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Halo: Reach ViDoc: Once More Unto the Breach

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The Halo: Reach ViDoc: Once More Unto the Breach is the first Halo: Reach ViDoc that focuses on the graphical and gameplay changes in Halo: Reach.


Shows the words, "Halo: Reach" which soon fades to the words "ViDoc: Once More Unto The Breach"

0:13 - Joseph Tung: Whenever we finish a project, we do a lot of soul searching. A lot of reference got kicked around; "The Seven Samurai", "The Magnificent Seven", we've talked very early on about showing off a more human approach to Spartans.

0:27 - Sage Merrill: We definitely focused on trying to go back to, sort of the core of what made Halo:CE; the Combat Evolved, the sort of phenomenon that it is.

0:36 - Steve Scott: I remember my first time playing Halo, and I was in that first level, and after winding through these technical corridors, fighting aliens and then, I step out into this world, and it just opens up in front of me, and it's beautiful, and alien, and huge. That was a sort of a seminal moment for me and I think that's part of what we want to capture in Reach.

0:59 - Marcus R. Lehto: Something that was core to the game at the beginning was that sense of wonder and exploration. We started with a series of events, we'd basically set out like, okay, from this date on Reach to this date, we built a military campaign.

1:22 - Martin O'Donnell: We all had a desire to really flesh out the backstory of what happened prior to Master Chief and Cortana even entering the picture. We knew there were other Spartans and it just seemed like such a rich area to tell a character driven story with new characters.

1:37 - Lee Wilson: We wanted this team to feel like Delta Force-type team, that are usually a smaller number.

Catherine-B320: Why are we not seeing explosives residue?

1:46 - Lee Wilson: This particular team, Noble Team, they've survived by staying together. You're Noble Six, you're a replacement for a Spartan that's died. You're experiencing this, this story "boots in the mud".

2:05 - Scott Shepherd: We looked at the story of Reach, and it was obviously a more intimate character-driven story. We really needed the attention to real world detail, trying to make these character's faces really feel like believable.

2:18 - We started everything over from scratch, came up with a whole new rig for how we animate faces and also how we approach like texturing them, modeling them, everything, and just uh, put a lot more time, difference of about a couple million polygons.

2:34 - Joe Tung: We absolutely want Reach to tell a human story and that's gonna require us to invest significantly into higher fidelity models, much more open environments, larger numbers of AI than ever before in a Halo game.

2:47 - Marcus R. Lehto: To pull off the vision for what we had for this game, we ended up gutting almost every part of the engine, retooling things to make it run faster, to make it run better, look better.

2:57 - Rick Lico: We had to throw out all of our technical systems, we had to then throw out the content that went with it, cause that content did not represent the new bar we were going for.

Jorge-052: Copy that, on our way, don't need command to tell me, been on hers half my life.

3:13 - : Let's shoot it.

3:14 - Rick Lico: We've got a great team of guys, and they can take motion capture and they could make the poses way more dynamic, way more expressive. Those changes bring out the life, bring out the style of our characters.

3:23 - Scott Shepherd: We had probably, four times the amount of polygons to play with, this time around. Which gave us a lot more freedom and creativity in what we wanted to achieve.

3:31 - Luke Timmins: When you look at total engineers that are actually putting code, that are actually affecting this game, I mean, God, it's massive, 30 plus guys, it's, it's crazy.

3:39 - Steve Scott: When you shoot a rock face, you'll see sparks, rock chips, dust. In Halo 3 we had a maximum of 100 colliding particles. In Halo: Reach we have thousands.

3:52 - Joe Tung: We've got much more customizable Spartans than we've ever had in the past.

3:56 - Mike Zak: The number of polygons we can draw at one time has skyrocketed. It's changed the way we build things up close as well as out far.

4:04 - : This is where Noble Team arrives, and you're gonna work your way down, all the way down these, these terraces.

4:13 - Chris Opdahl: Big open environments, epic sky boxes, these are things that are quintessential to Halo.

4:20 - Mike Zak: Like we're building a planet that exists 500 years from now. We want to build spaces that, you want to explore.

4:27 - Marcus Lehto: We want to put twice as many characters, vehicles, and weapons into that environment. That's gonna require massive improvements to the way we handle our artificial intelligence in the game.

4:38 - Chris Opdahl: We now can put so many AI in an encounter that you can put four Spartans, the player, eight Marines, against thirty-ish Covenant, now that's an actual serious challenge.

4:50 - Marcus Lehto: Bringing the Elites back was something that was, uh, a true joy for us, because they're such an awesome character to fight.

4:57 - Martin O'Donnell: What if the Spartans and the soldiers don't actually understand what the aliens are saying, what's that gonna feel like. What if we can get back to having the aliens feel really alien, and threatening. These people and this planet, and this story deserve something new and different. Just a different underlying sense of tragedy, heroism, we're rebuilding everything from the ground up.

5:28 - Scott Shepherd: We have to walk this very fine balance. We want to add new things, but we don't wanna rough up anybody's baby.

5:34 - Luke Timmins: That's the whole thing, about the crazy sausage, that is Bungie's Halo: Reach, ODST universe, that we've sort of developed this gameplay that every person has different things about it that they like, and I still think that we still struggle to figure out exactly what, you know, what can we add or remove without pissing off certain people in the population.

5:50 - Scott Shepherd: We looked at the Halo 3 Assault Rifle, and we feel it's kind of dated and fit the tech then, but now, we have all of these new polygons to play with.

5:58 - Sage Merrill: We went through a lot of trouble to just sort of, ground the weapons and the vehicles more in this sort of more real, more gritty world. We refined a lot of the weapons to push them into their particular role, and that role is defined a lot by range, and the range of combat that you're gonna play. For instance, the DMR, which is the sort of medium to long range, suppression marksmen rifle.

6:22 - Chris Opdahl: It's going to be a sandbox game, it's not going to be a carefully scripted game, where every movement of the AI is controlled by a mission designer it's much broader than that, it allows the player to deal with encounters in their own specific way. There's definitely going to be some off-hand grenade throwing, there's definitely going to be vehicles, there's definitely going to be a large number of weapons that are incredibly powerful and incredibly accurate, that allow the player to feel like a badass.

6:47 - Sage Merrill: Now if you melee them in the back of the head, like you really mean it, you're really holding down on the button, you'll launch into this more elaborate animation sequence.

6:54 - Joe Tung: It's gonna be a very different campaign experience for people overall. We're doing stuff in the campaign that people absolutely won't expect from a Halo game.

7:05 - Marcus Lehto: Bigger battles.

7:07 - Martin O'Donnell: Brand new cast of characters.

7:09 - Joe Tung: An incredibly ambitious game.

7:13 - Marcus Lehto: Every neuron in my head is firing with just Reach, Reach, Reach. We knew from the beginning what the end was gonna be.

7:23 - Martin O'Donnell: This is the definitive Halo made by the people who created Halo.

Screen fades to the words "Halo: Reach", then fades to "Falls 2010", fading once more to the words "Multiplayer Beta Coming May 2010" "Invitation Included With Halo 3: ODST".


  • The title of this ViDoc is a reference to the famous speech from Shakespeare's play Henry V.
  • Joseph Tung's reference to "The Seven Samurai" and "The Magnificent Seven" was later confirmed at the Reach Panel to be a hinting toward the direction taken with NOBLE Team, since it was originally going to be composed of seven members. However, this aspect was cut out of the final game.[1]
  • In honor of Marcus Lehto's birthday on the 5th of March, 2010, Noble Actual, the Bungie developers blog, jokingly released his final "neuron" statement at the end as a downloadable ringtone.[2]


  1. ^ Youtube: PAX 2010: *Bungie Panel* (Marcus Lehto: "You might not notice, but back in the early days, we talked about, a lot about, Magnificent Seven and The Seven Samarai. And yes, originally, there were seven Spartans.")
  2. ^ Noble Actual, Halo: Reach Dev blog, March 5th, 2010