Bungie details Halo: Reach user-generated content, confirms limited edition hardware bundle

Comic-Con 2010: Halo developers unveil new Firefight, Forge additions; unbox previously rumored Xbox 360 bundle onstage.

Who was there: A quartet of Bungie staffers took to the stage for a demonstration of some new multiplayer features in Halo: Reach. The panel was led by community director Brian Jarrard and also featured multiplayer designer Chad Armstrong, multiplayer producer Dave Allen, and Firefight designer Lars Bakken.

What they talked about: Skipping forward to the panel's climactic finish, Bungie officially confirmed the special-edition Halo: Reach Xbox 360 bundle that made the rounds earlier today after a report from numerous sources. Confirming prior details, the system is one of the new slimline Xbox 360 units originally unveiled at E3. It will feature a matte silver finish with artwork inspired by the ONI organization from the series' fiction. Bundled with a pair of matching controllers and a headset, the package will also come with a copy of Halo: Reach.

From left to right: Jarrard, Bakken, Armstrong, Allen.

After teasing the audience with the mention of a possible "Oprah moment" for everyone who came to the panel, Jarrard called up a member of the crowd who had earlier been deemed the "ultimate Halo fan" by Microsoft's Halo Waypoint community team. The fan introduced himself as Vince and was subsequently greeted with the news that the hardware bundle that was just shown to the crowd was now his to keep. Vince was nothing short of ecstatic.

Before all that happened, the Bungie staffers took the audience through a crowd-pleasing demonstration of a few new features focused on Reach's online elements. You can read GameSpot's recent preview of these features right here, but the basic idea is that Bungie wants to extend the life span of Reach far into the future by giving fans expanded customization options and creative tools. Firefight now supports a customization system akin to the user-created multiplayer variants found in Halo 3, while Forge has been overhauled to more easily create custom maps.

Armstrong wowed the audience with a helicopter tour through a map called Forge World, which is designed to serve as a blank slate for creating new maps of highly varying geography. Bungie has called Forge World its biggest map by far, and the crowd's reaction showed that fans likely weren't expecting to see something on this scale. They also mentioned that a number of Bungie-created maps will be included in Reach that began as pet projects of staffers tinkering with Forge World but that impressed the team enough to be added to the other original maps.

The new Reach bundle.

Quote: "Twenty-four people in this room just wet themselves," joked Armstrong about a minor interface improvement to Forge that he expects a small but rabid number of fans to appreciate.

The takeaway: Jarrard reiterated that this is going to be Bungie's last game in the Halo franchise. With the studio moving on to a new project in an exclusive publishing deal with Activision, it seems Bungie wants fans to be able to continue creating new content for Halo well after the studio has wrapped up work on the series it originally created.

Who knew?: An audience member asked Bungie about any interesting glitches in Reach that the team encountered during development. Armstrong replied with an anecdote about the new female Spartans. There was a point when anyone who lost their armor shield while playing as a female character would see their character model transform "into a dude" suddenly and without warning.

Written By

Want the latest news about Halo: Reach?

Halo: Reach

Halo: Reach

Follow

Discussion

120 comments
FusionHunterX
FusionHunterX

There are so many possibilities for map creation on Forgeworld that you can't wrap your mind around it. Their slogan should be something like, ' Halo:Reach : Get F***ed.' or, quoting Jack Black, 'Halo:Reach : What we've got is gonna turn your brain to s***'. But I just came up with the best one, incorporating Xbox's slogan. 'Halo: Reach : Jump In, Get F***ed'.

thebrickster007
thebrickster007

I wish Bungie had the common sense to release on PC as well. Oh well, us PC gamers are still stuck playing Halo 1 and 2 :(

KTfreak4Jesus2
KTfreak4Jesus2

bungie has the right to be only on xbox. when you go multiplatform that means the game will take longer to make

x-2tha-z
x-2tha-z

@athenian29 I must've missed the part where I said there's more PS3 fanboys than Xbox fanboys. Oh that's right, I didn't say that. What were you reading?

athenian29
athenian29

@x-2tha-z Don't generalize. Xbox and Playstation have about the same proportion of fanboys in their player populations - and now that Bungie is going multi-platform, everybody can enjoy their work.

athenian29
athenian29

Xbox just won't be the same without Halo - it's pretty much the house that Halo built. We all know how long the original went after CE before it got its next "great game". And for good reason - Halo has pioneered many FPS characteristics we now consider no-brainers. Just my favorites: - Two-joystick control on consoles. - Online multiplayer on consoles. - User-generated content in a shooter. What made Halo great wasn't that it did anything first - it was that it did all these things first ON CONSOLES. It took the immersive campaign style of Half-Life, the solid multiplayer of Quake/Unreal Tournament/Counter-Strike, and created the first truly-smooth control scheme for a console shooter. On PC, this all came much sooner, and I still prefer PC games over consoles in most circumstances. But I also still tip my hat to Bungie and their skill in refinement of the FPS - even if Halo was all "on console", it had an undeniable effect on the industry as a whole. Now, only time will tell whether 343 Industries can carry the torch...

FlamingNinja77
FlamingNinja77

i new they would make a reach edition xbox and i had to but a regular xbox slim last week for 300 bucks well time to finally get a good job just great

Ozzie234
Ozzie234

The big forge world (Blood Gulch/Valhalla style!) and the seemingly new BR changes (decent zoom in scope & four-shot) turned me around. Preordered. :)

XDXinfinity
XDXinfinity

They should do this for the Xbox 360 slim.

k2theswiss
k2theswiss

forge world is great ideal all i hope while bungie is developing this isn't thinking forge world is 5 map and only making other 5 other maps because one has 5 in it to make 10(just using random numbers) i don't want to see any less then what halo 3 shipped with.

k2theswiss
k2theswiss

i'm a bungie fanboy more then a halo fanboy any day i feel sorry for 343 industry's when they try dev halo... they going have to pull something out of there ass to beat bungie... Soon every one will understand why alot people on 360 love bungie.

x-2tha-z
x-2tha-z

Playstation fanboys should be very happy that they will soon be able to play games developed by Bungie.

Gundamforce
Gundamforce

I just wet my pants. September just can't come fast enough.

bokiloki
bokiloki

never been a halo fan but i might pick this up

Flint247
Flint247

Forge World is going to be epic! I can't wait to try it out. :D Let the creativity begin!

MaddenBowler10
MaddenBowler10

Not including matchmaking in Firefight mode for Halo ODST was one of the worst design decisions in the history of gaming.

Phantom_2
Phantom_2

Honestly i think silver is the best color for the 360 slim. I hate the piano black color for the the 360. It just doesn't feel right for the system and it reminds me of a ps3 fat too much. the 360 color is white and should have stayed white.

JohnisGodd
JohnisGodd

Forge World is going to make Halo Reach sooooooooooooooo good.

starduke
starduke

Hmm, that bundle sounds interesting, I might get it.

SocialAnXieTy
SocialAnXieTy

'Jarrard reiterated that this is going to be Bungie's last game in the Halo franchise.' Haha, yeah right Bungie. You said the same thing about Halo 3. You'll be making these games until the end of time.

TheGravy02
TheGravy02

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

TheGravy02
TheGravy02

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

PewPewNinja
PewPewNinja

Look like a good game while i wait for a new UT,and i will finally be able to play another non boring game other then TF2. Quake,UT type of game are such the best,Those game are pure Fun.

monson21502
monson21502

@bunbun343, halo 3 odst was a pretty good game once you got past having to go through the city. and had a ton of stuff that made it worth its price. like all the multi player packs, and the halo reach beta. i only paid 15 for my copy but if i paid 60 it woulda been well worth it. alot more then many 9.0 plus games this gen imo.

green_dominator
green_dominator

Firefight 2.0 being announced at E3 was mindblowing in and of itself but Forge World will be amazing. I've heard of some of the sick levels people did for Halo 3 but now everyone will find it easier to make something unique. It's just another reason to be excited for Reach......

Darkbeyond
Darkbeyond

ODST was overpriced but all the Halo games are great Reach will be the best keep up the good work Bungie

Eclipse-015
Eclipse-015

For real, Bungies over-doing themselves, everything that was good about Halo3 they are improving, and everything that was bad they are getting rid of. With all the extra effort they have put into this game I really hope it does get a 10 from GS.

Serentor
Serentor

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

bunbun343
bunbun343

@monson21502 Halo 3 wasn't ripped off. It was bad. Gamespot treats Halo games like they're the second coming of Christ. Why do you think ODST got such a good rating? Reach looks amazing by the way.

Decessus
Decessus

@SalarianChemist Do you have any proof that magazines, websites, and newspapers were forced to sign some kind of contract in order to get a free review disk?I did a very quick search on Google and couldn't come up with anything.

gladin09
gladin09

I hope this new forge is much improved disappointed with the forge in halo 3 being used to PC map creating tools and all. Will buy it either way and maybe the xbox too :D

Gigas_Yuu
Gigas_Yuu

Halo 3 was garbage though, Monson. I am a HUGE Halo fan and I was expecting much more after the fiasco of 2. I thought they should have been more dilligent with the graphics engine for 3 instead of waiting now for Reach. It was pretty upsetting. I think they sort of settled, that and the dramatic elements of the game really had zero emotional impact on me. Gameplay audio was pretty bad. ODST greatly improved that, but Halo 1's simplicity did it the best. Their flood still scare me much more than the flood from Halo 3, the audio for their weapons felt nasty (in a good way) I would have given Halo 3 an 8.5, honestly.

GrabTheYayo
GrabTheYayo

they just keep on adding stuff to this game. reply value is through the roof. and ps3 fanboys are on the ground. there is no need to buy another game when you get Reach, no need. GOTY

simon_levane
simon_levane

I've played only the single player portions of "Halo", "Halo 2" and "Halo 3: ODST". I've never really been into the series (they all play the same), but this sequel will be the standout. I pre-ordered it yesterday.

SalarianChemist
SalarianChemist

@monson21502 The one and only reason why MGS4 got a 10 in that first "batch" of reviews was because Konami literally made magazines, websites, and newspapers sign a contract saying that it was against the rules to penalize MGS4 in several key areas where the game obviously deserved to be penalized. Anyone who was not willing to sign that immoral contract that is now known as the Konami-Kontract was told that they would not be receiving an early "review copy" of MGS4 to review for free. This is the reason why the second batch of reviews for MGS4 includes scores as low as an 8 out of 10. The second batch of reviews were written by honest reviewers who didn't sign Konami's immoral contract. These reviewers waited until the game was released at retail, used their own money to purchase the game, and rated MGS4 fairly -- penalizing it where it deserved to be penalized. For example, MGS4 may have had a resolution of 1920x1080p during the cinema scenes when you were not playing the game, but when you were actually "playing" the game, MGS4 had a native resolution of only 1024x768p, which technically is lower than true "high-definition" resolution of 1280x720p. This is the reason why MGS4 has "grainy" graphics while you are playing. But Konami had it set up from the start so that reviewers were not allowed to penalize the game's graphics in that area. Another example was the awwwwwfullllly looooong load times in MGS4. These load times happen in random spots and literally last for 5 minutes, 3 minutes, 4 minutes, 2 minutes, 5 minutes...it is awful and obviously deserved to be penalized. But, thanks to the Konami Kontract reviewers who received a free copy of the game from Konami were not allowed to penalize the game. Halo: Reach uses a whopping four-times as many polygons as Halo 3, all at a higher resolution! Halo: Reach has features that no other Halo game has ever seen, both online and offline. If Halo: Reach doesn't receive a 10 out of 10, something really is wrong with the way the game was being reviewed.

cornerback3
cornerback3

I was disappointed by both BC2 and MW2, but I actually think Bungie won't disappoint this time around.

Flint247
Flint247

Halo Reach will be the best Halo in the series. I know it. ;)

metalkid9
metalkid9

halo will never get a 10 simply because it doesn't deserve a highscore.

monson21502
monson21502

if halo reach doesnt get a ten here on gamespot i will never look at another review on this site again. halo 3 got ripped off from being ten. while mg4, gt4, and mg2 got tens.and none of them will be played or enjoyed as long as halo 3 was.

SalarianChemist
SalarianChemist

The new Xbox 360 with a custom design of Halo: Reach looks fantastic! The console, the controllers, and the headset all have an awesome design and color combo that I really think is cool. There are also rumors going around that this special edition of the Xbox 360 will have all sorts of Halo: Reach "sound effects," "music" when you are doing things such as turning the power on, turning the power off, pausing, waiting for online games to install to your hard drive, etc....So, this really is a Halo fans dream come true for a console. And I love the way the new FireFight mode of Halo: Reach has the matchmaking feature that everyone wished for in Halo 3: ODST. Thankfully, Bungie listened to us and our wish was granted!

Ozzie234
Ozzie234

@liveforever89 I didn't like the slowness or un-leathatility of the beta :/ On the other hand looking at this new Valhalla-like forge world almost makes me pre-order the game :) heheh

metalkid9
metalkid9

I'll replace my old 20GB 360 when they release an XBOX 360 that has replacable hard drive not that overpriced piece of crap MS prices so effing high.

James00715
James00715

I like the idea of user created content on consoles. You just don't see it very often. It's one reason PC gaming is usually better.

Syk0_k03r
Syk0_k03r

i remember how halo 3, halo wars, and halo ODST were overhyped failures... and i will be the same guy laughing when this halo fails

liveforever89
liveforever89

@Ozzie234 Ummm, ODST was exactly what they said it was. It was a 5-hour campaign and a Firefight mode. It was somewhat hyped, but nothing like Reach is being hyped. If you thought ODST was going to be more than it was, then that's your fault. But that game was exactly what Bungie said it was going to be. Also, Reach looks incredible. If you liked Halo in the past, then there's absolutely no reason to dislike Reach. This game is going to have every single mode that's ever been in a Halo game plus more. Not to mention that they're enhancing some of the 'older' modes (ie Firefight). I had the Beta and was very impressed with it. Towards the end I got tired of playing the same two maps over and over, but that's how a beta goes. I was blown away about how balanced the armor abilities were. My biggest concern going into the beta was that there would be one armor ability that everyone picks, however, that wasn't the case at all. Not once did I ever felt I died because someone had a superior ability. But balance is what Bungie is good at, unlike when Activision & Infinity Ward teams up . . .

XeonForce
XeonForce

Halo 3 was great, but Reach looks like it could end up being as good or better than Halo 2 at this point. I have high expectations, but I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Menelick
Menelick

flexin007 wow,it is a great marketing strategy they are doin there,but on the xbox official site,it aint there.i wonder how true this will be but will pre-order as soon as the bundle is really made ''official''