Oh boy...tons of new stuff. One cool visual feature is that your secondary weapon is visible on your back. So if you're running with an Assault Rifle (which is back and better) and you have the sniper rifle as your secondary weapon, enemies can see it on your back. So it doesn't just magically appear in your hands.
There's also a new anti-vehicle weapon called the Spartan Laser. Supposed to be pretty good against personnel if you're skilled enough. Pretty neat if you actually see it. The ATV that didn't make the cut for Halo 2 will be in Halo 3. It's called the Mongoose ATV and it's supposed to be damn fast. One person drives and one rides "brokeback style" (or so Bungie calls it) while shooting or holding the flag.
There is a new grenade called the Spike Grenade. Unlike the plasma grenade, the spike can stick to ANYTHING. Instead of a giant radius like the plasma and frag covers, the spike focuses it's power into a cone-shaped area. It's almost like a claymore, but cooler.
The Brutes also have a new weapon called the Spiker. It's dual-wieldable and is similar in power to the SMG, but sounds far cooler. It fires slower, which is a trade off. I guess the Brutes have a fetish with everything manly though...the Spikers are fitted with two blades on the underside for awesome melee combat like the Brute Shot. Oh and the Assualt Rifle is back! It has a smaller clip (32 vs. 60) but the accuracy and range are far superior to the original. The SMG's are back as well as the Battle Rifle. The Needler is back and more powerful, but you can't dual-wield it. The Energy Sword and Grenades are back as usual. The Pistol is also back, but Bungie isn't letting the cat out of the bag as to if it'll be the weaksauce no-scope version or the uber-overpowered oddly long range version.
There are currently 3 new maps: High Ground, Valhalla and Snowbound. Valhalla has a particularly cool feature; it's called the 'Man-Cannon' and it basically shoots a player about halfway across the map and they get a pretty good arial veiw. They can shoot and be shot too, so it's not all THAT, THAT cool.
Snowbound has these cool shield doors that lead to the underground base. Players can pass freely in and out, but gunfire and grenades won't. So it could lead to some interesting moments in Oddball gameplay. Think Three Stooges plus some zany Benny Hill music.
There are supposedly some new multiplayer gameplay variants too, but too many to list. All the Xbox Live features will be available including matchmaking. Current multiplayer numbers are set at 16 (which is a little off of Halo's sweet spot), but things could change from now until launch.
There are also revamped controls. The left and right bumpers are now reload buttons depending on the weapon in that hand. So if you're dual-wielding and you need to reload the left hand one, tap the left bumper and you'll reload while the right hand still fires. It obviously takes time to get used to, but if you really hate it, Bungie says the original controls will be available. The X button is unknown at this point, but my guess is a sprint button or some sort (it was originally planned for Halo 2). The graphics aren't too impressive as of now, so don't expect anything like Gears of War's 'Destroyed Beauty' concept. After all, it is still a pre-Alpha build, so it'll take time.
Three different Halo 3 SKU's.
Halo 3 - $59.99
Halo 3 Collectors Edtion - $69.99
Halo 3 Legendary Edition - $99.99 (Comes packed in a Halo Spartan MJOLNIR Mark VI Helmet replica)
In the Legendary Edition, here are some of the goodies included:
- Behind-the-scenes at Bungie Studios with new insights into the Halo Universe and the making of Halo 3.
- A special hi-res collection of all cinematics from Halo 1 and Halo 2 with director commentary from the Bungie Team bonus.
- Community content from Red vs. Blue, This Spartan Life and Exclusive Gamer Tiles & a Theme.
- Each unit will be serialized for added individuality and collectability
I think that's all...I'll read it again and double check to see if I missed anything tomorrow.