Halo 3: First play

A US Army soldier serving in Iraq has revealed a number of hands-on details for Halo 3, after Bungie flew its most recent build of the Xbox 360 shooter sequel across to the war torn region, giving troops on the ground some virtual R&R.

Posting as Cowboy082288 on the GameSpot forum, this particular private has let loose a torrent of info on how Halo 3 plays, the game's controls, multiplayer support and potential new features. Here's a quick run down of what this trooper had to say:

"There were only three maps available, all PvP. I didn't see anything of the single-player mode. [Bungie] said that story-wise it wants to wrap everything up in the third one."

Above: This blurred image was taken at the base camp where Bungie showed off Halo 3

"I don't remember what X did," he mentions, in reference to rumors suggesting that the X button will trigger the new 'shield grenade' defense seen in the recent Halo 3 TV ad (hit the Movies tab above to check it out). "I looked at the controller menu and there are different setups, but each setup has a button called classified. I asked the [Bungie] guys about the classified button and they said I would just have to wait."

Finally, Cowboy082288 hinted that changes are in store for Halo 's weapon system, and that multiplayer promises to be better than ever: "[Bungie] said you would be able to carry more than two weapons and cycle through. [Bungie] told me that, currently, the game can support up to 12 players without lag, but it is going to get that number higher."

Acouple of video clips from the event have also sneaked out - check out the YouTube versions here and here quick, before it gets hauled off the web.

We'll have to wait and see for ourselves what the final controller layout is but here's hoping Cowboy082288 isn't court-marshalled for bringing us these tasty Halo 3 gameplay snippets.

January 3, 2007

Ben Richardson is a former Staff Writer for Official PlayStation 2 magazine and a former Content Editor of GamesRadar+. In the years since Ben left GR, he has worked as a columnist, communications officer, charity coach, and podcast host – but we still look back to his news stories from time to time, they are a window into a different era of video games.