In its latest community update Bungie has addressed the swarm of speculation following the release of the latest Halo 3 Vidoc, including confirmation of how the new Bubble Shield will work and the X button's mysterious functionality.
"Almost all of the reaction we read was positive, but there was some grumbling about the graphics," the update reads. "All three levels however, have undergone significant improvements since that footage was taken, months ago, including lighting, decorators, textures, and my favorite - water effects.
"In one moment of the Vidoc, we see a Spartan launch out of the Mancannon and meet a sorry, embarrassing end in mid air as a sniper uses him for target practice. Now in that footage from old build, he tumbles into the river and slides splash-lessly into a boring placeholder water effect. He won't do that in May. He'll do something neater."
Apparently there are also changes afoot to how the Bubble Shield works in the video: "In the old alpha footage you're watching, the shield generator actually rolled downhill and the player protected inside it had to walk backwards with it to enjoy its shelter. In the beta, it won't roll.
"We're still playing around with things like that. It's also possible to simply walk inside the shield and fight the inhabitant. It only protects them from explosions and projectiles. Vehicles and people can wander right through. If you die without deploying it, you'll drop it, just like a gun or 'nades. Someone else can then pick it up and use it."
Bungie also responds to the ton of eagle eyed fans who have apparently spotted among other things a new weapon in the Vidoc, which is being described as "the chain gun." "I ain't talking. Although I will tell you that no, you can't pull the chaingun off the back of a Hog," the Bungie man responds.
Finally the Halo developer finally details the mysterious functionality of the X button, which as we suspected is for deploying Halo 3 's new arsenal of equipment. "The two very plain examples shown in the Vidoc were the Bubble Shield and the Tripmine," the post reads. "Both can be used in all manner of strategic and hilarious ways. There might have been another, but you can wait a month to see that one."
Despite message board outcry though, Bungie says that Bubble Shields won't litter Halo 3 maps like an igloo village: "A piece of equipment will be a rare and valuable find. It will be located, you will pick it up and you will choose when and where to deploy it. As you can see in the HUD, it's indicated that you're carrying it. Pressing X will drop it - not throw it."
You can read our full dissection of the latest Halo 3 Vidoc here.
April 16, 2007