, and Joystiq's interview with Frank O'Connor, Bungie's writing lead. From the 1up preview: "It's unmistakably Halo gameplay, despite the rearranged controls (which feel natural after 10 minutes), and all of the additions fit perfectly into the multiplayer universe we've come to love. The interface has been overhauled and is even easier to use, and you now have such niceties as being able to change your control layout at any point on any screen. While the visuals are rich and beautiful, it's the audio that's really impressed us so far. The rumbling throttle of unleashing dual SMGs makes them feel incredibly powerful, and the Spartan Laser tearing past your head is as scary as you'd imagine. Audio cues are more important than ever, and the better your sound system the more next-gen this will feel." More coverage below.
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Halo 3 Beta Impressions

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  • O RLY? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Ramble ( 940291 )
    I hope the story is damn great, because the visuals don't look all that interesting, and under a barrage of some truly great titles coming to the PC it'll be tough.
    • Re:O RLY? (Score:5, Informative)

      by EvilIdler ( 21087 ) on Saturday May 12, 2007 @01:41PM (#19097127)
      The Halo 3 beta will be running with mostly Halo 2 assets, at least at first. Saves download bandwidth.
      I sure hope they release some larger textures to at least test the engine with later, though.
      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Link or it didn't happen
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by SilentChris ( 452960 )
        Actually if you read the interviews linked the guys from Bungie said no assets were used from previous games (certainly not Halo 2). Not even the maps/story were used from previous games (even the butchered stuff from the end of Halo 2).

        It wouldn't have made much sense to use the previous assets anyway. They're going from 480p to 1080i. You think blurry textures on a 50" HDTV running at 1080i would be acceptable?
  • by Ageing Metalhead ( 586837 ) on Saturday May 12, 2007 @01:34PM (#19097059)
    Halo3 three will include a variety of "Chair Weapons":
    * A Wooden Chair in which you can break and stab and lacerate people
    * A Ikea Chair in which the recipient simply throws the left over peices at any attacker
    * An Executive Leather Chair in which the attacker simply places their opponent in the chair and spins it, until the opponent passes out.
    * And the classic "Operator Chair" which is simply picked up and thrown.

  • "Audio cues are more important than ever, and the better your sound system the more next-gen this will feel."

    Now, instead of hearing 12 year olds scream in joy when they frag me, I will here their shrill wails in 5.1
    Oh joyous day.

    • by Nerdfest ( 867930 ) on Saturday May 12, 2007 @01:59PM (#19097295)
      I'm not sure how many people actually hook things up properly, as even the original xbox had 5.1 for most of its games. Player voices in Halo2 come from the appropriate speaker positions, and it does give you a bit of an advantage over someone only playing through their TV speakers. I'm assuming their adding better 'footfall' sounds, and other environmentals to help out a bit.
    • by JaWiB ( 963739 )
      If I recall correctly, they're making it easier to mute people in Halo 3. In fact, I think slashdot covered a story on it.
      • If I recall correctly, they're making it easier to mute people in Halo 3. In fact, I think slashdot covered a story on it.

        The mute system from Halo 2 has been implemented console wide on the Xbox 360... in other words if someone is being annoying you can mute that person permanently with just a few button pushes (Guide button -> recent players -> select the annoying one -> Mute).

        So all the kiddies I muted while playing Gears of War are still muted when I play Halo 3... before the disc even ent

  • Never played Halo.. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by 1155 ( 538047 )
    But I have played Gears of War. Quite a bit, it's almost my favorite game now. How does Halo compare to Gears?
    • by mgblst ( 80109 )
      In some ways it is better, and in some ways it is worse.
  • any one have a ogg mpg or avi for us?
    • by linumax ( 910946 )
      I have this [videolan.org] for you!
      • Oi! I was making more of a point about open file types than anything....
        I don't really care if VLC can play WMV or not....I will not use WMV.
        guess I won't watch the vid then if I can't get it in an agreeable format.
        • Are you even a potential customer for the game then? It itself is in a proprietary format, and contains proprietary formatted videos.
          • Why yes I am considering buying the game.
            Hypocritical? I don't think so. I'll pay for good games, movies and music.
            I won't get sucked into vendor lock-in and feed a monopoly just for a freely
            distributed video clip. I think if more people thought the same way open
            standards would be further ahead and there would be more games on Linux
            and BSD. But I can't make you think anything, so I why bother debating.
            • Hey, that makes sense... no wait... no it doesn't. Buying the game from them is what feeds their monopoly - you know... gives them money to continue their practices. Also, you would have also had to buy the system to run it on, etc. Using a freely distributed codec and video doesn't give them anything, but gives you the ability to WATCH the video... for Free (as in beer.)

              I think your priorities are backwords.

              • I'm just of the opinion that there is nothing wrong with a game console because you buy it to play games. You buy a computer to do whatever you want on it, which might include playing games. I'm not feeding their desktop monopoly by playing their console. I think MS should make console games and computer software (with open standards like odf). I won't touch their OS offering because it doesn't play fair by my standards. Once they figure out how to make good office software on every system (you think they c
  • Audio cues are more important than ever, and the better your sound system the more next-gen this will feel.

    That's kinda why I'm particular to PC gaming. A good pair of headphones is all you need to hear those 'audio cues' and lacking that, anything above 2 speakers is gravy since most games ship with decent sound engines for realistic 3d sound.
    • by Keeper ( 56691 )
      "Virtual" surround is crap. I have never been able to sense a "front/behind" direction from it; only left or right.
  • Man I cannot understand the long time FPS players. Most people who complain about joypad have been using mouse and keyboard for ages... they do not even notice they are used to play with those. Of course it's easier with your mouse and keyboard, you've been playing with this duo for ages. I mean, I've been playing Rocket Arena for years, of course I handle my mouse and keyboard better than this Xbox 360 joypad I've had for 3 months. I was playing like shit when I began playing FPS on PC. Now I am far bette
    • Acutally a mouse IS better because you can move it fast and thus turn faster.. The Joypad only does this to a very small degree in comparison.

      Also you are always correcting your aim with the joypad using a thumb (and its generally up, down left right corrections) and it feels so much more restrictive than a good high dpi laser optic mouse ever will.

      Its like playing a racing game with a wheel then playing the same game on keyboard. The differences between the two are exactly the same.

      can you play the g
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Not knocking those who like/prefer joypads, but I've never been able to get the level of sensitivity a mouse provides with any joypad, regardless of settings. Also, playing against people who felt they were proficient with a joypad while I used a KB/Mouse was simply no contest, ever. They just could not exercise the same level of precision a mouse provides. My $.02
  • Hey Bungie People (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Do you ever wish you'd been bought by Apple instead?

    Serious question.
    • by cgenman ( 325138 )
      I'm sure they cry themselves to sleep every night on pillows of money.

      Seriously, though, it must be incredibly validating to them that after years of helping to keep alive the Mac gaming scene, they helped launch the Xbox and the 360 as viable gaming platforms. They've now got a huge fan base and a huge potential audience for every game they put out. What more could a developer want?

      BTW, while known as a mac developer, all of Bungie's games after the first Marathon were released on multiple platforms.
  • ... I think that word does not mean what you think it means....

If graphics hackers are so smart, why can't they get the bugs out of fresh paint?