Halo 3 Cooperative Hands-On

We take the Chief and a couple of friends on the road to New Mombasa in this brief preview of Halo 3's cooperative feature.

Microsoft and Bungie had a treat in store for journalists attending a Halo 3 event held in Sydney, Australia, today: some hands-on time with the single-player portion of the game (on a new map to boot), plus the chance to try out the game's co-op feature.

But before they let loose a whole room full of eager games writers, Bungie writing lead Frank O'Connor and multiplayer designer Lars Bakken took the crowd on a guided demo to showcase some of the co-op gameplay people can expect when they team up in Halo 3. The mission they presented took place on a location named Tsavo Highway, which apparently is the third level in the game's campaign mode. Tsavo Highway, O'Connor explained, is actually an Earth location that leads to New Mombasa, and is Halo 3's first vehicular-based level. The mission--which O'Connor played on Heroic difficulty--started in a darkened underground bunker, with Master Chief, the Arbiter, and several UNSC marines apparently needing to escape. In a nearby room were two Warthogs. The Chief (who was being played by Bakken) took turret duties, while the Arbiter (played by O'Connor) drove, followed by another Warthog full of marines (one of whom we heard yell, "Glad you're on our side, Arbiter!"). After a brief journey through an underground tunnel, the Warthog reached the surface and immediately encountered some stiff opposition from Covenant grunts, brutes, and jackals.

As the pair drove on through what seemed like a dirt road flanked by steep-sided hills, the debris of crashed ships could be seen everywhere--we're presuming that's where many of the Covenant soldiers had emerged from. The Warthogs eventually reached a large, open area that contained a sizeable number of enemy troops, including a hovering Phantom with grunts sniping from turrets. Anti-grav platforms also dotted the area, and were primarily used by jackals to snipe at the Chief.

After several failed attempts (demonstrating the game's tougher difficulty on co-op), the two Warthogs eventually made their way past that particular chokepoint, only to come to a large concrete road leading into a mountainside tunnel. The heavily protected tunnel mouth had a large, blue force field erected in front of it, and disabling it required one of the two players to get off the Warthog. This area also turned up a new enemy: the insect-like drone flying creatures that were the size of grunts. Taking them down proved to be more annoying rather than tough, due to their quick movements. The Covenant were also seen to use a new weapon here: a flare-like grenade that had the effect of whitening the screen completely.

When the guided demo was over, we finally got a chance to sit down with the game. We jumped on a three-player co-op game via System Link on three Xbox 360s and played through the same level (Bungie wasn't showing split-screen on a single 360). The controls were, as we experienced in the multiplayer beta, smooth and instantly familiar, while the look of the game itself seemed more polished than our previous multiplayer hands-ons. There was no lag at all, but we didn't really expect much, given that it was a system-linked game. Playing with two others was a blast, although it was hard to coordinate attacks because the three 360s we were playing on were set a few metres apart; headsets will be a must when playing co-op online. And coordination will definitely be a must: the Covenant opponents we encountered seemed quite organised, particularly the brutes, who seemed to intelligently deploy personal shields to their best advantage.

Playing through Tsavo Highway was also our first chance to take a ride in a new vehicle for the Halo universe: the Brute chopper. This motorcycle-esque one-person transport features two large rotating cogs at the front, and had the similarly floaty handling of the Covenant Ghost (as well as two plasma cannons mounted at the front).

Co-op, new enemies, and new weapons aside, the bottom line was that this single-player experience felt typically Halo--news that will surely please fans of the series craving for more.

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Discussion

200 comments
Sk8more67
Sk8more67

Halo 3 is a kick butt game!Sad that they only release it on xbox and xbox360 seriously get it on a new system!

linkyshinks
linkyshinks

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

BluntObject
BluntObject

H3 will have you laughing with euphoria and crying with a sense of crazed lunacy over its beauty - all at the same time.

Zestytoaster
Zestytoaster

>>UnkinkedPaper what do you mean "whats the deal with that?" it exists for up to four players, what dont you get

UnkinkedPaper
UnkinkedPaper

So what about Halo 3 Co-op over Xbox Live? What's the deal with that?

Icepick2137
Icepick2137

>>FirstAlchemist1 Reported, enjoy your b&. Online co-op = Win.

shortster1
shortster1

does anyone know how to get unbanned from xbox live with a modded 360 please let me know!

InuHanyou1701
InuHanyou1701

Alright. First of all. Alchemist, you're a freaking idiot. Don't run down one of the best games in history just because you're a pathetic Sony fan boy who stood in line in front of a store all night long and probably got shot at or held up or trampled in a mad rush just so you could go and WASTE $600 of your hard earned money on that pathetic piece of garbage that PS3 is. Heavenly Sword will NEVER be the game Halo is. Second of all. Yes! In 2 weeks (from Tuesday) we will be playing Halo 3! I can't wait!!!

Wolfie600
Wolfie600

Halo 3 is going to the next level.. Doritos,Mountain dew, a movie, actuo clix,own xbox 360 edition , contro0llers hell even a slurpee of halo 3. i dont think this "Heavenly Sword" has all of that or compares to halo,

Wolfie600
Wolfie600

Alchemist what is this "Heavenly Sword" you speak off.

Jc98924
Jc98924

Can someone inform me as to what a duchebags is?

juggong
juggong

FirstAlchemist, you sir are a major maggot who likes to one day play a really mediocre game that is a remake of Dynasty Warriors. grow some balls and take the ones up your arse out.

FirstAlchemist1
FirstAlchemist1

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

twisted_outlaw
twisted_outlaw

paulio thats why everyone loves it. it has great multiplayer and its great online. the campaign is good bc it has a good story goin for it. so good they're makin a movie. good storylines are things most FPS lack. its simple, fun, and addictive. thats why everyone loves it.

cloudy14
cloudy14

Im gettin a bit confused with the story line but i still still love running around and blowing alien faces out. This is the 1st time i will play halo online n it looks great.

PaulioRed
PaulioRed

I hope it isn't just same old Halo, i want something new. I don't really see the big deal, it didn't really bring anything origional to the fps genre. But i have to say it has brilliant multiplayer and online.

valttu
valttu

Ahhh, Halo 3 is gonna rock!

matty_sen
matty_sen

YAY if this doesnt kick ass i will eat my heaD

tigershark16000
tigershark16000

Sorry for the double post, but this toward blazekid016 If you like games with incredible stories, absolutely amazing gameplay, smart horror, and are extremely (Like, more than any other game I've played) emotionally stimulating, then yes, Bioshock is you're game.

tigershark16000
tigershark16000

If it has the same pitfalls as halo 2 (they were tiny, but many), then I will lost all faith in bungie. I just hope it's as fun as Halo 1. From what I've seen, I don't see this as anything new or even trying to be very innovative, but if it instills the same feeling as Halo 1 did in me, I will definately play it and have a very good time. And don't say it's going to be the greatest game ever made before it comes out. Seriously.

monkeytoes61
monkeytoes61

hey, WHIT3_STORM3R it won't be hard at all. Halo 3 will be without a doubt the greatest game ever made.

MasterDebater
MasterDebater

i dont think it can be that hard...H-A-L-O 3 is NOT hard to spell...

WHIT3_STORM3R
WHIT3_STORM3R

I Think its gonna be one of the hardest years to decide what game is going to be game of the year

captainbobjr3rd
captainbobjr3rd

Halo 3's gonna be incredible. Can't wait another week for it, haha.

blazekid016
blazekid016

Game of the Year could happen, but there are games like COD4, BioShock, and others ( Personally Ace Combat 6 :-D ). All 3 of those games have a chance. and on a side note, is BioShock worth getting?

Kno2morrow
Kno2morrow

Sorry fellas, but H3 doesn't deserve just Game of the Year. Greatest Game in the History of Ever. Greatest Reason to Sell your Wife and Children for a HD A/V Setup that won't talk back. Game of the Year - Ten Years Running. Digital Heroin that Never Runs out and Won't Ruin your Spoons

johnspartan117
johnspartan117

i garuntee this is going to be the game of the year

reject09
reject09

this game is gonna be sweet! cant wait.

dhend3030
dhend3030

Yesssss!!! I can't Wait!!!!! This game will be the Greatest of the Year!

omegakie
omegakie

They made the grunts the bad guys and yet in halo 2 they were on the elites side???

joestuart
joestuart

I think when they said "new" talking about the drones, they meant that they hadn't seen them yet. As for the game itself; CAN'T WAIT.

JB2B
JB2B

I pre-ordered it and there is no other game I'm looking forward to as much as this one (well the less hyped Bioshock maybe). Hope they also put bots in so you can also go with a friend against them on one X06

samthesolidman
samthesolidman

how many people will halo 3 support in multiplayer? Is it still 16?

Sandro7
Sandro7

drone is not new enemy,it was in halo2 too.but this game suonds REALLY GOOD.just like halo and halo2 was

kratos_karmakar
kratos_karmakar

im gonna call me pals and finsh legendary in 4 player coop even if i ll hav to by theirs. the halo saga is at an end my friends . i cant b more sadder but i cant b more happier for 3. im praying it rox me and evry1s sox off.

Cabose420
Cabose420

yes yellowrook, but only 2 can play on one xbox, you'll need another one to play with 4 players. cant wait for it to come out to play online with friends, its going to be so much fun :D hoping to get them all to play legendary together the first time through, be great fun :)

yellowrook
yellowrook

Just wondering, is there a split screen just like in halo 2, so me and my buddies can play on the same screen, or does microsoft want us to pay for live.

grafkhun
grafkhun

looking good, 4 player co-op is awesome.

JoeYankee555
JoeYankee555

This will be the best Trilogy ever in gaming

Taegre
Taegre

meetin my friend at friendly's when this comes out so we can have it for dinner. halo is truly delicious.

devilworld6
devilworld6

sound slike morpheus is on his period. mood swing alert beeeeeeep beeeeeeep beeeeeeep well if you dont wanna see people getting hyped about a game, dont be a F$$King gamer you noob.stopp being a little whingy bit£@ and grow some balls. and i think itll be a wiked 15 hours, but for me itll be more like 8 seeing as im taking the day off college with my fiancee to play it :D

_morpheus_1
_morpheus_1

im really getting sick of this hyping of games, just stop creamin ur pants about any little thing they say. it will only be about 15 hours of ur life, so lets not too worked up over it. please?