Halo 2 E3 demo was "smoke and mirrors"

Bungie's admitted to Eurogamer that the Halo 2 E3 2003 presentation was a fanciful snapshot of a game that could never be recreated on Xbox hardware.

"The graphics engine that we showed at E3 2003, driving around the Earth city... That entire graphics engine had to be thrown away, because you could never ship a game on the Xbox with it," said Chris Butcher, engineering lead on Halo 2.

"Through putting ourselves through hell, we were able to do a five-minute demo of it, but after we came back from E3 we had to admit that this graphics engine was never going to work - it was never going to support the kind of environments that are really important for a Halo game."

"So we literally scrapped the entire graphics engine and started from scratch."

Read Full Story >>
The story is too old to be commented.
3140d ago Replies(6)
mushroomwig3139d ago

So in that video nobody was actually playing the game? Or was it being played on a PC?

toaster3139d ago (Edited 3139d ago )

How about you read the article first.. lol. It said nothing about the E3 video being "fake"/pre-recorded.

Giant_Chibi3139d ago (Edited 3139d ago )

Well, that's not nice. The submitter changed the title. :(

here's the original title, before it was stealthily changed.

Not saying the trailer was fake, but if you look at the title above, it clearly says fake at the end.

So of course, someone is going to logically assume that it's fake.

So, whoever submitted the article is clearly scrambling the actual words of the article. I'll admit, saying it was fake is pretty harsh. It's more like Bungie had an earlier build that they couldn't use, so they scrapped it for something more feasible.

Like everyone else pointed out, most developers do this. It's usually something they target for or it's a rough idea in the making. Things get cut and changed like a film in the editing studio.

Inside_out3139d ago (Edited 3139d ago )

Great developer...telling it like it is...Halo 2 was awesome...many great moments and the multi player put xbox live on the map and changed everything...nice to see some honesty for once..."Only on brand X " marketing is smoke N CGI had the fanboys jumping off buildings...Nowhere near that level of fidelity.....Biggest con in the history of gaming...Bought my PS3 because of KZ2 ( holds head in shame )....hope KZ3 is alot better...Moving on...

christian hour3139d ago (Edited 3139d ago )

I thought this was pretty common knowledge to anyone who bought Halo 2 in the metal case. They pretty much show you this and talk about how much it screwed up their developing time because of it. It's the reason halo 2 ended so abruptly and had so much chopped content. They started out with an engine too powerful for the console and had to restart from scratch.

This is old news been repeated by bungie and then been recycled as fresh news to use as flamebait for you know who and it looks like most people here took the bait. Halo 2 was a brilliant game but it was nothing like the game they wanted it to be... And either was halo 3.

It think it has become clear that Microsoft were constantly breathin down their backs with deadlines to deliver a game that by name alone would move consoles. Halo Reach is their first game they've made since they went indipendant again (odst doesnt count been a glorified expansion) and its looking like they might actual achieved their aim this time. Just as they did with the original halo.

Now bring it out on the ps3 so i can play it! I miss my 360 :(

*edit* reading the comments on the article at eurogamer has made me want to jump ship. Straight away people we're commenting on it been a story several years old, even the quotes are from back then. They aren't recent at all. I tire of the wailing immaturity of a little more than half the people who visit n4g. Yet I'm doomed to be stuck here forever because its a handy one stop shop for all gaming news. I went several months without reading or posting comments on this site. I remember thinking the addition of a gamer zone and open zone would perhaps make this a better place, but still you get biased people coming in here blabbing on about the purchase they made was much better than the purchase of person X... Why the hell am I even blabbing on here? All this is going to do is lose me some bubbles. I guess its in the hopes that someone who has a say in this website may do something to fix this problem. If a mod feels the need to chop this edit, go right ahead.

Reibooi3139d ago (Edited 3139d ago )

It's always kind of annoyed me that we never got THAT Halo game. It looked so epic and the giant city wide combat was something alot of people myself included were looking forward to but we never got it.

ODST came close but the game focuses a bit more on stealth then a Master Chief like rush and blow everything up tactic. However towards the end of ODST came quiet close to delivering the type of experience we saw in this video.

What was nice to see was despite this entire sequence not being in the final Halo 2 build all the things that made people excited did make it in like Duel wielding and Hijacking.(combos didn't make it in but then again it was a goofy looking idea and people were kinda like Yay? as a reaction to it)

3XP3139d ago

Why are we rehashing sh!t from 2003?

darthv723139d ago

the one that bill gates introduced. Didnt matter to me if it was all cg prerendered bull piss. I dug that intro with the comm chatter and MC in the lift heading to the bay. That orchestrated music is some of the best.

I actually prefer it over the halo 3 reveal trailer and have both on my psp whenever I want to watch. Classic...the right way to do a trailer. Dont reveal to much and leave the audience wanting more.

3139d ago
BakedGoods3139d ago

Really, you bought a PS3 just for Killzone 2 and weren't impressed? Right.

I laughed at the CG-smoke and mirrors Sony pulled on us with the first Killzone trailer. However, having platinum'ed Killzone 2 I can safely say it is still one of the best-looking games ever made.

You sound like a fanboy who's bs'ing about purchasing a PS3. You've probably never even played Killzone 2. Nice try though, hold your head in shame for that one.

lil Titan3139d ago

Halo 2 was short that was the only bad thing everything else was pretty much on point from what i can remember. cant speak for online since i didnt back then and still dont believe i should pay for online but playing with friends was cool

someone should bring up some Halo 3 screens and video from E3 and show it was "smoke and mirrors" no one really cares about Halo 2 anymore if it was fake or not whats the point

Rainstorm813139d ago

why does this matter 7 years later?

Shepherd 2143139d ago (Edited 3139d ago )

Most of you really dont know anything do you?

Its not hard to understand or figure out. Yes, the demo was actually being played live in front of an audience. Yes, many of the same things you saw in the demo were features in the real Halo 2 game, such as vehicle hijacking, swapping weapons with random soldiers, etc. Yes, the graphics in the Halo 2 demo were similar to the actual graphics in the real game.

But, what they are trying to say is that the world that they had rendered for the demo was not possible to do for a full game. The Original Xbox hardware could not handle such massive levels with so much going on at once and with the level of graphical power that was being displayed, so they had to downgrade a bit and cut some stuff up to make what you saw in the demo actually work for the game.

If any of you actually played Halo 2 from start to finish, which i highly doubt many of did, then you will see that the E3 demo is not very far at all from the actual game. That alone helps you to understand what they are trying to explain in this article much, much better. The rest is the simple ability to read the article correctly.

+ Show (9) more repliesLast reply 3139d ago
bjornbear3139d ago

why am i not surprised...many other devs do this, they even did it on PS3 with KZ2

difference is, at least KZ2 final product ended up looking better than the CG video xD

gnothe13139d ago (Edited 3139d ago )

come on now, KZ2 DID NOT end up looking BETTER than that CGI that was shown, there were parts of the game that looked great but the overall presentaion DID NOT look as good as what was shown off as early dont go to claiming it as so.

killzone looked great, its probably the 3rd best looking game in my eyes behind uncharted(2nd) an GOW3 as the best but it did not surpass that video!!

zootang3139d ago


Take a look for yourselves. IMO I think it came pretty close if not surpassed it.

Giant_Chibi3139d ago (Edited 3139d ago )

lol and that's not even the final build yet.

In this build, you can clearly see rico is much younger looking.

In the final build rico is much older and the graphics were even better.

So, yes. I'd say Killzone 2 did surpass it's cg video.


no cgi comparison here, but here's the several builds

Flanders3139d ago (Edited 3139d ago )


Talk about epic ownage by Sony and the PS3. I remember the cries of how the PS3 would never be able to put out the 'impossible' Killzone 2 original trailer graphics and Sony ends up not only matching the 'impossible' trailer, they surpass it.

Crazy to imagine what the PS3 will crank out for Killzone 3.

No wonder Killzone 2 generates so much fear from non-PS3 owners.

This is what your games can look like when you are masters of console graphics hardware design like Sony is:

You don't need to fake screenshots and footage when you have the godly graphical power of the PS3.

Halo3 MLG Pro3139d ago

LMAO! The final product looking better than the e3 cg video? Oh man, you sony fanboys are so silly.

bjornbear3139d ago

i understand your point, and yeah the CG does have more "stuff" going on and stuff, since it is a movie, but the actually look, the realism and the quality of the models are superior in the game, just take a look for yourself =)

im not trying to defend KZ2 visual fidelity, i don't need to =P, its just Guerilla games did a good job at proving to everyone that, even if it was a "fake" gameplay demo, the game did match up to it at least =)

all im saying is, every dev does this =) some just don't pull it off like others

@ Halo - can't see what you are saying buddy sorry, try PM if you have a valid point (so in other words, don't)

Flanders3139d ago

You can just feel the seething hatred Killzone 2 generates. When Sony showed off the game running real time with graphics that were better than what Xbox fans and the idiots at beyond3d all claimed were 'impossible' it was like there was going to be some sort of Jim Jones style mass suicide amongst Xbox owners.

Killzone 2 surpassing its 'never possible because it's CG level graphics' has to be the all time Epic Ownage ever dished out by a console.

Halo3 MLG Pro3139d ago

LOL. Killzone 2 doesn't generate any jealousy. Calm down now. The game failed. Was not the Halo killer that most of you prayed for. Nobody cares for Killzone. LOL!

The Wood3139d ago

funny that nothing on the ps3 looks on par with it....STILL, maybe halo reach right halo

Sitris3139d ago

You would know as you were playing it online today right? Or me who got the platinum absolutly thought it sucked right? You might not be jealous, but my 360 friends play it every time they come over, and they love thier precious halo. It has sold nearly 2.4 million copies, that is by no means a failure haha it has sold more than mass effect, so in sales wise it is better than mass effect? You can not deny that killzone is now a fps front runner selling more than most other shooters out so MLG, you should be jealous

Eamon3139d ago

The thing is, that KZ2 CGI wasn't even that great. Compare it to Advent Children and you'll see.

Although if that CGI was in-game then yeah, it'd be pretty amazing.

IdleLeeSiuLung3139d ago

Yet all of this graphics talk has little bearing on the actual user experience. It is game play and art direction that affects game experience the most!

2Spock3139d ago

While i think the only thing good about killzone 2 was it graphics, but the only way anybody can say it looks just as good or better than the CGI trailer is if ray charles or stevie wonder said it.

Rhythmattic3139d ago (Edited 3139d ago )

Halo3 MLG Pro. The stuff you spew.... The OZ >>>>>>>

Its more your style.

Correction........ you have no style.

Therealspy033139d ago

look, i know that you ps3 fanboys by default love every exclusive and automatically hate everything related to halo. but could you please get out of all the xbox articles trying to force it on people that killzone 2 is a better game than it actually is.

it's a really lousy game. and no, the graphics are NOWHERE near that 2005 e3 showing. you are kidding yourselves if you believe that. that video was also the reason i got my ps3 (that and MGS4 - which actually delivered), killzone 2 was a midnight purchase for me. and it remains the ONLY game i've traded or sold this entire generation. it's that bad.

you know, fanboys. you don't have to shower praise on every exclusive like you're trying to justify your decision to boycott the other systems. just admit you're too stubborn to enjoy anything else and come to terms with your obsession with building up sub-par titles way above their actual level of quality. you did it with heavenly sword, you did it with LBP, you did it with infamous.

just let games be okay games. don't create unreachable expectations, then claim that these games didn't fall well short of the hype.

Shepherd 2143139d ago

It really does make you guys feel good to say that KZ2 looks better than CGI doesnt it?

The problem with that logic though is that if you go back and watch it, the CG used to render the early KZ2 trailer isnt even very good compared to other uses of CG, so KZ2 surpassing it in the final game wasnt as hard as you people make it out to be. Sorry but its true.

KZ2 looks really good and is one of the best looking console games, but get your head out of your asses for a second.

+ Show (14) more repliesLast reply 3139d ago
Cajun Chicken3139d ago

Odd. This looks seriously like ODST...

bobdog6263139d ago

You just don't know what your up against.May Allen Wake's Light Shine light so you may see my friend.Halo Reach is a Killer App and nothing on the PS3 will stop it.Smoke and mirror's my @$$

superrey193139d ago

haha so halo reach is an app now?

sid4gamerfreak3139d ago (Edited 3139d ago )

you gotta get used to n4g...( you have to literally love kz2 cause if you dont or say anything bad about it, your gonna get a lot of disagrees)

smurfee3138d ago

This person speaks the truth, that's why I only lurk on n4g and never comment.