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Halo Press Scans

PC Gamer Halo Scoop article (October 1999, page 40)

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Your first look at... Halo

The wrap finally comes off this year's un-fricking believable E3 showstopper

The best-kept secret at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo was located at the Bungie Software booth. A strict non-disclosure agreement prevented the press from breaking the news, but the game they saw there was unquestionable one of the most thrilling surprises of the show.

Now, Bungie has lifted the veil of secrecy and is ready to show off the fruit of almost two years' labor by the original designer of Myth. The new project is a multiplayer 3D action game that features graphics and physics engines at the very leading edge of current gaming technology.

The game is Halo and our first look at it blew our minds. It's set in a future in which the human race is on the run from a ruthless alien race called the Covenant. As billions perish on humanity's colonized planets, a human military unit decides to make a last stand on an ancient ring-shaped structure thousands of miles in diameter. The surface of this bizarre stellar body is a lush natural environment. It's on this "halo" that mankind will stage its greatest battle.

And what a battle it will be. From a third-person perspective, you'll control either a power-armored human soldier or one of the Covenant enemy. Each side has access to its own slew of devastating weaponry - the humans' is mostly projectile-based, while the aliens rely on energy weapons.

If the game sounds thus far like every other action game you've ever seen, rest assured that it's definitely not. The emphasis is on multiplay, and you will be able to run wild online. Terrain, weapons, and vehicles will all interact in a giant, deformable battlefield - one so detailed, in fact, that even individual shell casings will remain persistent on the ground. "A single player in a jeep will be able to drive and fire simultaneously, but a player with one teammate manning the rear gun and one riding shotgun with an anti-aircraft rocket launcher will clean up," says Nathan Bitner, the game's producer. "We will design the game to encour- age players to specialize in certain skills, so that a player who is known as a good driver or pilot in a tight situation will make a name for himself as such, and will be sought out for these skills."

Human weapons will include an assault rifle with underslung grenade launcher, a pistol with laser designator, and both anti-armor and anti-aircraft rockets. Alien weapons will include a rapid-fire energy rifle, a "fuel-rod" gun that fires rods of burning fuel, and a "punching" energy sword for melee combat.

Vehicles will make the battleground a truly hectic place. Humans will rely. for the most part, on ground vehicles, like jeeps and tanks (the tank's main cannon firing is a sight to behold). Covenant aircraft will include hovergliders and nimble close-support ships. The physics for these vehicles are as realistic as can possibly be imagined - just to give you an example of the attention to detail, bullet casings drift through water at a slower rate than through the air. Bitner is convinced that team play, with the focus on cooperative military operations, will be the emphasis of Halo's multiplayer mode. "We've learned a lot from managing two years of multiplayer Myth and Myth II over bungie.net," he says. "The focus of multiplayer will be team play, and the most successful teams will combine their specific skills into a smoothly operating machine."

Halo has us on the edge of our seats. It might well be the next huge advance in multiplayer action games.

-Daniel Morris

Halo screenshot

That's the in-game engine, boys. The human army will rely on projectile-
based weaponry and land vehicles like jeeps and tanks. Once you get a
bunch of friends together for a multiplayer match, the mayhem will be incredible.

Halo screenshot

It'll be all-out war agaist the alien
Covenant, as mankind makes its stand.

Halo screenshot

Dynamic weather will add even more graphical punch to
the action. So will the heavy machine gun.

"The most successful teams
will combine their specific
skills into a smoothly
operating machine."
-Nathan Bitner, Producer

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