Halo 2 E3 demo
The Halo 2 E3 Demo was a real-time demonstration of early plans for Halo 2's Outskirts and Metropolis levels. It was shown at E3 2003, and showed some designs for Halo 2, including ODSTs, Battle Rifles (which were originally going to be single-shot), dual-wielding, SMGs, Brutes, the Gauss Warthog, and many other things.
The demo bears little resemblance to the final game as it was created by Bungie out of demand for material to show at E3 amidst the exceedingly hectic development process of Halo 2.
The demo runs on an early development version of the game engine and is built with the premise that the player—originally Joseph Staten—follows a heavily scripted path. For example, although the player is able to go "off script" and explore the level, there are certain cues to prompt them along; for example, the player will be teleported to the Gauss Warthog during the relevant portion of the demo regardless of their location on the map. Also, the player seemingly has unlimited health, ammunition and grenades. The dual SMGs showcased in the demo are also not an example of true dual wielding as implemented in the final game, as the two weapons behave like a single one in terms of gameplay. Several other oddities indicate the game's unfinished nature, such as the Marines in the medical tents in the opening area, who cannot die and will continue to play their scripted animations even if the player attacks them.
On November 14, 2018, 343 Industries employees, Brian Jarrard, Sean Cooper and Frank O'Connor revisited the E3 demo, along with several other early development Halo 2 levels, in an online stream. Bungie and 343 Industries employees had previously commented that the demo would crash instantly if the player deviated from the scripted path, supposedly making it unworkable as an actual level. However, it was found during the stream that the demo is actually quite robust, as O'Connor did not manage to "break" it despite having deliberately set out to do so.
Following a humorous, fourth-wall-breaking introduction by Sergeant Avery Johnson designed to accompany the original E3 presentation by Bungie, the demo opens to a scene of the Earth city of New Mombasa under siege by the Covenant. The Master Chief is en route to a UNSC field command post turned field hospital to assist the marines in destroying an artillery cannon and securing the area. The Pelican lands and Master Chief exits with a few ODSTs to be introduced to Cpl. Perez who takes him through the field hospital to where Sergeant Banks is.
The Master Chief proceeds through the camp witnessing the new animations of allied AIs. He then passes through a destroyed building housing a Marine heavy Machine gun team and Sergeant Banks. Both are pinned down by Covenant forces. The Sergeant then calls in an airstrike on the artillery cannon. A flight of Longsword fighters promptly complies, launching a successful bombing run on the cannon. After the airstrike has occurred Banks gives the player his SMG, an introduction to the new feature of dual wielding. Using his new weapons, the Chief clears the area of Covenant troops before moving over a pile a debris and into an open street.
In the street there is a packed group of about seven Jackals with shields. Upon spotting the Chief they form a phalanx and begin to open fire with their plasma pistols. After a few moments of shooting, the group of Jackals are splattered by a pair of Warthogs. One of the Warthogs is the new Gauss Warthog, the driver instructs the Master Chief to man the Gauss Cannon on the back. Upon the Chief entering the turret, Warthogs drive around the street areas which are incidentally quite similar to the streets before the Scarab attack in the Halo 2 level, Metropolis. After the Chief destroys a few Type-29 Shadows and Ghosts, the Warthog is boarded by a Brute who kills the Marines in the passenger and driver seat, prompting the Chief to exit the vehicle to take action against the boarder.
The Master Chief quickly kills the Brute and a few of his comrades with his battle rifle before being alerted by Cortana of a fast approaching Ghost. Chief proceeds to board this vehicle by hijacking the Ghost, introducing yet another new Halo 2 feature.
The Chief proceeds to wreak havoc on the Covenant troops in the area before he is instructed by Cortana to escape the area via a tunnel which leads to a bridge. The demo then cuts then changes to a cutscene of two Brutes on Ghosts chasing the Chief through the tunnel. As a sign declaring "Highway access denied" flashes, the automatic doors at the end of the tunnel begin to close. In response to this small crisis Master Chief speeds up, barely making it through the remaining space between the closing doors, although in the process his Ghost crashes, disgorging him upon the ground. However the two pursuing Brutes are not so lucky. The door closes completely before they get to it and a shot from the outside of the tunnel shows the two explosions caused by the crash of the Brutes' Ghosts.
Just after Cortana points out a Covenant ship in the sky, a barrage of glowing drop pods begin to land around the Chief. Elites step out of these Drop Pods and draw their energy swords. Chief responds holstering one of his SMGs and charging up a plasma grenade. Cortana, noting Chief's action, teasingly says "bet you can't stick it" to which the Master Chief responds "You're on." As he lunges forward to toss the grenade, the demo ends.
Open to Sergeant Johnson walking toward the camera in a dimly-lit room.
Johnson snaps his fingers. A map of of East Africa, centered on the New Mombasa metropolis, descends into view. As he speaks, he gesticulates at the map energetically with a pointer stick.
A looping sprite animation of Johnson kicking a Grunt from behind appears over the map.
The screen goes black.
Fade in on a massive building complex that dominates the sky
NEW MOMBASA. EAST AFRICAN PROTECTORATE
A Pelican zooms into view. We see the Master Chief
Zoom out. We see the Pelican flying over the cloud layer.
The Pelican drops right into the city.
Fade to white
Fade in. We see two marines looking on the LZ. Plasma mortars fly over the air above
The Pelican flies overhead
In the back of the Pelican, We see ODSTs getting their weapons ready
The Pelican lands smoothly on top of the government building
The Master Chief hops out
A Marine greets the Chief.
Master Chief follows the marine through a field hospital
Perez stops near a wounded Marine
Master Chief follows Perez yet again. He walks into a building, up the stairs. They pass by a pair of Marines shooting through holes in the wall.
Master Chief follows Perez to another part of the building. They come to an opening leading to a balcony. Another Marine has taken cover behind a wall along the balcony.
Giant explosion rocks the building.
The Chief moves out onto the balcony. In the background, an artillery cannon fires a plasma mortar, which flies out overhead. The Master Chief uses his battle rifle to take out a couple Grunts he sees below, then moves on.
The Chief throws a grenade into a group of Grunts below, killing them. He picks off a few more Grunts in the distance with his battle rifle, before moving down a flight of stairs.
The Chief meets up with Sergeant Banks.
The artillery fires another mortar. This time, it hits a nearby building, destroying part of it and causing debris to fall.
The Chief uses his battle rifle and a grenade to kill more Grunts and a Jackal.
Sergeant Banks walks over to a dead Marine, and takes out his radio
The Chief mans a portable machine gun and starts shoot at any enemy in sight.
The Master Chief continues to fight, with the Artillery Cannon still intact
Overhead, two Longswords approach the Artillery Cannon, and destroy it, then continue on.
He gives the Master Chief two SMGs
Master Chief jumps off the balcony and into further battle. After clearing out the street, he goes into the damaged building, where more Jackals and Grunts appear.
A grenade is tossed into the enemy hiding place. It explodes.
The Chief moves in. The explosion hasn't killed the Covenant inside, but it has stunned them long enough for the Chief to kill them all.
The Chief exits the building and sees a group of Jackals, which get run over by a Gauss Warthog.
The Chief gets on board and mans the gun. A Shadow passes by, and he destroys it.
They drive around, encountering two more Shadows. One escapes through a tunnel, but the Chief destroys the second.
The Warthog drives around the tunnel. They intercept the escaping Shadow at it emerges from the tunnel. The Chief destroys it with the cannon.
The Chief's Warthog meets up with another Warthog, and they move down the street, killing any Covenant infantry they come across.
Two Ghosts appear.
The Chief destroys one of the Ghosts. Another pair of Ghosts appear. The Chief destroys them both.
The Chief destroys another Shadow. More Ghosts appear.
The Chief destroys one Ghost
The Chief destroys a second Ghost
The Chief destroys a third Ghost
A Phantom flies overhead
A second Phantom flies overhead. The Chief fires at it, but the Phantom is unaffected. It begins deploying Brutes.
A Brute drops in from the Phantom and lands on the hood of the Chief's Warthog. It kills both the Marine driver and passenger. The Chief jumps out and the Warthog crashes into the wall. The Chief kills the Brute by meleeing it with his weapon. He then shoots an abandoned car in the distance, blowing it up. The explosion kills a couple of nearby Brutes. The Chief then picks off a third Brutes with his battle rifle.
A Ghost approaches
Master Chief hijacks the enemy Ghost.
The Chief kicks the Brute driver off and commandeers the Ghost
The Chief shoots at the Phantoms, getting their attention, then makes a break for it.
Fade to white
The Chief's Ghost zooms off, and the camera follows it. Behind it, a Phantom approaches, followed by a ghost, and another Phantom. The camera zooms in on the Master Chief. He looks back. The first Phantom starts shooting at the Chief with the frontal turret, with another ghost leading the Chief. He narrowly misses the shots of plasma. The Phantom shoots at the "Welcome to New Mombasa" sign to stop the Chief. It ends up falling on the Phantom instead, and the Phantom flips on its side and explodes, while the Chief escapes.
The Chief approaches a closing wall in the highway tunnel. He narrowly escapes, and scrapes the road behind him as he slides down the bridge.
Inside the tunnel, an enemy Ghost piloted by a Brute crashes into the fully closed wall, and explodes. There are two explosions on the other side of the wall.
The Chief gets back up and looks at the Covenant Cruiser hovering above.
Covenant drop pods descend from the sky.
Several drop pods land around the Chief. He turns around, and another drop pod lands in front of him. It opens up to reveal a black armored Elite. The Elite jumps out and growls at the Chief.
More Elites surround the Chief. They draw their energy swords and snarl menacingly.
The Chief pulls out a plasma grenade and activates it.
The Chief throws it.
Fade to white.
Title is shown:
The demo ends.
Differences with the final game