Luke is out and about tackling important stuff this week, so the task of crafting the Weekly Update has fallen upon the rest of the team's collective shoulders. We know it'll be a rough transition - Luke's gentle but masterful keyboard massaging makes any update that much better - but we'll do our best to ease the tension of the workweek and soothe your aching bones with some wordplay of our own.
Sit back, relax, and let's begin.
Sketch already addressed the early word about information forthcoming in December's Game Informer Magazine, both in our own forums and elsewhere, but there still seems to be quite a bit of confusion about what all this new and mysterious information really means. For those who've had trouble following along, fear not, Sketch is going to give it one more go.
Halo 3: Recon
Many people have already started receiving copies of the latest issue of Game Informer which features a sweet Halo 3: Recon cover story (cover art painted by Bungie concept artist, Jaime Jones). We’re not going to ruin their story so you should definitely go check it out for some firsthand insights into Halo 3: Recon and what you can expect next Fall. However, some excerpts and snippets from the story are starting to spread around the internet and in some cases, causing some concern or confusion amongst our fans. Again, I’m not going to get into too many details because it’s Game Informer’s story to tell, but I did want to clarify two main questions I’ve seen on the interweb:
• So how long is Halo 3: Recon going to be?
Honestly it’s impossible to really quantify this. Even with Halo 3 an individual’s play time can vary dramatically based on difficulty level, modifiers like skulls, and whether or not it’s played individually, cooperatively, or within the multiplayer portions of the game, which can amount to near infinite play time. While it’s true that we view Halo 3: Recon as an extension to the Halo 3 game experience, it’s too early to settle on a specific number of hours of gameplay.
Paul Bertone, design director, was quoted as saying that part of the design process involved finding a story that would fit within a “3 to 5 hour expansion pack.” There are a few points to make here to provide more context and allay some concerns people seem to be having over their expectations for the scope of the game. First of all, while Halo 3: Recon did originate with the goal of building a 3 to 5 hour campaign experience, I can safely say that as is always the case with Bungie, the team is continuing to put more and more into it and the final product will end up being some order of magnitude more than the initial design. Game Informer also touches on the new structure to the campaign experience and how there are basically two separate components to the campaign. The initial play time targets were focused on one of those components. And lastly, there are still plenty of things we’re not talking about with Recon that will further enhance and add to the experience, play time, and replayability of the final package.
I can safely say that at the end of the day, the sum of the parts of the Halo 3: Recon box will add up to a great experience for Halo fans.
• Everyone gets Recon armor for multiplayer!?
Yes, sort of. We did confirm that when Halo 3: Recon is released next Fall, fans will finally have the means to acquire the Recon multiplayer armor for themselves. The “Vidmaster” achievements that were kicked off in the Halo 3 title update a few months ago are the first step on the road to unlocking Recon. Eventually, once you have successfully completed all of the Vidmaster achievements, you will be able to wear the armor. Some of these achievements can be earned when the Mythic Map Pack is released early next year, but you won’t be able to complete the full chain until the retail release of Halo 3: Recon next Fall. So yes, approximately two years after the release of Halo 3, the broader community will finally be able to get their hands on the Recon armor.
Taking Care of Business the Bungie Way
We realize that this week's update was a touch on the light side. We just needed to clear a few things up. In apology for our continued brevity, we offer you the following - an inside peak into the serious side of the studio. You think you know us? You have no idea
For one glorious workday a week, in stuffy business offices across this great land, men and women collectively known as “The White-Collar Workforce” get a reprieve from slipping ties around their necks and tightening their collars all the way up to that constrictive top button. In such places, the mere mention of the term "Business Casual" is often enough to smooth the pleated khakis of even the most fervent fashionista. Not at Bungie. This week the studio ushered in Friday with a flair normally reserved for the thick, glossed pages of GQ. While the rest of the workweek is reserved for cutoff jean shorts, sleeveless undershirts, and flip flops, today we’re all business. Baby.
From Left to Right: Amazing.
Liquid Lunch. Virgin martinis, of course.
Steak, Shrimp, Potatoes and Fridays: A Power Lunch, the Bungie Way