In their new anniversary documentary Bungie shed some light on their views of Halo 2’s campaign. They went as far as to call it a “disastrous flaming turd of failure”.
Halo 2 was the catalyst LIVE needed, it’s campaign was soon forgotten about as thousands swarmed it’s online matchmaking service. The campaign itself was in fact cut short to make it’s release date, Senior engineering lead Chris Butcher described the project as a “three act tragedy”.
“The first act was when we were all optimistic and fun, we were saying “this game is going to be 70 times more fun than Halo 1, because we’ve got all these great vehicles and environments and we’re just going to jam in as much stuff as we can,”
Bungie’s lust for gaming domination “lead us into some very, very scary places, with a graphics engine that was “totally unsuited” to Xbox and levels that “didn’t make sense in a shooter”.
Pete Parsons, chief operating officer, was also quoted as saying “we had to throw out a lot of stuff that we’d wanted to do”. One problem was that in the absence of studio founders Alex Seropian and Jason Jones, design work was carried out “by committee”.
“Before Halo 2, we could fail in silence and in misery but no-one really knew we were failing,” writer Joseph Staten reflected. “But with something like Halo 2, everyone knew we’d cut missions at the end, that we’d lopped off our third act – we failed spectacularly in public as far as the story was concerned.”
Was the campaign really that bad, there was no denying online it was addictive as hell, but should Bungie really regret making Halo 2 as much as they seem too?