Halo feature

This video shows all the alpha and beta versions of Halo; from strategy to first-person shooter

The first Halo game has a special place in my heart. I remember when it was still a PC-exclusive and reading all about it in Voodoo Magazine. At that time, I had a Voodoo 2, Voodoo Banshee was the first 2D/3D card from 3DFX available to the market and Voodoo 3 was not released yet. Much like Voodoo 2, Voodoo Banshee was only supporting 16-bit colours but that was about to change as Halo was one of the few games that showcased – at least back then – the big difference between 16-bit and 32-bit colour rendering.

Now I’m pretty sure that most of you are aware of the third-person version of Halo that was showcased at E3 2000. That version was so mind-blowing and impressed everyone. It was so amazing that Microsoft got in touch with Bungie so they would release it exclusively on the former’s upcoming first console, the original Xbox.

What some of you may didn’t know, though, was that Halo started as a strategy game and this video shows some scenes from that strategy prototype.

What I also find incredible about this video is the evolution of the first Halo game, from its strategy prototype to its jaw-dropping E3 2000 tech demo. At first the video shows a game at a really early stage, with wanky physics and placeholder graphics. Seriously, it looks awful. But then, build after build, Bungie manages to constantly increase the game’s visual fidelity. First we get better character models, then lots of weapons, then better vehicles, then better textures and atmospheric effects, and then better animations.

It’s really remarkable witnessing how Halo evolved to that third-person 2000 version. It’s also really cool witnessing some of the weapons that were cut from the final game (like the mini-gun, flamethrower and sword). And after that, we get to see some first-person builds that led to the final version.