Halo Humpday Happiness
This barrage of Halo 2 shots was featured in the E3 (June) issue of Official Xbox Magazine. The upside is that you get to see hi-res versions of cool content, but we should note that the shots are based on a relatively ancient build of Halo 2, and lots of graphics, features and designs have changed subtly and occasionally radically.
The article showed off a number of features we're very proud of, and we thought we'd take a minute or two out of your day to highlight some of that stuff.
As you can tell, the Warthog and Ghost are now fully destructible. Other vehicles in the game will have this feature too, but the Ghost and Warthog show it off impeccably. Destruction is dependent on a number of factors, from weapon choice to proximity and even location specific damage.
Each vehicle has a number of weak points, for example, you can blast the hubcaps off the Warthog, which may not be terribly devastating to anything except driver's self-esteem, but is every bit as liberating as not wearing pants. And the Hog features an e-brake now, for even sharper turns, as well as a ridiculously irritating horn, designed to MAKE you blow it up. Sounds kinda like a truck horn, but musical variants were explored, before you ask.
Blast the engine-vortex (as hoods will probably be called in the future) and the Hog responds with a cheerful little explosion. Parts will fly off like so much eczema, and eventually the hog will die. You'll know this because it will either take you out with its accompanying blast, or you'll see it flip up and fly apart, wheels akimbo. A secondary explosion on the gun turret of the smoking wreck will kill the curious and the stupid with equal effectiveness. Do not sniff the smoking wrecks.
The Ghost is every bit as dangerous, and if anything, more unpredictable. You can blast off panels to make it look like a rental, or go bananas until it blows itself up. Since the secondary explosion on the Ghost is caused by some kind of alien warp core (probably) it goes off like an angry Hobo. The thing will flip into the air, spin around AND explode, simultaneously. It's a very good idea to keep away from a Ghost that looks anywhere south of dented. Luckily it makes a scary noise before it erupts.
Damaged-but-not-obliterated vehicles can still be driven, but they make easy targets for anyone with a decent weapon. See? Layers of strategy!
The OXM article featured lots of in-depth info on dual-wielding but people are still confused. But to ease their confusion here's how it works (as of right now).
If you're holding a single weapon, you press X to pick up and use another (just like original Halo), or Y to dual-wield the new-found one.
If you have a weapon in reserve, and one in hand, you can still press and hold Y to pick up and dual wield another. The reserve weapon stays in reserve 'til you select it.
You can't throw grenades while dual wielding, nor can you melee attack.
You can't dual-wield anything stupid, like two sniper rifles. Only weapons that can be used in one hand!
You cannot triple wield.
You can see bullet or charge information for both guns in the HUD. You can also see what (if any) your reserve weapon is.
There is no spoon.
That said, no decision has been made on the availability of a spoon as downloadable content.
The New Gun
The new gun featured in OXM was the Covenant Carbine. I happen to know this gun rules because a certain User Interface Designer had
with my spleen a couple of days ago. It's powerful when zoomed and very annoying and dangerous unzoomed. Think of it as the Covenant answer to the Battle Rifle, but with a few subtle differences. Which you'll find out. When you give us $50. In November.
There's something about a successful, sexy boarding event that makes even awesome halo players look stupid. There they go, tearing by in a Ghost, rounding that curve on the Zanzibar beach and BAM! Somebody drops in from above, lands on the hood of the Ghost, and boots the rider out. Of course, to finish the job, you need to then run over the carjackee.
Boarding is relatively simple if the circumstances are right, you can board anything that's close enough and slow enough. That means the best way to do it is to lie in wait and get them as they slow for a corner. Press X to board and if it's doable, you will punch, yank or flip them out of their ride. The animation is context sensitive and a different action will be [performed depending on the type of vehicle being boarded, or which side you board from.
You can board gunner and passenger seats, as well as the driver's spot, and your strategy needs to be planned. We have seen pretty funny situations, where a Hog's gunner is boarded without the driver noticing (amazingly) and the illicit gunner starts taking out the driver's compatriots. Confusion ensues (for everyone except Laughy McBastard, the gunner).
Sharp-eyed readers will spot a couple of new Covenant types, there's the Brute of course, but how about the Grunt with no rebreather? Or the Elites with the unusual uniforms? There will be brand-new critters, varmints and dudes in Halo 2, but perhaps just as interestingly, new variants on old favorites.