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Bungie.net has an extensive guide to the Halo 3 Beta; if you're participating, check it out. It covers matchmaking, controls, networking, customization, and a whole range of other topics.

If you're not playing, check it out anyway-- it's a good bet that a lot of this information will still be just as applicable this coming September when the full game is out.

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honestly I don't know if this is a good idea or not I'm just intrested in what other peaple think. I think that one cool feature for halo wars would be able to be a spectator of the battle and give orders but then there would also be the possibility to be a marine or spartan on the field kind of like Star Wars Battle Front so that way like say you see one of your fronts is about to fall you could take over as a soldier and reinforce that side personally like I said I don't know if this is a good idea or not it's just a thought that popped in my head one day.

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I really got tired of playing as the arbiter in halo 2 I mean yeah I was intrested in the story but it took away from the human side of the story I think instaid of being the arbiter you should have benn able to be some of the spartan IIIs on Onyx beacause that could have opened the door to another series one not based on Master Chief but on the next generation. By the way the Spartan IIIs are in the book ghosts of Onyx those of you who dont know.

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Zombie Studio's Mark Long chooses his "games for a desert island" in a piece at Gamasutra today. Not surprisingly, for its cooperative play mode, Halo gets the nod: Halo 1, that is:

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What's the most accurate thing you can think of? Probably this laser. The answer is a weapon so versatile it can snipe infantry or fry vehicles. It even makes coffee at a thousand yards. It is the Spartan Laser, the heavily-censored subject of KP's latest treatise on the weapons and vehicles in Halo 3.

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Let's face it: if the Halo 3 Public Beta is our new Great Journey, then the Prophet of Truth is a liar, because some of us are going to be left behind. Not everybody who wants to can get in. If everybody could get in, there'd be no difference between the beta test and actually releasing the game. At least as far as multiplayer is concerned.

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The guy who shepherded the Halo novels through the labyrinthine halls of Microsoft, Eric Trautmann, has made an interesting blog post on storytelling in games. It started out as a review of the new Xbox 360 shooter Lost Planet, but took a u-turn somewhere and ended up with the conclusion that games, so far, are a stunted sort of storytelling:

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The Escapist is calling Bungie a great artist in their piece on how the gaming industry shamelessly pillages the film industry, especially in the area of science fiction. The concept of the article: to make a list of movies so influential on the games industry that, if they had not ever existed, the gaming industry itself would be unrecognizable.

Halo, of course, warrants a mention:

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Don't call it a gun. In fact, don't even call it a rifle. It isn't even a weapon. It's a system. The MA5C Individual Combat Weapon System. If I didn't know better, I'd say that KP made that up himself when he penned the description of Halo 3's default spawn weapon, that hybrid of Halo 1's loveable bullet hose the Assault Rifle and Halo 2's pistol replacement the Battle Rifle.

One useful tidbit:

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Wha- Why? Why would an Elite, after helping a couple humans (who he attacked before) stop Halo, have any reason to want to fight Master Chief? I mean- it makes no sense.

If there HAD to be any kind of boss battle, it would be with either truth or gravemind (i dont know if he's good or evil, but in halo 2 it was obvious that there wasnt really much of a choice in him helping the humans and elites).

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Eurogamer is doing a retrospective on the top twelve exclusive franchises for the first Xbox console. Halo 1 and 2 unsurprisingly clock in at #1.

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Stuff has a story by Gerard Campbell on how the formation of Wingnut Interactive, working on a future series of digital entertainment products in Bungie's Halo universe, is bringing New Zealand into the heart of the next-generation gaming industry.

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Rockslider's latest game-within-a-game that he plays exclusively with Halo 1 is called Shark; you use a Banshee underneath a bridge to induce Covenant units to leap off to their deaths. It's the newest item on Bad Cyborg's Fun and Challenges page for Assault on the Control Room.

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Excellent online gaming magazine The Escapist has an article called The Wideload Way on Wideload Games this week. Those who have read previous articles focusing on Wideload's outsourcing-heavy business model will find little new here. There's a confirmation that Stubbs sold well enough to fund Wideload's next project, but there's still no information on what that project might be.

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San Jose Mercury News columnist Dean Takahashi has written a second book about Microsoft's foray into the console gaming business. Released as an eBook, The Xbox 360 Uncloaked: The Real Story Behind Microsoft's Next-Generation Video Game Console also offers some interesting perspectives on the development of Bungie's Halo franchise.

That the fate of the new console should be tied to Bungie's flagship game is certainly no shock; since 2001 Bungie's series of shooters have been system-sellers for the Xbox, and Halo 2 has had a stranglehold on the top spot in Microsoft' Xbox Live online gaming service since it was released in late 2004.

Takahashi's book claims that Bungie became caught in a struggle between the hardware and software sides of the Microsoft Games Division over how to best promote both the platform as a whole and individual games, and that eventually Hamilton Chu, Pete Parsons, as well as other Bungie staffers, and Ed Fries, who spearheaded the buyout of Bungie by Microsoft, were all casualties of it in one way or another.

The below text is a sort of "executive summary" of the book, including many the points where the stories of Bungie and Halo intersect with the business of Microsoft Games Studio and the division of Microsoft that makes the Xbox and the Xbox 360. Excerpts from Takahashi's book are reproduced here with permission of the author. All quotations and paraphrases of statements by personnel currently or formerly of Microsoft or Bungie, whether identified by name or not, are taken from the book; no one contacted for this article wished to comment for the record at the time of its publication.

Click "read more" from the front page for the entire article.

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