Microsoft's press conference is freshly over at this point, and as per usual, it saved its big guns for last, showing a new trailer for Halo 3 at the very end. It was apparently all-new footage, and it was noticeable for showing quite a bit of gameplay, something that Bungie has shied away from in its past trailers for the game. Now that the multiplayer beta has come and gone, however, it has opened up a bit and decided to show a bit more of the meat of the game.
That doesn't mean that the trailer was exclusively gameplay-oriented, though, as there was a bit more storyline revealed at the beginning of the trailer. In it, it's revealed that the bulk of Earth's defenses have apparently been overrun by the Covenant at the beginning of the game, as their ships control the space above the planet and are either mercilessly razing it with laser weapons or scanning it for the location of the artifact that we've seen buried in the sand in previous trailers. A Covenant Brute ominously promises that Earth "will burn until its surface is but glass." Things look dire indeed for Earth's defenders.
Most of the remainder of the trailer revolved around quick flashes of gameplay and in-game cinematics that sometimes flew by too quickly to really see what was transpiring. Amidst the new scenes of gunplay, including action from the new miniguns and a buglike enemy that was capable of lifting Master Chief off the ground, we did manage to spot what appeared to be Cortana collapsing over, apparently in pain, as well as a mysterious akimbo gun-wielding female soldier attempting to defend herself from numerous enemies. Also of interest was a scene of the Arbiter and Master Chief standing side by side; could some kind of Halo Team-Up be in the works for the title?
As the trailer wound on, we managed to spot what apparently was a Scarab, a large Covenant ground weapon. Covenant and Earth vehicles also got plenty of screen time over the course of the trailer, albeit in quick glimpses, including four-wheeled all-terrain vehicles, flying vehicles of a variety of size, and some severely battle-damaged Warthogs. The final image of the trailer is of Master Chief, as he pensively looks down at what appears to be a map display. What it displays is a mystery, although there are still plenty of those to go around. Will the Flood reappear? What exactly transpired between Cortana and the Gravemind? While these, and plenty of other questions, still remain, we only have a couple more months to wait until we can all play the game for ourselves. Stay tuned to GameSpot for more coverage on the Halo 3 juggernaut as it approaches its release date.