Even EGM admitted Halo 3 didn't exactly blow their minds visually in their cover story, but Bungie's remained adamant that gamers shouldn't judge what they've seen, especially in terms of what they'll find in the more focused campaign mode. While everyone patiently waits to see Bungie live up to their word, community manager Frank O'Connor continues teases us with a hands-on experience with a more complete stage:
"Lit, shader effects, proper detail, atmospherics, audio, everything. The exteriors still needed some polish, but sweet crimeny Christmas. It looked amazing. Last week I talked about how we were adding all this hyper realistic stuff, while still trying to keep it true to the look and feel of Halo. The evolution of those ideas is that some of the test screenshots we took for an internal presentation, looked exactly like their concept paintings. Not just in terms of scale or detail, but the actual color palette. It's rich and vivid and full of life.
As a matter of fact, we ran the screens back to back with concept paintings, and sometimes you had to blink to distinguish. Don't get me wrong, the graphics have a painterly quality, sure, but this is more to do with the impression [his emphasis] they leave you than the details. A game's a game's a game. We're not going cel shaded or oil painting-y."
But, even Frankie admits there's still optimization to be done with the game, and that's probably part of the reason the single-player remains under wraps. Considering Sony's already aligned Killzone as their defacto unveiling at E3 in July, it's expected that Microsoft and Bungie will have all guns blazing then, too.