Gears of Halo

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

Saturday, March 31

Garuss Cosplay from Mass Effect

garrus-cosplay-mass-effect
“Fighting a rogue Spectre with countless lives at stake and no regulations to get in the way? I'd say that beats C-Sec.”
Garuss. He's like the blue police man of the Mass Effect series. He's the dude with the sniper rifle that never misses. He's got Sheppard's back and is right behind his Commander which in the modern age can mean all   kinds of things.

Either way Garrus  Vakarian has proven to be a fan favourite for Mass Effect cosplayers and these pictures of Garuss in cosplay costumes are pretty much evidence of that!

ME3: Is this the best Miranda cosplay ever?

miranda-cosplay-sexy-best-ever


Miranda from Mass Effect. Is this the best version of Miranda ever? Vote with a Facebook like!

ME3 DLC New Ending Official Press Release!!


After a huge amount of internet angst, our bads, protest cup cakes Bioware has announced a DLC that will give a new ending for Mass Effect 3.

Here's the official Press Release from Ray Muzyka, CEO of Bioware.

"As co-founder and GM of BioWare, I’m very proud of the ME3 team; I personally believe Mass Effect 3 is the best work we’ve yet created.

This past three weeks have incredibly painful to receive feedback from our core fans that the game’s endings were not up to their unrealistic expectations. Our bad.

We owe it to the fans who have stood by us for 3 of the greatest games Bioware has ever made. To that end, I'm pleased to announce that Bioware will release DLC on April 31 that will expand on the original ending to give insights into the themes raised and our stoic fans more closure.

The team and I have been thinking hard about how to best address the comments on ME3’s endings from players, while still maintaining the artistic integrity of the game.

Given Casey screwed the pooch with his bold but flawed approach, I've brought in some real talent to add some dimension to the ending. Akiva Goldsman, writer of films such as A Beautiful Mind, Cinderalla Man and Lost In Space has come up with a great ideas.

We think given Akiva clearly knows a thing or two about space movies, he should have a crack at explaining what all the different explosion colours meant.

We'd have got that dude that created Lost but apparently he's back in his meds.

Mass Effect 3 concludes a trilogy with so much player control and ownership of the story that it was hard for us to predict the range of emotions players would feel when they finished playing through it. The journey you undertake in Mass Effect provokes an intense range of highly personal emotions in the player; even so, the passionate reaction of some of our most loyal players to the current endings in Mass Effect 3 is something that has genuinely surprised us.

The DLC will thus be released for free when you buy the already released 'From the Ashes' DLC.

ENDS

Also the internet abounds with rumour that Martin Sheen has been paid a second salary to come in and do some new scenes.

Bungie's Final Multiplayer Stats

Today marks the day that Bungie no longer collects and manages the statistics for Halo multiplayer matches. 343 is now charged with this responsibility. That was the last official tie that Bungie has the the Halo universe. They can still have the glory for making the first 5 Halo games....

Bungie has made this wonder graph below which explains the stats related to the Halo multiplayer realm. It's a monster and a half of goodness. How many of these numbers did you contribute to?


Friday, March 30

Every ME3 ending has a silver lining

ashley sheppard sex bra scene

There is a silver lining to the fiasco ending of the Mass Effect 3 game.

All game producers will now be making damned sure their games have awesome endings, or at least one's that make sense.


You can just imagine that every major video game that's nearing completion will have 'test screenings' that they do for 'fans' (but not the zealot fans I hope) so they can avoid making mistakes. I guess the difficulty for that is production cycles and the like. It's not like it's very easy to 'tack on' a new ending. Well... Bioware might think so.....


There is now a risk that the hero will win everytime as that appears to be what the people want. I'm happy to let those people eat cake sometimes though. While it's a crazy ending, I loved how ME3 went for something bold and utterly original.

I trust that Frankie and co have the Halo 4 ending well in hand - given Halo 4 will be the first in a trilogy, the ending of that game wont be as important to fans as the ME3 ending.

Klencory: This is not the ending you were looking for

mass effect sex scene traynor female sheppard

I lied. Here's another post on the Mass Effect ending.

One fan asked the question a few years ago.... about the Klencory planet found in the original ME game which has the following data

"Klencory is famously claimed by the eccentric volus billionaire Kumun Shol. He claims that a vision of a higher being told him to seek on Klencory the "lost crypts of beings of light." These entities were supposedly created at the dawn of time to protect organic life from synthetic "machine devils.""

Shol has been excavating on Klencory's toxic surface for two decades, at great expense. No government has valued the world enough to evict his small army of mercenaries.

Klencory can also be a destination for the Normandy in Mass Effect 3, at which point its entry has been updated to read:


Klencory is famously claimed by the eccentric volus billionaire Kumun Shol. His once-ridiculed visions of "beings of light" protecting organic life from synthetic "machine devils" don't seem quite so far-fetched now. His private army of mercenaries are well-established on the planet, waiting for husks to come knocking in on their door. In all likelihood, they will be obliterated by the molten metal of a Reaper orbital bombardment, on its way to somewhere important.

So because of this planet Codex sounding similarly similar to the actual Mass Effect ending people are saying  "Woah! This was the planned ending all along!"

This is probably red herring as we all know the original ending was supposed to revolve around dark matter...

Interestingly enough in the same link as the Klencory note Screwoffreg 'relayed' his prediction for Mass Effect 3.

"There are two endings I wouldn't like for Mass Effect 3. One being a random GOD LIKE force that saves the Galaxy or another being that to defeat the Reapers, everyone has to become a primitivist and destroy the Relays, Citadel, etc. Both would make me pretty unhappy as those endings have been done to death."

Touche dude.

Wondercon Cosplay Heroes and Villains

super heroines babes supergirl
Super babes


Wondercon Cosplay Heroes and Villains

Backbreaker Bane
Cable from Xmen!
captain america cosplay
Captain America

Darth Vader cosplay

Female Magneto

Justice League?

Cobra Commander cosplay

Chewbecca and friends celebrate St patricks day
It's all about the Wookie!

judge dredd cosplay
Dredd
Mario and the Princess and Luigi


penguin cosplay

planet of the apes cosplay

Harley Quin and Poison Ivy

power girl
Power Girl







Images wonderfully taken by Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub

Thursday, March 29

Judge Dredd Cosplay

Dredd having a beer after a tough day being the law
When I discovered comics it wasn’t just the Justice League and Batman that took my fancy, I found a true affinity with Judge Dredd comics. My dad had a wonderful ability to get AD Comics from a retailer friend with the cover ripped off which meant I got them for free. I loved Dredd because the tales often had a cool sci-fi thing going on and the stories often had a twist or unexpected ending.

At time some of the stories from the Apocalypse War were amazingly intense battles lead by a heroic Dredd - it’s now as an older and wiser geek I realise they were direct references to the East West relations that were worrying the world in the 80s.

Anyways above is just to give an insight on why there is an enduring Dredd legacy – and cosplayers everywhere love dressing as their favourite Judge and swearing all DROKK like!


Moody Dredd

Young Dredd cosplayer
Family Dredd

I am the law judge dredd

Halo 4 Warhouse map concept art

warhouse concept art halo 4
Warhouse
The weekly update from 343 contained this wicked concept art for the Halo 4's multiplayer map Warhouse.

BS Angel says of Warhouse:

Inspiration for this map came from a wide variety of places, including oil refineries, giant mechs from films and cartoons, NASA imagery of gas giants, naval shipyards, and aircraft carriers, to name a few. We also referenced numerous well-developed sci-fi places throughout its development.

warhouse concept art halo 4 

Because Warhouse is a symmetrical map, our greatest challenge was making sure players know where they are at any given point, and yet having it make sense as an inspiring visual story. There are lots of complex mirrored paths which could be overwhelming, so we had to develop landmarks and key features to give players a sense of unique position.

warhouse concept art halo 4 

We wanted this playspace to be similar competition-wise to older symmetrical maps in previous Halos, so we sought influence from those, and also from the industrial close-quarters combat in more recent games. There are many paths from the center room, allowing you to surprise opponents from unexpected directions and separate them from their comrades. 

There are also numerous over-and-under pathways that can be used to sneak up behind opponents who are holding their ground. Since this map is symmetrical, one team doesn't have an advantage over the other based on where they spawn or what part of the map they control.

Take your cupcakes and shove them


Bioware's protest cupcakes have arrived and they said this!

"Today, we received the 400 cupcakes you collectively sent us through your donations to express your feelings about the endings of Mass Effect 3. We want you to know; we are indeed listening to all fan response and acknowledge your feedback. We appreciate creative and thoughtful attempts like this one.

The gesture certainly gained our attention both with its creativity and deliciousness. However, while we do appreciate that fans were creative in how they expressed their views, after a lot of discussion, we decided ultimately the reason that they were sent was not done in the context of celebrating the work or accomplishment of the Mass Effect 3 team. This is a subtle, but important aspect in determining how to pass the feedback to the team.

BioWare regularly works with many deserving charities, as such it was decided that rather than passing out the cupcakes to staff or wasting good food, to donate them on behalf of our fans to a local Edmonton youth shelter. We know that for the kids that have to use this facility, something as simple as a cupcake is a rare treat and would definitely brighten up their day. Thank you to the fine folks at the local youth shelter for accepting the donation and to the fans who donated the cupcakes.

Please keep providing your feedback on Mass Effect 3, we’re still listening."

-

All that sounds nice and all but I read this line:

"we decided ultimately the reason that they were sent was not done in the context of celebrating the work or accomplishment of the Mass Effect 3 team."

as a thinly veiled fuck you to the senders. 

What do you think?

Meet the Siren from Bioshock Infinite



Here's the Siren, another of the enemies to be found in Irrational Games' Bioshock Infinite. Looks a mite scarier than the Boys of Silence eh?

Sounds like the Siren re animates people that Booker has already killed and sounds like an interesting premise!

Wednesday, March 28

One more post on No Effect 3

No Effect 3 logo
Ok ONE more post on the ending of Mass Effect 3 or No effect 3 as the person who made the above logo has suggested. Anyways... on with it.

The lastest theory doing the rounds is that Commander Sheppard is in the some stage of indoctrination by the Reapers. And thus the ending is not reality and the choices we are asked to make are really the choice to resist the indoctrination process or accept it. 

There’s some very interesting reasoning around this indoctrination – this good doc has some questions that need answers.

A key point from it is this statement:

"How is the Illusive Man controlling Shepard if she isn't indoctrinated? The script has gone to great lengths in both Mass Effect 2 and 3 to establish that no control chip was placed in Shepard during her reconstruction. If anything, beating the audience over the head with this fact seems to encourage us to question the possibility of this scene.

The Illusive Man saying "look at what THEY can do" indicates that it was, directly or indirectly, the Reapers who made Shepard fire the gun - therefore Shepard is indoctrinated. Period. This scene cannot make sense and is not possible otherwise."

It’s a nice idea but I’m not sure that actually what is going on here... but suppose it's a valid theory. I’m just wondering where the opportunity to indoctrinate Sheppard occurred in the first place. If indoctrination is a slow passive process – then it sure didn’t start just after Sheppard when up to meet the God Like Reaper Child. Did it start to happen earlier – exposure to Saren and Harbinger perhaps? Or was it the dreams he had of the child? Who knows.

I’m not wholly convinced of the theory – however it seems a pretty neat way to make sense of the mind fuck ending that ME3 threw up.


Regardless of the indoctrination theory the google doc also has this gem of an argument to highlight how stupid some of the plot points are at the end of the game.

“The Child states that without his intervention, synthetics would destroy all organic life. For him to be so absolutely assured of this theory, it must have happened at some point in the history of the galaxy. However, if "all" organic life was extinguished at any point in time, organic life would not presently exist. The Child's assertion is disingenuous.”

It’s certainly a paradox eh?

But wait there’s more!

"However, again for no reason at all, he presents Shepard with the options to destroy or control the Reapers, both of which would bring this alleged "chaos" to the galaxy, which he spent untold aeons labouring to prevent. And he's just totally cool with this.

He could have never appeared to Shepard, never brought her up to the Catalyst room, or simply never said a single word... and Shepard would not have understood the purpose of the devices in that room, thus preserving the Solution."

Sounds like the Reaper child shot himself  in the foot? Or maybe writer Casey Hudson...

This guy gives a really cool spin on the story – what if Mass Effect was Lord of the Rings and you couldn’t destroy the ring at the end?




You might have heard was there was a different ending to ME3 planned.

The internet says the original Mass Effect writer, Drew Karpyshyn had this to say a once proposed ending:

"The Reapers' goal was to find a way to stop the spread of Dark Energy which would eventually consume everything. That's why there was so much foreshadowing about Dark Energy in ME," Karpyshyn wrote.

"The Reapers as a whole were 'nations' of people who had fused together in the most horrific way possible to help find a way to stop the spread of the Dark Energy. The real reason for the Human Reaper was supposed to be the Reapers saving throw because they had run out of time. Humanity in Mass Effect is supposedly unique because of its genetic diversity and represented the universe's best chance at stopping Dark Energy's spread.

"The original final choice was going to be 'Kill the Reapers and put your faith in the races of the galaxy in finding another way to stop the spread with what little time is left' or 'Sacrifice humanity, allowing them to be horrifically processed in hopes that the end result will justify the means.'

That could have been cool.

But it gets worse. There’s the now infamously deleted Patrick Weeks post to think about.

Week’s post had this to say about the planned ending:

“And then, just to be a dick… what was SUPPOSED to happen was that, say you picked “Destroy the Reapers”.

When you did that, the system was SUPPOSED to look at your score, and then you’d show a cutscene of Earth that was either:

a) Very high score: Earth obviously damaged, but woo victory
b) Medium score: Earth takes a bunch of damage from the Crucible activation. Like dropping a bomb on an already war-ravaged city. Uh, well, maybe not LIKE that as much as, uh, THAT.
c) Low score: Earth is a cinderblock, all life on it completely wiped out”

Why on earth did that get changed (if it’s true). That seems like a compelling story ending.

There's been a lot of rumour about Casey Hudson ignoring people or simply writing what he wanted etc and if that’s true, I’m really not sure I’ll ever buy another game that Casey Hudson is involved in again. He seems a nice guy but if he ‘panic’ with the supposed rewrite   I will distrust his future judgements. 

It will be bloody interesting to see what he comes up with in April. 

Let's hope the ending was not the indoctrination 'it was all just a dream theory' - I think that's fans just being pretty darn clever but none-the-less deluding themselves. I think ME3's producers and Casey tried to do something cool and ballsy but it simply backfired on them. 

Sunday, March 25

ME3's Samara's model doing cosplay of Samara

rana-mcnear-cosplay-samara

Rana McAnear, was the actress who provided the model for Samara in Mass Effect 2. McAnear has gone a little life imitates art and is using her fine Samara features to take cosplay to some kind of meta- level.

You might have seen us feature McNear before on Gears of Halo. Apparently she now shaves her head for easier Asari hair tentacle application which sounds like real commitment to the cosplay cause!

Saturday, March 24

The Top Ten Video Game People to Follow on Twitter

You night recall a while back I did a post who had the top ten Halo twitter accounts. I thought it would be interesting to do a list of industry folk in the gaming industry who have interesting things to say.

Obviously, jjsgearsofhalo is the best twitter account to follow but here's some other producers, designers and other cool kids to follow:

Major Nelson - Microsoft promo guy who has his finger on the pulse. What's come out and when. Often gives out Xbox codes....

Cliff Bleszinski - Cliff is the guy who made the Gears of War franchise the monster that it is. 

BS Angel - Jessica Shea is a Queen of the Halo community and indeed is the community manager for 343 industries who are making Halo 4.

Halo Waypoint -These guys are forging the Halo community from the Microsoft side

Marty O'Donnell. He makes Halo sound like Mozart. Who knows what his Destiny will be?

Casey Hudson - The guy in charge of Mass Effect 3 and man, does he have some issues at the moment so he should be a very interesting follow!

Rod Fergusson - a big deal at Epic games and basically the guts of Gears of War.

Jessica Chobot - IGN's pin up girl that will help you 'strategise' any time. You might also know her as Dianne Allers in Mass Effect 3.

Gary Whitta - not really sure what he does but he's a Lego fan...

Ken Levine - he's making Bioshock Infinite. If it sux, blame him. 

So... who is awesome that should also be on this list? Leave your suggestion in the comments!

Mass Effect 3 News Wrap Up

mass effect bra sheppard ashley
No idea how this got here


Mass Effect 3 News Wrap Up

Big week or two recently for Mass Effect - it was released and then the proverbial hit the fan so there has been lots to talk about.

First up, it's my blog so here's my ME3 Review and here's what I thought of the ending. I enjoyed it because it was sooooo out there. The team at IGN shared their wise thoughts on the game too.

This chap who knows a chord structure when he hears one pointed out a clever musical motif used in the War Room on the Normandy.

Bioware caved and suggested to the internet they were going to change the ending of the game which seems a lil crazy - at least it means we'll get some more DLC perhaps.... Bioware also announced a fix to the face import problem at has effected the Xbox and Playstation versions of the game.

I also regurgitated some bollocks about what the N7 programme is all about.

Whad I miss? What are your views on the conclusion of the game? What do you


Friday, March 23

What is the N7 that's on Commander Sheppard's logo all about?

n7 logo mass effect


What is the N7 that's on Commander Sheppard's logo all about?

N7 represents how far Sheppard has progessed through Interplanetary Combatives Training programme. What it means is that they are the best of the best at being a soldier.

Interplanetary Combatives Training (ICT) is the Systems Alliance's premier school for leadership and combat expertise. The Interplanetary Combatives Academy, is often known as "N-School" or "the villa," recruits officers from every branch of Earth's militaries to partake in grueling courses at Vila Militar in Rio de Janeiro.

The highest grade of training, N6, provides actual combat experience in combat zones throughout the galaxy. If the trainee survives these scenarios in "admirable and effective fashion," he or she finally receives the coveted N7 designation. N7 is the only ICT designation that may be worn on field or dress uniforms so it was sure amusing for Sheppard to find the Geth we know Legion wearing it in Mass Effect 2 - it was kind of an homage to the man.

If you've played through Mass Effect you'll recall that James Vega was asked to go through the ICT programme.

Me3 Face Import Patch on the way

ugly commander sheppard mass effect

A patch for the Mass Effect face import problem is on the way:

Chris Priestly of Bioware has said:

"We have fixed the issue of faces not correctly importing into Mass Effect 3. It will be included as part of the next Mass Effect 3 patch"

"The not completely good news is that I do not yet have a confirmed date for when the patch will be available."

This is good news as I accidentally made my female Commander look like kind of a pretty monkey

Recon for everyone!


A note on Halo Waypoint has let everyone know that we will soon all 'can haz' recon armour.

"As part of the final transition of Halo services, we will begin unlocking Halo 3 Recon armor for all Halo 3 players in the very near future. This process, which will be done in waves, is expected to last several days. As always, thank you for your patience, and we’ll have more details for you in next week’s Halo Bulletin."

Those were the days eh... when people would shoot themselves with a orange cone and be awarded recon for their troubles... that was great marketing by Bungie! Also remember when Halo 3: ODST was gonna be called Halo3 : Recon? Not such good marketing....

Thursday, March 22

Bioshock introduces "The Boys of Silence" for Infinite

boys of silence bioshock

Bioshock introduces "The Boys of Silence"

They are blind but can hear you… quite well.. they’re gonna be pain in the ass for you in Bioshock Infinite

Shawn Robertson, the lead artist for the game stated “if you anger them, they can call in backup." Check out the video!



Final Fantasy to have Mass Effect uniforms

final fantasy mass effect uniform

Ever since I noticed Dead Planet 2 had Marcus and Dom from Gears of War turning up, there's been plenty of blatant cross promotional things in the gaming world. The latest is that Final Fantasy players will be able to adorn their characters with Commander Sheppard's Mass Effect N7 uniform.

Let's hope Final Fantasy's ending finds itself with a fan approved ending eh?

The Normandy

normandy mas effect 3

This is a test post, but enjoy the Normandy.

Wondercon Cosplay 2012

Prime Time
Here's some random cos play pics from the fans of Wondercon 2012

aqua woman cosplay
Aqua Woman

dead pool
Deadpools

gambit
Gambit

mortal combat cosplayers group
A mortal crew

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