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Bungie admits to what most everyone has already said about Halo 2

When it comes to Halo 2, the developers of the game aren't content with how things turned. Sure the game went on to rack up $125 million USD in sales on its first day and has sold more than 6.5 million copies worldwide since its launch, but those successes seem to ring a bit hollow with Bungie.

Many Halo fans that plunked down their hard-earned money for Halo 2 were disappointed with the game’s storyline and ending -- Bungie's Frank O'Connor agrees. "We drove off Thelma & Louise style," said O'Connor. "The trick is to avoid designing or writing by committee. You have to take what's best from the input you're getting and not have it turn into that too many cooks situation."

Part of the reason for the discontent with the game stems from the fact that Bungie didn't have the four to six week "polishing period" that it had with the original Halo blockbuster. "We had about four to five weeks to polish Halo at the end. No more than that. And that last five per cent is responsible for 30 per cent of the success of the game, or more. That's the period in which we really had a perfect storm," said technical lead Chris Butcher. "One of the things that stuns me when I think about it, and I can't believe this is true - we had none of that for Halo 2 ... We miscalculated, we screwed up, we came down to the wire and we just lost all of that."

Even more harsh words were reserved for Halo 2's multiplayer. "Even the multiplayer experience for Halo 2 is a pale shadow of what it could and should have been if we had gotten the timing of our schedule right. It's astounding to me. I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it. And that's why I know Halo 3 is going to be so much better," adds Butcher.

Bungie has a chance to not only improve on the tremendous sales success of Halo 2, but also to improve on the many letdowns brought forth with that title. Bungie has already notified testers selected for the Halo 3 beta and the title is expected to hit store shelves in time for the Holiday 2007 season. Bungie has a little less than a year to truly wow Xbox 360 owners out there and hopefully they won't let them down. Gears of War is already shaping up to be the “next big thing” for the Xbox 360 platform, so the Halo franchise isn’t the only game in town anymore.



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At least they admit it
By Monkmachine on 1/24/2007 2:05:32 PM , Rating: 3
At least they admit they f***ed up, most companies wouldn't. I like some honesty.... I do wish that had said f*** the schedule and finished it properly rather than rushing it to make some money.




RE: At least they admit it
By brunswickite on 1/24/2007 2:12:44 PM , Rating: 5
This is a PR move to sell more copies of Halo 3.

Whatever it is, I bought the first two, will probably buy this one was well.


RE: At least they admit it
By VIAN on 1/24/2007 2:37:27 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly, it's all PR. I played Halo 2 and I think that 6 weeks wouldn't have been enough to fix what was wrong with that game.

I'll probably still buy Halo 3, to see how the story ends. But of course, it has to get 80% or greater at gamerankings.com for me to bite.


RE: At least they admit it
By sviola on 1/24/2007 3:25:50 PM , Rating: 2
That depends...if the 6 weeks was in the game design phase of the project it could have made the whole difference.


RE: At least they admit it
By ZeeStorm on 1/24/2007 3:21:09 PM , Rating: 1
This is exactly what MS just did recently. They talked about how much they screwed up XP and are fixing it in Vista. It's all BS hype. I highly doubt Halo 3 is going to be any better. All they're going to do is change the graphics to look better with horrible gameplay.


RE: At least they admit it
By tuteja1986 on 1/24/2007 9:42:53 PM , Rating: 2
Actually no ... if any had the collector edition of HALO 2 and watched the documentary on the 2nd disk you would see that Developer knowing they fucked up bad. You could see it by anger and depression when they didn't have time to complete the game or test it properly.


RE: At least they admit it
By wushuktl on 1/24/2007 2:18:00 PM , Rating: 2
i remember reading about that game total annihilation in an issue of PCGamer. Chris Taylor said they once missed a milestone during the game's development so for that period Microsoft didn't pay them. I can imagine if Bungie missed their launch date Microsoft would throw a pretty big fit and i'd imagine i wouldn't want to be on Bungie's end of that.


RE: At least they admit it
By sxr7171 on 1/25/2007 4:32:08 PM , Rating: 2
That's what happens when you have a big fvcking company riding your ass. No good ever can come from it. Gaming today IMHO has gone down the tubes since it's gotten too big with big fvcking corporations getting in there (yes including the worst of them all: Sony followed by EA). When it was more Nintendo and Sega in the market, things were way better in terms of creativity and quality of games. Now even Nintendo and Sega have to copy the big companies to survive and you can see it in the decline of the quality of even their software. At least this time around Nintendo saw the light and decided to go it alone with a different strategy. I think at least they will make some good games for the Wii, being focused on games, not specs, hype and dazzle.


RE: At least they admit it
By tenguman on 1/24/2007 2:33:33 PM , Rating: 2
I hope they screw up with Halo 3 because Halo 2 friggin' rocked my socks and continues to do so this very day. Well GoW is getting more playtime but still, I still love to throw in Halo 2 4-5 times a week and play with my buddies.


RE: At least they admit it
By daftrok on 1/25/2007 1:03:35 AM , Rating: 2
If Halo Xbox went online it would have railed Halo 2.


RE: At least they admit it
By borowki on 1/24/2007 2:55:19 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know, the comment sounds mildly insulting to me. He's basically implying that the game's fans can't tell chicken shit from chicken salad.


RE: At least they admit it
By KaiserCSS on 1/24/2007 3:19:21 PM , Rating: 2
You're kidding right?

Have you played Halo 2? Surely you must have realized that something felt off. For example, the Brutes felt like they were just thrown in there with limited inteligence; they were, to quote the Halo 3 documentary Et tu, Brute?, "bullet sponges." And the plot line could have benefited from some last-minute revision and polishing. The scale of the game also severely dissapointed me.

Do you remember the announcement trailer in which the Earth is covered in massive explosions? Well, that wasn't included in the finished product, and I felt left down. A single ship managed to penetrate the orbital defences, reconed a small city in Africa, found something, and left. And that was all for Earth. Small skirmishes in a city which seemed COMPLETELY lifeless. It just seemed like a long string of small skirmishes and no massive battles. I didn't feel like I was saving the Earth or anything else than myself, for that matter. There was a lack of emotion that I found rather dull.

When I saw the Halo 3 trailers for the first time, I felt emotions like awe and excitement, as well as saddness, desperation, and hopelessness. THIS is what I want from Halo 3. A game that will touch me deep down and leave a lasting emotional impact which will set it aside from other games.

If I recall, the Halo 3 engine is capable of rendering +10 kilometers of geometry. HOPEFULLY they will utilize this to create massive worlds without "invisible walls" and not just for pretty mountains.

Now, if fans have something to worry about, it's those bastard children "Halo Wars" and the "Unnamed Halo Project." Those worry more than Bungie screwing up, because if these LICENSED games are terrible, the entire franchise will suffer.

But I have confidence in Bungie. They want to do it right, and that's what counts. If the developers have the heart, talent, and motivation, as they seem to be displaying, they will do great things.


RE: At least they admit it
By vdig on 1/24/2007 3:47:20 PM , Rating: 2
I must add my two cents.

I too have felt that Halo 2 was underwhelming. It just did not feel like the epic battles that it should have been.

A personal gripe of Halo 2 that I hope does not happen again are the snipers that kill Master Chief in one shot on Legendary difficulty. I thought Master Chief received an upgrade with his shields, not a downgrade. I liked the challenge the first title's Legendary provided, as the challenge was not necessarily memorization of the location of cheap targets, but actual tact. As long as you had patience and ammo, you could peck away at the enemy. Halo 2? There's a sniper at x location. He sees you. You don't see him. You die. WTF. Memorize where that bullet came from, loser.

....No thanks. I'll play one difficulty lower.

Remove the one shot snipers, please. I thought the plasma sword enemies were good enough in that regard, and at least allowed you time to run or retaliate.


damage control ...
By Homerboy on 1/24/2007 1:53:03 PM , Rating: 2
...and hype for Halo 3

Personally they ruined it when they made it for a console to start :)




RE: damage control ...
By darkpaw on 1/24/07, Rating: -1
RE: damage control ...
By CascadingDarkness on 1/24/2007 2:22:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
FPS games on consoles completely suck

I wouldn't say completely suck. I still remember they days of Golden Eye on 64. I to this day love pwning my friends constantly. I don't think Halo was so bad on XBox (though I would have perferred PC), but was supremely disappointed the PC version took a year and was awful.

I do agree, basically all games would be better on PC. You have far more options for controls and graphics. Can you imagine trying to fly a helicopter in BF2 on a console? That just wouldn't work.

The only point to consoles in my opinion would be for parties. You don't see many people clustering around a PC to watch, and Lan parties tend to be a pain.


RE: damage control ...
By RyuDeshi on 1/24/2007 4:37:10 PM , Rating: 2
Flying a helicopter on BF2 with a keyboard and mouse is horrible, you add in a joystick and it is so much easier, and I could imagine the same for a controller due to the analog thumbsticks.. so I'd have to say I disagree there.


RE: damage control ...
By Tyler 86 on 1/24/2007 6:58:17 PM , Rating: 3
Yes, and PCs have Joysticks and game-pad plug-ins for that reason.

I know it's hard to imagine, but flying a Helicopter in BF2 does not count as 'First Person Shooting', that's branching over into 'Flight Simulation'.

Keyboard and mouse work wonders for the gunner seats though.

Aiming a crosshair and directing a vehicle, while similar, are not the same thing. Mice are better for aiming, as they are sort of arbitrary point specifiers -- you can target any object quickly with a margin of error, whereas joysticks are relatively incremental -- constant change in direction, with more emphasis on axial alignment and predictable course.

It's like comparing running on the ground (mouse aim) to swimming in the water (joystick pilot). It's an entirely different concept of locomotion, or in this case, 'loco-direction'.

Personally I like the Wii controller concept of left-hand piloting, right-hand aiming... can't wait to see that implemented into some PC games. There's already unofficial driver mock-ups floating about to use them.


RE: damage control ...
By knowyourenemy on 1/24/2007 11:20:45 PM , Rating: 2
On that note, personally, I prefer using my kb/mouse over my joy for flying the helos. Matter of preference? Of course.


RE: damage control ...
By InsaneGain on 1/25/2007 4:39:58 PM , Rating: 2
yeah I prefer the mouse for the BF2 helo. I tried the joystick, but the mouse seemed better for the subtle corrections needed when hovering and landing. The joystick was good for pulling out of dives and doing barrel rolls, but I went back to the mouse. Basically the mouse is better for precision/erratic control and the joystick for broad, continuous movements.
I just couldn't play Halo multiplayer well because of the controller. I wonder why Microsoft/Sony just doesn't make some sort of mouse/keypad controller for consoles?


RE: damage control ...
By cochy on 1/24/2007 5:29:47 PM , Rating: 2
I might have agreed with you a few months ago. However I have gotten used to playing FPS with the Xbox controller. It's not that bad once you get used to it. Mouse and Keyboard are obviously superior.


RE: damage control ...
By Fenixgoon on 1/24/2007 2:42:04 PM , Rating: 2
it got ruined when MS bought bungie and made it an FPS. halo was originally slated to be 3rd person action. see the "evolution of halo" video below:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-226853673...


RE: damage control ...
By therealnickdanger on 1/24/2007 3:34:36 PM , Rating: 2
Well, I'll admit that I love HaloPC more than Halo Xbox, but that's only due to the new maps. I'm currently in one of the better HaloPC clans right now and our field leader does extremely well against all opposition (even cheaters) and he uses a large Xbox (duke) controller with a USB adapter. I do believe that any device can be lethal with the proper configuration and practice. To each his own...

After Halo Xbox launched, I was getting a well-rounded diet of Perfect Dark on N64, Counter-Strike and Unreal Tournament on the PC, and Halo on Xbox. I was in heaven. Each game was perfect and so much fun!!


RE: damage control ...
By InsaneGain on 1/25/2007 4:45:24 PM , Rating: 2
That guy must have amazing skills if he beats almost ever mouse user with the Xbox controller.


RE: damage control ...
By BladeVenom on 1/24/2007 4:31:51 PM , Rating: 2
I'm still waiting for an apology for the PC version of the first Halo.


QOTD?
By R Nilla on 1/24/2007 2:14:14 PM , Rating: 2
I like how a quote from this article is at the bottom of every single DailyTech page today.

quote:
"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Halo technical lead Chris Butcher


Is this a new feature I just noticed, or is this quote just that amusing?




RE: QOTD?
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 1/24/2007 2:15:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Is this a new feature I just noticed, or is this quote just that amusing?

New feature. We have a few other choice quotes that are going to rotate around.


RE: QOTD?
By beacon on 1/24/2007 6:38:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
New feature. We have a few other choice quotes that are going to rotate around.


I like the new feature and have a suggestion - can you make the quote link to the article it is taken from so that if the quote piques our interest we can read it in context?


RE: QOTD?
By ksherman on 1/24/2007 10:51:48 PM , Rating: 2
I second the request


Halo 2 multiplayer no good!?!?!
By lazyinjin on 1/24/2007 2:38:25 PM , Rating: 2
If Halo 2 multiplayer sucks, then I'm really interested in how Halo 3's will be. I think the online multiplayer in H2 is fantastic (except for the dated game entry/lobby system). And I really hope that they do step it up this time with the storyline.




RE: Halo 2 multiplayer no good!?!?!
By kkwst2 on 1/24/2007 3:07:51 PM , Rating: 2
It is fun, but the original Halo's multi was more balanced in terms of weapons, I thought. There was nothing more fun than taking someone out from 100 yards with the zoom pistol. I'm hoping it makes a reappearance in Halo 3. I'll not get the 360 until I see that game.


RE: Halo 2 multiplayer no good!?!?!
By Serlant on 1/24/2007 4:24:08 PM , Rating: 2
If they brought out xbox live multiplayer support for Halo id dig out my old Xbox, id buy a controller to play it, id find my copy of Halo or buy a new one, id pay for my live subscription, and id kick some ass.

I had more fun on xbox connect on Halo 1 than i EVER did playing halo 2 on xbox live. its the usual story, the origional kicks ass, they ruin the second one, and try to fix it with a third, i hope to god they do.


correction
By geeg on 1/24/2007 1:54:33 PM , Rating: 2
Correction:
"We had about four to five weeks to polish Halo at the end. No more than that. And that last five per cent is responsible for 30 per cent of the success of the game, or more. That's the period in which we really had a perfect storm,"

--> That's Halo 2.

I just got Halo 2 (to play on my xbox360) and impressed with the game. Looks like I had missed a quality game, even if it was for the outdated xbox.




RE: correction
By Brandon Hill (blog) on 1/24/2007 2:01:44 PM , Rating: 2
The quote is referencing the extra time they had to make the original Halo perfect.

Halo 2 didn't have that.


Bungee?
By cyburcide on 1/24/2007 2:19:00 PM , Rating: 2
Does anyone here notice that the article reads "Bungee" instead of "Bungie?"




RE: Bungee?
By KaiserCSS on 1/24/2007 2:47:38 PM , Rating: 2
LOL

It looks like BUNGIE aren't the only ones "f**king up."

=D


What a load of shit
By encryptkeeper on 1/24/2007 3:56:37 PM , Rating: 2
Why in the hell is Bungie complaining about Halo 2? People LOVE that game. People who love it get ANGRY when you tell them you don't like it. They even get angry when you tell them you just don't play it. Think I'm lying? Walk into your local EBGames and talk shit about Halo 2. They will take it personally.

Bungie, stop trying to market Halo 3 by admitting you "screwed up" Halo 2. That's just fucking retarded. You DIDN'T screw it up. I'll admit, I don't like the game, but practically everyone else who has ever played it loves it. Fucking be happy.




RE: What a load of shit
By Houdani on 1/24/2007 4:23:21 PM , Rating: 2
Regardless whether this is a PR play or a more honest opinion, they psychology behind it is clear: Regardless of what you think of Halo 2, Halo 3 will be better. That is what I think they are trying to drive home.

Good. Better. Halo 3.


and yet...
By Saist on 1/24/2007 5:27:45 PM , Rating: 2
and yet even after admitting that they messed up on it...

a lot of players will seem to think that Bungie is equivalent to Epic Software, ID Software, Monolithe. Bungie is not, and probably never will be.

Halo will never be as good as Unreal and Quake Multiplayer, and the single player will never be able to touch Monolith.

Reminds me a lot of Peter Molyneux and Fable really. Promised the world and delivered nothing.

When are people going to sit up and realize that the "most" acclaimed developers Microsoft has are just second tier players? When is the "god-like" status held for Bungie and Lionhead studios going to go away? When are the Microsoft studios going to be judged based on what they produced?

Probably never. People will continue to think that the second rates are somehow first rates.




RE: and yet...
By NotAok on 1/25/2007 9:33:11 AM , Rating: 2
...in you opinion.

Regardless of halo 2's single player and multiplayer balance, the core gameplay is insanely solid. Both Halo 1 and 2 were very polished titles that easily exceed most first person shooters out there. (consoles especially) They had fantastic graphics, level design, story, controls, gameplay, sound effects, music, you name it.

Bungie certainly is pretty awesome and shouldn't be thrown into the "second rate" crap like you seem to think.


Isn't it weird...
By daftrok on 1/25/2007 1:01:35 AM , Rating: 2
I just realized that IGN.com gave Halo 2 a 9.8 for the game...doesn't that seem a bit odd to you? Wouldn't the very noticeable flaws bring it down to an 8.5 or a 9? Seems a bit...suspicious...




RE: Isn't it weird...
By sxr7171 on 1/25/2007 4:53:37 PM , Rating: 2
It's not that weird. Big company with deep pockets releases hyped up game; blank; game gets good reviews on various websites.

See if you can fill in the blank.


Hype machine at work...
By bunnyfubbles on 1/24/2007 5:49:13 PM , Rating: 2
By essentially admitting Halo 2 is crap (which it isn't, it isn't that bad), what's going to happen when Halo 3 cannot possibly live up to expectations (again)?

Of course there is always a very small chance that Bungie could pull off an amazing masterpiece - but to me it would be a first, it wasn't like the original Halo was perfect or completely original and different.




By The Boston Dangler on 1/24/2007 6:25:40 PM , Rating: 2
there is STILL absolutely no chance of me playing later titles, even if it was free. The company, and their product, really is that terrible. Players seem to be much less disappointed in Halo 2.




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