Marathon and Halo -- Closer than ever before thanks to the gamepad

With the 2001 release of Halo, Bungie proved that not only were high quality, console-centric FPS titles possible, but they could be controlled just as well with a gamepad as with a keyboard and mouse. Since then, just about every FPS title to grace a console has attempted to replicate the precision and familiarity of Halo's scheme.

So when it came time to bring a legendary Bungie title, Marathon: Durandal, to Xbox Live Arcade, the folks at Freeverse saw fit to keep it in the family.

"In moving the original, which was a keyboard [and] mouse game, we had to translate all the original behavior to the Xbox controller -- sticks and range of feedback instead of binary key hits." tells Ian Lynch Smith, president of Freeverse. "What we ended up doing is getting the actual curves and math that Halo 2 uses, so in those respects Marathon Durandal's controls have the exact same feel as Halo 2."

We can already hear the collective cry of the Marathon community. "Hold it! Doesn't injecting Marathon with bits of Halo compromise the integrity of the original?" Not so, according to Freeverse's Bruce Morrison as Marathon: Durandal still plays exactly the same.

"If it took 10 seconds to get from point a to point b on the original it will in ours."

Get a feel for the slick new controls yourself when Marathon: Durandal is released tomorrow on Xbox Live Arcade.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.