Because today is the Annual Bungie picnic and Pentathlon (thanks to, Alta "where's my freakin' hammer?" Hartmann for organizing it) I am taking a somewhat subdued approach to the update today. So it's super early and super short.
And yet, it's been a very exciting week. I have been playing through Campaign mode purely for kicks. Exploring, in fact. There's lots of the feel of the original Halo, where you'll find yourself in a huge (dangerous) and intrinsically fascinating environment and just want to go tool around and check things out.
At this stage in development, the encounters are very carefully placed. Sometimes that means you're in frantic firefights (on a significantly bigger scale than in Halo 2, although all I will confirm numerically is at least one more Grunt.) but there's also time for exploratory reflection and the, "Oooh, maybe I can climb up there and check that thing out," sort of play.
Don't get me wrong. It's not GTA - it's still Halo, but there's a bigger feeling scope to some of these levels that has me reminiscing about the original game. And yet, conversely, I'm super excited about the new stuff. Using the debug menu, I dropped in a couple of items of new equipment. Maybe they’re for killing, maybe they’re for getting around, maybe they're for both . Who's to say?
Also, me and Robt McLees have been measuring the galaxy. Don't ask why. But the galaxy is big and annoying.
I've also been playing a lot of MP on Halo 2 for Vista. Dang if it ain't very, very high resolution. Dang if my four year old home PC ain't a piece of crap. I can't run Half Life 2 on it either, so I am praying for Gabe Newell to get that game on 360 stat.
They have been trying to force feed me mouse controls to try out, but I am sooooo used to joypad that it's taken me all week to find a keyboard layout that I'm comfortable with. I used to have the same problem with Unreal Tournament because of the secondary fire mode. Anyway, I've got one now that's working for me. Now I'm trying to figure out if I like KB/mouse or Joypad better.
It's kind of going to depend on where I play it I suppose. My plan next year is to get a fancy Vista PC, use it as a media center/360 hub and sit on my couch, not at a desk. There are wireless keyboards and mice certainly, but my lap just isn't big enough.
We'll have some more solid information about Halo 2 for Windows Vista next week. And next week, we will also be at PAX in various forms, wandering, playing, squeezing wares as if testing fruit for ripeness. You'll see us. I will also be part of a PAX panel on Saturday night, discussing communities, the joy of interacting with an audience that loves our games, and of course, angry fanboys, who I enjoy interacting with more than I care to admit.
No movie news today, although apparently you can find out whatever you need to know about movies at the famously enjoyable aint it cool news and if we hear anything from Hollywood, we'll be sure to let you know.
I also made the terrible error of asking Pinkuh, one of Halo.Bungie.Org's many talented artists, to make a Mister Chief. Trouble is, she made it sexy. Sexy Mister Chief is like Tabasco Flavored Milkshake. Thanks Pinkuh! (I think). Anyhoo, technical difficulties mean I can't post it 'til next week. So keep a lookout. See you next week.