Say hello to a new Halo

By Denebola
Published: October 2007
By Graham RobartAmid the new generation of video game systems, there are clear games that are gems and failures. One game, however, outshines the rest. Halo 3, released September 25 by Bungie for Microsoft’s Xbox 360, has already begun to dominate the video game market.
Halo 2 broke the then-record for 24-hour gross earnings for all entertainment releases. Yet Halo 3 smashed the previous record, grossing a whopping estimated $170 million in the first day alone.
Halo 3 has also single-handedly doubled the sales of the Xbox 360 console. Sales began increasing a month before in anticipation of the games and are still increasing today. The game continued to sell, earning over $300 million in gross sales by the end of the first week.
Now, some of you may be wondering “Does it really live up to the hype? Of course it does. Between using innovative new beta testing techniques, and the most extensive time and development budget, Bungie’s team thought of everything. Straight from the get-go, you can tell how this gem was refined, with every detail meticulously checked. No stone was left unturned during production.
At one point, as I played with a friend, I turned to him and said “Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could customize more than just levels, but the vehicles and even some of the physics? And lo and behold, we could, and the game continued to supply everything we could want and imagine.
This foresight is a result of some of the incredible techniques that Bungie used for the beta testing, such as direct player feedback and record-breaking numbers of testers. These testers racked up tens of thousands of hours of play on each level, which let Bungie know exactly what to include in the game.
In response to tester’s comments, Bungie changed Terrains and was even able to ensure an equal playing field between bases, measuring by square foot. They calculated the smallest of changes to weapon power, rates of fire, reload times, vehicle speeds, and vehicle armor to perfection. The mild imbalances and advantages that plagued every multiplayer game have become a thing of the past. With a level of accuracy that has never been seen before, Halo 3 can be said to be the most “balanced game ever made.
In this seems to be the key towards future gaming: beta-testing. The truth is, when a company puts a lot of time and effort into beta testing a game, it shows. It also shows when they don’t.
It’s because of games like Halo 3 that the market for video games is booming, and that video gaming has become such a standard and integral part of the new generation in the technological age. As more and more time and effort is put into making these games, the sales base extends as well, and as our generation sweeps in, we bring with it the rise of the video game era.

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