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Last Updated 1/9/06

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Story

As of now absolutely no information has been officially released by Bungie. They aren't planning to reveal any details either. However, in the summer of 2006 a short announcement video was released for Halo 3. It can be viewed here. From the video a few things can be assumed. Master Chief, the hero of the Halo trilogy, is back on earth and has just been through a massive battle.  Cortana, the Chief's guide, seems to be in trouble "a galaxy apart." She still may be in the clutches of the Gravemind or maybe was just damaged from another incident. The Coventant, or aliens, have returned to Earth in attempts to uncover a colossal Forerunner structure. Whether the structure is a weapon remains unclear. Well find out when we get to "Finish the Fight 2007."

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Multiplayer

Gameplay

Standard Halo multiplayer gameplay is back in Halo 3. All of the previous multiplayer gametypes are expected to return along with improved Xbox Live support. Bungie has no plans of increasing the maximum number of players and most of the levels are relatively similar in size to those in Halo 2. So far 3 maps, multiple new weapons, 2 new vehicles, and a couple of other cool gameplay elements have been announced.

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Maps

So far, only three maps have been announced for Halo 3. They are called Snowbound, Highground, and Valhalla.

Snowbound (4-10 players recommended)

Snowbound is a medium sized map covered in snow. There are two bases that appear to be Forerunner structures. Underground a complex tunnel transports players from place to place. With these tunnels are doorways walls called shield gates. Players can pass through these gates freely while bullets and explosions cannot. This adds a new layer to objective based gameplay by increasing the carriers' life spans. Another cool feature is the auto gun turrets that surround the level. They will automatically fire at any player trying to exit the level. Perhaps these turrets could be used against players' opponents too. Hmm...

Highground (6-16 players recommended)

Highground is a small fortress based level much like Zanzibar. Attackers start out on a beach while defenders spawn inside a large base. The attackers have many options of how to infiltrate the base. They can travel through a series of caves, crouch walk through an air vent, or just go all rambo and blast through the main entrance (if someone opens the gate). A few weapons have been confirmed for this map. They are the Assault Rifle, Rocket Launcher, Spartan Laser, Sword, Needler, and Sniper. Though objective based games like 1 Flag CTF and Assault may work best on this map, small slayer matches have also proven to be very entertaining too. 

Valhalla (6-16 players recommended)

Valhalla is a massive landscape of sprawling hills and fortresses. Similar to Blood Glutch or Coagulation, two teams spawn on either side of the map and duke it out in the middle. Vehicles like the Warthog and Mongoose ATV will be useful, but are easily countered by the power of the Spartan Laser. Sometimes your best bet will be traveling on foot. There are also unique lifts on each of the bases call Mancannons. These high power air vents will blast people into the middle of the map, but they can still shoot and be shot at while in the air. Nice.

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Weapons

Multiple weapons have been confirmed for Halo 3. Here's a complete list.

Human

MA5C Assault Rifle - A variant of the Halo: Combat Evolved Assault Rifle with improved range, but a decreased magazine capacity. It will be the default starting weapon.

 

 

 

Galilean "Spartan Laser" - An anti-vehicle laser that locks on and destroys its targets.

 

 

 

Shield Emitter - A throwable shield device that creates a fixed protective energy shield. Possibly a grenade.

 

 

 

M6 Pistol - Some variant of the Halo 2 pistol, but details are unconfirmed.

 

 

 

BR55 Battle Rifle - Similar the Battle Rifle in Halo 2, but smaller.

M7/Caseless Submachine Gun - It's back.

M90 Shotgun - It's back.

Shotgun

S2AM Sniper Rifle - It's back.

Sniper Rifle

M19 SSM Rocket Launcher - It's back.

Rocket Launcher

M9 HE-DP Fragmentation Grenade - It's back.

Fragmentation Grenade

Covenant

Brute Spiker - A small rifle that launches bright orange energy spikes. 

 

 

 

Brute Spike Grenade - A grenade that can stick to surfaces when throw. After a delay and connection to surfaces, it releases hundreds of deadly spikes in all directions.

 

 

 

Brute Hammer - An energy hammer similar to Brute Chieftain Tartarus' from Halo 2. Whether it will be wieldable the player or only NPCs in unknown. 

Needler - An improved rifle-like needler that is no longer dual wieldable. It is confirmed to be very powerful.

 

 

(maybe)

Particle Beam Rifle - An upgraded version of the Beam Rifle from Halo 2.

Beam Rifle

Covenant Carbine - An upgraded version of the Carbine from Halo 2.

 

 

 

Brute Shot - It's back.

Energy Sword - It's back, but not dual wieldable though NPCs may dual wield it.

Energy Sword

Plasma Rifle- It's back.

Plasma Rifle

Plasma Pistol - It's back.

Plasma Pistol

Plasma Grenade - It's back.

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Vehicles

Here are some one the new and returning vehicles in Halo 3.

Human

Mongoose ATV - A new addition to the UNSC force. A large all terrain vehicle with two spots for players. One can drive and the other can shoot or carry an item on the back which facing backwards. See the Valhalla screenshot for more info.

M12 LRV Warthog - It's back.

 

 

 

M12G1 LAAV "Gauss" Warthog - It's back.

M808B Scorpion tank - It's back.

D77-TC Pelican Dropship - It's back. Playablity isn't confirmed.

D77 Pelican Gunship - It's back. Playablity isn't confirmed.

Covenant

Brute Ghost - A new Covenant vehicle based on the original Ghost., but made for the Brutes. It has a more tubelike structure and likely shoots red plasma with a higher rate of fire than the original Ghost (though that remains to be seen).

Mauler - Likey a Brute vehicle, though not confirmed by Bungie.

Chopper - Likey a Brute vehicle, though not confirmed by Bungie.

Ghost - It's back.

Banshee - It's back.

Wraith - It's back.

Phantom - It's back. Playability isn't confirmed.

Capital Ship - It's back. Playability isn't confirmed.

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Matchmaking

Matchmaking will return with a vengeance. More control will be added to matchmaking playlists, allowing players to choose maps, gametypes, and other options. Parties will also return with many improvements. In addition to being able to move between ranked and custom matches players and parties will also be able to join up with other parties for unranked verses, even if they don't know them. This will be ideal for small parties looking for more players.

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Other Elements

Mancannon - I know, gay name, but they look pretty sweet. The man cannon will propel players, vehicles, and other object half way across the map by way of powerful air vents. While in the air players can still shoot, but can also be shot at. Check out the Valhalla screenshot.

Back Holstering - Weapons that are not being used will now be stored and shown on the carrier's back or in leg holsters. A nice cosmetic improvement, but may be useful for recognizing sword or rocket carriers.

Gameplay Movie Saving - In Halo 3 player will be able to videos of their games and even share them with others. Not much is known about this new feature.

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