Gears of Halo - Video game reviews, news and cosplay

Halo and Destiny - news and reviews.

Tuesday, August 31

Sunday, August 29

Halo Reach Soundtrack

As you would expect, given how hungry Halo fan's are for Marty and Matt's music, Halo Reach has it's own sound track available for sale on Amazon.

Amusingly Amazon's product description says; "Halo Reach is the story of Noble Team, a squad of heroic Spartan soldiers, and their final stand on the planet Reach, humanity's last line of defense between the terrifying Covenant and Earth." and makes no reference to the music. I guess it's supposed to speak for itself?

Buy it from Amazon here.

Thursday, August 26

Frankie Says Play Soccer for Upkeep of General Fitness

Microsoft's Frankie talks about the Master Chief and his appearance in future Halo products such as the Fall of Reach comic... its a nice lil fluff piece - but the what it does give me is confidence in the future of Halo, cos Frankie is just awesome!

Unlock some emblems....


Some news from Bungie on the Flair....

If you missed the news in the Weekly Update, (scroll down to the section with the orange block of game UI), players of classic Bungie games get a head start on making their Reach lobby appearance shiny by unlocking some special nameplate images. 

Two of these need a few extra clicks on your part to become active, so we're letting you get started now - Halo 1 for PC/Mac, and Marathon 2: Durandal for XBLA. To unlock these emblems:

1. Make sure you're signed in to with the account that's linked to the gamertag you want to tie your Halo PC key to. If you tie it to one account, but only played Halo 2 and 3 on a different account, we CAN NOT help you combine them later to get the emblem for playing all 3. Choose wisely! Obviously, this also has to be the gamertag you'll play Reach with.

2. Visit your account page , then click the Game Settings tab, then the Nameplate Settings link below that.

3. Follow the instruction there to unlock your stuff! 

4. Wait an agonizingly long 20 days until 9/14 when you get Reach and play it online

5. Return to the same Nameplate Settings page , where you'll be shown all the nameplates available to you, and you can choose one to use. Return there whenever you feel like changing things up

Wednesday, August 25

Why is he acting so casual?

Gamestop asked if I could promote this Red Vs Blue video. I had nothing better to do so...

Basically the premise is if you order the Reach game from Gamestop, say by stopping in, you get a piece of customizable Armour for your Spartan.


So like true Reach spoilers and game reviews and the like are totally all over the net. I'm fearful of just turning on Twitter at the moment. I'm not gonna be posting any of those giveaways. HBO does have some links if you want, just tread carefully!

Got Reach ordered yet?

Pre order your copy of Halo: Reach online with Amazon. It’s simple as – clicking on this link and buying it. Of course you are only buying Reach early, not getting it early! ;) Now, go and grab the credit card!

 Heck why don't you get the limited edition Halo Xbox while you're at it!


But wait! There's much much more!!

Get Your Amazon pre-order links for the Wireless Reach Controller and the Wireless Reach Headset. Both these items are out on August 17 just prior to the actual game release. The controller comes with a code for a Banshee avatar for Xbox LIVE! Get on it!! Also remember there's that flash new Xbox Console that's Reach themed too!


I couldn't help but notice that Amazon is selling a Limited Edition Game Guide for Halo Reach.

There's no reviews or anything yet as it's not released until September 3 but it's officially licensed so you can be sure it has the inside running from Bungie and Microsoft on all the game play details you need. 

There's also the standard version at half the price.


Tuesday, August 24

How well do you know your Halo history?

Found an interesting article that speculates on some things that may or may not happen in Reach - it's presented by IGN as six things you may not know about Halo.

I think I may know more than six things about Halo myself... How well do you know your Halo history?

A Rebel Spartan  

During the Spartan II project on the planet Reach, some candidates did not fare well during the augmentation process. One of these was Soren-066, who was made incredibly strong by the enhancements fed into his body, but also left irreparably deformed. Soren was rejected by the Spartan program and left to a desk job. His feeling of uselessness and resentment lead him to join insurrectionists in a plot against the UNSC. In the chaos that follows, Sorren escapes a UNSC camp, but is shot down over the forest. Because his body is never recovered, its possible that he continued to live in the wilderness of Reach. 

Cool, maybe I should read some more Halo novels...

Elite Elites  

In one of the short stories from the Halo Universe we briefly encounter a group of Elites, or Sangheili, that use red energy swords and wear complete sets of armor, including full face guards. This equipment appears to be reserved for the special-forces wing of the Elites and is described as easily detecting and taking down cloaked Spartan IIIs. Whether or not there is an official class of Elite soldiers above the golden-armored Elite Zealots that appeared in the other Halo games remains to be seen. We'll likely find out this fall. 

To quote my main man Marcus Fenix, "Bring It!"

Spartan IIIs Are Nuts  

Cigar-chomping Sergeant Major Avery Johnson is perhaps the best known Spartan I, and of course Master Chief is the ultimate hero of the Spartan II program. However, we still have yet to experience the very different Spartan IIIs in a game. What we do know is that the Spartan III program was initiated without the knowledge or consent of Dr. Halsey, who devised the Spartan II recruitment parameters. While taking in eligible candidates the psych profiles were pretty much ignored. This means that Spartan IIIs are more likely to fight through an impossible situation, or take on a suicide mission. It also means that some of them are slightly off-kilter mentally.

Spartan IIIs are also outfitted with experimental technology. We've already seen armor powers like the hologram drop, jet pack, and sprint. The books also allude to upgraded visors that have improved zoom and vision modes that can detect camouflaged Elites. All but one member of Noble team in Halo: Reach is a Spartan III, so we'll get up close and personal with the latest UNSC fighting machines very soon. 

There's a bit of truth to these claims - check out the evaluation of Emile

A Second Human Faction  

Before the arrival of the Covenant the humans were involved in a civil war between the inner and outer colonies. One particularly fierce group of insurrectionists disappeared after a number of encounters with the UNSC. They returned on one occasion with heavily modified craft to aid against the Covenant. The best guess about the goals of this splinter cell of humans is that they are establishing human existence outside of known space to ride out the war and the threat from the Flood. There's a long-shot possibility that Admiral Cole (the originator of The Cole Protocol) managed to escape death in his final confrontation with the Covenant and has joined this group.  

Woah - that's really getting into the speculation!

Cortana is Dying  

Dr. Halsey is the genius responsible for the Spartan II program and the woman behind the existence of Cortana. She made the AI in her own image and like all "smart" artificial intelligence systems Cortana is capable of expanding her abilities and knowledge base. However, after a period of seven years she will amass too much knowledge to properly index all of it and will shut down. This is called rampancy and effectively signals the death of an AI.  

While interesting, I'm mote sure how this is relevant for the Reach game itself - as Cortana is sweet as for the other Halo games... well except for that meltdown she had with the Gravemind!
Master Chief Was at the Battle of Reach  

During the battle of Reach there is a critical mission led by Master Chief to secure data from a space dock just above the planet. The Chief is joined by a small team of Spartans in accomplishing this task just before he escapes aboard the Pillar of Autumn and lands on the original Halo from Halo: Combat Evolved. One of Bungie's big unveils at E3 2010 was space combat, indicating that running into Master Chief is a distinct possibility as the battle on Reach rages on the ground and in the air. 

Yeah, I'm sure 117 will pop up along the way....
Feeling amped? Get your copy of Halo: Reach from Amazon. 

Monday, August 23

Rember Reach is live. That's about it.

So like is now live.

My first thoughts were 'wull that's shit'. So perhaps expectations were set too high by myself but a Facebook link up (that requests access to all your FB data!) to 'shine the light' some budget Team Noble biographies and some below par short films? Really C'mon Microsoft, lift your game - the Halo 3 promos were way more in the vein of Full Halo Glory - remember Believe?

Or did I miss something?

Got your copy of the game yet?

Sunday, August 22

Can I haz Campaign Matchmaking?

“Totally Unrelated Question 4: Can I haz Campaign Matchmaking?”

“Totally Related Answer: Yes.”

I saw this at Kotaku...which I missed in the weekly update. No surprises here but all good eh? Makings getting some of those pesky achievements more.. reachable.

Who's excited about Reach?

Apparently you are dear readers! Check out how the site stats (unique visitors) for Halo Reach Game News are taking off! With 24 days left until Reach hits the stores who knows where the numbers will go?!

The spikes at Feb and Mid April are from when we kindly were liked to by HBO and in late June there was a popular thread on that linked to us. Awesome.

The broad spike in May is the Beta Testing period. Also awesome.

These are most popular pages on HRGN today - you are all so concerned about the Chief getting laid eh?

Friday, August 20

Random Reach Images from B net

When's it gonna fall?

Banshee Alert!

Grunts go boom

The Big Gun from Outpost Map:

Source: Bungie

are there Engineers in Halo: Reach?

Some one asked Bungie, are there Engineers in Halo: Reach?

Bungie graciously answered, Yes. But don’t worry, we’re not going to make you feel like a monster for taking them down this time out and they’re somewhat less of a pain in the ass, all things considered. Even if you don’t have a plasma spewing weapon in hand, you’ll still be able to pop them down from their lofty perches when you notice that your enemies are being overshielded by an engineer floating overhead.

Keen readers will know this was revealed a while back but this is the first decent picture reveal - which was from the Corvette Map

You'll do much better baby on your own

A long time ago in an update far, far away, Roger Wolfson made you the internet a very special promise. Today, he makes good on it. If you’re the type of player who fancies a bit of flair, you’re probably gonna like this next section. I’ll let Roger take it from here.

“I’ve been hearing from a lot of fans who are eagerly awaiting details of the ‘Visual Flair’ we promised in April to people who had played Halo 2 on their current LIVE accounts, and hinted at in a podcast last endless summer to Halo PC and Mac players. The ‘flair’ is a set of nameplate emblems for the matchmaking lobby where you can show off your loyalty to Bungie games old and new, because in addition to Halo PC and Halo 2, we have a few other surprises up our sleeves. So feast your eyes on the smorgasbord of choices available to those most-dedicated of Bungie fans:

From top to bottom:

  • The Septagon – This option returns for anyone who links their LIVE account to their account.
  • The DMR – A pro weapon for Pro members. Get Bungie Pro to bump up your File Share, render videos, and get this emblem. Active subscriptions bought in Halo 3 or Halo 3: ODST carry over to Halo: Reach, of course.
  • Marathon – Play the full version of Marathon: Durandal on Xbox LIVE Arcade to enable the Jjaro Terminal emblem.
  • Halo 1 – Enter your Halo 1 PC/Mac product key to enable this emblem. Each key can only be used once, so you’d better stop reading this and grab that key before your brother does. Since we have no way to validate who has played the Xbox version, this emblem is reserved for that dedicated community of computer gamers, with over 50k unique users still active each month, 7 years after release. Thanks for sticking with us. It’s been quite a ride!
  • Halo 2 – Automatically available if you played Halo 2 for Xbox on your LIVE account before its tearful retirement. If it’s not active for you, no amount of wheedling will change that, sorry.
  • Halo 3 – Take a guess… On the plus side, there’s plenty of time to head to your local purveyor of fine, shrink-wrapped games to snag a copy if you’re the one person who actually reads the news on our site and hasn’t played this game.
  • Halo 3: ODST – Ditto.
  • Assault Rifle – This fine armament goes to anyone who played the Halo: Reach beta a few months ago.
  • Spartan Helmet – CLASSIFIED
  • HALO – Like Blamite out of a Needler, these faceplate options can supercombine. Unlock the emblems for Halo 1, Halo 2, and Halo 3 to get this special emblem.
  • The Star – Who knows? We haven’t come up with a use for this yet. Maybe we will in the future.
  • Not pictured, but of course returning, is the ‘Bungie’ staff emblem, awarded for successfully negotiating the obstacle course that begins at (Good luck, you're gonna need it.)


While I’ve enjoyed testing the limits of my message inbox by way of the questions I’ve gotten about this feature in recent weeks, I have to clarify that we won’t be making exceptions to these policies. While I understand that you may not find it inconvenient to mail us your physical Halo 1 DVD as proof of purchase, I don’t think it would make a good first impression on our friendly Bellevue letter-carrier to welcome ourselves to the neighborhood by soliciting a shipment of 5 million discs. You might still be able to snap up a copy of Halo 1 for PC at retail, though, (and since my earlier concerns about a working keygen were unfounded, I retract my earlier comment about a May 26th cutoff for first use of keys.)"

When the nameplate system is fully functional, we’ll let you know about it on the front page. When we do, there will be a discussion link provided so Roger and the team can answer any and all questions you may have.

1 Nothing?

Is it me or has's Halo Reach coverage of Halo Reach been pretty light in contrast to what they had for the release of Halo 3? What's the matter 1Up? Did you piss off Lukems?

Thursday, August 19

Outpost details

Hands-On New Halo: Reach Maps
Outpost map details stolen straight from G4TV
  • Trades the sleek purple Covenant lines for a dusty and desolate location in the middle of nowhere.
  • Hilly terrain means lots of cover and lots of places to toss a grenade over.
  • Massive Covenant gun huddles on the hillside overlooking the map.
  • Central building has a small but fairly defendable location if you cover all the entrances. Just watch out for grenades.
  • Ordnance spawns will force you out in the open.
  • One of the locations on this map is called "ONI Road," a nice little nod to another Bungie project. (That's a sweet Easter Egg!)
  • Scattered containers and debris provide decent coverage for coordinated attacks
  • Best bet: Hole up in the central building, and cover all the exits. Watch for grenades and spawn outside the building if you die so you can clean baddies off the outside.


Fork me, all this attention on Reach having drive-able forklifts is getting out of hand. Check out ....


Tuesday, August 17

A cave of Spartans

Look! Noble team are pussies! Hiding in a cave! Or not....

Doctor Catherine Halsey will have a role in Halo Reach

As surmised a while back, it looks like Doctor Catherine Halsey will have a role to play in Halo Reach:

This screen shot of the good Dr was from the new Vidoc: Birth of a Spartan

Spartans: Sure to Rise Vidoc

The campaign to promote the release of Halo Reach steps up another notch with this awesome vidoc: A spartan will rise:

I'm no Halo expert but I'll hazard a guess that's Dr Catherine Halsey at the ending talking to an AI (Auntie Dot?) who is about to choose a Spartan to partner up with - as did Cortana the Master Chief - discuss in the comments??

Also the voice over sounded like Desperate Housewives.....and dang it, Jorge is the Beast Man!

Remember Reach Promo Website

Watch this site, Full Halo Glory soon to be revealed at Remember Reach:

When all hope on planet Reach seemed lost,
Noble Team stood united in defense of humankind.
In honor of their heroism, we come together.
Remember Noble. Remember Reach.
The Monument to Noble Team burns brighter with each who remembers their courage.

Spoilers about a new piece of Reach promo related to the site can be found here.

Corvette Map Revealed for Firefight

Corvette has been revealed as a map for Reach's Firefight mode. Here's the pictures:

Behold the room of pain! 


Brutes are your friends... if u be Covie!

Rockets for the Win, b'arch!

And here's some game play footage - it ain't THAT awesome but you get the idea!

Halo Waypoint to be released on Windows 7 Mobile Phones

Ohhhh this is our 404th post. Don't say Halo Reach Game News doesn't deliver cause we are like the Mailman and always deliver! Keep reading and if the ending of the Reach game sux, I might just go postal!

Ne ways word on the streets of Germany is that Microsoft announced that a whole lot of games are going to be release on sell phones that have the Windows 7 platform.

Included in that list of games was a Halo game. Queue fan boys opening new savings accounts.... well that's what some shite websites reported. Maurico who runs an awesome tech blog, Geekzone has the list of Windows 7 games - and the Halo game? It's actually Halo Waypoint!

This totally makes sense as part of the hype with Windows 7 being on phone devices is that the games you buy will be connected to Xbox Live and your own XBL account - thus you can rack up gamer points on your commute.

Still, I'm not gonna ditch my iphone for anything!! I can't wait to download Taylor Swift's Speak Now to it! ;)

Have you caught the Halo fever yet?

I know what the ladies like....

Anticipation for Halo Reach is getting feverish, writes Irish writer Joe Griffin.

UNLIKE FILMS, videogame sequels and prequels usually equal and often surpass the originals. From two-fisted classics ( Streetfighter II, Grand Theft Auto III ) to recent home runs ( God of War III, Modern Warfare II ), game sequels are traditionally blessed with superior graphics, smoother gameplay and better characterisations.

The main reason is probably that the developers themselves are better equipped to exploit the platform. Uncharted II, for example, capitalised further on the PS3's engine. Also, game developers are in touch with their fans like no other media, largely thanks to online gaming.

There was certainly excitement among game journalists at the Halo Reach press event in London. After allowing us to play the game, Bungie community director Brian Jarrard and campaign designer Niles Sankey sat down to chat.

" Halo was one of the first games on a console that let you customise game types and game rules," says Jarrard. "Community and social interaction have always been a big part of Halo , and it's just gotten bigger with each release. It's a large part of what makes Halo what it is today. We love seeing awesome stuff that people have built and that we didn't know were possible. It gives us plenty to work with."

Sankey, however, is aware of the inherent difficulty of sequels.

"People like the familiar fun and experience but they don't like to repeat things too much. The nice thing about Reach is that we feel like we've done a good job of making new experiences and a more fleshed-out story. We're doing stuff that we've never allowed players to do before. So even in the campaign, every mission is unique and the story is definitely more fleshed out and impactful than anything we've done before."

The Halo franchise is Bungee's signature, but Jarrard promises that the series will soon end.

"Every day we work on this project it's a step closer to the last Halo game. But it's also a source of inspiration to go out on a high note and set the bar for what a Halo game should be, to leave something that we can be proud of and our fans will enjoy.

"We don't really spend any energy thinking about what other people are doing," he adds. "Bungie has always been more heads-down and coming up with ideas we think are interesting and listening to our fan community itself."


That first sentence of the last paragraph is amusing. It's basically a fuck you Microsoft, we don't care that you're making a Halo bastard! Still, I'm gonna buy that game! 

How expensive is Halo again?

The Mystery Of The $US1250 Halo Reach Has Been Solved

I borrowed this from Kotaku cos I'm to lazy after learning the guitar riff to Dire Straits' Money for Nothing.   And before you kids ask, they were an awesome 80s band!

Why does Microsoft seem to be
selling Halo Reach over Xbox Live right now for $US1250? Answer from Microsoft: They’re not, and they don’t plan to sell Reach as a downloadable game.

The $US1250 version is for reviewers, a Microsoft spokesperson told Kotaku today and it’s not something anyone will have to or be able to pay for:

“We plan to provide a limited number of copies of ‘
Halo: Reach’ using the Games on Demand technology for media review purposes only. While we are thrilled to be able to take advantage of the technology to provide media with a more accessible and convenient review experience, there are no plans to launch ‘Halo: Reach’ to the public through [Xbox Live download service] Games on Demand.”

Microsoft used this technique with
Crackdown 2, providing reporters like me codes for the full retail game that were redeemable over Xbox Live prior to the game’s release. Crackdown 2 is not sold to regular Xbox 360 consumers through the Games on Demand Xbox Live shop. It is only sold on disc.

Of course Halo Reach will eventually get into the games on demand category for download to your Xbox - it happened with Halo 3 and I see know reason why it won't happen again. 
If you do want a copy of Halo Reach - get one sent to you by Almighty Amazon.

Played CE b4 May? Unlock something on Reach

Dunno how I missed this interesting piece of Reach news....

Bungie's  Roger "Sawnose" Wolfson recently confirmed on the Bungie message boards that owners of Halo: CE PC, who have authenticated their game keys on Bungie's servers, will be able to use those keys to unlock a bit of "visual flair" for Halo: Reach. 

Here's his whole dam spiel from the forums. 


Yes, that was me in the podcast, and in fact we were discussing details at the office today. We should have the final feature ready for use in about a month.

We're dealing with the keygen problem as best we can. For starters, I pulled a list of keys that had actually been used as of a month or two ago, and we'll probably validate against that list. So people won't be able to just get the keygen now and claim the... reward. (i.e., people who didn't even bother to pirate the game :-) It also means that buying one of the few remaining copies at retail won't help you anymore. 

So yeah, we're on it. Start spreading the word on other sites that Halo PC users should check here a couple weeks before Reach launches for details on what to do with the key.

edit - see my addendum at the end of the OP

edit -

To clarify, OLD keys work. If you ever used your key (technically, to enter the multiplayer game lobby, since that's what validates the key) at any time from 2003 until a couple months ago (May?), you should be ok. We won't be allowing NEW keys, because we'll assume they were keygenned.

"Halo 1 for Mac" users are included in this.

"Halo 2 for PC" is NOT included since Bungie wasn't involved in that port.

edit -

The reward is a small "visual flair", as was described during the last days of Halo 2 for players of that game. Not armor or anything in the Armory. We realize that some people have lost their keys or never played online to validate their key, and unfortunately we can't do anything about that. If that's you, you're not missing out on something like Recon or Flames, it's just a little indication that people have been part of a certain Halo community for a while, and we wanted to give them a nod.

As others have noted, we have no way of telling if you've played the Xbox version, so that isn't included here.

edit - 

Yes, you can continue to play the game without invalidating your key.

edit - 

"Halo: Custom Edition" - YES

And the precise cutoff date for CD Keys was May 26th, 2010. If your key was ever used online before then, it counts.

So, you still got the box handy? 

Oh that reminds me of a pick up line: hey do you still have your virginity? No? Well can I have the box it came in?

Don't have a copy of Reach booked? Book your copy on Amazon.

Saturday, August 14

Why I'm Looking forward to Halo: Reach

Why I'm Looking forward to Reach being released

Halo is my new Star Wars. Luke and Leia were my cool buddies back in the day and over the last 5 years or so its been 117 and Cortana. I know the cute couple are Lost in Space somewhere so I need new friends and I think Jorge is gonna be that friend. In all the Halo Reach promo stuff the dude just looks awesomely heroic.

I'm looking forward to coming across Buck again as he was kinda cool in ODST, in fact you could almost say he was that game's Han Solo.

I'm looking forward to playing on the Ascension map remake that can be found in Forge World. Rocket grabs, sniper pissing contests and camping with the shotgun in the nooks and crannies were some of my most favoured Halo 2 things on that Map.

I'm looking foward to a totally new story. Halo: Reach is not simply a retelling of the novel The Fall of Reach, it's a new chapter inthe universe. It's unexplored terrortory and you just know it's going to make way more sense that any of the  pa-lava served up in Gears of War!

Space is supposedly the final frontier. In terms of the Halo uiverse, Bungie have cracked it and now we are going to be able to pilot a space ship in a Halo game. It's like we get to fly around in an A-Wing, taking down the Emperor's finest pilots.

I'm looking forward to driving around fire rockets from my Warthog:

I'm looking forward to awesome assassination moves (though I'm wondering if they might result in me getting killed more!) I'm looking forward to the new weapons and let's face it, I'm gagging for matching making abilities for Firefight. I feel we got sold a pup for ODST's Firefight - let's hope Bungie have learnt their lesson and if they haven't been able to deliver and idea they haven't mentioned it!

I'm also looking forward to Halo: Reach because I may have done my dash with Halo 3 multiplayer - after being spoiled to bits by the Beta test programme, Halo 3 just isn't the same online these days - that's not to say the campaign isn't worth of another run through! And that said, I did a Combat Evolved run through some months ago to get back into the Halo zone and I still loved it - Halo 2 kept the magic, Halo 3 Finished the Fight, ODST was a fun round around the park, I want Reach to have some magic that is greater than the sum of its parts like CE, and given what we've seen, I suspect Bungie may have given us the game they really wanted Halo 3 to be...and that's what I'm really looking forward to.