Friday, May 28

Weekly Update, now with more medals....



In the Weekly Bungie Update Url waxes lyrical about how Halo Reach has come together:

Right now, as your ocular organs convert this ensemble of light and information into electro-chemical impulses, men and women of industry from all walks of life are busy building what we’ve been calling the most ambitious game in Bungie’s history. We have not been blowing smoke up your skirt. Though just about every aspect of Reach has been playable in one form or another for quite some time now, the days when months (and sometimes years) of hard work finally come to fruition right before our very eyes are upon us. Just as things started looking damn good for Playtest 5, the realization that plenty of that content was still placeholder (like the skies you saw over Boneyard in the Beta) is only now starting to sink in for me. Now is when the promise of a great game not only takes corporeal form – now is when it balls itself up into a great big fist and uppercuts your expectations straight into outer space. Bang, zoom, and all that.



For the team, that realization is born out of a maelstrom of work, work, and more hard work. In some cases for this crew, it means breakfast, lunch, and dinner inhaled at the office. It means time spent away from family and friends. It often means, for better or for worse, everything.



But it also means all that work is now paying massive dividends as yesterday’s promises become today’s reality. As new builds come in at a blistering pace, it means portions of planet Reach are now soaked in sheets of misty rain leaving exposed ground saturated while walkways under rooftops remain realistically bone dry. It means once empty rooms are now filled with vital signs of life – little touches like stoves, plants, and furnishings that help transform what was once just playable space into something much more potent and meaningful and human. It means indigenous life. It means the Covenant forces mercilessly fighting for purchase on the planet are more vicious and cunning than ever before. It means, ultimately, that as more and more polish gets liberally applied and the game moves into its final stretch of development, more and more facets are beginning to take on the finish and shine expected of a brilliant and beautiful gemstone.


About the only bit of real game news in the update was pictures of these medals that I've interspersed throughout the post. They are pretty rad!

“So the medals in our older games felt a bit cheerful, colorful, and clean for the tone of Reach. I figured since the graphics in Reach got a facelift, I’d take a whack at giving the medals an update as well. I ended up working with Andy and Kayl, two of our contract 3D artists here to come up with some realistic interpretations of my original medal designs. Here’s a few – just to whet the appetite of the fans and incite rampant speculation in the forums. :)" - Bungie's Dave Candland

Thursday, May 27

Dinobots in Transformers? We Wants!

We'll tell YOU about Petro Rabbits...

Josh Duhamel, who played Captain William Lennox in the first two Transformers movies, confirmed that his next movie will be Transformers 3.

He said he just read the script and was impressed by how it deepens the mythology of the universe. When asked whether this meant Dinobots would be in the third movie, he said he couldn't answer that question.”

WTF does that mean? If I was a glass was half empty kind of guy, I’d suggest Josh Dummel was illiterate. If I was a glass was half full kind of guy, I’d suggest Josh as been sworn to secrecy that the Dinobots will be in Transformers 3.

Man, just to have one of them (Read: Grimlock or nothing) would be awesome. The spectacle of Grimlock taking on Megatron or eating Starscream would just be fantastic movie fun.

We don’t need a convoluted plot to have the Autobots in dinosaur form, just have them in the movie!

Things could be slightly grim for a Dinobots appearance thought. Micheal Bay apparently said "They've never been discussed [for inclusion]" stated Bay. "I don't like them. Actually, I hate them." I call bollocks and if he said such a thing, it would be a deliberate step at misinformation.

I asked my good buddy Optimus Prime if he knew of Bay’s plans and he said he hadn’t talked to Grimlock since the dingo dino ate his petro rabbit last Easter so had no idea if Grimlock had been cast.

Extra for Experts: After the mess of a plot that was the second TF movie, here’s my take on what the plot of Transformers 3 should involve. Listen to the fans Micheal Bay, we’re smarter than you and have better hair.

Orignally published as: Dinobots in Transformers? We Wants!

Tuesday, May 25

Bungie's The Good, The Bad-ass and the Ugly

Bungie know their Clint Eastward movies. While the Spartans and Elite in this vidoc are not necessarily as good (or as bad) as The Man with No Name in the famous western trilogy, they do get up to some enterprising stuff... I love the jet pack save from a crashing Banshee...



You may have noticed the Halo Reach release date at the end of the video - September 14 baby!

Beta Stats and Tweaks


Here's a sweet interview with Bungie's Brian Jarrard from IGN which is kind of a post mortem on the fantastic Halo Reach beta. There's some great stats in there and some noted changes to the mechanics of Halo Reach's mulitplayer (and presumable campaign itself) as a result of the testing.

Here's the first page of the interview, full article here.

The Halo: Reach beta has closed, but the work is not done for Bungie. Now comes the task of fine tuning the game in preparation for the final product, hitting store shelves on September 14. I was able to track down Brian Jarrard, community director for Bungie, to chat about what the team learned from the beta and what sorts of crazy stats have been pulled.

IGN: Were you able to get all of the info and data you needed from the beta? How long will it take to fully analyze the feedback?

Brian Jarrard: Our team received a staggering amount of info and data thanks to the support and participation by our community. More than 2.7 million unique participants logged more than 16 million hours testing Reach and it will absolutely result in a better final game experience this September.

Thankfully a large component of the feedback we needed was in the form of networking stats and game data uploads which our team is able to process and digest fairly automatically on the back-end. There's still a ton of data to sift through but a lot of that can be handled with systems and queries that our engineers have constructed. That data was being analyzed daily as it came in and to some degree is still being evaluated by individuals on the team.

Player feedback was generally more difficult to analyze simply due to the volume and types of input being provided. The Bungie.net beta forum alone had more than 360,000 forum posts during the Beta and that doesn't include all the feedback coming in through other channels. Our team spent a lot of time wading through these posts and comments to try and filter out consistent key issues or takeaways. That's easier said than done when you have such an outspoken and passionate community. For every person who wrote a full page about something they absolutely hated, another person wrote a full page describing why they loved that same thing. At this point I think the majority of that feedback has been sifted, sorted, processed and disseminated to the appropriate people on the team and a lot of it has in fact influenced tweaks to the final game.

Monday, May 24

Halo Reach Release Date Revealed

Finally, it has been confirmed by Bungie that the release date for Halo: Reach will be September 14th on 2010.

Fans who were perhaps a little disappointed by the Halo 3: ODST game have been keenly waiting for Halo Reach ever since it was announced a year or so ago.

Reach is set on the planet Reach and features the campaign of Noble Team as they tackle the threat of the Covenant who are glassing the planet.

Reach will have all kinds of new awesome features including, sprint mode for Spartans and jet packs to fly around in. There are new kinds of multiplayer variants as well.

As made famous in Halo 3, a revised Forge returns along with the now standard ability to record your games and take pictures etc. ODST's successful Firefight mode will also return.

Expect many great innovations from Bungie for this game, they've thrown their own kitchen sink into this baby for us, the Halo fans to enjoy! I'll see you in line!

Official Release Date Press Release

Order your copy of Reach today through Amazon:

Biggest Blockbuster Game of the Year 'Halo: Reach' Launches Sept. 14, 2010


Here's the official press release from Microsoft about the launch date of Halo: Reach

Biggest Blockbuster Game of the Year 'Halo: Reach' Launches Sept. 14, 2010




More than 2.7 million players make history with record-shattering demand for the "Halo: Reach" multiplayer beta.



REDMOND, Wash., May 24, 2010 - The most anticipated game of the year is making its worldwide debut this September. "Halo: Reach," the blockbuster prequel to the best-selling video game franchise and hailed as the No. 1 game series of all time,(1) will leave its mark on the entertainment landscape when it launches worldwide, starting Sept. 14, 2010, and in Japan on Sept. 15.



Developed exclusively for Xbox 360 by acclaimed studio Bungie, "Halo: Reach" drops players back into the iconic universe they love so they can experience the birth of the "Halo" legend. During the past 10 years, the "Halo" franchise has inspired multiple New York Times best-selling novels, comic books, action figures, apparel and more, and it has sold more than 34 million games worldwide to date.

"'Halo: Reach' is the culmination of a decade of 'Halo,' a franchise that has become a global entertainment and pop-culture touchstone," said Phil Spencer, corporate vice president of Microsoft Game Studios at Microsoft Corp. "Just as 'Halo: Combat Evolved' catalyzed the success of the original Xbox to define a decade of entertainment, 'Halo: Reach' will push the boundaries for what's possible in video games and help make 2010 the biggest year in Xbox history."



"There's no doubt in my mind that 'Halo: Reach' will be one of the biggest games and hottest entertainment products of the year," said Bob McKenzie, senior vice president of merchandising at GameStop. "Pre-orders for 'Halo: Reach' have been off the charts, with fans snapping up the limited and legendary editions since they were introduced just a month ago. Overall, it's a real testament to the passion of the 'Halo' fan base."



Consumers Help Make History With Record-Breaking "Halo: Reach" Beta



As a testament to the anticipation for its release, more than 2.7 million "Halo" fans helped make entertainment history this month by participating in the "Halo: Reach" multiplayer beta on Xbox LIVE, making it the largest console video game beta test on record and more than triple the size of the "Halo 3" beta. Players completed more than 13 million online games and logged over 16 million hours of online gameplay, amounting to over 1,826 years of total play time in just over a two-week period. The data and user feedback gathered from the beta will help Bungie and Microsoft further refine the game and deliver a blockbuster experience that fans have come to expect from the "Halo" franchise.

"Halo: Reach" follows the story of Noble Team, a squad of heroic Spartan soldiers as they make their final stand on planet Reach, humanity's last line of defense between the terrifying Covenant and Earth. Representing the best-in-class multiplayer elements that have become the hallmark of the "Halo" series, "Halo: Reach" offers the most action-packed multiplayer experience yet on Xbox LIVE. The "Halo: Reach" experience is completed with an intense campaign, an unparalleled suite of features and stunning new visuals powered by groundbreaking new technology.



"Halo: Reach" represents an enormous evolution for the genre-defining "Halo" games, and is testament to Bungie's 10 years of experience crafting amazing experiences. During the past decade, "Halo" fans have demonstrated their commitment to the franchise by logging more than 2 billion hours of gameplay on Xbox LIVE, sharing millions of pieces of user-generated content, creating original "Halo" machinima series and even holding "Halo" themed weddings.



"Halo: Reach" is available for preorder in standard, limited and legendary editions at participating retailers worldwide. The standard edition has an estimated retail price of $59.99 (U.S.), and the limited and legendary editions of the game will retail for $79.99 and $149.99 (U.S.), respectively. The limited and legendary editions of "Halo: Reach" are packed with extras that fans won't want to miss. The centerpiece of the legendary edition is a 10-inch-tall, hand-painted and individually molded Noble Team statue crafted by the expert artisans at McFarlane Toys. As a special bonus, fans can receive a token to unlock an exclusive in-game Spartan Recon Helmet, by picking up a copy of the game on launch day at North American retail stores, and outside of North America by making a pre-order reservation at participating retailers.

(1) According to a recent reader poll by Guinness World Records.



SOURCE Microsoft Corp.

Saturday, May 22

Bungie Aerospace: per audacia ad astra

Update: Aerospace is a publisher for independent game studios

Bungie Aerospace: per audacia ad astra

If you visit this recently live website: www.bungieaerospace.com you will find the following message:


So, as we wondered a while back about Bungie Aerospace - what does it mean? Is it the new game that Bungie will make after the release of Halo Reach? It must be a big deal as Bungie have applied for Aerospace to be a Trademark!

Note the wording: per audacia ad astra

The "ad astra' component of this motto is probably the key to its meaning here. It's often used as part of an expression that refers to getting to the stars. Good old wikipedia tells us that Ad astra is a Latin phrase that apparently originated by Virgil, who wrote sic itur ad astra - "thus you shall go to the stars"
As far as I can figure out Audacia is defined as: boldness, dash, daring, audacity. 
So if one was put the two meanings together you can translate "per audacia ad astra" as "boldly going into space" Which is an effective reference to a bloody Star Trek quote that Captain Kirk uttered in nearly every episode that aired: 


"Space... the Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life and new civilizations; to boldly go where no man has gone before."

Nice one Bungie!

Friday, May 21

Switching Gears and Squashing Bugs!

Marcus Lehto made a sweet post on Noble Actual letting us hardcore fans know whereabouts Bungie is in the development of the Reach game itself:

"This week ends the last week of polish for content in the game. At midnight tonight, the artists are shifting into hard core bug fixing mode from here on out until we hit ZBR (zero bug release). While content artists are bug fixing and engineering is optimizing for performance, the designers will be hard at work finalizing all the encounters throughout the campaign.

There are many tired eyes due to very late nights for everyone here. It’s often hard for developers to switch gears from cramming as much time as they can into polishing content for the game to closing the game out. It’s my job, as well as all the other leads here, to pull these people back to see the amazing game we have created together and make sure they fix all the bugs that really matter for the game to be as high a quality product as possible.

-Marcus"

Go on lads, squash those bugs till they are dead and then squish them some more. We wouldn't want any in game exploits, would we? Would we?

Thursday, May 20

The Beta is now officially over

The Beta is now officially over. Here's a msg from B.net

"We mentioned it yesterday, but it bears repeating. The Beta is officially over, but our test team is leaving the servers up and running so they can run some horrible, inhumane experiments on live subjects. If you're still in the mix, you should anticipate some pain and suffering.
Stuff like:

Unpredictable gameplay behavior!

Long and unsuccessful Matchmaking times!

Unceremonious disconnects from the Beta!"

I feel kinda like Elliot must have felt when ET's friends came back for him and took him away.....

I am smelling like a rose....


From XBL:

"Scott Weiland, vocalist and frontman of popular band Stone Temple Pilots, will visit Xbox LIVE® to play Gold Members in Halo® 3. If you're a Gold Member (if you're not a Member, upgrade now!) join us Tuesday, June 1, starting at 7:00 P.M. ET and meet this legendary member of STP and Velvet Revolver
.
Send a friend request to the following gamertag and be online half an hour before (6:30 P.M. ET) the Game with Fame session starts - StoneTemple GwF"

Jimmy Jangles is a bit of a fan of STP and has created a lyric site for the new STP self titled album... check out the lyrics to Cinammon if you're interested!
 
Check out the new album on Amazon, where several tracks are streaming:

Tuesday, May 18

Would you tea bag an Armour Locked Spartan?

Would you tea bag an Armour Locked Spartan? I wouldn't personally try it. But hey, different strokes for different Spartans right?

For a slightly different perspective however, The dudes who know about Teabagging and its prevention have written a sweet article on using the armour abilities of the Halo Reach Beta. You thought my post on armour lock use was awesome? This is nearly as good ;)

Like Jules Winfield might ask, "Example?"




Jet Packs Tips FTW!

A means for travel, a means of killing... a Jetpack can be your greatest ally... or the means of watching your body fall hundreds of feet to the ground to its sudden, unexpected and 8-10 second penaltied death.

WHEN NOT TO USE THEM

  • Well, the only time when it's pointless to use them is when you're already too late. Remember that the Jetpack takes a little bit of time to work at full power. If that grenade is already at your feet, you're already dead. Should've used the shield.
  • When there are at least two other guys in Jet packs in the air with you.
  • When you're getting out of a fight where people are obviously all shooting at you. You don't become invisible, you actually just become slower and higher, and therefore easier to shoot. Spartans aren't blind after 10 feet of elevation and neither are Elites.
  • When they are low on charge. Nothing's more embarrassing than trying to get somewhere you can't and being killed because of it. Remember to basically act and play like you did in Halo 3. Use your abilities only when needed like the Rocketeer would. If you use any of these abilities as a crutch, you're doing it wrong. Use them when you can and don't rely on them, but use them as a bonus.
  • When someone else with a Jetpack is right behind you. Nothing is more embarrassing (or freaking AWESOME) than an air assassination.
WHEN TO USE THEM
  • At the beginning of the game, when plenty of ground matches are being started.
  • When nobody is around, to get closer to the action and then throw grenades at it.
  • When everybody is shooting each other and not you, and you're low on health.
  • When at a high elevation that you feel you can cover some extra ground because of, as that will allow you to get closer to the action faster and in a way that allows you get the UPPER hand. UPPER hand. See what we... no? Okay.
  • When evading someone with a shotgun or gravity hammer. 
  • When you're in a ground fight with someone that doesn't have a shotgun and they are reloading. Shooting them (and finishing them off) from the air will disorient them JUST enough so that you can ensure a kill.
  • When you're losing and completely bored and just want to remember what it was like to first buy an XBox360 and be playing games like Armored Core.

Hmm, imagine what Jules' speech might be as he was about to slaughter a spartan. Would it be as good as his '"and you will know my name quote?"

Extra for Experts:

Saturday, May 15

Optimus Prime is turning up in the Halo Reach campaign?

If Lost Planet 2 can have Dom and Marcus from Gears of War turn up for a cameo role, it's no surprise that Optimus Prime is turning up in the Halo Reach campaign. Don't believe me? Here's the proof. 

Concept Art for his appearance in Reach:


Or, it just could be an awesome piece of forge. 

Want to know more about Optimus Prime? Check out my personal blog, The Optimus Prime Experiment and Prime's 101 Tips for Life

Thursday, May 13

Elites spawn with AR on Invasion

So I was playing as an Elite on Invasion game type and the entire team spawned with Assault Rifles. It was the oddest glitch. I was so confused that I got pwned by a Spartan that had jumped of the ship. For a split second I thought the green bastard was on my team!


Something sure got screwed up cause the Bnet stats are unavailable. Does that mean our shut out didn't get recorded? Woot!

Wednesday, May 12

A single melee hit still takes down a player’s shield


A Halo fiend called Shake Appeal has written the best guide on how to play the Reach beta I've seen. I mean like its Beta than Cody Miller's even! Or my guide on armor lock!

Here's a taste:

'A single melee hit still takes down a player’s shield, but that is all it will do, regardless of whether the shield was full or significantly weakened. Read that last sentence over before proceeding. Got it? Okay. In Halo 3, you could charge an opponent with your Assault Rifle (AR) and deliver a closing melee that punched through their remaining shield with enough force left over to kill. In Halo: Reach, even the tiniest sliver of shield will absorb that first blow. Think of it this way: if your opponent has any shield at all, it will always take two melee hits to beat them down. If this guide was a textbook and I was your teacher, I’d be asking you to underline this whole paragraph.'

That's fucking gold right there. Shake Appeal has the midas touch - here's the full guide. 

Dude, is this your sister?


It sure looks like her! Forge me bro! You sister is really popular dude, She's had like 1450819 downloads from Bungie.net alone. Is is true you gave her the blue bikini for Christmas? Phew, I know what I want for Christmas! Hey, whaddaya mean your sister is off limits? What? The Chief called dibs?!

Tuesday, May 11

There is no spoon

K, this is a blatant borrow from Grunts R Us, because lets face it, they do all the work so I can simply copy and paste eh?



Grunts R Us reportsA glitch in the Halo Reach Beta caused some of the yet-to-be-revealed armor permutations. Among the ones returning are the Mark VI, CQB, EOD, and ODST. Also seen were the helmets and armor of Noble Team (although we don’t know if those will be in multiplayer). As you might expect, all this could change come fall, but it looks promising."
I personally think it was simply the Matrix being reset. Move along Neo, take the blue pill, nothing to see here. There is no spoon. 
The ODST helmet and a variation on the Mark VI helmet
The ODST helmet and EOD helmet
The CQB helmet
The armor can be seen by watching this saved film clip in theater mode.
Photo credit goes to Bun7gie

This is Halo


This picture from the Reach Beta was featured on Bungie.net today - and you can see why - it's a classic Halo pose, reminiscent of the colours on the cover of Halo 2. It evokes everything about Halo, especially the Master Chief - not that it's that guy - but none the less, his essence is totally there.

This is Halo.

Monday, May 10

Has armour* lock saved your life?


I spied a great post at Tied the Leader which was all excited about the Halo Reach Beta, and rightly so, it's life fucking Christmas in May or getting with your best mate's hot sister. One comment stood out at the end of the article about the Armour Lock ability:

“Be sure to use your Armour Lock wisely. You can actually spam the button to go in and out of Armour Lock repeatedly, as a way of throwing off the timing of whoever is nearby. And Armour Lock will usually save your life, even if your opponent is waiting for it to wear off, your teammates might come in and distract him, leaving you free to go back to fighting.”

Art Director, TT L Burritoh

Well, TT L Burritoh, you hit the needler crystal on the head. I've found judicious use of armour lock can indeed save your life. Team mates do rescue you, and at the very least it's a chance for your shields to regenerate. 

Also, against noobs you stand a good chance of at least getting back in the game. That said, the pros will stand back and lob a well timed grenade to finish you off if possible, hence Burritoh's suggestion to jiggle your entry into lock mode. 

What's been your experience with Armour lock? Anything to add? It's better than the Elite evade roll right? 

*Fuck you American spelling system, armour has a u!

Friday, May 7

Fixed for Fall

No doubt Bungie's forums and inboxes are awash with the venom and spew of people grumpy that the Beta is not 100 percent A grade Halo game play. Bungie has heard the chorus and reacted. As if they wouldn't...


Here's what they have already determined to fix, after only 3 days of the Beta being in operation.
The Fix is In
Soon after launch, the always polite Netizens from around the globe made their way into our feedback forum to kindly remark on their initial experiences and realistic expectations. At first, it was quite difficult for us to fish out any criticisms amidst the Sea of Encouraging Compliments, but we rolled up our pant legs, waded deep into the heartwarming swell of kind words, and finally found some stuff that we we've already addressed or were already planning on addressing for the retail release.

We should start off by making it very clear that Halo: Reach is 
not Halo 3. There are some distinct and fundamental differences that you’ll definitely need to account for, both straight out of the gate and over the long haul. These are differences you shouldn’t expect to see changed. They are, as we say, by design.

That said, here’s of quick rundown of some, but not all, of the things that we will likely change from the beta to the finished product. Of course, I’ve gotta roll out the always necessary caveat here. 
Stuff can and will change from now until ship.

The list below presents the current plan of attack, but it may not represent what you’ll experience in the finished product. We reserve the right to make whatever changes we deem necessary. Because we are the boss of Reach. If anything dramatic goes down from now until then, we'll make sure to clue you in.

Death by Stereo
Here at Bungie, we love us some Steitzer. The man’s a living legend in his own right – a sonorous savant. But truth be told, even we’re well past annoyed by the overwhelming rapid fire regurgitation of, “Flag taken...flag dropped” that can plague certain games where going clutch on the skilled juggling front is the order of the day. Same goes for all the other objectified oral mutterings. Once is enough for most cases, thank you very much.

It’s already been fixed for fall.


Classic War quotes rewritten from the Halo perspective

normandy-invasion-troops-boat
Normandy Invasion
Wars are horrible beasts. They bring out the worst in mankind, yet also the best. At times, the Leaders of Men and Women make great, inspirational speeches.

I was playing the Reach Beta's Invasion game type and when we won, some voice over guy told us we Spartans did a great job... I thought I'd heard better rallying speeches. So looked some up. I stumbled across a speech by General Dwight D. Eisenhower and on a whim, gave it a Halo spin:

"You will bring about the destruction of the Covenant war machine, the elimination of the Prophet's tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Earth and beyond, and security for ourselves in a free galaxy. Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped, and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely....The free men of the galaxy are marching together to victory. I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty, and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory. Good luck, and let us all beseech the blessings of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking."

Originally spoken by General Dwight D. Eisenhower giving the D-Day order on June 6, 1944.

What about some more Halo war quotes?

"Spartans, Lead The Way!"

Originally said by Colonel Francis W. Dawson on the occasion of the Normandy Invasion, 1944

"We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in The Library,
we shall fight on the Delta Halo,
we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Silent Cartographer, whatever the cost may be,
we shall fight on the beaches,
we shall fight on the landing zones,
we shall fight in the fields and in the streets of Mombassa,
we shall fight in the Bloody Gulches;
we shall never surrender!"

That was a cut from Winston Churchill's most famous rallying cry known as the 'We shall fight them on the beaches' speech.

Your enemy is well trained, well equipped, and battle-hardened.


The Invasion playlist is now available for inspection via the Halo Reach Beta. It's set on the Boneyard map which appears to be the biggest Halo Map ever.

You mission as a Spartan is to defend 'the core'  if you are the attacking Elite, you are trying to capture it. It's like an epic Capture the Flag but with a better story and lots of guns.

And tanks. Tanks beat everything eh? I got a overkill and a killing frenzy in a tank where the elites had the core just below the steps to their goal. It was absolutely thrilling to drive the tank in at a fast crawl and annihilate the Elites and stall their charge long enough for a Spartan victory.

Invasion is going to be a useful asset for the Halo franchise, I cant.hardly.wait to see what other tricks Bungie have in store for us!

Extra:

Teabag Prevention has some advice on using Reach weapons:

Plasma Repeater



This one's pretty basic. As you may or may not know, the Plasma Repeater predates the Plasma Rifle we all grew to use in Halos 1, 2 and 3. The trick to using this weapon is to fire it in bursts. Much like the Assault Rifles in the past Halos, as well as Reach, this weapon becomes less accurate the longer it fires. The other downside is the fact that it overheats. Hold X to prevent the Plasma Repeater from overheating.

Wednesday, May 5

The visual design is just plain boring

Thank goodness some one else agrees with me Sword base is dull. Wired has 5 rants about the Beta.....

'5) “Sword Base” map is ugly

The Reach beta has two maps. “Powerhouse,” a wide outdoor arena that is both visually pleasing and easy to navigate, is excellent. The indoor “Sword Base” is not. Its big problem isn’t that it’s hard to get around — that goes away as you get more familiar with the layout.

The real problem is that the visual design is just plain boring. There are few distinguishing features between the different rooms, and the dominant color scheme is a flat gray. There’s nothing wrong with it from a gameplay perspective; it’s just dull.'

Dull. That's the word I used and I stand by it. Even after several more rounds on the map tonight. DULL!

For some reason it reminds me of how Duke Nukem 3D possibly may have looked if it had come out on the Xbox instead of the PC like what, 15 years ago? Man that was the best game ever! If that guy Jeff that does the Halo voice over ever dies, they should call Duke in and get him say "Let god sort 'em' out every time one gets a double kill....

Want a free Reach Beta Code?

So like I own ODST so have access to the Beta that way (here's my review)  - so now that Microsoft has kindly sent me a reach beta entry code because of my loyal service as a Halo 2 player, I have a spare code which I'm very will to share.

Here's the deal - leave a comment in this post saying why you KNOW Halo: Reach is going to be the best Halo game eva. THEN you must also follow Halo Reach Game News on Twitter or join the Facebook page.

Simple as that eh?

I'll run this till some time late tm. Those who send beer will get preferential selection bestowed apon them!! Sob stories will also be entered into...

Update: I gave the code to Anonymous. Congrats and good game dude!

Tuesday, May 4

JJ Briefly Reviews the Beta before he rests his weary eyes.

Let's call this one blowback!
So the Halo Reach Beta. I got a double kill on my first action in my first game. I threw a grenade at the first thing I saw and GNOP! I think I stole a kill or two!* Not that I intended to throw a grenade mind you, I was just pressing buttons like willy on his nilly. None the less a double kill is a double kill and I thought to myself, "Woah Reach is gonna be easy".

Were it so easy.

As you probably did, I played a few games wondering what the how the hell all these new fangled Halo weapons worked, getting as good as I gave. That Powerhouse is an instant Halo map classic. Swordbase? OMG, that's what Bungie want us to test on? It's dull and does not inspire.

I played sic games of team slayer and game out evens, and had a true blast. However playing Lonewolves style on Swordbase chasing Mr Ghost Rider's head left right and centre was pretty darn fun too. Skullfuck for the win!

Gameplay wise it felt like Halo, the new weapons will in time become kind of fun I expect, I really enjoyed the DMR.

The new default layout was annoying so I tried Recon setting, it could be quite a good un.

The medals were lots of fun - a headshot a sprinter and got a reward. I'll take that thanks!

You can check out the Global Stats here. Over one million players served today!

If you want some game play tips, check out Cody Milllers.

So, Beta fans, has it lived up to your expectations? Where have Bungie hit the mark? And where not!?

* It was only my second game in I heard some guy whining about 'stole my kill' Team slayer is a team game, suck it up fat boy!

Monday, May 3

Imagine if your cell phone tried to take a million phone calls at once?

Imagine if your cell phone tried to take a million phone calls at once?

That's what's happening with the servers that are serving us the wonderous gift of Halo Reach Beta. Alas, its an onslaught of pain. Bugnie's onto and have posted this to help you find matchmaking games:

Some quick tips to shorten your wait.


 

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So, yup some stuff is on fire here at the office and if the forums are any indication, we were totally unprepared, don't care about our real fans, and should totally give everyone their zero dollars back with a side of free Xbox LIVE. While none of that's the case, our test team just broke away from an epic struggle with some molten server metal and 600,000 players to deliver us some quick tips to help you get games going a little bit faster.

 
  • Don't restart your search, even if load times are long. The initial load for map and game type will take a really long time, which is super lame, but once you've made the connection, the files will be cached to your hard drive and the next time you load to same map/game type, it should be nice and fast.
  • Don't reboot or reload the beta. It won't help and it will actually clear your cache, making your wait times much longer.
  • Don't leave your party. Since everybody in the party has to load the same files, your wait is tied to other player's download process as well. Stick with the same crew and things should iron out.

 
Rest assured that we're working on the issues and as soon as things start to smooth out, we'll let you know. Thanks for your patience.

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In other words, QUIT YOUR BITCHIN', SOLDIER!!!

Sunday, May 2

Cody Miller's Reach Beta Game Play Tips

Pew, Pew, Pew!

If I had to name a famous Halo player, it's always gonna be Cody Miller. Here's his Reach Beta Game Play Tips that he posted to HBO to help you decide which weapon or custom armour ability to use and how to do so.

Reach Weapon Game Play Tips:

Pistol:

The pistol is going to be your new best friend. It's usable at all but the most extreme long range, and much more powerful than the AR. Like the DMR 4 shots and a headshot will kill. 8 body shots will kill, which is coincidentally a full clip. This gives you a little leeway - if you miss a shot you can still snag a kill before reloading if you get a headshot.

The key to getting comfortable with the pistol is to learn how to deal with the reticle bloom and recoil. The closer you are, the less you need to worry about both, so try to get a feel for how much delay you need to add at any given distance to get the accuracy you need. At close range, you can fire wildly, while at mid to long range you need to add a delay to keep putting shots on.

DMR:

The DMR is similar to the pistol, and is not as effective at close range, but better for mid to long range combat. Like the pistol, it's best to get a feel for how much accuracy you need at any given distance. I've found the best thing to do is to squeeze off 4 body shots as quickly as possible, then take a moment to line up the headshot. Take a breath in, then pop it off. It's important to make every shot count, so wildly firing may do more harm than good.

AR:

Don't use this. There isn't really a situation where it's going to better than a pistol in my experience.

Needle Rifle:

This weapon can headshot. Try combining it with the plasma pistol in Covie Slayer. Does not fire as fast as the DMR, but has less reticle bloom.

Plasma Launcher:

It's best not to launch more than one grenade since one is all it takes to kill.

Rocket Launcher:

Pairs great with the jetpack. Rain down terror from above.

Focus Beam:

Also works well with the jetpack. This weapon is not as effective at close range.

Armour Abilities:

Sprint:

Sprint is really good. Try using it to escape from combat situations when you health is low, or try using it to get in position for assassinations. It works great for running down flag carriers. Try sprinting in close and being aggressive with melees, as this can be hard for a player with the DMR or pistol to deal with.

Jetpack:

The jetpack is good for getting power weapons when you co-ordinate with your team. It's best not to use out in the open, as you will be picked off easily by good DMR and pistol players.

Lockdown:


If you are stuck, activate lockdown and you will not die. Very useful if you are about to die and have teammates nearby, and works very when used on top of objective items to delay teams from picking them up.

Camoflague:

I should use this more often than I do, but I always seem to get assassinated by someone who is cloaked near an objective item.

Evade (Elites only):

You can evade in any direction. if you have the sword, evade towards you opponent to get in close enough to lunge. Very hard to defeat without a shotgun.