The Halo 2 E3 Demo was a real-time demonstration of early plans for Halo 2's Outskirts and Metropolis levels. It was shown at E3 2003 and showed some designs for Halo 2, including ODSTs, semi-automatic Battle Rifles (as opposed to the three-round burst in the final product), Dual Wielding, SMG's, Brutes, the Gauss Warthog, and many other new features.


John-117 is en route to a UNSC field command post turned field hospital to assist the Marines in destroying an artillery cannon and securing the area. The Pelican lands and John-117 exits with a few ODST's to be introduced to Cpl. Perez who takes him through the field hospital to Sgt. Banks' position.

John-117 proceeds through the camp witnessing the new animations of allied AIs. He then passes through a destroyed building housing a Marine Heavy Machine Gun team and Sgt. Banks. Both are pinned down by Covenant forces. The Sergeant then calls in an airstrike on the artillery cannon. A flight of Longsword fighters promptly complies, launching a successful bombing run on the cannon. After the airstrike has occurred, Banks gives the player his SMGs, providing a short introduction to the new feature of Dual Wielding. Using his new weapons, John clears the area of Covenant troops before moving over a pile a debris and into an open street.

On the street there is a packed group of about seven Jackals with energy shields. Upon spotting John they form a phalanx and begin to open fire with their Plasma Pistols. After a few moments of shooting the group of Jackals are splattered by a pair of Warthogs. One of the Warthogs is the new Gauss Warthog, the driver instructs John-117 to man the Gauss Cannon mounted on the back. Upon John entering the turret, Warthogs drive around the city streets, the layout of which is reused for the area before the Scarab attack in the Halo 2 level, Metropolis. After John destroys a few Shadows and Ghosts, the Warthog is boarded by a Brute who kills the Marines in the passenger and driver seat, prompting John to exit the vehicle to take action against the boarder.

John-117 quickly kills the Brute and a few of his comrades with his Battle Rifle before being alerted by Cortana of a fast approaching Ghost. Chief proceeds to board this vehicle by hijacking the Ghost, introducing yet another new Halo 2 feature.

John proceeds to wreak havoc on the Covenant troops in the area before he is instructed by Cortana to escape the area via a tunnel which leads to a bridge. The demo then cuts then changes to a cutscene of two Brutes on Ghosts chasing John through the tunnel. As a sign declaring "Highway Access Denied" flashes, the automatic doors at the end of the tunnel begin to close. In response to this small crisis John-117 speeds up, barely making it through the remaining space between the closing doors, although in the process his Ghost is destroyed, leaving him stranded on foot. However the two pursuing Brutes are not so lucky. The door closes completely before they get to it and a shot from the outside of the tunnel shows the two explosions caused by the crash of the Brutes' Ghosts.

Just after Cortana points out a Covenant ship in the sky, a barrage of glowing drop pods begin to land around John. Elites step out of these Drop Pods and draw their Energy Swords. Chief responds holstering one of his SMGs and charging up a Plasma grenade. Cortana, noting Chief's action, teasingly says "bet you can't stick it" to which John-117 responds "You're on." As he lunges forward to toss the grenade, the demo ends.


The screen shows a large city under fire


A Pelican zooms into view. We see John-117

Zoom out. We see the Pelican flying over the cloud layer

  • Sergeant Johnson: Well, don't expect a big welcome. The Covenant wiped most of them out before they hit the ground.

The Pelican drops right into the city

Fade to white

Fade in. We see two Marines looking on the LZ. Plasma mortars fly over the air above

  • Marine #1: Immediate. Grid Kilo 23 is hot. Recommend mission abort.
  • Pilot (O.S.): Roger, Recon.

The Pelican flies overhead

  • Pilot: It's your call, Sarge.
  • Sergeant Johnson: We're going in. Get tactical, Marines!

In the back of the Pelican, We see ODST's getting their weapons ready

  • Cortana: Covenant ground forces own this city. We'll need to deal with them before we can kill that cruiser.

The Pelican lands smoothly, with a Marine covering himself from dusts

  • Sergeant Johnson: Pile out. Go! Go! Go!

John-117 hops out

  • Sergeant Johnson (O.S.): I'll evac the wounded. Keep me posted, Cortana.
  • Cortana: Of course, Sergeant.
  • Marine #2 (To John-117): Sir, Corporal Perez, A-Company. CP is this way.

John-117 follows the marine through a field hospital

  • Marine Medic: Must be seeing things, guess the brass do give a shit. (Referring to John-117 arriving)
  • Marine Medic #2: Come on, come on! Stay with me marine!
  • Marine Medic #3: No tags. Hang two units, O-neg, and he needs an airway.

The Marine stops at a wounded Marine

  • Marine Medic #4: I'm calling it, 1900.
  • Corporal Perez: The Lieutenant got hit as soon as we dropped in.
  • Cortana: Who's in charge now, Corporal?
  • Perez: Marcus Banks, Ma'am. He's pinned down out front. C'mon, I'll show you.

John-117 follows the Marine yet again. He walks into a building, up the stairs. You hear gunshots

  • Marine #3: No, no! Behind that ST. Yeah, yeah, yeah! Three more! Coming left.
  • Marine #4: I'm running low, man!

John-117 follows the Marine to another part of the building

  • Perez: Parsons!
  • Private Parsons: Yeah?
  • Perez: Is it clear?

An explosion occurs, nearly hitting Parsons

  • Parsons: You tell me!
  • Perez: Friendlies, moving out! Covering fire!
H2E3Demo CovenantArtillery

The Covenant artillery.

In the background, an artillery cannon fires a plasma mortar, which fires out overhead. John-117 moves along

  • Marine #6 (O.S.): Grunts, down low.
  • Marcus Banks: When I asked for reinforcements, I didn't think they'd send a Spartan.

The artillery cannon fires another mortar. This time, it hits a nearby building, destroying part of it and causing debris to fall

  • Marcus Banks: We gotta take that thing out. Cover me!

Marcus Banks walks over to a dead Marine, and takes out his radio

  • Marcus Banks (O.S): Tech Aids H.Q. This is Sergeant Banks. I got a hostile Artillery 200 meters east over my position. Bring smoke, over.
  • ODST (O.S.): Hostiles right.

John-117 continues to fight, with the Artillery Cannon still intact

  • Marcus Banks (O.S.): Dammit, H.Q. is anybody on this freq!?
  • Major Easley (O.S.): Sergeant, this is Major Easley. Hang tight. We're inbound.

Overhead, two Longswords approach the Artillery Cannon, and destroy it, then continue on

  • Major Easley (O.S.): Verify delivery of ordnance on target.
  • Marcus Banks (O.S.): Dead on, Major! Target neutralized!
  • Marcus Banks (to John-117): Take my weapon, you'll need it.

He gives John-117 his M7/Caseless Submachine Gun and holds his stomach after giving it, as if he was hurt

John-117 jumps off the balcony, and into further battle. Later, he goes into the damaged building, where more Jackals appear

  • Marine #7 (O.S.): Frag and clear. (he tosses a grenade, killing all of the Jackals) Clear out.

Later, John exits the building and sees a group of jackals forming a formation, which get run over by a Gauss Warthog

  • Marine #8: Could use you on the gunner sir. We got your back.

John enters the gunner. A Shadow passes by, and he destroys it

  • Marine #9: That's the way. Yeah!

The Warthog goes along. Then, two Ghosts appear

  • Marine #8: That better buff out.
  • Marine #9: Ghosts! Making a break for it. Quick!
  • Marine #8: Don't worry. I got'em.
  • Marine #9: Do you wanna let me drive?

More Ghosts arrive, John destroys the first one

  • Marine #9: That's one!

John destroys the second one as well

  • Marine #9: That's two! C'mon! Whose got more?

A Phantom flies overhead

  • Cortana: A Phantom!
  • Marine #8: Hang on!

A second Phantom comes

  • Cortana: Brutes!
  • Cortana: Look out!

A Brute drops in from the Phantom. He kills both Marines, then knocks out John, and the Warthog crashes into the wall. John kills the Brute

  • Cortana: Ghosts! To your right.

A Ghost approaches

  • Cortana: Wait for it...

John-117 jumps onto the wing of the Ghost

  • Cortana: Nice!

John-117 then kicks the Brute out of its seat and takes the Ghost for himself

  • Cortana: The Marines won't stand a chance if those Phantoms double back. See if you can draw them off.

John escapes

Fade to white


The Ghost zooms off, and the camera follows it. Behind it, a Phantom approaches, followed by a ghost, and another Phantom. The camera zooms in on John-117 when he looks back. The first Phantom starts shooting at John with the frontal turret, with another ghost leading John. He narrowly misses the shots of plasma. The Phantom shoots at the 'Welcome to New Mombasa' sign to stop John. It ends up falling on the Phantom, and the Phantom flips on it's side and explodes, with John escaping

  • Cortana: Chief...
  • John-117: Hang on!

John approaches a closing wall in the highway tunnel. He narrowly escapes, and scrapes the road behind him as he slides down the bridge

Inside the tunnel, an enemy Ghost piloted by a Brute crashes into the fully closed wall, and explodes. There are two explosions on the other side of the wall.

  • Cortana: Bingo! There's the cruiser! Now all we need to do... is...
Halo 2 E3 Demo Truth and Reconcilliation

Several Elite drop pods land around him. He turns around, and another drop pod lands in front of him. An Elite pops out. It activates its sword. Around it, the rest of the Elites notice him and also activate their swords. John puts away one of his M7/Caseless SMGs and pulls out a plasma grenade

  • Cortana: Bet'cha can't stick it!

John activates the grenade

  • John-117: You're on!

John throws it

Demo ends

Differences with the Final GameEdit

Plot and CharactersEdit

  • The demo had a vastly different storyline from the final game. Much of it was essentially rewritten to change the events.
  • The Pelican John-117 rides in is not destroyed, instead it lands normally and disperses its troops without issue.
  • John is trying to destroy one of many Covenant CCS-class battlecruisers, instead of boarding a single CAS-class assault carrier.
  • It is Cortana, not Lord Hood, who outlines the mission (defeat Covenant ground forces and destroy their cruiser, instead of infiltrating their carrier to capture the Prophet of Regret).
  • Only one Pelican, instead of three, heads to New Mombasa. Also, UNSC In Amber Clad is not seen.
  • Marcus Banks is introduced at the beginning, instead of the end of Metropolis.
  • The Prophet of Regret does not lead the Covenant invasion force on Earth.
  • Marcus Stacker may have appeared driving a Gauss Warthog like in the final game but is killed by a Brute.
  • Major Easley does not appear in the final game.
  • Marcus Banks is an injured Marine who gives John-117 his SMG, introducing the Dual Wielding feature. He is directing an attack against a Covenant artillery cannon, instead of a Scarab.


  • Brutes are attacking Earth side-by-side with the Elites, whereas in the final game Brutes are absent in the levels Outskirts and Metropolis.
  • The Brutes' voices are deeper, much like an ape, than in the final game.
  • Grunts were seen driving Shadows.
  • The Phantoms have a different appearance and are destructible.
  • Brutes bleed purple, but in the final game, they bleed Blackish-blue.
  • The Brutes are weaker than they are in the final game and were easily killed.
  • Jackal Shields are a bright fluorescent blue, instead of bluish-green in the final version.
  • The Jackal Shields appear to be a figure-8 shape, instead of the circular shape seen in the final game.
  • Jackals are also seen moving forward together in a phalanx formation (as opposed to just running around normally) shortly before being run over by Warthogs at 4:46.
  • There is a huge increase in the number of Grunt death animations where they stop in their tracks when killed and slowly fall forward. Few of the killed Grunts in the trailer perform the classic "Grunty Death Backflip" when killed with Battle Rifle fire.
  • The Elites you see are either some sort of Stealth Elites or a new Elite that didn't make it into the game.

Weapons and VehiclesEdit

  • The Shadow's turret shoots green plasma blasts that look like charged plasma pistol shots, not purple shots. Also, it shoots more at a more regular pace, it doesn't get faster as it shoots, although this is the same in the final version when manned by Elites.
  • The Battle Rifle reloads like an Assault Rifle.
  • John-117 fires the SMG's at the same time, and he never reloads them.
  • When John-117 changes to the Battle Rifle from the SMG's, he doesn't drop the other SMG.
  • The Battle Rifle is semi-automatic, has no ammo counter, and is reminiscent of the way a paintball gun fires.
  • The Brute Shot shoots like a large plasma projectile which flies straight instead of the frag grenade that falls and bounces after a few feet.
  • The Plasma Pistol shoots a larger bolt.
  • The Fragmentation Grenades made the same type of explosion like they did in Halo: Combat Evolved, but are much weaker.
  • When a Brute jumped on top of John-117's Warthog, he knocked out two Marines instead of just one.
  • When John-117 hijacked the Ghost, he stood on the ghost for a considerable amount of time before he kicked the driver out.
  • The Battle Rifle's melee attack shows three different animations at the same time instead of only one at a time—this was the first animation shown by Bungie of their proposed "melee combo" system, which was cut out of the final game due to time constraints.
  • When John shoots a Phantom with a Gauss Cannon a green and blue plasma spark appears.
  • The Gauss Cannon has a faster rate of fire.
  • The back of the Phantom is open and the troops disperse like in a Pelican.
  • If you look closely at the Elites' Energy Swords, you can tell that they have the same appearance as the Halo 3 design, with the pointed edges around the hilt when turned on.
  • The Ghost's fire mode is different to that of the final version. In the final version, the mode was alternating blasts from each Plasma Cannon. Here, it was more like Halo 1's fire which fired both Cannons at the same time. The rate of fire was also increased and the Plasma Bolts travel faster.
  • The Brute Shot looked slightly different and fired blue plasma-like bolts, suggesting that the original Brute Shot was an energy weapon.


  • In the final cutscene, Chief uses his right hand to throw the plasma grenade, but in all three games, he utilizes his left hand for the purpose of throwing grenades.
  • The New Mombasa Orbital Elevator is nowhere to be seen. Instead, a massive building made up of towering spires and complexes dominates New Mombasa's skies.


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