Uh Oh, Razzamatazz! Halo: Reach Screens Leak Out of the Bungie Vault.

Either this is a cunning PR move, or someone has truly managed to smuggle sensitive information out of notoriously secretive Halo developer Bungie Studios’ Seattle compound. Blurry, off-screen shots of Halo: Reach – due to drop in 2010 – first turned up online yesterday and quickly found their way onto message boards internet-wide.

Just as swiftly came the wrath from Bungie who scoured their official forums, locking any thread that mentioned the offending pics and even banning their own community members for posting links.

Lawsuit Bait

With that kind of heat coming from the game’s own developers, you would expect the leaked screens to contain some pretty hefty spoilers. So, what do they show? Well, not much.

My favourite weapon gets an upgrade

Aside from an all new Needler Carbine, a remodeled Battle Rifle and Spartan Laser and some new environments, precious little else is revealed about the next major Halo release, which has the sceptic in me suspecting a deliberate leak.

Tell me if you can find story spoilers in there

If not, then this is surely the work of ninjas equipped with stealth camouflage. Somewhere out there in the wilds of North America is an industry insider with a solid brass pair, who risked the fury of a million lawyers to get the first images of Halo: Reach to rabid gamers. I’d like to believe that these pictures were obtained via a camera hidden in a suspiciously unattractive belt buckle, New Jack City-style.

Thankfully, the images still survive on a thread at NeoGAF (from whence they were obtained for this article) where further dissection and discussion continues, at least until Microsoft gets involved.

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