After 20 years, Halo 2 excavators get the stealth missions Bungie scrapped up and running for modders to revive

Halo 2
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Master Chief's 450kg armor wouldn't be my go-to outfit for tip toeing around aliens, but that didn't stop developer Bungie from playing around with stealthy missions and mechanics for Halo 2 anyway, according to cut content that's now been restored. 

For the unaware, Halo stewards 343 Industries have recently been working with modding outfit Digsite to excavate cut content, lost maps, and other ancient Forerunner history - before polishing it all up and dumping it online for other modders to toy with. The latest Halo Waypoint blog post takes a look at "development maps and prototype single-player levels" that were created between 2001's Halo: Combat Evolved and 2004's Halo 2. 

Digsite explains that "these maps are particularly notable for the fact they were demoed behind closed doors to the gaming press in 2002 and 2003, and articles from that period reference them both directly and indirectly, but they never saw the light of day - until now!"

What immediately sent sirens blaring in my head were two scrapped single-player levels that planned for Master Chief to sneakily get around enemies, as opposed to how he normally barrels through poor ol' grunts. One such mission, Exploration, "explores stealth mechanics that were concepted and worked on early in Halo 2, but that are not supported in the retail game." The mission drops Mr 117 onto the moon where players could then "use dark areas" and alternate routes to sneak past or ambush foes. Another mission, Assault, took Chief behind enemy lines where he could then raise enemy alert levels if he wasn't careful enough.

Some of those ideas kind of made their way into Halo Infinite, which had an open-world that naturally encourages you to grapple toward enemies out of nowhere. The series' camo ability always led to fun, surprise assassinations too, but with rumors of a Halo: Combat Evolved remake in the works, I'm wondering if the more overt stealthiness might get resurrected. Either way, you can download the latest Digsite content now.

Check out where Halo 2 ranks in our list of the best Halo games. 

Freelance contributor

Kaan freelances for various websites including Rock Paper Shotgun, Eurogamer, and this one, Gamesradar. He particularly enjoys writing about spooky indies, throwback RPGs, and anything that's vaguely silly. Also has an English Literature and Film Studies degree that he'll soon forget.