Halo 3 documentary now playing

Making-of short now available; includes interviews, footage of orchestra, never-before-seen camera angles on E3 2006 trailer.

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Late last week, Bungie Studios officially announced that it was working on a Halo 3 trailer minidocumentary, giving gamers an inside look at the company's teaser for its highly anticipated shooter. The news came as a bit of a shock to Halo fans, who were left in the dark as to when and how the short film would be released.

Those answers came today, as Bungie has posted the film on its Web site, a mere four days after its existence was revealed. The seven-minute film is available in three sizes (including a large high-definition format) in both QuickTime and Windows Media files. Those who want to watch the movie but don't want to make the trip all the way over to Bungie.net can just click on the screenshot to the right.

The majority of the first half of the short is interviews with Bungie employees interspersed with the pre-E3 trailer shown from new angles, including close-ups of Master Chief's battle-worn armor and panning shots of the Covenant spacecraft.

There is also a large bit dedicated to how composer Martin O'Donnell's score was crafted for the trailer, complete with footage of the orchestra performing the piece.

The overall feeling of the documentary shows that Bungie is very confident in its product, with various staff members trumpeting the technology surrounding the game.

"I think in the end you're absolutely going to be able to play exactly what you're watching in this trailer," says Jay Weinland, Bungie's audio lead. "What we're trying to show firmly is that our engine can do the stuff that we say it can do, and it's doing it right now."

Fans looking for some new plot points won't find much more than what was already revealed on Bungie.net by Frank O'Connor in his Weekly What's Update. However, keen-eyed viewers will be able to get their first peek at what appears to be some next-gen Covenant, as well as some quick shots of wire-frame models of levels. Halo 2 fans will also get some of the employees' takes on the game's abrupt ending.

And if there were any doubt as to Bungie's intent on making this the final installment of the series, one comment seems to further ensure that Master Chief won't be coming back for Halo 4. "You won't just finish one fight," says O'Connor, referring to the "Finish the Fight" tagline on the trailer, "you will finish all of the fights that you started in [Halo: Combat Evolved]."

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