Bungie has dropped a few more hints as to what we can expect from its next Halo project, with the third instalment of the game looming ever closer and surely getting fit to answer the dreams of 360 owners, the game being the console's most anticipated work in progress by a long chalk.You can click here
for screens from the game, then have a read of the latest update on how beta testing is progressing for the third outing for Master Chief. You'll turn green to know many are already hard at 'work' playing Halo 3:
Multiplayer, single player, you name it, folks are playing it. The lab formerly known as the multiplayer lab is now also the single player lab, where folks may go in at just about any time and start playing through a selection of single player Campaign missions.
At this point, they're testing out the new AI and encounters as much as anything else. The graphics range from completely untextured placeholder surfaces, too brilliantly lit and detailed objects. But again, this is a gameplay test, not a graphics one. Lots of folks focus on what technology can do for the appearance of a game - but the 360's prodigious horsepower can also be applied to AI - the behaviors, movements and reactions of computer-controlled characters. That counts for your human allies, but it's more noticeable at this early stage in the behavior of your opponents.
Today, I swear I saw some Grunts do a classic pincer-movement to trap me in a narrow canyon. I was battling um, something bigger than a Grunt, and suddenly, I'm being peppered by a second group of jerks, mostly Grunts, who'd been sent in around my flanks to take me out. Grunts are still grunts though, and once I showed some serious opposition, a couple of them panicked and fled, but they nearly had me and it was quite a shock.
When the single player guys file out (or as is often the case, stay put) then the multiplayer sessions begin in earnest. We were trying out a new multiplayer game type - and it is super fun, yet utterly terrifying at the same time. I have never, ever heard so much frightened screaming during a play test of anything. And plenty of laughing too.
The kinks and bugs related to how our trailer looks with the new Dashboard video codec have been ironed out at last. Some viewers saw some ugly glitches in the Halo 3 teaser after they downloaded the Spring Update for their dashboard. This basically caused some slight incompatibility with the trailer that was already up there (or on your hard drive) and we've been slowly trying to fix it ever since. Apologies for the delay.
The good news is that Curtis has it re-encoded, and as a result was able to encode the "making of" documentary too, both of which should be up on Xbox Live marketplace in the next week or two. Given that it's Fourth of July weekend, and the American staff are celebrating their unfortunate decision to distance themselves from Scotland (although I totally understand the bit about the tea and the English) you can expect things to happen at a less than lightning speed. But we're on it.
Those looking for more, more, more on Halo 3 can watch our hi-def documentary on Halo 3 here
and grab the long-awaited trailer here
Further reading includes our exclusive interview with Xbox chief Neil Thompson
and the revelation that X06, Microsoft's annual European blowout
will feature Halo 3 in it's current state.