July 25, 2004 - Halo 2 Hands On (Dew Photoshoot)
We arrived at Microsoft's Xbox marketing headquarters and met the other winning team from Pennsylvania. The seven of us had won a contest to mug for Mountain Dew in their upcoming Halo 2 cross promotion advertising campaign. After introductions in the main lobby we were escorted into a secured area housing six 48" High Definition monitors all pulsing with Halo 2's blue menu screen. Chuck and Brian, from Microsoft and Bungie respectively, replayed the E3 introduction for us verbatim complete with storyline and gaming fundamentals. The level we would be playing was the same build from the Expo titled "Zanzibar" (not a final, so things may change). After over three hours of flashbulbs and posing the lighting rigs were removed and the couches were brought in. We were set free to tear up the landscape, four on four, for three uninterrupted hours. What we witnessed was simply incredible.
November 9, 2004 will live in video gaming history as the day Bungie ruled the Earth. With pre-orders up to 700,000 and Microsoft anticipating one million units to ship on day one in a worldwide release it is inspiring to think that Halo 2 will most likely break the five million mark within its first six months of existence.