Halo 2

Spotlight

Bungie bids Halo farewell

Eric Osborne looks back at 10 years of Master Chief.

VideoMeet Halo's multiplayer announcer

It's veteran actor Jeff Steitzer.

Bungie's Damian Isla

Bungie's AI guru on the thinking behind Halo.

Halo 2 Multiplayer

Time to fragging forget about the Campaign mode, okay?

Key events

Bungie explains that its scrapped Project Phoenix was "Minecraft-like"

"There were big castles and you could knock them down with trebuchets."

In the days of yore i.e. circa 1999, the Marathon devs at Bungie were working on a game codenamed "Project Phoenix," before the studio was acquired by Microsoft and shifted all its efforts toward Halo, leaving the abandoned Phoenix unable to rise from the ashes.

Worldwide Xbox 360 sales hit 67m, 3m ahead of PS3

There have been 67 million Xbox 360s sold around the world, and 19 million Kinects, Microsoft has revealed.

PlayStation 3 has sold 63.9 million units worldwide.

Microsoft's chief Xbox marketing officer Yusuf Mehdi revealed the numbers in a company blog post.

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BBC News mistakes Halo UNSC logo for UN

UPDATE: BBC tells Eurogamer: "Very occasionally mistakes do happen."

UPDATE: The BBC has responded to its broadcast of a Halo logo during Thursday's News at One, admitting its mistake and apologising to viewers.

Bungie bids Halo farewell

Eric Osborne looks back at 10 years of Master Chief.

It's a big year for Bungie. Not only does it celebrate its 20th birthday but, with the impending release of Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, it's also formally signing off custodianship of Master Chief to 343 Industries.

Microsoft announces Halo Fest

Microsoft announces Halo Fest

New game reveal at August PAX blow-out?

Microsoft will mark Halo's 10th anniversary with Halo Fest, a three day event taking place during the annual Penny Arcade Expo in Seattle this August.

Billed as "the largest and most expansive live Halo experience ever" over on Halo Waypoint, you can expect tournaments, exclusive panels and prizes.

Could it also see a new Halo title announced? Perhaps that rumoured remake of Combat Evolved?

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Mona Lisa Halo motion comic release date

Mona Lisa Halo motion comic release date

Microsoft to improve Halo Waypoint.

Microsoft will release Halo motion comic The Mona Lisa through Waypoint and the internet next Saturday, 23rd April.

It retells a story from the Halo Evolution anthology, set shortly after the events of Xbox launch title Halo: Combat Evolved.

"Sent on a highly-classified mission in the debris field of the Halo artefact, the crew of the UNSC Red Horse discover a derelict prison ship the Mona Lisa adrift in space," reads the official blurb.

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Why I hate… Halo

I say goodbye.

In this new series of opinion pieces, some of Eurogamer's favourite writers reveal how they really feel about some of the world's most renowned, or most reviled, videogames.

Apple boss furious at MS Bungie buy-out

Steve Jobs threw toys out of pram.

Microsoft's purchase of Bungie back in 2000 made Steve Jobs so angry that a special deal had to be brokered to appease the aggrieved Apple despot.

People still playing Halo 2 somehow

Refusing to finish the fight.

Some mad but brilliant people have managed to keep the Halo 2 dream alive for more than 10 days, despite Microsoft officially ending support for Xbox 1 titles on 15th April.

Better Than Halo: The Making of Halo 2

As Microsoft prepares to switch off Xbox 1, Bungie reveals the painful birth of the game that defined Xbox Live.

On April 14th, the Xbox Live service for the original Xbox shuts down for the final time. It takes with it the multiplayer support for Halo 2 - the game which showed the world how console multiplayer should be done, and proceeded to dominate the Xbox Live stats for years. Eurogamer took the opportunity to speak to the team behind the game, and discover the tortured development process behind a modern classic.

Loyal Halo 2 fans invited to Reach beta

Loyal Halo 2 fans invited to Reach beta

Given other presents as consolation.

Microsoft is rewarding loyal Halo 2 fans with presents as both a thank you and a "sorry" for turning the game's multiplayer servers off.

The best gift is an invite to the Halo: Reach multiplayer beta, which begins 3rd May. Previously, only Halo 3: ODST owners had been asked to participate.

Halo 2 loyalists will also be given three free months of Xbox Live Gold membership and a lump sum of 400 Microsoft Points (3.40/4.65), according to a copy of an email sent by Microsoft posted on the Bungie forums.

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Halo 2 DLC issues resolved

Frags to riches.

Microsoft and Bungie have solved whatever problem was preventing people downloading Halo 2 DLC ahead of the loss of Xbox 1 support on Live in April.

MS working to restore Xbox 1 DLC

Still killing it off in mid-April though.

Microsoft has said that it's attempting to restore downloadable content access for people still playing Xbox 1 games.

Halo 3: ODST sales reach 2.5 million

Halo 3: ODST sales reach 2.5 million

Plus: Master Chief set to return.

Around 2.5 million people have snapped up Halo 3: ODST in the two weeks since it was released.

That's according to USA Today, which also reports the expansion pack has generated over $125 million in sales and brought the total number of Halo games sold to 27 million.

But what about the rest of the Halo franchise? Any sign of that movie? "We're being very careful to pick the right time and the right partner," said creative director Frank O'Connor. No, then.

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Maddie reference spotted in Bungie trailer

Maddie reference spotted in Bungie trailer

Controversy kicks off over what it means.

Speculation is mounting that the new trailer for Bungie's next Halo project features a reference to missing five year-old Madeleine McCann.

The trailer, released yesterday, has since been the subject of widespread analysis on the internet, as reported by Videogaming247.

Apparently the message "MADDIE, WHERE ARE YOU?" appears in three frames of the video. A debate has now kicked off over whether this is a reference to the missing girl, who disappeared in May 2007.

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Gearbox in talks to do new Halo game

But no deal in place yet, says Variety.

Brothers in Arms developer Gearbox Software is in discussions about the next instalment in the Halo series, according to a post on the Variety blog.

Bungie's Damian Isla

Bungie's AI guru on the thinking behind Halo.

Most big, modern games are, of necessity, a team effort - so much so that it's often hard to ascribe any particular part of the experience to one person. In the Halo series, for instance, all manner of people contributed to the games, and for the most part, you'd be hard pressed to pick out a great moment and say, "this person made this". It's a team effort. Everyone's fingers are in all sorts of pies, and every pie has all sorts of fingers in it.

Bungie talks AI and animation

It's all about picking up pencils.

The next big step for artificial intelligence in games will be making a character walk up to a table and pick up a pencil.

Halo 1 maps remade for Halo 2

For Xbox and Xbox 360 owners.

The Halo 2 maps Bungie promised everybody back when it announced the public beta test for game number three will materialise on 17th April - and you'll be able to buy and download them using either an Xbox or Xbox 360.

Halo 2: 4.75m gamertags

670 million games played.

If you were in any doubt about how much of Xbox Live's popularity is down to Bungie's legendary Halo 2, consider the following statistic: at the point of scrapping its old recording system recently, Bungie had logged 4.75 million gamertags, out of around six million Xbox Live subscribers.

More ways to get Halo 3 beta

More ways to get Halo 3 beta

Including one that's not US-only.

If you are one of the many Eurogamer readers from across the pond who previously tried but failed to gain entry to the spring Halo 3 beta, do not despair! Microsoft has announced a further two additional paths to make your virtual dreams come true.

Your first option is to log into Xbox Live and play through three gruelling hours of Halo 2 online, between Thursday, Feb. 1, 2007, 12:01 a.m. EST and Feb. 3, 2007, 11:59 p.m. EST. If your confidence still hasn't been shattered by twelve year-old toilet-tongued bratlings, then head over to the Halo 3 website and be one of the first 13,333 gamers to register for the "Rule of Three" program.

Failing to do this will leave you with only one other choice for now: to buy Real Time Worlds' co-op crime-busting title Crackdown. It's released across the US on 20th February, and in Europe on 23rd February, with certain marked copies of the game acting as keys that will let you download the required Halo 3 beta data from Xbox Live Marketplace.

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Bungie vet's new studio

Not necessarily MS-exclusive.

Former Bungie team lead Max Hoberman has told GamesIndustry.biz that his new studio, Certain Affinity, won't necessarily develop games exclusively for Xbox and Xbox 360 - despite a close relationship with Microsoft.

Halo 2 beats off Gears

Still number one on Live.

Gears of War is now the most popular Xbox 360 game played on Xbox Live, but there are still more people playing Halo 2 overall.

Halo 2: 4 billion games played

Plus: new Halo trilogy theme.

It may only have managed to do about US$ 125 million in first-day sales on its way to selling north of 7.4 million units, but at least Halo 2 has been partly successful - with Bungie revealing that the number of online games played has skyrocketed.

Halo film postponed

But it will be back, apparently.

The Halo film has been postponed, Wingnut Films has admitted, following a number of setbacks including Universal and Fox's decision to ditch their interest in the adaptation over money issues.

Studios pull out of Halo film

Fox, Universal unhappy.

Microsoft's ambition to get a big-budget Halo movie into cinemas has taken a knock this week, with film studios Universal and Fox pulling out of the deal they had struck with the software giant after a last-ditch attempt to renegotiate terms was rebuffed.

Jackson talks up Halo film

On script, director, more.

Film maker Peter Jackson says that preliminary work and script doctoring on the Halo film he's executive-producing is going well, and he's got nothing but admiration for young director Neill Blomkamp, despite his relative lack of feature experience.

Halo film director speaks

On the Chief, Covenant, more.

Newly announced Halo film director Neill Blomkamp has spoken out about how he's approaching the film's coveted source material, and about his views on Halo in general.

Halo film due in 2008

Director a relative unknown.

Halo will hit the silver screen in summer 2008, not 2007, Microsoft announced this week - and relative unknown Neill Blomkamp will direct.

New Halo comic announced

New Halo comic announced

It'll be published monthly.

At the Comic-Con held in San Diego last week, Marvel and Bungie announced plans to launch a new monthly comic titled Halo Ongoing.

As you might have guessed, it'll be based around the hit Xbox shooter, but that's all there is to report so far - there's no word on the comic's plotline, or on which artists and writers have been signed up to produce it.

Halo Ongoing is set to appear in shops later this year, following the release of the Halo Graphic Novel. As previously announced, the 128-page book will go on sale in the US this July, and its storyline will focus on the battles between the Covenant and the Flood.

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Halo graphic novel preview

Halo graphic novel preview

Now available online.

Anyone looking forward to the Halo graphic novel might like to head over to Marvel.com right now.

That's because you can now enjoy a preview of the graphic novel - or "comic", as they used to be called in our day - online. You have to register for the site, but it's free and doesn't take too long.

As reported back in March, the Halo comic will weigh in at 128 pages and is set to feature a host of characters and weapons familiar to fans. It's being worked on by French comic book artist Moebius, along with the likes of Phil Hale, Ed Lee, Tsutomo Nihei and Jay Faerber, plus Bungie's own art team.

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500m Halo 2 games played

Bungie celebrates online success.

Bungie Studios has reported that more than 500 million games of Halo 2 have been played online since the game launched in November 2004.

2005 UK Sales Review

2005 UK Sales Review

Part One: How current-gen consoles did in 2005.

With Chart-Track's Annual Report now published and available for sale to publishers, Kristan prepares his own annual Statto impression and wades through the facts and figures to offer an interesting picture of UK retail. In part one, we look at the state of the market and the fate of the current generation of console platforms. (Data from Chart-Track's annual report. Used with permission.)

The backdrop of 2005 was one of doom and gloom, with independent retailers in particular feeling the squeeze as all the major high street firms went to war with each other. After years of tolerating online retailers undercutting them by over 10 on a full price title, the high street was seeing their market share steadily eroded and decided to strike back with full force.

Suddenly, with all the mainstream types forced to price-match, UK retailers were making next to nothing on the games they were selling, and putting pressure on publishers to reduce their selling price - something that many under-pressure publishers were extremely reluctant to do.

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Halo graphic novel on the way

Featuring all your old friends.

Marvel has signed a deal with Halo developer Bungie to produce a graphic novel based on the blockbuster first-person shooter.

Kill the cast of Hollyoaks

Well, play them at Halo 2.

Hollyoaks. Love it or hate it, you can't deny that it's on every single bloody Sunday for what feels like seventeen hours and never did anybody's hangover any good at all.

MS auctions off Halo 2 billboard

It's for a good cause.

Halo fans can now buy themselves a little piece of history following Microsoft Australia's decision to auction off a giant Halo 2 billboard.

Free 2d Halo shooter

Unofficial, obviously.

Halo may never appear in 2d officially, but in its absence some enterprising Frenchmen have come up with a freebie version instead. Based on the Halo novel The Fall of Reach, Halo Zero is a 21MB download.

Del Toro considers Halo film

Would rather do Hellboy 2.

Guillermo del Toro has confirmed that he's in talks with various parties including executive producer Peter Jackson about directing the Halo film, but that he'd ideally like to do a Hellboy sequel first.

Peter Jackson on the Halo film

He hopes it won't suck.

Peter Jackson's revealed his lofty ambition as executive producer of the new Halo film, which begins shooting next year. "Hopefully it won't suck," he told film site Dark Horizons during a recent New York interview.

Halo 1/2 spruced up for 360

Prog-scan, widescreen, FSAA.

Bungie's confirmed suspicions that Halo and Halo 2 will be slightly shinier than the average Xbox game running on Xbox 360 - if indeed the average Xbox game does run on Xbox 360, although that's a separate issue.

Halo even better on 360?

Bungie hints at enhancements.

Halo developer Bungie has hinted that the hit shooter and its sequel are going to look even better on the Xbox 360.

X360 runs Halo 1/2 from day one

Come back evolved.

First of all, we've resisted the temptation to do, "Halo for Xbox 360 launch", so how about some biscuits? Second, according to numerous reports based on Microsoft's recent show-and-tell tour of the American tech-and-games-press circuit, Xbox 360 will launch with legacy support for Xbox titles Halo and Halo 2.

Halo movie to shine in 2007?

Plus, triple pack for Xbox?

The film translation of Microsoft's somewhat-popular sci-fi based first-person shooter franchise Halo has been given an official 2007 launch target by Universal and 20th Century Fox, according to a report in entertainment publication Variety.

Halo 2 update due today

Halo 2 update due today

Cheaters, your time is up.

Bungie has announced that today's the day it will release a new autoupdate for Halo 2 designed to put a stop to the antics of "hackers, modders and other flavours of cheat."

Anyone who wants to continue playing the game on Xbox Live will have to download and install the update in order to do so, and anyone attempting to play Halo 2 with modified content will be banned from matchmaking games.

"Most of the stuff in this autoupdate is designed to fix cheating, security or minor, invisible bugs," reads a statement on Bungie's website.

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Halo 2 Map Pack out now

All nine maps up for grabs.

Today sees the launch of the Halo 2 Multiplayer Map Pack, which includes no less than nine brand new maps along with special updates to stop cheaters in their tracks.

More Halo 2 maps

Now free of charge.

Bungie has announced that a new set of Halo 2 maps is now available free of charge via Xbox Live.

Halo 2 World Champ named

His parents must've loved him.

Microsoft has named the Halo 2 World Champion at the conclusion of its global contest to discover the Halo 2 World Champion. Unsurprisingly, they've named him the Halo 2 World Champion. [I seem to remember you did a joke a lot like this about two days ago. Watch it. - Ed]

Big studios consider Halo flick

Film chiefs court Master Chief.

Microsoft's tough demands for the proposed Halo movie may have turned off many large Hollywood studios, but the firm's gamble may still have paid off - with Universal and Fox reported to be nearing agreement on a deal to make the film.

MS' Halo film demands

Wants big commitment.

Plans for a high-budget Halo movie are being pushed ahead by Microsoft, which delivered copies of the Alex Garland-penned script to Hollywood studios earlier this week - with a high price tag and tough conditions attached.

Halo 2 maps delayed in US

No word on European date.

European fans of million-billion-selling Xbox shooter Halo 2 have been left feeling shocked, stunned, confused and all funny inside following Bungie's confirmation that the Multiplayer Map Pack has been delayed by a week in the US. Probably.

New Halo 2 maps next week

Next Monday is going to be "Maptacular", says Bungie. And one of the packs is "Killtacular", too.

Bungie has announced that the first lot of downloadable Halo 2 maps will be available from Monday April 25 via Xbox live.

Halo 2 expansion pack revealed

Halo 2 expansion pack revealed

Bungie confirms rumours of a multiplayer add-on complete with nine new maps. And they might even be free. Eventually.

Following last week's confusion over a possible Halo 2 add-on, Bungie has confirmed that a multiplayer expansion pack will indeed be in the shops by the end of June.

The Halo 2 Multiplayer Map Pack contains nine new maps set in a wide variety of environments including Delta Halo's frozen tundra, the winding streets of Old Mombasa and the remains of an ancient temple - take a look at Bungie's full overview for more details.

The disc will also contain two videos: an animated single-player side-story set in New Mombasa, and a short documentary featuring interviews with the developers. It will be available from June 28 priced 14.99.

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Major Halo announcement soon

Major Halo announcement soon

Bungie says it will make "a major announcement" offering details of its new maps, which will be "available for everybody", as rumours of an expansion pack go unanswered.

Bungie is promising "a major announcement" this week offering details of its new maps for Halo 2 amidst rumours of a full-blown expansion for the game.

The hullabaloo kicked off late last week when eagle-eyed servants of the Master Chief spotted an update on Microsoft's Korean website listing a Halo 2 expansion called "X-Pack".

Microsoft hasn't commented on the entry yet, but the X-Pack - whatever it is - has since been removed from the site's release schedule, and Bungie's response has done little to quash the rumour mongering.

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Halo 2 Multiplayer Walkthrough: Movie and Impressions

Download the full movie of Bungie's behind-closed-doors presentation, and read how the developer took the wraps off the biggest online console game ever.

You can download a full video of Bungie's Halo 2 multiplayer presentation thanks to our new FREE files service Eurofiles right here. If you've never used it before, you can find full details on how to get BitTorrent up and running and get your hands on the movie by viewing our FAQ document.

E3 2003: Halo 2

I want to be the Master Chief when I grow up.

If you have any lingering doubts on the merits of the Xbox, then we challenge you to not be astounded by the nine minute trailer of Halo 2. Truly, this extraordinary piece of footage manages to set new standards in real time gameplay cinematics.