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Once again we are giving away one of the biggest games of the year Halo Reach. Not the regular edition, not the limited edition, BUT THE FRICKIN LEGENDARY EDITION. Get it Sept. 14th!

Congratulations to the Jimmy akskiller for winning our Halo Reach contest. Read akskiller's winning story.

Halo Reach giveaway winner

Halo Reach giveaway winner Don't be a Jimmy

Read full story...

Community Blog

Crimson Relic

Halo: Reach Beta Info

By: Crimson Relic Apr 3, 2010 | 3 Comments

Juicy tidbits gathered from around the net that YOU need to know for the Halo: Reach beta.

In Reach, Elites are bigger, they’re faster, and they boast better shield technology than their Spartan counterparts.

Size matters. And when we say Elites are faster, we mean it. Natively, Elites walk at the same pace a Spartan runs at full sprint - Add Evade into the mix, and they’re easily the most agile combatants on the battlefield in multiplayer.

Unlike Spartans, their health is not limited to recharging in thirds as their vitality is whittled away in stages, but will recharge fully without even the need for a health pack. Their health also recharges faster, as do their shields. Significantly faster.

So, how are we gonna work them into multiplayer? Well, in a number of ways. In some circumstances, like Arena, you’ll only square off Spartan vs. Spartan or Elite vs. Elite. In others, well…stay tuned.


Evade is an Elite-only Armor Abilitiy, it's the barrel roll seen in the vidoc. (As I suspected. I wonder if there are any other Elite specific abilities...)

Armor Lock is a small portable shield that surrounds the player, giving him a short invincibility, and delivering an EMP blast.

Active Camo is like AC from H1/2/3, but it also works as a Radar Jammer. I'll jam the radars of other players, friendlies, enemies, and your own.

And then, there's Jet Pack.

I think you understand how this works. Holding down a button will enable players to fly up in the air for short amounts of time.

All these AA need energy to be used. A gauge is shown in the HUD, when it's empty, there's no more energy, and you'll need to wait a short amount of time for it to be full again.

None of the AAs are blocked, all are available from the get-go. Playing SP or MP will influence which AAs you can use, and how you pick them. In SP, AAs are available before starting the mission, or can then be picked up during the mission. In MP, players choose before the game (or before respawning) their specific Load Out. Each Load Out offers a different weapon/AA. (This indicates Bungie will not let players create and save their own loadouts, I suppose to prevent abuse of certain combinations.)

Jetpacks will be featured in certain parts of the campaign, but not in all of it. Different AAs will be available in different levels, depending on what the mission needs. In MP, the AAs available for the Load Outs will be set by the gametype/map. Jetpacks will be in the beta. In the full game, players will be able to enable/disable Jetpacks in Custom Games.

Loadouts:

At the beginning of each match or round, and again every time you wait out your respawn window, you are given the option of choosing a Load Out.

Load Outs are not player created or defined, but rather playlist and/or game type specific. Essentially, they allow you to choose your Armor Ability, your starting primary and secondary weapons, and your grenade cache on the fly.

For some playlists, that might mean every Load Out features the same weapon sets with only the Armor Abilities to distinguish them. For others, it might mean that as the game goes on, you’ll have access to more and more choices based on a number of factors we can fiddle with.

That's just one example to the right. Many gametypes will feature more uniformity in the initial selection.

What it doesn’t mean is that you will be creating your own custom Load Out to bring into Matchmaking. You’ll be choosing from our prefabricated offerings, based on what’s best suited for each gametype.

Don’t worry about power weapons being available right from the start, either. In most cases, you’ll still be finding those distributed via a number of methods throughout the battlefield, though if circumstance warrants it, we certainly can start you with, say, the Rocket Launcher.

And, of course, you can still loot the corpses of your fallen foes and you’ll still find sweet stashes of weapons strewn carelessly about the map for you to find and acquire.

Interview:

One new weapon we’ve yet to really talk about is the focus rifle. This is the Covenant really long-range “reach out and burn your face off” sniper-slot weapon. We didn’t want to make just another sniper rifle, but we did want to fulfill that type of role so we made the focus rifle that utilizes a slightly different, “tracking” skillset. It’s not an instant kill weapon, it does significant damage, but you need to hold it on your opponent for approximately one and a half seconds to kill them. It’s more about long range suppression than instant death, but it still falls into the category of pseudo “power weapon” so it won’t be all over the map or included in load-outs.

HAMRICK: The focus rifle is probably the most frightening weapon to be attacked with in the entire game. It’s definitely the one I’ll be watching closest in the beta and we’re still tuning it.

MERRILL: The plasma launcher is the Covenant’s answer to the rocket launcher and Spartan laser all rolled into one. It’s primarily designed as an anti-vehicle weapon but it’s still quite effective against infantry. It charges then fires up to four super-heated plasma rounds that all track against bipeds and vehicles. It’s not actually firing plasma grenades, but the rounds do have a similar delay time from when they stick to the target and eventually explode. There’s a delay that leads to some really spectacular chain-reactions as well as quite a few “from the grave” medals.

HAMRICK: My favorite part of the plasma launcher is the delayed explosion for each round and the resulting chain reaction.

MERRILL: Another new weapon in Reach is the grenade launcher, aka “the pro pipe.” This was primarily designed to fill a similar role to the plasma pistol and give the Spartans an EMP-capable weapon. It has two modes of fire – manual and auto. If you pull the trigger and release it, a single round will fire and detonate upon hitting a target. If you keep the trigger held, the player can choose when they want the grenade to detonate. You can essentially leave a cooked grenade on the ground around a corner as a trap and detonate it from a distance or have it explode in mid-air to take down a flying opponent.

HAMRICK: It’s important to note that we definitely do not view the grenade launcher as a “power-weapon” like the rocket launcher or sniper rifle. We want this to be something that can be included in load-outs; it’s more akin to the shotgun in that regard.

HAMRICK: Another new weapon in the beta is the plasma repeater. It’s basically the Elite answer to the assault rifle.

MERRILL: We needed a good equivalent to the AR that we could include in multiplayer but not have it break the campaign. We needed to leave the plasma rifle as fairly weak with slower projectiles in single-player to fight against but we also needed something similar, but better, for the Elites to wield in multiplayer. It is their “jack of all trades, master of none” mid-range weapon. The main defining aspect is that it’s heat-based.

HAMRICK: Your rate of fire for the plasma repeater is tied to its heat. It won’t outright overheat like the plasma rifle does but as it heats up the rate of fire will slow. You can manually vent it, all or partially, and your rate of fire will increase accordingly. You can also still melee or throw a grenade while you’re venting.

MERRILL: One side effect of the overheating is that as the rate of fire slows, the accuracy actually increases.

HAMRICK: The shotgun is also back. The biggest change in Reach is that it will now only fire inside the crosshair – previously it would sometimes fire out of the reticule. The projectiles are a bit tighter grouped now, doing a bit more damage and making you have to aim a little bit more, but the range is also just slightly increased.

JARRARD: There will be plenty more staples making their way back to Reach as well, all rebuilt from the ground up and looking better than ever. The plasma pistol now has a slight area-of-effect EMP blast when an overcharged blast hits. It can hit multiple targets (including yourself if you’re not careful). The magnum is back and it packs a punch, especially when you can land headshots. This is going to be an old friend in Reach, the effective secondary weapon you’re happy to have in your back pocket. You’ll also see needlers, sniper rifles, the gravity hammer, energy swords, rocket launchers and assault rifles.

JARRARD: Load-outs let players pick from a set of weapons and armor abilities, suited to their play style, which they’ll get access to when they spawn. For example, the “Airborne” load-out includes the jetpack, assault rifle, and magnum. The available load-out options will vary depending on which gametype is being played. In matchmaking this is something Bungie will configure but in custom games, players will be able to define their own load-out options. Things get very interesting in team games as players coordinate their load-outs and respective strategies while their opponents counter with their own tactics.

MERRILL: Think about load-outs as kind of a “dynamic class” system. We liked some of the elements you get with a class, but we’re not changing your base model or locking you into that choice. You drop in with your preferred play style, but if you decide your chosen load-out isn’t working, the next time you spawn you can select something different.

HAMRICK: That’s the nice thing because it happens a lot – as a match progresses, you and your team will shift to different load-outs and so will your opponents.

JARRARD: Nothing needs to be unlocked or “earned.” All the weapons and abilities in the game will be available from the outset but not all will be included in every campaign mission or multiplayer gametype. There will be plenty of items to unlock in the armory to customize your Spartan but they are strictly visual upgrades.

HAMRICK: An ability that we haven’t talked about yet is Armor Lock. It’s kind of a throwback to the old school bubble shield but you always have it on your person and it’s intended to keep you safe. It’s kind of like a block. If your opponent closes on you with a shotgun or is about to land a melee blow or run you over with a vehicle, you can engage Armor Lock and become temporarily invulnerable. You can’t move, aim, or shoot. You’re stuck there, but you can’t be killed. You can do that up to three times on one charge or you can do one sustained lock for a few seconds.

There is also a knockback and EMP blast component. The longer you hold your Armor Lock, the more pronounced the effect will be. There are three different tiers – if it’s just a short lock, I’ll get a small knockback and a tiny bit of EMP up to the max level, which is a much larger knockback and EMP blast. It’s really intended to say, “hey, you better not mess with me, I’m extremely dangerous even though I’m trapped in here!” It’s particularly effective against vehicles as well. Also, if you’re stuck with a plasma grenade or have needles in you, they’ll be knocked off when you engage Armor Lock. (FINALLY! A WAY TO SHAKE OFF STICKIES! AWESOME!)

HAMRICK: Yeah I can use Sprint and a sword to come at you like a freight train or I could use Sprint to run away from you when you’re coming at me with a sword.

MERRILL: And then I would use Armor Lock on him as he’s about to hit me with the sword and stun him and then come out and unload my shotgun.

 

More info on the way. See you all in the Halo: Reach Beta!

Halo 3 ODST box art
Halo 3: ODST

Review

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Halo Reach Campaign Review

By: BatRastered Sep 20, 2010 | 5 Comments

Bungie's last Halo game goes out with a bang.

Prequels tend to suffer from the problem that the technology has advanced even though the events in the story take place earlier. Halo Reach is no exception. The Spartans in Reach have abilities that the Master Chief did not. The armor abilities include sprinting, flying around with a jet pack, a bubble shield (as first appeared in Halo 3 as equipment), invisibility, a holographic clone, and armor lock (an ability that locks your armor down making you temporarily invulnerable but also immobile). Some of the advancements are actually explained a bit, but only if you have the collectors or  legendary edition and the desire to read through all the stuff that comes with it.

The story actually does have some nods to those who have been following the Halo universe beyond the game, including the appearance of Dr Halsey, whom I'd imagine most players wouldn't know from Jimmy. 

A nice touch is that the points and leveling system from the multiplayer works in the campaign too. You earn points for killing covenant and beating levels just like you would from killing and winning multiplayer matches.  You can also play through the campaign in co-op up to four players with either competitive or co-operative scoring enabled.

You play as Noble-6, the newest member of a six spartan special forces team (Noble team) tasked to investigate a disturbance at a research facility on the Planet Reach. Reach, if you didn't know already, is the HQ planet for the UNSC and is where the Spartans were created. Think of it as the Halo version of the Pentagon. The point is, it's a very important military world for the UNSC, and as you may have guessed the disturbance you are sent to investigate turns out to be Covenant related.

If you've been paying any attention to the Halo story at all, you know how this game ends already, as the beginning of the original Halo is the escape of Master Chief from the invasion of Reach aboard the Pillar of Autumn. Halo Reach goes to some lengths to fill in the backstory of how and more importantly why the Autumn fled and found the first ring.

Along the way, you will pair with various members of Noble Team through the games  9 levels. For instance, you will team with Jun the sniper specialist on a recon mission at night. This provides some nice variety to the missions, and for the first time in a Halo game, we even get some outer space combat. It's relatively short and very simple (only two types of enemy fighters to take out, and some targets on the big ship to disable). All in all, a nice breather from the constant firefights you face on the surface.

The difficulty levels provide about what you'd expect. Easy is laughable as you can take two fuel-rod cannon shots to the face while you viciously beat down an elite commander with the butt of your rifle. Normal is not very challenging unless you forget to fire your weapon like a Jimmy or let yourself get surrounded. Heroic is tough, but fair. You will have to plan your way through certain groups of enemies, four elite zealots in a room will force you to think really hard to outsmart them and take them down one at a time. Legendary  adds a bunch of tweaks like making an elite sniper invisible. On legendary, you need to really take your time even to take out a pack of grunts.

The end is awesome, and without spoiling anything, you'll likely want to play the very last level on legendary with a group of 4 a few times. It's bad-ass.

Oh, and I hear Reach comes with a pretty good competitive multiplayer game too.

Verdict: Buy it

Community Blog

akskiller

Played Halo CE on PC/MAC?

By: akskiller Aug 26, 2010 | 8 Comments

Get a Visual Flair in Halo Reach if you have your Halo Combat Evolved PC CD key!

So we all cannot wait until Halo Reach releases on September 14th. We all want to get our hands on it but how about if you have Halo CE for your PC or MAC, go ahead and find your Halo CD sleeve with the yellow sticker on it. On the yellow sticker is you CD key. Now why would you want to find this key? Well Bungie is giving its loyal fans who played Halo CE for the past seven years  a visual flair that they can use in Halo Reach. The Visual Flair is a emblem for your nameplate in Halo Reach. The nameplate will make you stand out and will let everyone playing Reach know you played Halo 1 on PC/MAC and are not afraid to show it.

Well how do you enter your CD key? To enter your key go on Bungie.net and go to your account page. Next click on the game settings tab and then the nameplate link. That will take you to a page where you can  enter your CD key. Once Halo Reach hits shelves you will be able to use the visual flair in Halo Reach.

Here is how it will look like in Halo Reach:

Halo CE Visual Flair


Thanks Bungie for giving us loyal fans at least something! I know I will be using this Flair as Halo Combat Evovled is my favorite game.


PS. There is a bunch of other Visual Flairs on Bungie.net you can find and see how to unlock them. Some include Halo 2, Halo 3, and Marathon.

Community Blog

Crimson Relic

Halo: Reach Beta First Impressions

By: Crimson Relic Apr 30, 2010 | 3 Comments

Has Bungie made Halo multiplayer even better? Is it even possible? Yes...yes it is.

     After a solid 5-hour session last night with the Halo: Reach Beta, I just gotta say, wow this is fun!  Bungie is the king of multiplayer.  So far only two maps are available, Swordbase and Powerhouse. Both of these maps work well with all of the gametypes, which include Slayer, Covie Slayer, King of the Hill, Headhunter, Capture the Flag, Juggernaut, Oddball, S.W.A.T. and Stockpile. I really didn't think I was going to enjoy Headhunter(collect skulls and take them to goal areas) or Stockpile(collect flags and take them to goal areas), but they were surprisingly a blast to play!  Each map is littered with tons of cool weapons, many of them new. Powerhouse is well-rounded with open and close-quarter areas, plus multiple tiers. Speaking of multiple tiers, Swordbase has tiers like crazy. At first it's a bit confusing, but in no time you'll be taking the flag up the lift to the 2nd story for a nice shortcut.

     I don't know how to explain the feel of the game, except that it just feels tighter. You know how H2 felt "tighter" than H3? Well it seems to be back to that. The armor abilities are a blast and I love being able to pick a different load-out each time I spawn to respond to the current situation.  The new armor lock ability is cool. You become invincible and if you hold the button down long enough, you send out an EMP blast that disables shields.  There were many times last night I would be waiting for someone's armor lock to run out so I could blast them, only to have my shields blown away and the guy run up and melee me. Whenever I pick the ability to sprint, I'm loving it. Halo has needed some sprinting for a while, and while it's unfortunate that it is an armor ability instead of just a default move, it's still really cool. You jump further and smack harder when you are sprinting. The jetpacks are fun to use as well and in some gametypes seems almost necessary to get to where you need to be quickly. I tried flying up out of the level onto a ledge and despite Bungie saying you could leave the field of play, I was was stopped by the dreaded invisible walls. That would be the only minor gripe I have about it so far, which is nothing when outshone by the awesomeness of this game.

     More info to come as the Beta continues!

Community Blog

Crimson Relic

Activision Becomes Bungie's New Publisher

By: Crimson Relic Apr 29, 2010 | 1 Comments

Who could have seen this coming?

     Early this morning, Halo developer Bungie announced on their website that they are entering into a 10-year partnership agreement with Publisher/Developer Activision.

"Today, we’re poised to open a new chapter in Bungie’s history—one that begins with a partnership between Bungie and Activision and ends where we always knew it would, with World Domination. Our Next Big Thing now has a concrete path, leading from our studio to the platforms of our choosing. The business formalities are behind us. Our Constitution remains unchanged. We are still Bungie, still independent, and now we are free to bring our stories to an ever bigger audience."

     Thomas Tippl, Chief Operating Officer of Activision Blizzard stated this about the partnership:

Bungie is one of the premier studios in our industry and we are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to work with their talented team over the next decade,” stated Thomas Tippl, Chief Operating Officer of Activision Blizzard. “Bungie has developed some of the most compelling and successful games, multiplayer experiences and thriving fan communities, and this alliance underscores our long-standing commitment to foster the industry’s best creative talent. Our unprecedented partnership with Bungie will enable us to broaden our pipeline of exciting new games as we continue to strengthen our industry position and pursue long-term growth opportunities.

     With what happened between Activision and Modern Warfare developer Infinity Ward earlier this month, it will be interesting to see just how freely Bungie will be able to create the games they want to make. I will be happy to see Bungie finally get to make a game other than Halo and also have the opportunity to make games on other consoles. This union will shape the future of what we see from Bungie after Halo: Reach later this year.

    

Blog

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Bungie's Halo Forgetacular Contest now open

By: BatRastered Oct 14, 2010 | 13 Comments

Create your maps by Nov 28th!

Submit a map and if it's good enough, we may see it in matchmaking soon!

"Bungie's Forgetacular contest is now officially underway! Put your skills to the test, utilizing the Forge -- Halo: Reach's powerful, in-game map editor -- to earn a rightful place among the greatest Community Cartographers of all time and win one of seven Limited Edition Halo: Reach Xbox 360 consoles. Further, any and all awesome maps that meet the Bungie quality bar will be slated for integration into Xbox LIVE Matchmaking for millions of players to enjoy."

Check out the contest details here.

Bungie looking for beta testers doesn't say exactly what for, but who knows what the future holds for Bungie and Activision. You better sign up Jimmy.

Bungietweets just dropped this "bombshell" out of nowhere. Personally I don't know what title it could be for. They haven't even announced anything. Maybe it's for future Halo Reach map packs or gametypes. Or maybe it's that new MMO they're working on with Activision (officially unannounced.) Anyway here's the tweet and here's the link to the page with the instructions to make sure you are signed up for Bungie's next beta test. Thanks for reading. Don't be a Jimmy.

Community Blog

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1st Halo Reach DLC announced

By: akskiller Oct 14, 2010 | 6 Comments

Three new maps to own in Halo Reach!

Noble Map Pack  is what Bungie is calling its first DLC for Halo Reach. It will include 3 maps, Anchor 9, Tempest, and Breakpoint.

Anchor 9

Anchor 9 allows 2-8 Players to face off in game variants including Free for All, Team Slayer and Team Objective.

Tempest

Tempest supports 8 – 16 Players and offers a variety of modes including Free for All, Team Slayer, Team Objective and Big Team Battle. Tempest also provides players with a huge Forge palette, allowing them to create new custom map variants that can be shared with the community-at-large.

Breakpoint

Breakpoint offers multiplayer mayhem for 8-16 Players, and supports the Invasion and Big Team Battle game variants.


The map pack will also add new achievements a total of 250 more for you gamerscore. The Noble Map pack will be available on November 30th and will cost you 800 Microsoft Points. What do you think of the new maps?

Bungies official announcement is here

Another mid February announcement is... uh... announced. This one by Bungie, where we will hear about their new project "Destiny".

In the continuing trend of announcements of announcements, Bungie have announced that they will formally announce their new IP named "Destiny" on February 17, 2013. 

They've gone so far as to launch several new social media channels for the project:

"In a matter of days, we're going to give you your first glimpse into the vision and ambition that's driving the creation of our brave new world. To make room for the resulting chatter, we've launched some official social media channels."

Check out @DestinyTheGame on twitter and their Facebook page. You can also browse their official Destiny forums.

Don't expect too much out of those channels until the official announcement on the 17th.

Video

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Destiny ViDoc - Pathways Out of Darkness

By: BatRastered Feb 17, 2013 | 2 Comments | Updated: Feb 17, 2013

After a long period of darkness, Bungie is ready to unveil its new universe... For the first time, the team, including studio co-founder and project director Jason Jones, talks about Bungie's most ambitious project yet.

Read full story...

Video

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Destiny: The Law Of The Jungle trailer

By: BatRastered May 23, 2013 | 5 Comments

A live action + CG game footage trailer showing us a little more of Bungie's new game world.

Description: "As a Guardian of the City sets out on an epic, action-packed adventure to reclaim our Solar System, he recalls the moment when he was first taught the most important lesson of all -- The Law of the Jungle."

Note at the end it says the gameplay will finally be shown during Sony's E3 presentation on June 10th.

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