Bungie upped its newest ViDoc for Halo: Reach first thing this morning. I was initially so excited that I went and made sure to post it on a local game news blog I write for before I'd even watched it myself. Partly that was because I had my just woken up eight month-old son on my lap and I can only type so much one handed.
Now that I've had some time to site down and analyze it, I'm surprised Bungie called this a ViDoc and not a trailer–because really, it played more like a trailer. Their ViDoc's typically involve interviews/commentary with the design team about changes to the play style. This was just an introduction to Noble Team. Don't get me wrong, as it was interesting, but I was just expecting a little more meat on the bones.
Some questions and comments that occurred to me (which I'm sure glosses over a ton, but that's what comments are for!):
1. How will Carter compare to Buck? The leader of the squad in ODST is probably one of my favorite in-game characters in the Halo universe. So far, with what little we've seen, it's difficult to tell how Carter will compare.
2. Kat's character model continues to be an excellent example of unsexualized female character design. Dare from ODST wasn't particularly sexual either, but knowing that Tricia Helfaer was her voice actress (and her character looked like Tricia) gave her some unnecessary sexiness.
3. The introduction of Noble Six is pretty sweet. What will be really interesting to see is how much, if at all, Bungie gives character to Six. I'll be really surprised to see a Master Chief-like portrayal, but the intro suggests that we'll get more than the "strong, silent type" of the Rookie from ODST. Nothing's wrong with a blank cipher, but some personality is a nice touch in a Halo-style game.
4. The voice narrating the ViDoc sounds an awful lot like Cortana. Which, when you get to the end, makes a lot of sense. . . because it's Dr. Halsey doing the voice over. (Those of you who've read The Fall of Reach know that Cortana's personality was strongly derived from Halsey). It's nice to see her finally make an in-game appearance, and now I'm really curious who she's "talking" to off camera, because her dialogue sounds an awful lot like Cortana's blabbering about "choosing" Master Chief over all the other Spartans in those annoying interruptions from Halo 3.
For my more random observations, follow on Twitter @MKEGameDesign.