By Matthew Bitz
For those of you who own a computer and consider yourself a gamer, get ready for HALO, one of the biggest titles to come along since HALF_LIFE or QUAKE III. HALO will hit the shelves in the middle of this year, which is as specific as the online bulletin gets, so be ready to get your copy. For those of you who have been off in the woods, or living under a rock for some time now, HALO is now probably the most widely anticipated game of the year. It is going to rewrite the book on character animation and pretty much everything else, too.
The basic premise behind the game design is this: take every minute aspect of gaming, and make it better. Better animation and modeling, better terrain and a better engine make for this to be big really big. And for those of you who are reading this and are concerned that this is just one more DOOM style game with better gore and goo, I'm here to tell you that at this point, HALO looks to be anything but that.
OK, you're probably wondering what the basic story is behind this so here goes: A transport ship, traveling along through space crashes on a ring-world with its cargo of 1800 humans, of whom 800 are, you guessed it: Marines. A ring world, for those who don't know or simply don't care to keep up on this sort of very important thing, is a thin ring of planetary mass orbiting a star. Coated with the necessary life supporting elements, it is even supplied gravity of sorts by its rotation around the star. As you can imagine, it isn't long before a previously unknown alien race comes along and we all get into a fight over who gets to keep the most incredible archeological find of the past several million years. And as usual, the aliens are superior to the humans and outnumber them. As a result, the player is forced to use guerrilla tactics to fight this new threat.
Fine, so the storyline is a lot like dozens of others out there but story is not the issue here, what is the issue is the fact that the graphics in this will blow you away. They are the closest thing to seamless and perfect yet, this engine is so wonderfully built that all we would have to do is play golf on the smooth rolling hills and watch the sunsets.
Anyway, HALO, is going to be really, really big, so when it comes, be ready to get your own, because your friends aren't going to want to share. If you want to see some really awesome screen shots, go to www.bungie.com, they have plenty of great stuff to look at there.