Halo Reach [XBOX 360 – Beta]

Halo Reach is Bungies fifth and final game in the Halo series. It is a prequel to Halo: Combat Evolved, it takes place during the final days of the human colony Reach before the Covenant glass the planet. The game follows the story of Noble Team, a 6 Spartan squad who try desperately and fail to save their planet. Due to the games mature subject matter it is said to be Bungies darkest game yet.

At Bungies 2010 PAX Presentation they went over the games development all the way from chicken scratch on a piece of looseleaf paper to the finished product we have today. In these following comparison screens you can see just how much a map can  change over the course of 3 years. The 1st screen is the map in its early development stage, and the 2nd screen is the map as we know it today.

Early Development


Early Development


Early Development


PAX 2010: Bungie Halo: Reach Panel

The Development of Noble Team

At the beginning of Halo Reaches development there were originally going to be 8 Spartans in Noble Team.

The original Noble 8

This was then cut down into a 7 member Noble Team.

Noble 7

Spartans Rosinda, and Thom didn’t make the final cut. Thom is still in the games story though in the form of he died and the player character is replacing him.

Character Changes

Hadlermaster from bungie.net forums was kind enough to create comparison shots of the different characters in the game showing their early video looks compared to the Live Action and Final Game models.

This one’s  especially interesting because Jun’s completely different looking, and Emiles face is never shown in the final game

Bungie PAX Part 2

Cut Gameplay Prototypes


DLC Betas:
Following are pictures of an Anchor 9 DLC map beta with their released counterparts. Amongst just the map model there is also additional items on the map that were later removed such as a Moah Vehicle you can ride which was fully removed from the game.


I-8 (Resistance: FoM) [PS3 – Beta]

I-8 is the codename for the game that became Resistance: Fall of Man. The project was first shown at E3 2005, but the game shown in that video is almost nothing like the game that we have today.

The only thing in this video that really resembles the final game is 35 seconds into the video you can see a early looking Chimera. The video shows  large scale battles fought with hundreds of black op soldiers which is much different then the final games humanity’s losing the war feel. It also appears that you’re fighting other humans along with the Chimera, where in the final game you’re only fighting the Chimera.

In the “Resistance Alpha Video” it’s not known whether or not the game was called Resistance, or I-8 at this point in development you can see that the game now has the look of the final game, but it still has you playing as a black ops soldier, and still has the all out war feel of the first I-8 video. Some noticeable changes are, there are large amounts of enemies onscreen at once, the Chimeras are much more aggressive, and the animations are much better.

The Black Ops soldiers can still be found in the final game, but only as dead bodies that contain hidden messages.

An interesting article about the technical development of the game can be found at Cybergooch.




Halo 3: ODST [X360 – Beta]

Bungie initially conceived ODST as a small side project to produce in the lull between Halo 3s completion and Halo:Reach. Instead of featuring recognizable characters such as the Master Chief from previous games, the developers focused on the ODSTs. Story director Joseph Staten penned a detective story utilizing film noir settings, design, and characters. Composer Martin O’Donnell abandoned his previous Halo themes to create a quieter, jazz-influenced sound. During development, the game grew in scope to that of a full-sized game. [info from Wikipedia]

When Bungie decided to make a new Halo game after 3, they tossed around alot of ideas and concepts, such as another game where you play as Master chief, or one focusing on the Arbiter. Eventually they came across the idea for a game where you play as an ODST, they went through several concepts of what it would be about, some early concepts for the ODST idea were a game where you’d play as a ODST squad that would follow alongside a Spartan. Another one was about going back to Waypoint. They reused alot of cut ideas from Halo 1,2, and 3 in ODST such as these cut Pelican models cut from Halo 3: 

HALO MMO (Titan) [X360 PC – Cancelled]

Our nice friends Robert Seddon and Batzarro have linked us to an intersting news that was spotted on Game Set Watch and Gamasutra, that talks about the find of some screenshots from “Titan Project”, an HALO inspired Massive Multiplayer Online game that was in development at Ensemble Studios, but was cancelled in 2007.

Ensemble Studios has recently closed (for financial problems?) after they had finished to work on Halo Wars and a supposed former employer of the team has started to share screens and some infos about the cancelled games that he worked on. On his Flickr Account we can see a wonderfull collection of images from Titan, and on his blog we can read that: “In 2005 Ensemble Studios completed Age of Empires III. Following that, several game prototypes (a major one was ‘Wrench’, more at a later point) were developed. One of them was a Halo inspired MMO codenamed Titan; cancelled after around two years in June 2007.”