Comic-Con 2011: HALO 10th Anniversary Edition Shows Off Improved Graphics, Familiar Game Play

     July 23, 2011


The creators of the upcoming Halo: Anniversary Edition and Halo 4 came to Comic-Con to discuss their ongoing space opera and show off some new footage. I’m not a gamer, (a GBA is the most advanced system I have), so I can’t really explain what a Didact or a Precursor or Guilty Spark are, but the panelists, who included Frank O’Connor, Kevin Graceas, Greg Bear and Karen Traviss all promised that fans will see plenty of all of these elements in upcoming Halo games and novels.

They also presented something really cool for the Halo re-release that wowed me even as a non-fan. Read on for the details.

The most impressive thing for me an outsider was a new feature in the Halo: Anniversary Edition that allows players to switch back and forth between the original game and the updated graphics seamlessly, while playing.

halo-imageThe effect is rather astonishing. I remember seeing the original game and being knocked on my ass by the detailed characters and expansive environments, but a decade of technological advancement has numbed me to the point where I had to see the same image back and forth to really gauge how much has changed. It’s the difference between seeing a pre-vis scene and the finished product on a DVD bonus feature. Except, you know, you can play it.

This trick is possible because the game is running two engines simultaneously. The original game code is still intact with identical physics models with the new graphics model running independently on top of it. The goal being to recreate the awe of playing the original game for the first time.

The new game will also feature an upgraded multiplayer option that implements the Halo: Reach engine. However, in the interest of protecting the original game play players will have a series of menu options that will allow for classic Halo multiplayer style combat.

Halo: 10th Anniversary Edition will hit stores November 15.

Click here for all our Comic-Con 2011 coverage.

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