Surely the mostgame of the year hit the UK last night, with a massive celebrity-studded launch event at London's IMAX cinema for Halo 3.
Rapper Pharrell Williams, of The Neptunes and N*E*R*D fame, was on hand to show off his fragging skills -- or lack of them, as it turned out -- on the vast IMAX screen. Showcasing the game's online multiplayer capabilities, Williams took on other celebrities and competition winners from around Europe.
The audience was made up of journalists and competition winners from around the country, each of whom went away with a free copy of Halo 3 and the obligatory PR event t-shirt. Those crazy guys at Microsoft had them going for a minute, making them think their free copy depended on the outcome of a multiplayer deathmatch on stage, but as they say in showbiz, no one went home empty-handed. Aww.
Check out our sister site GameSpot UK -- thanks for the pics, guys! -- for a vast mountain of Halo 3 coverage. -Nick Hide
The eager crowd can't wait to get in and see some serious celebrity fraggage. This lady's clearly a hardcore Pharrell fan.
There's always someone who takes the home-made outfit thing too far. Oh no wait, he's an actor in a Master Chief suit.
Here's Pharrell (nearest to us), getting his ass handed to him by some l33t Dutch kids. No clue who his buddy is.
There were several launch events around Europe, in Amsterdam, Madrid, Milan and Paris. They each had a celebrity of some description, including rapper/actor LL Cool J -- who Pharrell enjoyed killing -- and model/actress/whatever Carmen Electra, who was last with a single kill (whatever happened to chivalry, boys?). These are their gamertags if you want to add them.
After the celebrities got tired of taking a whupping from us Europeans, the real gamers took to the stage. This was the real deal, a two-on-two deathmatch, with teams picked from the audience. The human blur is compere Iain Lee, you know, the skinny one off The 11 O'Clock Show.
After the big-screen antics, the audience could play on consoles set up for the event, but most of them traded in their wristbands for a copy of the game and a t-shirt and headed home to play.