Let’s get this out of the way in which first. ‘Pimps at Sea’ was a long-running Bungie April Idiot’s gag that most likely appeared like a good suggestion again in 2001. It could run and run, because of the studio pretending this was the following game it could make after Halo, and have become an everyday in-joke to the extent that the earliest recognized construct of Halo 3 was given this nickname. Bungie workers have been noticed taking part in Pimps At Sea on Xbox Stay again within the day and, through the years, little glimpses of this explicit construct have appeared. It grew to become one thing of a holy grail after which, early in 2022, a video of Pimps at Sea gameplay appeared.

Now the entire ‘Pimps at Sea’ Halo 3 construct has, excuse the pun, leaked. It may be discovered simply sufficient via search, though you may want a chipped Xbox or a devkit to run it, so fortunately a really drained Northern Irishman has uploaded round 25 minutes of the footage to YouTube.

The construct itself is mainly a really early alpha model of Halo 3, where many belongings are imported straight from Halo 2. The construct doesn’t embody any of the marketing campaign content material, although it does checklist varied missions, and as a substitute has a once-functional multiplayer mode and an especially early model of Forge that is simply referred to as ‘Editor’.

There are just a few different attention-grabbing bits within the construct, like an untextured rocket launcher mannequin and early variations of Halo 3’s weapons and tools. The assault rifle, which received a big overhaul in Halo 3 to operate because the beginning weapon, is current in a barely completely different visible kind, alongside an especially fugly carbine and a plasma pistol that has vivid iconography and appears… kinda nice? The few items of kit are in-line with what would ship within the closing game, with minor variations (just like the Mongoose’s honky horn) abound.

Essentially the most attention-grabbing factor within the ‘Pimps at Sea’ construct is a barely bugged-out try at a ‘leaning’ mechanic. On this Halo 3 construct you can also make your character’s view tilt left and right (although the shots do not observe precisely), an concept that Bungie apparently first tried to implement in Halo 2. It is unclear whether or not its presence right here meant the studio had one other go together with Halo 3 earlier than abandoning it, or whether or not it is only a hangover from all of the Halo 2 stuff being re-used right here.

Curiously sufficient, Future 2 doesn’t characteristic a peek mechanic. However it does have this odd little kink whereby, in case you ADS whereas crouching, you may pop over low partitions. It seems like a vestigial system, nevertheless, relatively than something of sensible use. Maybe that is the one nut that even Bungie, masters of FPS control-feel, cannot fairly crack.

It could not appear to be a lot, however this piece of software program as soon as had an virtually legendary standing amongst Halo followers. And for a quite simple purpose: It was a protracted await Halo 3, and the rising recognition of combination message boards like Reddit and early social media meant that Halo hype was constructing at unprecedented charges. All of us knew it was on the market, someplace, however we could not have it. Lastly seeing the Pimps at Sea construct in spite of everything these years is the one factor some weary UNSC warriors needed: Proof it was all actual.