Strange Things are Afoot at the Circle K.: Halo 2 News!

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Halo 2 News!

Actually, it's not really news, as this article is almost two months old, but it's got a lot of things I hadn't heard before. This excites me even more than that "laser vision" story. Once again, this is taken from the Penny Arcade site, which is an excellent site not only for hilarious comics, but also for videogame news.

I know that people would probably like to know about Halo 2 multiplayer, but even having played several rounds there are things I don't know - information they're reserving for release. So, things I do know: if the host drops, another player is automatically chosen to be the host and the game continues. The needler, always my weapon of choice, has been nudged up in terms of damage - to see an enemy rocked by cascades of exploding shards from dual needlers is pretty spectacular. Of course, that's just one manifestation of dual wielding - feel free to use a needler and a submachine gun, two subs, whatever - just be aware that you can't throw grenades in that state. How would you, really. You can customize your model to a greater degree, including decals. By training the Covenant energy sword on an opponent for a few seconds, you can kill with one strike - first you have to get it, though, and as you can imagine it's something of a hot commodity. If an asshole is firing on you and yours from a mounted heavy machinegun, you can pulverize his ledge with a rocket destroying him and his fancy gun. Like Battle Armor He-Man, vehicles can now take progressive damage - and eventually, even explode. The ghost, which now has a special super boost fasty mode, will actually shudder before exploding in a manner which says "Get The Fuck Away." Speaking of vehicles, you can absolutely kick somebody out of one and take it. It probably goes without saying that you can play as the Covenant, now. If you'd like to see these things in action, buy all means - avail yourselves of the videos over at TeamXbox.

Those are all facts, and it's important to have them, but speaking qualitatively this is the actual Halo and the Halo you have now doesn't even belong on the same continuum.

They have made it clear that they will be using online play in ways that other Live titles don't, ways that will better emulate the camaraderie of Clan play. We know that features have recently been added to Live to accommodate some of this: teams can be formed that exist between multiple game sessions, tournament and ladder functionality exists in-game, and even player-made logos or decals can be created and applied to models if the developer chooses to expose that feature. Every time I have brought these things up, in fact, any time I suggest anything at all, I hear, "No, it's better than that. Better. No, better."

It didn't sound like some vague concept, vast, undefined and therefore able to contain the set of all things. It sounded like they already knew and weren't telling anybody.