Sunday, December 23

Dead Space 3 Achievement Points List

dea space 3

So when you get your hands on Dead Space 3 you might what to think about these achievement points -There's Always Peng! makes a return and given the game now has a co-op element, there's a few points that you'll only achieve by doing just that!

Dead Space 360 Achievement Points

Get On My Level (10 points) - Complete the game on any difficulty setting.
The Explorer (25 points) - Complete all optional missions.
Aren't You Thankful? (50 points) - Complete the game on Hardcore Mode.
Epic Tier 4 Engineer (40 points) - Complete the game in Classic Mode.
Survivalist (40 points) - Complete the game in Pure Survival Mode.
Gun Collector (25 points) - Collect all Weapon Parts.
The Professor (25 points) - Collect all Artifacts.
The Librarian (25 points) - Collect all Logs.
The Armorer (25 points) - Collect all Circuits.
There's Always Peng! (50 points) - Find Peng.
My Buddy (10 points) - Retrieve Resources from a Scavenger Bot at a Bench.
Metal Detector (30 points) - Successfully deploy Scavenger Bots to 15 Resource Areas.
Strapped (10 points) - Craft a Weapon.
Circuit's Edge (10 points) - Add a Circuit to a Weapon.
EMT (25 points) - Craft a Large Med Pack.
Full House (25 points) - Craft a Weapon with 2 Tools, Tips, and Attachments with all Circuit slots filled.
RIG Master (50 points) - Fully upgrade your RIG.
Master Plan (25 points) - Create a Blueprint that needs at least 2000 resources worth of parts and Circuits to build.
From the Jaws (10 points) - Save your Co-Op partner from an execution by killing the attacker.
Share and Share Alike (10 points) - Use the RIG to give an item to your Co-Op partner.
Medic! (10 points) - Revive your Co-Op partner 10 times.
Ghosts of the Past (25 points) - Face all of Carver’s demons by completing all Co-Op only optional missions.
Architect (10 points) - Share a Blueprint with your Co-Op partner.
Axes High (20 points) - Kill 30 enemies using Fodder axes.
Payback (15 points) - Kill a Soldier by TK'ing a grenade or rocket back at them.
Go for the Limbs! (10 points) - Dismember 500 limbs from living enemies.
And Then We Doubled It! (10 points) - Dismember 1000 limbs from living enemies.
Slow Mo (10 points) - Kill 50 enemies while they are in stasis.
Blast Corps (10 points) - Kill 30 enemies with explosion damage.
Shootbang (10 points) - Kill 30 Soldiers with head shots.
Empty Chamber (10 points) - Kill 30 enemies using melee strikes or a melee Weapon Part.
Dropping Acid (10 points) - Dissolve 50 enemies with acid.
Electric Lawnmower (10 points) - Kill 30 enemies using an electrified Ripper blade.
Overpowered Healing (10 points) - Use quick heal to heal yourself 20 times.

Unused armor abilities found in Halo 4 code

Unused armor abilities found in Halo 4 code - check this video of a mod using the codes in action.

Lord Zedd has discovered a couple of Armor Abilities that were not included in the final version of Halo 4 - a teleportation trick and a magical blue spell which removes whatever armour ability you foe has presented you with. Probably didn't make the final cut due to not being totttallly awesome fits with the game....

Thursday, December 13

Josh Holmes on making Halo 4

Here's a pretty sweet discussion with Josh Holmes who kind of ah a big deal in Halo... borrowed from BS Angel's Weekly Halo Bulletin. I don't think she'll mind.
Josh Holmes, Creative Director for 343 Industries, plays an important part in everything Halo 4. He had an intimate relationship with the making of the game and continues to maintain that closeness now that we have officially transitioned to sustain mode. I’ve noticed several threads in our forum from those curious about our general design philosophies, so I asked Josh if he would be game for a quick interview. He said yes, and then I turned it into a long one. Go me!

Hello, Mr. Creative Director. For those who aren’t sure what exactly a Creative Director does, please summarize your job responsibilities in a single sentence.

As the Creative Director for Halo 4, I'm responsible for setting the creative vision for the game. I manage all of the various creative teams (art, audio, design and narrative) and guide them to successful execution against the vision.

For the record, that was two sentences. What other things did you do in the gaming industry before landing at 343?

I've been making games for over 17 years. Prior to joining 343, I worked at Electronic Arts and at my own studio, Propaganda Games. I was producer, designer and creative director on games that included the original NBA Street, Def Jam Vendetta, Fight for NY and the Turok reboot for Disney. Since joining 343, I've worked with Bungie in a publishing capacity on Halo: Reach and then moved into the Franchise Creative Director role and Halo 4 CD.

What inspired you to make the switch to Halo?

I fell in love with Halo the first time I played Combat Evolved back in 2001, when I was a Lead Designer at Electronic Arts. I remember saying to myself at the time, "One day I want to design a game like this." Fast forward a decade and not only am I working on a game like Halo, I'm actually helping to guide the future of the Halo universe. It's like a dream.

I would pinch you, but I’d like to keep my job. Speaking of jobs, what was the best part about making Halo 4?

The best part about making Halo 4 has been working with the rest of our team, because we have so many incredible, talented people. And getting to shoot them all in playtests.

There are two sides to every coin, so what was the hardest part of the process?

The hardest part about making the game was bringing a brand new team together, most of whom have never worked with one another before. Everyone had different experiences and approaches to making games and we were simultaneously trying to build something as massive as Halo 4 while working with a new and unfamiliar engine. There were times when it felt as though we were trying to do the impossible, and it's a testament to the character of the team that we managed to overcome so many challenges to build the game.

It was a team-building experience for sure. What are some of the more memorable moments you had with everybody while making the game?

So many moments… At the end of preproduction, we had an overnight creative retreat where Pierre tried to start a beach fire with gasoline and almost burned down several nearby homes (and himself) in the process. There was a late night Kung Fu showdown between Chris and Tajeen at the bar after one too many drinks – thankfully no one got hurt. Over the course of the project, we moved the studio at least three times to accommodate growth, yet still wound up bursting at the seams with humanity by the time we entered the final stretch. One of the funniest moments happened when I was at the EB Games event in Sydney, Australia. When I was coming over, they told me that there would be a dramatic moment at the beginning of my appearance, with the Master Chief coming out of the cryotube to welcome me onto the stage. It sounded awesome. In reality, Chief turned out to be the tallest member of the PR team wearing a $30 Halloween costume from Halo 3 and climbing out of a cardboard box that someone had decorated with felt markers, all while music from Halo: CE played in the background. Oh, and he got stuck in the cardboard box and needed to be helped out. Not the proudest moment in the Chief's illustrious career.

Now that we’re covered pre-launch, let’s talk about post-launch. Have any of the responses to Halo 4 surprised you?

It's been humbling to receive so many messages from players who have enjoyed the game and being able to play the game in Matchmaking now that it's out in the wild. When the game was first released, I spent a week at home on my couch, playing the game online while reading reviews between matches. It's surreal to pour three years of your life into something and then finally be able to see and hear the responses from people playing it.

I was wondering where you were that first week! Now that you’re back, what are our main priorities in regard to sustain?

Our first priority is responding to any unforeseen bugs or exploits that are uncovered by the community. Beyond that we are continuing to monitor playlist population and manage the rotation of experiences in Matchmaking to make sure that the most popular experiences are made available to players.

What philosophy do we use when making these decisions?

Our sustain philosophy is to support and maintain Halo 4's online community by analyzing player activity and making measured changes when necessary. We want to maintain engagement amongst the active player population through careful management of the active playlists, taking into account which experiences are most popular and addressing critical bugs and exploits as they are discovered. We also need to infuse the experience with new content in the form of authored map packs and community created maps so that the experience feels fresh and exciting for months and years to come.

Is that why we’re doing weekly updates instead of monthly updates?

In the case of Spartan Ops, we chose a weekly cadence for new episodes because it felt like the right timing to keep people invested in the story over the course of the season. We approached Spartan Ops like a serialized television show, but with the added interactive component of missions. For War Games, the weekly updates to playlists allow us to monitor the community's response to different game modes and take that into account when planning. We're also able to address map exploits that may be discovered (like the hole in collision that was found in Complex and being exploited in Oddball). Going a full month between updates would prevent us from addressing these issues in a timely manner.

Another thing we’re doing differently with Halo 4 is rotational playlists. Why are we taking that route this time around?

We put new playlists into rotation to keep the experience fresh each week and to test the community's response to different game types. We limit the total number of active playlists to prevent the population from becoming too fragmented so that we can provide an optimal matchmaking experience and if a playlist fails to capture or maintain population over time then it becomes a candidate for retirement, at least temporarily.

We have some great stuff in the works for 2013. What can you share about the things we currently have up our sleeve?

The second half of Spartan Ops kicks off on January 21, featuring new environments and missions along with the conclusion of the season's storyline. We also have more maps coming with the Majestic and Castle map packs, as well as some community-created maps that we will be selecting to add into Matchmaking, which will include both smaller 4 vs. 4 maps and larger Big Team maps.

Sounds good! Before I release you from my interview death grip, I have some random, fun questions now that you’ve tackled all the serious ones. So, Battle Rifle or DMR?

DMR, because I prefer single shot to burst fire weapons.

Frag or Plasma?

Frag, because I like to strip shields and then finish people off.

Covenant or Forerunner?

Forerunner, because I love the look and sound of the weapons.

Red or blue?

Blue, of course! Red is too angry.

Frank or Kiki?

Kiki, because she makes the best margaritas and Frank only exists to drink them.

I am suddenly thirsty, so I think we can officially call this interview done. Thanks for taking the time to share some insight into the making of Halo 4 and our general Matchmaking philosophies, Josh, and I'm sure we'll chat with you again after the New Year!

Halo: Reach Redefined

master chief with reach toothbrush
Even a Spartan needs to clean his teeth. 
I found this picture of the Chief on 9gag this morning - certainly gives Reach a new edge eh?

Tuesday, December 11

Tyrant's video review of Halo 4

Tyrant has done a video review of Halo 4 - which I'm only really posting because of his awesome white suit....

A key point he makes: Return to Battle field sux.

Sunday, December 9

Tips and Tricks to take down a Promethean Knight from Halo 4

knight halo chief artwork
The Chief ignored this guide at his peril...
The best ways to take down a Promethean Knight from Halo 4

Originally published at Post Game Lobby

It's my humble opinion that never has the Halo universe faced a foe that is so difficult to take down as a Promethean Knight. 

My take is that basically the Knights are the new “Elite” for the Halo franchise but have magical transportation powers and dude that hovers over their shoulder with a light shield when things get a bit too heavy. Did I mention they also an auto sentry just to add into the mix?

Playing Halo 4 can be quite daunting on Heroic and Legendary modes, particularly near the end of the campaign where Knight numbers seem to crank up. If you’re the kind of player that likes to stand their ground and kill everything in sight, here’s some tips on taking out the Knights.

Up Close and Personal

The scattershot is a wonder weapon. Three or four well place shots with the scattershot will likely turn your foe into a cloud of yellow digital ash. Shotguns are nearly as effective. The drawback is that Knights have a melee that make’s a Hunter’s melee feel like a soothing Thai massage.

Fear the Pink Mist

In what almost feels like a cheap shot, a well-placed volley of pink mist will drop the shields of a Knight very well. A follow up death shot with a Light Rifle or BR will finish the job.

Light Rifles and other comparable weapons.

A barrage of light rifle headshots will eventually take out the Knight. Having a BR to add more firepower is almost crucial.  To make an effective use of this strategy, your shots must be head shots other wise it will take forever to kill your foe.

A combo of a pistol and a light rifle is pretty useful too – a fully charged plasma blast will help lower Ivanhoe’s shields, leaving you free to follow up with a headshot from your BR or Light Rifle. 

And so I creep

Sneaking up on an enemy to land a melee punch to the back of the next is a classic Halo move. You can apply this to the Knight by firmly holding down the RB button and you will be rewarded with a pretty cool assassination animation. You could also try using a Halogram* to trick the Knight by drawing his attention, thus giving you an opportunity to creep up and go all Black Hawk on his ass.

There are plenty of other ways to take kill Promethean knights, the above tips and tricks are just a few of the ways you can take them down efficiently. Using grenades and some of the other weapons in the sand box are options. I find a well-placed rail gun blast to the body of a Knight very satisfying. 

You can always use the sword as well!

* that was a typo which I've left in as a terrible pun. 

Bioshock Infinite has new release date

In a move that has this fan slightly disappointed, Bioshock Infinite has been delayed for a second time with the game's release changed from of February 26th to the new date of March 26th.

It's only another 4 weeks but still...

Irrational Games suggested the reason was the game could do with some more spit and shine. 

Let's hope they didn't realise their ending sucked and they needed to rewrite it.....

Saturday, December 8

Sign up for the Halo 4 Infinity Challenge

BS Angel from 343 Industries has announced the Halo 4 Infinity Challenge

While Monday has a reputation for being the worst day of the week, that perception is about to change because on December 17, we're joining forces with Virgin Gaming and Xbox 360 to bring you the chance to win a UNSC-themed truck and/or a cameo in a future Halo game. Officially called the Halo 4 Infinity Challenge, this tournament will give you a shot at winning a real life vehicle (you virtual vehicles can suck it!) and one of more than 2,800 total prizes. What exactly will it take to score some sweet Halo swag? Why, I thought you'd never ask!

The Halo 4 Infinity Challenge on Xbox LIVE will bring gamers the biggest and most accessible Halo tournament in the world. This free-to-enter tournament will track your personal score in War Games and the number of Spartan Ops chapters you complete on global leaderboards, and your progress with relevant Halo 4 Challenges. The War Games leaderboard winner will walk away with a UNSC-themed, V8-powered 2013 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor truck designed by our artists here at 343, the Spartan Ops winner will secure an appearance in a future Halo game (don't blame me if you end up being naked and blue), and the Challenge winners will get a prize pack.

Assuming you find the aforementioned prizes appealing, register today by visiting the Halo 4 Infinity Challenge website (please note localized registration sites will be available on December 12). If you'd like to get into the nitty-gritty of how everything will work, continue reading.

The qualifier phase will take place December 17 - January 10. For that part of the tournament, you will need to climb the ranks of the global leaderboards by competing in either the Spartan Ops or War Games leaderboard. After the qualifier phase, players will be tiered into three groups (Tier 1: Consisting of the top 10% of players competing, Tier 2: Consisting of the next 11-40% of players competing, and Tier 3: Consisting of the bottom 60% of players competing) and will enter the finals phase. The finals phase will start on January 12 and end on January 19. You can also participate in Weekly Challenges for a chance to win great prizes.

During the finals, the leaderboards will reset and prizes will be awarded to the top performers in each tier. While the prizes within all three tiers will rock your socks, the grand prizes will be offered exclusively for those that have battled their way to the top tier.

For tournament and registration information, please visit: Your score will only be tracked from the time you register, so sign up now, Spartans!

Tuesday, December 4

Crimson Map Pack Achievements List

harvest map halo 4

Crimson Map Pack Achievements List

When the Crimson Map Pack being released into the wild next week, 343 Industries have let us all know that there will be a whole swag of new achievement points up for grabs.

I'm looking forward to checking out the Harvest map simply because of the name!

Here’s the list:
Now They Fly?
Get a kill while airborne in a Warthog.
50 points

Size Is Everything
Kill 20 enemies with a detached Machine Gun Turret.
20 points

Kill a player while you're airborne from using a Man Cannon.
30 points

Kill 20 enemies using the Mantis' stomp attack.
20 points

David and Goliath
Board an enemy Mantis.
20 points

Clay Pigeon
Shoot an enemy out of the air while they use the Man Cannon.
40 points

Special Delivery
Kill an enemy with a melee attack when landing from a Man Cannon.
30 points

Pump Yer Brakes
Score the killing blow on a Mantis.
40 points

Saturday, December 1

Box Art for Bioshock Infinite released

bioshock artwork booker dewitt infinite

Bioshock Infinite's box artwork has been revealed. Featuring the protagonist, Booker DeWitt the artwork is bright and clean as opposed to the murky depths offered by the original two games which featured Big Daddies. The cover's suggested tone of the game is probably very deliberate as the game is set 'in the clouds' on the floating city of Columbia of rather than submerged in the leaky world that was Rapture.

Bioshock Infinite continues the franchise's meditations on political and economic ideological concepts by drawing from the concept of "American Exceptionalism" - which knowing Bioshock, it won't be such a noble pursuit as Americans like Booker DeWitt and his girl Elizabeth might think....

Bioshock Infinite is set for release on February 26 across the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC platforms. Order your copy here!