I’m desperately trying to get back to blogging rut… so here’s some observations on the Halo: Reach beta.

I’m usually not into demos, especially if we’re talking about demos that eat up a gigabyte of disk space. But this is not a PC game, and I had bunch of free space on the Xbox 360 anyway. I had actually waited a long time to get this demo, and it has so far been just as awesome as I suspected.

Only thing is that it makes me post weird crap in screenshot filenames.
MASTUR CEEFS FR1ST SNIEP EVAR - yes, Arby ‘n’ the Chief is just this awesome.
A PORTHOLE SNIEP rofl - I swear, this thing is doing a number on my spelling abilities. That, or the game needs less Powerhouse. Less portholes = less rofls.
OMG BEST SNIEP EVER - I can actually snipe a person from across this tiny room and make them fall face down on the floor! I must be the best Halo player ever! It is decided, I shall make a montage or something.

Another thing is that the playlists have so far had too much of game modes that I’ve seen in Halo 3, and the new game modes appear too rarely. Dammit, I hope there’ll be more Elite stuff and Invasion and Headhunter and perhaps even “if your feet touch the ground you’re dead, so keep using those jetpacks”. Team Slayer is still awesome, but it’d be sweet to see more of these new modes. If you have to test old modes, at least put in Grifball.

Also, there are a few minor irritating deficiencies that I’m concerned about. I expected a lot more based on the multiplayer trailer, and these deficiencies are very blatant.

Allow me to illustrate.
This is one of the scenes from the Halo Reach Multiplayer Trailer.

HaloReachTrailer1.jpgJust look at that lighting - really moody! And look at this:

HaloReachTrailer2.jpgThis is pretty damn spectacular. And then there’s this:

HaloReachTrailer3.jpgAnd they even show an awesome close-up in the end of the video:

HaloReachTrailer4.jpgNow, what I’d really want to know is this: Why isn’t this in the actual multiplayer beta? I know it’s not really a multiplayer feature per se, but still, it’s prominently used in the trailer, so I expected it would be in place. This is actually one of the features I really look forward to, because it’s implemented in so few games these days. The last game I saw this in was the original QuakeWorld version of Team Fortress, and that was just there for opening cinematic, and it was entirely sprite-based - modern computers and consoles can handle it in 3D just fine. I’m sure machinima folks would love to see more of this. It would make life easier and all that.

Please, Bungie, put floating 3D letters in the final game. Floating 3D letters are frigging awesome. And the Reach font is pretty sweet too.

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Update: I spoke too soon! The same afternoon I posted this, I was able to see a weird Forerunner code floating in the air in one game. Okay, it’s not 3D, but I pray and hope floating 3D text will be added to the final game!

reach_494979_Full.jpgMy knowledge of the Forerunner texts is a little bit limited, since I don’t really know all that much about the backstory (besides of what I saw in Halo Legends and the games), but based on the familiar symbols I’d say it says something like “The Bomb is the Crazy King [Forerunners used weird word orderings, so this probably means something along the lines of “Crazy King is da Bomb”], and it’s demanded Loudly, but the Lockers [a minced oath, probably] who Crossed us and Targeted us with Bitterness [lozenge shape referring to salmiak] demand that we play a shitton of Capture the Flag.” Then comes a bunch of really bone-chilling swearing and rants, which boils down to “we had to play 7924159 games of 1 Flag CTF and got to play only 364 games of all of the fun game types”. Gee! History repeats itself in this beta!
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