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We conducted a poll here at Blend Games to see if gamers could tell the difference between late alpha (pre-beta) shots of Halo 3 and gold shots of Halo 3. It’s probably not surprising that the results prove that gamers honestly can’t tell the difference between the various stages of development for the game unless it’s clearly pointed out like in those ViDoc videos (i.e., where the model files purposefully have no textures or before and after shots are shown).

The poll started in result of Bungie’s claim that Halo: Reach was still graphically in pre-alpha stages after releasing renders and in-game screens that looked like they came from a completed game. This lead many to believe that the game will have a mammoth leap in visual upgrades by the time it releases. This, of course, is false. Even Bungie admitted themselves in an interview with Eurogamer that Halo 3’s graphics still weren’t all that great even after claiming during the beta that the visuals would be improved by launch time.

Now, as shown in the results below, many gamers honestly couldn’t tell the difference between the late alpha and the gold version of Halo 3, despite Bungie admitting that the H3 beta looked underwhelming and that it would see some significant improvements by the time it went gold.



Even though 31% of gamers felt that the left side was alpha and 30% of gamers were convinced that the right side was gold, in totality 61% of gamers who voted were wrong about the left side being alpha and the right side being gold. Only 17% of gamers were convinced that the left side was gold (which was correct) while 22% of gamers weren’t fooled that the right side screenshots were actually from the late alpha version of the game.

The poll is now closed and the results clearly show that gamers have been riding on a Bungie hype train when it comes to Halo’s graphics. Heck, I'm sure most gamers are unaware that the main image to this story is a pre-alpha shot from 2006 of Halo 3. So more than anything, especially at this stage in the development game, Bungie should just abandon the whole graphics revolution thing because it’s going to hurt a heck of a lot more in the long run when games like Brink, Crysis 2, Spec Ops: The Line and Medal of Honor roll around and make Halo: Reach look like a visual after thought.

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