E3 '07: Marathon: Durandal Multiplayer Hands-On

We fire a few shots in the upcoming Xbox Live! version of a classic Bungie shooter.


Marathon: Durandal

Everybody knows Halo 3 is one of the biggest games at E3 07, but not everyone is aware of its precursor, Bungie’s seminal Marathon series. Well, Xbox Live! Arcade is looking to change that by releasing Marathon: Durandal this year. With a fun, throwback single-player campaign on top of two different flavors of versus play, Durandal should be an Xbox Live! achievement in and of itself.

Although we haven’t played the campaign in over 10 years, we recently got a taste of Durandal’s awesome four-player, split-screen offline multiplayer here at E3. The level was instantly familiar because it was the precursor to Midship from Halo 2, complete with a heavy emphasis on rocket launchers! We ran around fragging each other with rockets, machine guns, pistols, and even our fists: It was classic first-person shooter deathmatch play in one of the most classic shooters of all time.

Click to enlarge!
Click to enlarge!

Of course, Durandal will also feature online multiplayer for up to eight players, with presumably several levels and match types. While first-person shooters have certainly come a long way since 1995, they’ve also gotten much more expensive. Durandal, on the other hand, should provide a solid dose of shooter fun for you and your friends, online or off, for a price that could make the bargain bin look expensive.

The controls are simple: The R trigger fires and the X button changes weapons. That’s about all there is to it, besides of course, running around. Interestingly, you can’t jump in Durandal, and it takes a little time to get used to it. Still, the most important elements are intact (moving, shooting, pawning your friends) and should provide plenty of reason to check out Marathon: Durandal when it goes live on Live! later this year.

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