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Halo 2 E3 Multiplayer Demo

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The Halo 2 E3 Multiplayer Demo was the first public reveal and exhibition of Halo 2's multiplayer, shown at E3 2004. A live demonstration was presented by Bungie at Microsoft's pre-event Xbox press conference, showcasing the game's new features. Afterwards, fans and members of the press were able to play the demo for themselves on the showfloor of the expo. The demo was also the first reveal of the multiplayer map Zanzibar, and featured the announcement of the release date set for Halo 2: November 9, 2004.


By Spring 2004, Bungie's internal build of the multiplayer for Halo 2 had reached such an advanced state that it was ready for presentation to the public. Bungie was therefore able to prepare a demo to be showcased at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, California on May 11-13th. Shortly before the demo's formal public reveal, Bungie invited several journalists to come to their studio to experience the build. Hilary Goldstein and Fran Mirabella III, of IGN, and Sal Accardo and Justin Leeper, of GameSpy, faced off against a rotating series of Bungie and Microsoft employees including Pete Parsons, Hamilton Chu, and Marty O'Donnell, playing 4v4 matches for around an hour.[1][2] Their reporting was embargoed until the demo's official public reveal.

This came on May 10, 2004, at Microsoft's pre-event Xbox press conference.[3][4][5] For the presentation on Halo 2, Microsoft's Peter Moore introduced Bungie's Joe Staten and Max Hoberman, who gave a live demonstration of the game's multiplayer mode highlighting a number of its new features. This was the public's first glimpse at this part of the game. The demo showcased the Spartan and Elite player models, the SMG, the Needler, dual wielding, the usable Energy Sword, the Karo'etba-pattern Ghost and its new boosting ability, boarding, the "Rocket" Hog, vehicle damage, the rocket launcher and its new target-tracking feature, as well as a number of the features of the map, Zanzibar, such as its layout, interactive elements, destructible features, and weapons placement. After the demonstration, Peter Moore also announced the game's release date, November 9, 2004, which he had gotten tattooed on his arm as proof.

After its public introduction, the demo was made playable to members of the public and the press at large during the Expo itself. Players on the showfloor were able to partake in 5v5 1 Flag CTF matches, consisting of five three-minute rounds of Spartans versus Elites on Zanzibar.[6][7][8][9][10] During the fanfest in the Xbox arena, Brian Jarrard introduced Max Hoberman and Frank O'Connor, who again presented the demo to the public. Admittees to the arena were then given tickets and divided into groups to play the demo at two types of consoles, with either comfy chairs and small monitors or stools and large plasma displays.[11][12][13][14][15][16] Footage of the demo and promotional screenshots were then later released to the public by Bungie.[17]


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Differences from final game[edit]

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  • The Gauss Warthog is referred to as a "Rocket Hog" and shoots missiles.
  • The Battle Rifle fires only one shot per trigger pull while zoomed into the scope.



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