When I first heard that Halo Online was a free-to-play game built off of a modified version of the Halo 3 engine with intentions set squarely on scaling down in order to run on old PCs, I sort of assumed that meant it wouldn’t look that great. That was rather silly, I suppose.
A new gameplay video of Halo Online has slipped out of Russia (the only place where the free-to-play game exists in its beta phase at the moment), and it looks pretty darn good in motion. This comes from GamingPranks on YouTube, and the description indicates that they used unique means to get the game working. Be sure to up the clip to 1080p at 60fps before viewing in order to catch the full feeling.
We don’t know much about the potential international spread of Halo Online right now. We know that Microsoft, 343 Industries, Saber Interactive and Innova Systems are all involved with the project. It’s in a closed beta phase now in Russia, and 343 even said that it was doing this in order to tweak gameplay and in-game economy.
From there? It’s tough to tell, but I can’t really imagine a scenario where this game doesn’t eventually go global. There’s a big market for free-to-play FPS games, and one with the Halo brand that’s been done properly would likely take off quite well.
We’ll have more on Halo Online as it comes.