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Online Co-Op For Halo 3 Launch Confirmed

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the thank-goodness dept.

XBox (Games) 53

Happily, the internets were wrong. Via Joystiq comes the happy news from Bungie that not only will we be able to play the Halo 3 campaign in online co-op mode, but up to four players at the same time can enjoy the experience. "Acting as a team is a fantastic new twist to the Campaign gameplay - something that works as well on foot, in close confines as it does on the battlefield, with large scale vehicle mayhem. Scared of Jackal snipers? Send out a scout to see what dangers lie ahead. Terrified of an open field? Flank your enemies and swipe their rides. The combinations and scenarios are endless - and you'll be able to enjoy them time and time again in Saved Films of your co-op exploits. We mentioned that we've been having a blast. We have a lot of stories. Many of them would require that we explain some of the reasons replay will be a big factor, but not quite yet. Soon, we promise." For more on the game, 1up is running the only preview out there of an entire single-player campaign level called 'Tsavo Highway'.

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Sold. (2, Insightful)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#20072627)

I didn't really care about the prospect of playing games on Live, but if I'm able to run through the campaign with my old college buddies across the country I'm sold.

I guess that means I'll have to subscribe to Live.

Re:Sold. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20073567)

Your sig should be Thunderclone

Re:Sold. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20074215)

Suggestion noted and accepted.

Re:Sold. (2, Informative)

necro2607 (771790) | more than 7 years ago | (#20073969)

Either that or just install a copy of Hamachi [wikipedia.org] so you have a VPN connection bewteen your machine and your friend's. :) There are some other Xbox-centric tools like XBConnect [wikipedia.org] as well.

Re:Sold. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20079721)

Just buy owning a 360 you get an Xbox Live Silver account. It allows you access to live during the weekends

Re:Sold. (1)

imitier (674794) | more than 7 years ago | (#20086937)

That's incorrect -- a Live Silver account does not allow you to play games online (except during certain promotional weekends, although those have been rare, as far as I can tell). As a general matter, a Live Gold account is the only way to play games online over Live.

With more back story (1)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 7 years ago | (#20072629)

Kinda nice that they got rid of the magical double thing, and gave you two more named chars with a bit of back story.

New Elites instead of existing SPARTAN-II's... (2, Interesting)

jZnat (793348) | more than 7 years ago | (#20072651)

Does Bungie even acknowledge the existence of the Halo novels? It would have been quite easy (and interesting to the story) to use all of Blue Team for example as the four available characters instead of making three of them Elites. I hope that the story at least attempts to connect to Ghosts of Onyx...

Re:New Elites instead of existing SPARTAN-II's... (1)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 7 years ago | (#20072817)

They are all trapped on the shield world though.

Re:New Elites instead of existing SPARTAN-II's... (2, Insightful)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 7 years ago | (#20072961)

Does Bungie even acknowledge the existence of the Halo novels?

I think this is one of those times when the game drives canon. I'm sure if they thought it would be better to do that they would.

Re:New Elites instead of existing SPARTAN-II's... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20073451)

What kind of retard reads Halo books?

Re:New Elites instead of existing SPARTAN-II's... (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 7 years ago | (#20077499)

In all honesty, Halo has never really done it for me...I'm not saying that Halo 1 + 2 were bad games...they were very entertaining and well done. They just weren't as mind blowing and earth shattering as they apparently are to millions of other people.

That being said, Halo does have some interesting back story and information regarding the universe...the possiblities for it are HUGE. Much like Star Wars, however, I think most of the history and back story is going to be fleshed out by fan-fic and third party books/comics/whatever. You should pick up the graphic novel some time though, very entertaining stuff.

Re:New Elites instead of existing SPARTAN-II's... (1)

FinchWorld (845331) | more than 7 years ago | (#20074019)

It apparently does, its made the connection the remaining members of blue team are stuck in a dyson sphere, unable to further participiate in the war until they escape.

Ok, so maybe thats now the connection you were looking for...

Awesome news (1)

Sciros (986030) | more than 7 years ago | (#20072697)

Co-op has always been a highlight of Halo games for me, as it is what I felt truly set the game apart from its FPS predecessors.

4-player online co-op that allows you to save films of the gameplay? That right there is worth $60 for me easily. It will be my favorite gameplay mode (apart from split-screen co-op -- nothing beats having your buddy next to you as you whoop Covenant arse together, especially since it spares you having to wear that wretched headset .. and there's no lag ^_^).

Re:Awesome news (1)

bluej100 (1039080) | more than 7 years ago | (#20073247)

Co-op has always been a highlight of Halo games for me, as it is what I felt truly set the game apart from its FPS predecessors.

4-player online co-op that allows you to save films of the gameplay? That right there is worth $60 for me easily.

Heck, it may be worth getting an XBox 360 for me.

Re:Awesome news (1)

flitty (981864) | more than 7 years ago | (#20076123)

Me too! I guess i'll always be that 6 year old who keeps bugging my brother to play Contra with me. That Price drop isn't gonna hurt either :P

Re:Awesome news (1)

flewp (458359) | more than 7 years ago | (#20078015)

Unfortunately my stand out memory of playing video games with my brother is me pushing down the power button on the NES and my brother informing me that if I let go, it would be the last thing I ever did.

Games for Windows Live (0)

vigmeister (1112659) | more than 7 years ago | (#20072741)

Anyone else feel that MS needs to try and get Halo 3 for PC out and enable it with cross-platform gaming on Games for Windows Live?

Given that Halo 2 for PC was released only this year, I posit that my wish is highly unlikely. Obviously, MS would want to avoid the cannibalism of the Xbox 360 sales boost that Halo 3 is going to induce.

What if they price the PC version at $100 though? Would that be economically viable for both MS and the gamers?

Cheers!

Re:Games for Windows Live (1)

danbert8 (1024253) | more than 7 years ago | (#20072975)

Obviously they need to hold on to Halo 3 until the next version of Windows comes out so they can force a few gamers to upgrade Windows just to play a year old game that should run fine on Windows 2000.

Re:Games for Windows Live (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20072999)

Obviously, MS would want to avoid the cannibalism of the Xbox 360 sales boost that Halo 3 is going to induce.

Releasing it for Vista-only could be a solution, though. That will help limit cannibalizing Xbox 360 sales, while possibly increasing Vista sales.

In any case, it would be win-win for Microsoft.

Really, I don't think the Xbox 360 is in any real trouble. It's in a different market from the Wii (online gaming versus handwaving gimmicks), and Sony has demonstrated time and time again that they just don't feel like actually trying to compete with Microsoft.

You're probably right that Halo 3 won't make it to the PC at the same time it hits the Xbox 360, but there is at least a strategy that would work for it.

Re:Games for Windows Live (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20073293)

Sony has demonstrated time and time again that they just don't feel like actually trying to compete with Microsoft.

And yet PS3 is the top selling console at Amazon [amazon.com] . Just wait until they actually start trying ;-)

Re:Games for Windows Live (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 7 years ago | (#20073387)

I find it interesting that in that list, Halo 3 is listed at #8, and Halo 3 Special Edition is listed at #24. I'd really like to know how they tabulate these "sales".

Re:Games for Windows Live (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20073595)

I expect it's reasonably accurate, but for the following reasons:

1. Very few gamers shop at Amazon.com.
2. Many PS3 owners just wanted a cheap Blu-Ray player. (Read: every single PS3 owner I know.)
3. Many people buy DVDs/Blu-Ray discs through Amazon.com, because Amazon.com has a better selection than many other places.
4. There are next to no PS3 games on the list.

Therefore, I expect that the high number of PS3 sales on Amazon.com are from people buying them to play Blu-Ray movies, but not games. After all, there are practically no PS3 games being bought from Amazon.com.

Re:Games for Windows Live (1)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 7 years ago | (#20073741)

After all, there are practically no PS3 games being bought from Amazon.com.


What games are there to buy from Amazon? Almost all of the good PS3 games that are out now are downloadable.

Re:Games for Windows Live (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20073937)

1. Very few gamers shop at Amazon

Yeah, right. The grandparent to your post was writing about console sales. MS and Sony are both trying to saturate the console market and the bottom line is that the PS3 is outselling the 360 now. If you don't think PS3 sales are going to heavily impact the 360 market share and associated game sales, you're kidding yourself.

Re:Games for Windows Live (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20074421)

Actually - no. The PS3 may be selling well on Amazon.com, but it's not selling well anywhere else.

June's sales figures show the Xbox 360 outselling the PS3 over 2:1 in the US. Of course, this doesn't reflect the "price cut" (which is already over already), but July's figures should be out shortly.

Re:Games for Windows Live (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20074907)

June's sales figures show the Xbox 360 outselling the PS3 over 2:1 in the US. Of course, this doesn't reflect the "price cut" (which is already over already), but July's figures should be out shortly.

Could you provide sources for other retailers? As you note, June is pre-price cut but also pre RRoD acknowledgement. Also, the price cut ($499 for the 60GB PS3) is not over since there is still plenty of stock to sell (not just at Amazon). Considering also that there are about 10 games being released for PS3 from July-August, which affects people who were waiting for PS3 games, it will be interesting to see how the numbers compare over the next couple months.

Re:Games for Windows Live (1)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#20074659)

I'm fairly certain that at this point the PS3 isn't having much effect on the Xbox 360's sales. Look, for example, at the following charts.

North American Console Sales [vgchartz.com]
Japanese Console Sales [vgchartz.com]

The releases of the PS3 and the Wii have neither increased nor decreased the rate of sales for the 360 in either region by any significant amount. In terms of absolute market share rather than relative percentages, the PS3s impact on the 360 appears to be non-existant.

Re:Games for Windows Live (1)

RamblinLonghorn (1074873) | more than 7 years ago | (#20073053)

I know it's just anecdotal, but on my most recent visit to big time retailers (Best Buy, Circuit City, Target), it looked like the PC games that require DX10 and thus Vista in full stock with seemingly little interest. There were tons of "Shadowrun" boxes and nearly as many Halo 2 PC. So pricing it at $100 may reduce what could be already poor sales.

Re:Games for Windows Live (1)

vigmeister (1112659) | more than 7 years ago | (#20073435)

Well, the $100 pricepoint would only be for Halo 3 (with the $40 being the exclusivity tax for being too cheap to buy a 360). Moreover, with DX10 limiting it to Vista means MS might get some Vista adoption going amongst gamers. Question is what strategy would allow them to

Reasons to boost price:
a) Not terribly affect 360 sales boost
b) Make enough money per sale to recover costs of porting a game designed for the 360 to PC

Reasons to lower price:
a) Encourage adoption of Vista amongst gamerfolk
b) Sell enough copies to recover costs of porting a game designed for the 360 to PC

Making the option available would have to be financially feasible, but I am sure with the online component, that's not entirely implausible.

But even if is financially feasible, I bet MS is just going to sit on their asses and bully PC gamers into buying a console because they probably assume the 360 is a godsend and that every human wants to play Halo 3.

Cheers!

Re:Games for Windows Live (1)

RamblinLonghorn (1074873) | more than 7 years ago | (#20073761)

"But even if is financially feasible, I bet MS is just going to sit on their asses and bully PC gamers into buying a console because they probably assume the 360 is a godsend and that every human wants to play Halo 3."

It's like you punched me in the gut with that. I was visiting those retailers because I had finally broken down and decided to grab a 360. When you think about it, the whole Games for Windows initiative can be seen as "win-win" for Microsoft. Either you:

a) Want to stay on the PC and break down and get Vista (and other upgrades that may require of you), or
b) Decide you're tired of upgrading the PC to play the latest games and decide to go to the standardized dedicated console and buy a 360.

But ask again in a few years when everyone's running Vista and the 360 is nearing the end of its lifespan and I'm sure the argument will be different.

Re:Games for Windows Live (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20074499)

But ask again in a few years when everyone's running Vista and the 360 is nearing the end of its lifespan and I'm sure the argument will be different.

And if you're just now thinking of laying down the cash for a 360, you must be wondering what a few years really means.

Re:Games for Windows Live (1)

PM Guy (944790) | more than 7 years ago | (#20077177)

I think this has less to do with Microsoft than with Bungie's obsession with balancing play. If you believe Bungie's updates, each weapon is meticulously play tested for balance, fairness, and fun. It would be fairly impossible to have the same experience on a PC as a 360. No matter what side of the controller/keyboard debate/debacle you fall on, they are clearly different beasts.

Two new characters? (1)

ArcadeX (866171) | more than 7 years ago | (#20073097)

Are they named Tucker and Private Donut? You team killing ...

Re:Two new characters? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20073655)

fucktard!

On a related subject... (3, Funny)

MarcoG42 (1087205) | more than 7 years ago | (#20073217)

High school and college student grades are expected to be at an all time low this fall semester. Also, the words "fuckstick", "fag", "asshat", "shitcock" and phrases such as, "your mom " and "oh yeah?! where do you live, bitch?! i'll kick your ass!" are expected to be at an all time high.

Re:On a related subject... (3, Funny)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 7 years ago | (#20074321)

That's not good... if their grade drops, they'll more likely have sex!!

Re:On a related subject... (1)

JFMulder (59706) | more than 7 years ago | (#20079319)

I don't mind the sex part. What they do when they don't play Halo 3 doesn't concern me. But if some of them actually reproduce, then we have a problem.

Replay your replay? (3, Interesting)

cowscows (103644) | more than 7 years ago | (#20073669)

Maybe this has been talked about before, but I haven't seen it anywhere. Supposedly the replays are stored not as a rendered movie file, but rather as the actual movements and events in the sequence that they happened. The being the case shouldn't it be possible to not only watch your replay from whatever angles and such, but also to jump back into the game from any arbitrary point in that replay and then play out the game differently?

That could allow for players to sort of create their own "scenarios" which they could start from, and try out different strategies and such to "solve" those scenarios. Maybe one team spends some time setting up some cool defenses at a base, and the other team can repeatedly try to take it over, without having to spend all that time setting the defenses up at the beginning of each round?

I don't know, just thinking out loud here.

Re:Replay your replay? (1)

Broken scope (973885) | more than 7 years ago | (#20073805)

Yeah, it basically saves a script of what happened. Each time you watch its acted out in the engine.

Movies files at hi rez would be killer size wise.

Re:Replay your replay? (1)

ThinkWeak (958195) | more than 7 years ago | (#20073903)

Sounds reasonable enough, although you would then require the "scripted" opponents to have their own AI turn on instantaneously and be cognizant of their surroundings. I'm not sure how that would work itself out. I do like your thoughts and it would have tremendous value for any small clans that would typically be unable to gather up real counterparts to train with.

Re:Replay your replay? (1)

cowscows (103644) | more than 7 years ago | (#20077171)

You're right about the AI stuff, that would probably be quite a challenge, maybe as part of the game state that is saved for the replay is enough contextual information that the AI can use to understand why it was doing whatever it was doing at a given point in time?

Re:Replay your replay? (1)

atomicstrawberry (955148) | more than 7 years ago | (#20097317)

All that has to happen is that they record whatever they seed their random number generator with. If the RNG is seeded with the same initial value, then the same inputs will always produce the same results. Technically speaking you should then be able to jump in at any point, and when you take over your input will change and then things will play differently.

I don't think it would be very fun, though. Not to mention completely cheapen the gameplay as you could essentially rewind things until you win. The more interesting aspects of the saved films is that the camera data won't be part of what they record, so technically you should be able to watch the action from any angle you want. Must be a godsend for testing.

Re:Replay your replay? (1)

ravyne (858869) | more than 7 years ago | (#20074285)

Thats actually a really good idea, though, if its not in now its far too late to add such a large feature, test it, and hammer out all the bugs since Halo 3 is due out in under 2 months now. Its not such a huge feature that it couldn't be applied via a patch, however.

I'm glad to hear that online co-op is in, it wasn't necessary to have it, but it is a really nice plus and it will add a ton of replay value. I'm sure that I'm not the only one who's moved half-way across the country since the original Halo (or any of those N64 co-op FPSs before it) leaving high school/college buddies and family behind who I used to have a blast playing co-op with. Now we can play though Halo 3 together, just like old times, but with 4 of us instead of just 2.

Re:Replay your replay? (1)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 7 years ago | (#20074481)

I remember when the original Driver [wikipedia.org] on the PSOne did this. It was a blast watching crazy car chases from any and every angle. It took up almost the who memory card, but it "recorded" your game in the same way. It was one of the games bigger features, too. I'm not sure if any of the sequels carried this feature. One of my favorite 'features' was that every car would lose its hubcaps shortly after they started moving. Just like in every 70's movie.

Re:Replay your replay? (1)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 7 years ago | (#20074529)

Probably to make it easier to do red vs. blue episodes. Considering how much extra buisness they brought microsoft, it's the least they could do to improve sales...

Re:Replay your replay? (1)

wolfeharte (1059238) | more than 7 years ago | (#20076135)

I gave them this idea back in May for their co-op team- I mean, co-op is awesome, but what about vs. co-op? Think of the new zombie game coming out by the CS folks, where you play online as covenant versus space marines in online play. Use the ranking system, or a custom tailored one (since you're already going to have one built-in for singleplayer(shhh there's some goodies with that that we might not have been told about. Devil May Cry did it once though, and I liked it, so it's awesome)) to give the players a battlefield feel, they could even tie it in with Halo Wars. Have the squads on the ground be assisted by player controlled characters. Think of the players like heros on WIII. Kills would also provide greater boosts in points to allow you to aquire gear upgrades (think about it, we do it in single player already- Weapons are introduced to the player during the game in a carrot-stick fashion, this just matches the equation. More kills + better skill = greater access to upgrades. Higher clips for the assault rifle for a couple points, better grenades (the two news ones... meh), wildcard abilities, etc. Okay, done ranting.

Re:Replay your replay? (1)

Nalgas D. Lemur (105785) | more than 7 years ago | (#20095275)

Supposedly the replays are stored not as a rendered movie file, but rather as the actual movements and events in the sequence that they happened.
Bungie already did that with the Marathon games a decade ago. You could basically save a playthrough of the entire game in a fairly small amount of space, and you could trade the files around to watch how other people did things and see ridiculously skillful runs by particularly good people, all without having to download enormous movie files like with most games. Being able to fit a substantial amount of that in a few hundred k was nice when almost everyone was still using fairly slow dialup. They didn't have any of the other features you mentioned, though. I could see that being pretty fun.

Dude, how'd we get here? (1)

SleptThroughClass (1127287) | more than 7 years ago | (#20075065)

Let us know when RoosterTeeth does an intro video for H3.

Not since Unreal 1... (1)

cubicle_cowboy (521716) | more than 7 years ago | (#20077365)

have I played a co-op FPS game online with more than two people. I can't quite remember the max players allowed on a server (8?). It was a total blast, although having to type out everything you wanted to say was a PITA. Also, with so many people playing together sometimes it got a little too hectic.

4 player co-op sounds like the sweet spot. Also, I don't care if players 3 and 4 are Elites. Hell, they could be grunts and I'd still be cool with it (especially if they cried "They got leader!" when the player 2 Arbiter dies ;). So anyway, I'm totally psyched for this game now!

non-online co-op (1)

pjp6259 (142654) | more than 7 years ago | (#20077977)

I'll be happy if they just get the off-line co-op working decently. Halo 1 & 2 had horrible co-op support. IIRC, in Halo 1, you had to beat a level single handedly before you could play it co-op, and there was no way to save progress in a co-op mission. Halo 2 was slightly better in that you didn't have to beat the level in single player mode first, but you still couldn't save progress in co-op, so if you didn't finish a mission, you had to start over the next time you sat down.

Re:non-online co-op (1)

ifitzgerald (680941) | more than 7 years ago | (#20079101)

In both Halo and Halo 2, you did not need to beat the level in single player mode first. That said, it did royally suck that you couldn't save co-op progress mid-level. I remember leaving my Xbox on for days at a time while trying to go through the game on Legendary with a friend.
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