Gears of Halo

News and views about Xbox games including a lot of Halo.

Sunday, December 21

Due to the MCC screw up, 334 is saying sorry with a free Halo 3:ODST giveaway

You may have heard that the online release of the Master Chief Collection didn't go to well. 334 Industries released the multiplayer component basically 'red deathed' so much so it was almost impossible to find a decent match making game. It was a marketing  screw up and a half that came just in time for the Christmas silly season. 
334 is however crucially aware of this and the need to put things right, which they have promised to do.
Bonnie Ross said "This has been a humbling experience and highlighted how we as a studio can – and need – to do better for Xbox fans around the world.  We are so grateful to our fans who have stood by our side and we appreciate all of your patience as we worked through these issues. "
 Here's thee official word on what making it right looks like:
What content is being offered for free in connection with Halo: The Master Chief Collection?
To show our appreciation to the “Halo” community for their support and understanding as we worked through issues impacting “Halo: The Master Chief Collection”, we are offering free to all online users1 that have played “Halo: The Master Chief Collection” between Nov. 11, 2014 and Dec. 19, 2014 the following: 1-month of Xbox Live Gold, an exclusive in-game nameplate and avatar, as well as the campaign for “Halo 3: ODST” – remastered in 1080p and 60fps for Xbox One2.  Thanks to our friends at Bungie for creating the original “Halo 3: ODST” campaign.
In addition, a re-imagined version of the “Relic” multiplayer map for “Halo 2: Anniversary” will be released to all online users of “Halo: The Master Chief Collection” in a future content update2.
1Content and 1 month of Xbox Live Gold will be provided to all players of the “Halo: The Master Chief Collection” game on any day from launch on November 11, 2014 through December 19, 2014 at 11:59 pm PST (all Gamertags that have logged activity in the game via Xbox Live during this period will be eligible).  Xbox Live Gold will be delivered as early as mid-January 2015. Offer is non-transferable.
2Campaign for “Halo 3: ODST” and “Relic” multiplayer map for “Halo 2: Anniversary” to be delivered in spring of 2015. Copy of “Halo: The Master Chief Collection” required for play. 
Who is eligible for this free content?
All online users that have played “Halo: The Master Chief Collection” between Nov. 11, 2014 and Dec. 19, 20141 will be eligible for the 1-month of Xbox Live Gold, an exclusive in-game nameplate and avatar, as well as the campaign for “Halo 3: ODST.” 2
The “Relic” multiplayer map will be available to all online users of “Halo: The Master Chief Collection,” regardless of gameplay during the eligibility period. 2 
When and how will I receive this content and 1 month of Xbox Live Gold?
Beginning as early as mid-January 2015, depending on your existing Xbox Live subscription type, we will either apply the one month of Xbox Live Gold directly to your account or send a redeemable token via the Xbox One message center.  In either case, we will send a confirmation via the in-console message center, so please check it regularly.
The exclusive in-game nameplate and avatar will be available in “Halo: The Master Chief Collection” in December 2014 via an upcoming content update.  Check Halo Waypoint for further updates on release of the nameplate and avatar.
The re-mastered version of the campaign for “Halo 3: ODST” in “Halo: The Master Chief Collection” and the re-imagined “Halo 2: Anniversary” version of the “Relic” multiplayer map will be available in spring 2015. Both projects were not part of our original development plans, but as a result of community feedback, and to do something special for our fans, both are now in development.  The campaign for “Halo 3: ODST” will be delivered via a free download token for eligible players1 of “Halo: The Master Chief Collection,” and “Relic” will be included as part of a free content update for the game.
Will the in-game nameplate and avatar ever be available to additional users in the future?
No. As a thank you to our early adopters for their patience and understanding, the in-game nameplate and avatar will be exclusive to all online users that have played “Halo: The Master Chief Collection” between Nov. 11, 2014 and Dec. 19, 20141, and will not be available through any alternate means. 
Does “Halo 3: ODST” include the full game (including Firefight)?
Our focus is re-mastering the campaign from “Halo 3: ODST,” including it within “Halo: The Master Chief Collection,” and ensuring it delivers a great experience on Xbox One in 1080p and 60fps.  We do not currently have plans to include Firefight.
If I am not eligible to receive “Halo 3: ODST” for free, will I be able to purchase it from the Xbox Game Store in the future? If so, how much will it cost?
We may share more details in the future regarding the potential availability of the campaign for “Halo 3: ODST” within “Halo: The Master Chief Collection” other than as part of this offer.
If I purchased a physical copy of “Halo: The Master Chief Collection,” do I still need to have it in my possession in order to receive access to the free content?
For the free items that will be available in the near term (in-game nameplate, avatar and 1 month of Xbox Live Gold), we are able to identify eligible online players1 of “Halo: The Master Chief Collection” who qualify, including those who purchased the content by disc or digitally. You do not need the “Halo: The Master Chief Collection” disc to confirm eligibility.
For the free content that will be available later in spring 2015, however, the re-mastered version of the campaign for “Halo 3: ODST” and the re-imagined “Relic” multiplayer map will launch through “Halo: The Master Chief Collection.” So players will still need to own a copy of the game in order to access that content when it becomes available. 

Wednesday, October 22

Here's Halo 3 at 1080p! Looking good John!

Here's Halo 3 at 1080p! Looking good John!



This version of Halo 3 comes as part of the Master Chief Collection.

Watch the full length trailer for Halo: Nightfall

Here's the full length trailer for Halo: Nightfall

It's looking pretty good!

Sunday, August 31

Halo 2’s Lockout will have some changes to mix up the game play

lock out map concept art halo 2

Pax 2014 has seen some more details on Halo 2's Anniversary Edition being released.

Game Informer reports on the new Lockout map for the Halo 2 Redux:

“After breaking down the game’s sound, the panel dove into some of the multiplayer updates focusing specifically on the recently revealed Lockout. I played the game yesterday, but the game felt so familiar that I didn’t notice some of the changes, or in other cases, I just didn’t get a chance to interact with them. The corner of the ramp leading from the area with the darkened hallway up to the sniper perch, for example, has been pushed out a little bit, creating a point of cover on the way up and a new place from small skirmishes.

Other changes include the glass in the middle of the battlefield can now be broken, though it must take a significant amount of damage first. A clip of the new Lockout showed a Spartan tossing four grenades on it before it broke. Also, a handful of stalactites now hang above a few key points in the map, and they can be shot down to kill people camping on the sniper perch, for example. Using Forge, these new additions can be removed if you so choose.”

Max Hoberman, a Halo 2 alumni and an original designer said of the map “Lockout was hands-down the most popular small arena-style map in Halo 2. We’re thrilled to be bringing this fan-favorite back, and are paying close attention to the details and subtleties that made the original great while also making a couple of very careful, very calculated enhancements.”

Other changes to the new version of Halo 2 included a completely re-recorded sound track that features the return of guitar maestro.

Thursday, August 21

Bungie might be gaming's good guys but they sure were dicks to Marty O'Donnell.


You may recall that Bungie fired one of their founding fathers, Martin O'Donnell a few months back. It's never been said publicly why this was the case but as I understand it, America sort of runs on some fire-at-will law in most states so he was sacked pretty easily from his job as music composer.

Marty may have been the author of his own misfortune, I simply don't know. Marty said publicly that it was 'without cause'.

But what we do is the manner in which the firing happened shows the the big wigs that run Bungie are have employed some dick moves on Marty. They canceled his shares in the company! That's bullshit, antagonistic and probably retaliatory behaviour - and to my mind is pretty much stealing as shares are property.

Having already been awarded 95K in a separate action from Bungie, a ruling has now said that Marty must have his shares in the company back.

Venture beat reported the result of a recent arbitration process between Bungie and O'Donnell"

"The arbitrator found that O’Donnell demonstrated substantial likelihood of proving that he was one of seven founders of Bungie (which originally had the name Arete Seven LLC) and that the company gave him 1.27 million shares of class B shares in October 2007. Those shares were converted into 336,375 shares of Bungie’s Series B-1 Preferred Stock in 2010, when Activision started making a lot of noise about Destiny. He was also issued 48,000 shares of Bungie’s common stock. And in December 2010, O’Donnell signed a contract extending his employment through 2020."

The agreement held that O’Donnell would give up his unvested founders’ shares if he left voluntarily. Given he was fired, it would appear Bungie were in breach of their contract.

We do have to appreciate that while video games are cool, Bungie is there to make a profit. There could be solid commercial reasons why Bungie fired the most famous composer in gaming history. Maybe he was going tone deaf? That would make some sense at least right?

One wonders now what the REAL DEAL was with Joe Staten leaving....

Tuesday, August 12

Check out the best of the best taking on the new Halo 2 version of Sanctuary

Check this short video of the best of the best Halo players taking on the new Halo 2 version of Sanctuary:




A new Halo channel announced for Xbox One

A new Halo channel has been announced for the Xbox One - it's like a fancy Halo Waypoint.... check out the introduction video

Monday, July 28

Comparison of Halo 2 original and new cinematic trailers - it's amazing what can happen in ten years


Here's a side by side video of the trailers of the original Halo 2 game compared with the updated graphics. What Certain Affinity and 343 have pulled off is amazing. This is even more impressive than the Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary effort!




Thursday, July 24

Watch the Halo Nightfall first trailer


Halo: Nightfall has a trailer out. Doesn't reveal much - it's a hunt to find the source of something that can kill humans or something....



Halo: Nightfall will serve as an origin story for Jameson Locke - a character who will play a large part in Halo 5. So this story will serves as promotional material for H5, in the same vein as Forward Unto Dawn.

Wednesday, July 23

Is this the saddest moment that ever happened in a Halo game?

Is this the saddest moment that ever happened in a Halo game? It's the moment in Halo 4 after Cortana and 117 have dealt with the Didact and the Chief realises that despite all he went through in Halo 3 to save her from the Didact and the seven years they spent lost in space together, he is actually about to lose her.

From Halo: Escalation #8

Is this the saddest moment that ever happened in a Halo game?
It's been an honour, John.

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