Battle for the Ringworld
It's coming at you - the graphics of Halo will make anything else eat its dust.
Developer: Bungie | Publisher: Take 2 | Tentative release date: February 2001 | First impression: Very good.
First the bad news: Halo will surely not be out this year. The good news: the wait will bear rewards! Halo shows off graphics never seen before in such quality.
Humanity is yet again at war with aliens. The reason for this is a huge ring-shaped world made from steel, which is orbiting around a planet. The alien race discovered this ring which in time developed its own ecological system, and made it theirs - at the same time as humans do. The ringworld is the core of the plot in this battle between humans and aliens. In the solo game you assume the role of a heroic underground fighter who has a team available to help him fight the aliens. During battles with the aliens your team will be able to help you with special abilities such as one soldier being really good at driving the jeep and tanks, thus making him the choice as driver. Another will be a trained sniper, and will be especially useful from attacks from far away. His extraordinaire orientation will also help to get through the terrains strategically. Theoretically you can do all this yourself, but sharing tasks in a hectic battle are a big help. Whilst the Covenant (the name of this particular alien race you are battling) get around with flying craft and space ships and use energy weapons, the humans get to use the conventional jeep or tank which your marines can attach weapons to. The driving physics of the jeep are also amazingly realistic. You can shoot every single tire, and if you get too extreme with your driving your jeep may take a few tumbles.
The developers paid attention to making the world of Halo dynamic as possible. Various objects and vehicles are moveable and can be used one way or the other. Your soldiers can, like the aliens, take over buildings or raid enemy bases. You play Halo mostly in third person, meaning that the camera will principally move behind your men. It's unclear if Bungie will build in the first person perspective into the game.
No matter how interesting the principals of this game are, the really spectacular aspect of Halo is really when you see the graphics in motion. Realistic water animations, light reflections on the surface of lakes and metal and bursts from uzis when fired - such details make the surreal gameworld alive and realistic. In battles you don't only see flying shells from weapons, you also see them lying about the ground for hours. The animations of marine and Covenant are to be paid attention to. If one of your men fires a shot, you can see how the throwback of the weapon drives into his arm and throws him back a little. With such rich detail it is amazing that Halo is nearly a year away from completion. At this time the developers are working on multiplayer and the fine details of the AI; solo play also needs finishing. Don't expect Halo before February next year.
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