Sunday, May 27, 2007

Halo 3 til daylight

This past week, thanks to the generosity of my friend Eric, I have had the pleasure of playing in the Halo 3 multiplayer beta using his Xbox 360 and gamertag. Photographic proof of this on my "gaming tower of power" is below:

I've had a lot of fun with it, as the gameplay is familiar enough for Halo 2 players to be easily picked up, but it has enough new strategic items and weapons to make it a game with a distinctly different balance than Halo 2 was online. The weapons are balanced such that at any time any player can beat any other, relieving somewhat the unbalance in Halo 2 of the "power weapon monopoly" that a player or team could obtain and hold onto.

What I haven't done in a long time was what happened last night and this morning. I played for at least three hours straight, out of about six hours of gameplay, with a great, skilled, and complete team. That's the ideal for Halo online multiplayer -- a group of friends who cooperate, are skilled players, and just cool in general. Halo allows a party that wants to stay together to keep playing together as a team. As you run into other people or other friends become available, you just keep adding them to your party. The time literally disappeared. I remember someone asking the group what time it was where we each were and it was 2:30a for me, and then I didn't notice the time again until it was 5 in the morning and I could start to see daylight. Apparently, as of 12:15 this afternoon, my friend NaughtyDawg is still playing!

There are several benefits to playing so late into the night: 1) few 13-year-olds screaming that they want the sniper rifle; and 2) international players start to come online. We had one team member playing from Australia and I believe another was playing from France.

I'm looking forward to Halo 3 this September. The single player campaign also promises to be a great experience, plus this beta is only a few of the final maps for online multiplayer, so there is much to still be revealed.

Related post: Halo 3 warmup

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