The Halo franchise is owned by Xbox Game Studios
Like with the bonus and behind the scenes content with Halo 2 this was planned to be an interim episodes instead of taking up its own cozy spot on the weekly schedule, but the more I dove into the two disc Essentials and everything involved, yeah there was no way I could get this done as a mere aside. There are A LOT of features on these discs and plenty to talk about, so let’s not waste any more time and dive right in!
Halo 3 Essentials (Bonus Features) – 2007
We’ll start things off with how they were released. The first disc which was released in both the Collector’s and Legendary editions of Halo 3 is something I SOMEHOW managed to get a copy of many years ago (I’m still baffled that this thing wound its way in my collection) and only works on an Xbox 360 console. I can’t even find information confirming that it works on Xbox One or Series S/X, so unless you’re like me and can’t throw away anything this disc and its content are going to be hard to get ahold of going forward. The second disc on the other hand which was only available on the Legendary Edition is a simple DVD and will work in anything that plays those. Considering the massive marketing campaign around this game it’s no surprise that something like this was added to the game to entice people to spend a little more, and I’m not sure how many games even bother with this kind of stuff anymore. I remember the PS2 having a few games that had some pretty cool bonus features like God of War having a ton of Making Of videos and even something like Aqua Teen Hunger Force Zombie Ninja Pro-Am having an episode of the show on it, but I guess with YouTube being so accessible that companies will just post stuff on there if they even feel like bothering with it; and even then a lot of it is pre-release so there’s always the sense of it still trying to sell you on something whereas these kind of features are more of a celebration after the fact. In any case, there’s a lot to talk about here so we’ll group them together into loose categories to try and cover a little bit of everything.
Making Of Features
Now this includes the VERY extensive Making Of feature on disc 1, Seven Steps to World Domination on disc 2, and the unfortunately yet still appropriately named Git Tur Wurk back on disc 1. The Making Of document is the pick of the litter here as it’s a full hour but is filled with some VERY cool stuff about how the game was developed. It’s well produced, we get insights into many of the interesting tools used, and the enthusiasm of those being interviewed is infectious. Just hearing Xi Wang, one of the Graphics Engineers, talking in depth about the water engine is engaging and I learned about things you could do with the water in Halo 3 that I would have never even thought about! There’s stuff like that, the in depth showcase of the damage system, the way the tested the online servers with teams in Japan, but my favorite bit was their play testing process! There’s this really nifty tool they had where they would have play testers play the game and be able to report issues while in game. Then, the developers not only get a list of these issues, they know exactly where in the level it occurred and can even watch a replay of the player playing the game at that time! That is just really cool to me and I’m now wondering if this kind of software is standard in the industry!Continue reading “Twenty Years of Halo: Halo 3 Essentials & Halo Landfall”