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343 Industries Is Working With Modders To Bring Halo 2’s E3 Demo Back To Life

343 Industries is working with a group of modders to make the 2003 E3 demo for Halo 2 playable.

Announcing the news via a Halo Waypoint blog post, senior franchise writer Kenneth Peters went into some detail about some of the history of Halo: CE and Halo 2, with a focus on content that didn’t make it into the games.

“We’ve teased this in a few of the shots above, but I can confirm we are working on a rebuild of the original E3 Earthcity scenario that makes it playable in modern retail Halo 2,” wrote Peters in the post.

“This was NOT a trivial process, and we should probably layer on a whole page of caveats that come with taking a demo map for an engine that no longer exists and getting it to not blow up the current lightmapper.”

Most notably, a number of modders are working on this project with 343 Industries’ help. Talking about their work on the project, modder General_101 said of the Earthcity map, “This map requires little introduction, I think. A piece of legendary content that we hope to make playable in the MCC (though we can’t make promises on it being available on console).”

General_101 noted that to start there weren’t originally a huge amount of assets to work with from previous analysis of leaked builds. “However, once the source map files turned up it was only a matter of time before we had all the data we needed,” General_101 added.

Part of the aim of the project is to “make a few things shown in the presentation a ‘real thing’ by using retail [Halo 2] elements where appropriate,” General_101 said. Because, unsurprisingly, many game demos often aren’t actually doing the thing they promise to be doing.

A release date for the mod hasn’t been set yet, but according to 343 it will be “worth the wait.”

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