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Acid Snow
09-28-2002, 07:47 PM
//This is worth reading; if you care at all about Halo or Halo 2 so read it!

Halo 2:

The game’s opening levels focus on repelling a Covenant invasion on Earth, but Bungie has made it known that the game will not be about saving Earth. The later levels of the game will almost definitely focus on the Covenant Homeworld (this is where the Prophets, mentioned below, will probably come in). “We’re definitely going to take the war to the Covenant in this one,” Jason Jones says.

Bungie has even talked about levels on the Moon, mining colonies, and other planets where atmospheric events will make a huge impact on the gameplay. For instance, on the Moon (if it’s Earth’s moon is unknown) gravity will be significantly lower, with the Chief being able to jump more than three times his height and firing downward while airborne will actually slow your decent.

Halo 2 will also reveal a lot about the intricacies of the story line. “I think they were so mysterious in the first game that people saw the Covenant as very flat,” says Jason Jones. “Nobody knew about their social structure or anything, but I had hoped people would give us credit and realize there’s more to the covenant than what we showed. We’re really expanding on them in Halo 2. There’s a bunch of the story we still have left to tell and that’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Jones also adds that the game will end with a kind of “closure;” in other words, it won’t just be its own story arch in the Covenant-Humanity war (as was Halo 1), but rather when the credits role the war will be very much drawing to a close. Does this mean no Halo 3? I don’t know; nobody knows. I doubt even Bungie knows.

What’s more interesting though is the way things look. The Master Chief’s “new look” isn’t just graphically orientated. It’s a whole new suit, similar in design and functionality to the MJOLNIR armor of Halo 1 fame, but probably more powerful, flexible, and durable.

Which brings me to my next point – Bungie has declared that Halo 2 will usher in a host of new abilities for the player. Ever felt like the good ol’ MC just moved too #### slow? Well cheer up folks – for in Halo 2, the Chief has a new “sprint” ability, where he lowers his gun and goes on a full on sprint for a limited time (5-10 seconds most likely). He can’t fire or strafe during this time, he can only run in a straight line (or derivatives, like turning), and doing any of those actions will stop the sprint. But this makes it useful for reaching those old weapons you left behind, or for bring the action right on up to the Covenant’s faces (not to mention the capture the flag possibilities).

Leaning will be a big gameplay factor in Halo 2, with the MC being able to look around corners “Snake-style” to see if there are any enemies. This should help the Player decide rather or not to come out guns blazing or to casually roll (which may be a new ability; rolling grenades instead of only being able to throw them) a grenade around the corner and plug his ears.

But leaning around corners isn’t the MC’s only new stealth technique. Lights! Remember those weird lights in Halo 1 on the wall, and if you shot them nothing happened? Well now stuff happens; MC can shoot out lights at will now, and you can actually destroy all the lighting in a room and make it pitch black (so it looks like you turned off your TV). If there’s too many enemies in the next room, considering sniping the lights out from around the corner and then rolling a grenade in. Whoever isn’t dead can be walked right by in the darkness!

Melee attacks take on a whole new dimension with combos that you can perform. Time your button pushing correctly, and the MC will smack the enemy around in style. Instead of just doing the same boring “pistol whip,” you can vary it by pushing the buttons with a special timing, so the MC hits down, then comes back up for instance. Also, each weapon will do different types of Melee damage (unlike Halo 1), with blades leading the pack.

Furthermore, the environments will be fully interactable. What’s that mean? It means that if you see a table, you can flip it and hide behind it for cover. Don’t like that tree? Shoot it to pieces. What about that rock? Push it aside to expose those pesky Grunts! It’s truly amazing what Bungie has in store for us.

But the new abilities aren’t just limited to the MC. The AI is reportedly going to be tripled in intelligence, so those stupid Marines will actually be useful. Remember how I just said you can flip tables and stuff for cover? Marines can too, and it’s not a preprogrammed script – they actually think to do it. And both sides – enemies and friendlies, will know the capabilities of an item for cover. That is, if you’re hiding behind plywood the enemy won’t hesitate to cut it down with a few Plasma shots, but if you’re behind a stone pillar they’ll suppress you with a few shots as they circle around for the kill. Enemies will also have the ability to turn items over for cover, and fire fights will be much, much, much longer than in Halo 1 due to their increased intellect. Enemies can also (and I’m thinking Brute [explained below] here) climb walls, pillars, etc. Enemies will be able to scurry around ledges and barriers with increased skill, and they’ll know how to interact with their environment as if they were real people. For instance, if they se an outcropping they can reach by climbing a ladder, they’ll climb it so they can get you from the higher ground. The potential “moves” they can make will be increased exponentially.

And while I’m on the subject of the NPC’s (non-playable characters), there’s a lot more improving on the Marines then meets the eye. For example, each Marine will be like the Prophets (explained earlier), except to a lesser extent. What I mean by this is that there will be MANY different types of Marines, specializing in their own area (special snipers, shotgunners, rocket launcher guys, etc.) and looking noticeably different. There is even talk about a radio guy!

Teamwork is beefed up too – in Halo 1, I’m sure you noticed like I did that Marines knew they had friendlies around but didn’t necessarily “use” their friends. They kinda did their own things, calling for help but not giving (and resultantly not receiving) any to or from their comrades. Not so anymore. In Halo 2, Marines will actually cover each other and act like a “squad.” Rocket launcher carriers will scour the field for air assaults and larger enemies, while the AR holder sprays suppressive fire to allow the snipers to get into place. And what’s more is that audio commands issued by ranking officers are actually obeyed in real-time; their level of interaction is truly astounding.

Detail orientation is also insanely high. Battlefields will be huge. It’s unknown if Bungie will bring out the NPC “creatures” we saw in the E3 movie of Halo 1, but what is known is that the level of detail is extreme. For instance, if you are dropped off in the middle of a battle, you’re naturally compelled to run towards it. But if you don’t and you decide to run away from it you’ll find mortar crews, snipers, and other people that don’t actually get deep in the fighting. And what’s MORE is that they’ll talk to you – talk to you A LOT (more than Marines normally would). What’s more interesting though is that you’ll come across Marines that are having problems that you can help them with. No not like a lame RPG quest, but like they can’t get from point A to point B because of enemy fire. So you can choose to help them out and lay some suppressive fire as they run (rather or not you’re a good aim dictates if they make it to their destination alive or at least in one piece) or you can choose to ignore their pleas for help and continue on their way. Another example is you’ll occasionally come across Marines who are too scared to advance. But with a few words of encouragement you can help them find the guts it takes to move on the enemy! Such is just a taste of what Bungie has in store for us. Why waste time on these details? Because they’re Bungie!

We’ll still never see the MC’s face. Why? “It’s not like it’s a big secret. We just want the player empathizing with him, and giving him a face would inevitably alienate somebody,” answers Lead Designer Jaime Griesemer. That’s ok – I agree with him.

Enough with the new though, what about the old? Well, Bungie has made sure to carry over most of what makes Halo, well, “Halo.” Here’s just a taste of what Bungie will bring back:

- Another Halo: “If you pay attention to the first game, you learn there are other Halos,” says Jason Jones. Jones also referred to the Halo in Halo 1 as the “Alpha Halo.”
- 343 Guilty Spark: “Guilty Spark is my favorite character,” is all Design Lead Jaime Griesemer will say when asked about his return. “He has lots of personality.” 343’s future looks bright, but it’s still not confirmed if we’ll still be seeing his annoying British ass in Halo 2 again.
- The Flood: A lot of people hated the Flood, but it looks like they’ll be returning in Halo 2 (their level of importance remains unknown – they might just be talked about, or seen in one level, or something). “Do you think we’d really wipe out The Flood?” Jason Jones says. “The Covenant have a long history with them. Some really cool stuff will happen there.” History? Covenant? I wonder what he’s talking about. I can’t wait to see how that develops.
- Keyes: “Uh, no, Keyes does not come back,” Griesemer remarks. Still, I wouldn’t necessarily count him out. Bungie has been known to “conceal the truth.”

Acid Snow
09-28-2002, 07:47 PM
MULTIPLAYER:

The multiplayer component of Halo 2 is considerably more beefed up than Halo 1. Confirmed is the fact that flying vehicles will be included, a big plus considering they were sorely missed in Halo 1. Additionally, the Scorpian tank will apparently be able to fire in one direction whilst driving in another (like strafing when you’re on foot, you’ll use the right thumbstick to aim and the left to move). Thirdly Bungie has remarked on the idea that they’d like to be able to make it so vehicles take realistic damage, if not so they can be destroyed outright. Remote mines are also being considered.

The real beauty doesn’t rest with just the little things. Remember team combat? Now it escalates to a whole new level with not Red v. Blue, but Spartans v. Elites! Teams are more noticeable and realistic now, because come on, do we really think fellow Spartans would fire upon each other? Unknown remains the question of bots, but Bungie is reportedly “in serious consideration” of the issue.

Oh and guys – Halo 2 will be fully compatible with Xbox Live!

NEW VEHICLES:

- Shadow
http://www.haloonline.net/shadow.jpg

Some of you will remember the Shadow from pre-release Halo 1. Well it was scrapped, but now it has returned valiantly the battle sporting a beautiful new frame. Although this picture shows the Shadow with two drivers seats, Bungie has said that the final version will seat just one driver. This doesn’t mean its carrying capacity is at all diminished – nay, like the Tank the Shadow can seat two on the sides of its wings, which will be flattened a little to allow this.

- Warthog(s)
http://www.haloonline.net/warthog.jpg

The Warthog isn’t a new vehicle right? Wrong. There will be several different types of Warthog, each suited for special types of terrain (snow, jungle, etc.). Some have the classic LAAG still mounted on the back but others look like they’ll function more like troop transport than offensive vehicles (especially the one on the far right of the picture).

- ATV
http://www.haloonline.net/atv.jpg

The ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) is like a Moped for Space Marines. It has no weapons (at this time anyway; it may change to sport a machine gun on the side or something), but it’s remarkably fast (even more than the nimble ghost) and can function on, yeah you guessed it, all terrain. It seats one.

NEW WEAPONS:

- Battle Rifle
http://www.haloonline.net/battlerifle.jpg

Although the name probably will be called Assault Rifle again (with some nifty combination of letters and numbers in front of it for “added realism”), this new upgrade on the old classic is currently being called a Battle Rifle. Bungie has stated that it will be more accurate than it’s predecessor (thank god) but will fire somewhat slower (hopefully not much). Note the scope it sports people; that should help with the accuracy problem even more so.

- SMG
http://www.haloonline.net/smg.jpg

The Sub-Machine Gun (SMG for short) was originally intended in Halo 1, but like many other things it was eventually scrapped. Not so in Halo 2. The SMG is back and with a vengeance – this little gem will reportedly fire faster than you can wet your pants by looking at its graphical beauty. The obvious problem to this is a loss of accuracy, meaning it’ll be a good weapon at close range but less effective as you get farther from your enemy.

For added stealth, Bungie remarks “We may include a silencer on it, or at least on some versions of it.” Now ignore the words about the silencer. VERSIONS? Does this mean that each gun is customizable? Or that there is more than one type of SMG out there (like the Mp5, UMP, etc.)? Only time will tell.

NEW RACES:

- Prophet
http://www.haloonline.net/prophet.jpg

“They’re like giant space popes,” says Lead Artist Marcus Lehto. “The first two races of the Covenant were the Elites and the Prophets,” adds Jason Jones. “The Elites are the military right hand, and the Prophets are the political, religious and spiritual leadership. Together they formed the Covenant and recruited other races around them.”

Interestingly, Bungie has declared that every single Prophet in Halo 2 will be unique – that is, you won’t see the same one twice, unlike the almost identical Elites, Grunts, Jackals, and especially Hunters. Their headdresses are all unique, as are their robes.

Any combat capabilities that the Prophets may have remain largely unknown, and judging by their looks I seriously doubt they’ll have any aside from their ability to lead. My thoughts are that they’ll be employed largely as things for you to kill, and as things that you might have to capture and hold for information as well as ransom (well not literally ransom, but to force a bargain or to exchange for the release of some of your own men).

The chair that the Prophets float on may be misleading. “[It’s] not that they can’t walk,” says Lead Designer Jaime Griesemer, “They just choose not to. They’re too good for that.”

- Brute
http://www.haloonline.net/brute.jpg

Remember the Hunter in Halo 1? Well, although the whole posse of Hunter’s will make a return (as will all the other Covenant races), he’ll have a “homie” to help bust things up on the field with. The Brute appears to be some kind of sub-Hunter; it is apparently the bridge between the agile Elites and the Strong Hunters. Designed after a gorilla or some kind of ape, the Brutes rely strongly on endurance alone and as of yet do not have the Elite-esque shielding.

“[For the Brute] we’re going for something more monster-like,” says Art Lead Marcus Lehto, “but agile at the same time – something like a cross between a gorilla and rhinoceros.”

What’s interesting about the Brut is that along his “utility belt,” there are four long grenade-like items – possibly a new type of grenade in Halo 2? The left arm of the Brute holds a radical new weapon, perfectly suited for melee combat (note the blade it has). I think that it functions as a fuel rod gun at distance and as a Plasma Sword-esque blade in close quarters.

CLOSURE:

The End of Halo 1 left many people asking for more. Well, Bungie’s going to give them more. More and more and more until they have a stomach ache and they need their stomach pumped before it bursts because Bungie gave them so much. Much of Halo 1 came together in the last month of it’s development partly because of the switch from PC to Xbox, and partly because of the fact they were working on an unfinished Xbox. Now, Halo 2 has been “coming together” ever since six weeks after Halo 1 was released (wow Bungie totally kept this a secret for a LONG ass time) and will continue “coming together” until 2003 (oh ####). I hope we can all wait – hopefully Bungie will periodically release screenshots, information, and especially trailers as time goes by. Of course, this is by no means all the new aliens, improvements, and weapons, vehicles, etc. that Halo 2 will have. I'll continually post new Halo 2 updates as I can, and soon we'll have a Halo 2 section on the site for just this sorta thing. Lucky for me, I’ll be a Senior when Halo 2 comes out, which means I’ll have plenty of time to play! Here it comes guys – just 1 year more!

- PTM; webmaster: Halo Online (www.haloonline.net)

MixMasta
09-28-2002, 07:53 PM
saw this one xbox republic, good stuff....

Professor Kaos
09-28-2002, 08:39 PM
good info. ive seen it in here bfore tho. sorry dude someone beat u to it.

Slacker
09-28-2002, 10:40 PM
this is the first I have seen of this Info, and Im impressed , but alot of stuff gets cut from games but even if half that comes out , it will be one of the best games ever, i really can't wait for that game

Goku_69
09-29-2002, 11:52 AM
:confused: Nice info but it's been done I think it was even in this forum.:)