Sunday, June 21

Rod F talks the Gears Remake

Guys! Wait up guys!
Here’s an excerpt from a sweet interview with Rod Fergusson. Who is Rod? Rod is the man in charge of the Gears of War franchise – his team, The Coalition, recently announced a remake of the original Gears and the fourth entry in the franchise.
He chats with Game Informer about what when into the remake.
You re-did all the motion capture and remade many other aspects of the game. Did you re-record the dialogue?
No, that was one of the things we decided to leave the same. We wanted to to really stay true to Gears 1. There's a fine line when you're dealing with a remaster to stay true to the nostalgia versus the modernization, and this was another choice towards nostalgia for the campaign, which was to really stay true to the dialogue. Those lines you remember, the way that Marcus said, "Nice!" or the way Dom said something – we wanted to keep that. Also, all the actors have aged 10 years and everything else. If we had gone back, we would have had a different sounding game and we didn't want that. We re-did the foley and we took the original soundtrack, which we didn't re-record, but we did remaster it in 7.1. There are a lot of things you will hear that are true to the original.
Since you didn't re-record on the dialogue, the story must be exactly the same?
Correct. The one thing we did do was take that PC content, the two hours of campaign, the journey to that station to catch the train that was actually cut for the release of the first game, and then were able to take that content and put it back in chronologically correct.
343 Industries remade Halo: Combat Evolved before diving into Halo 4. Is this a Microsoft requirement for working on its core franchises? Or just a good exercise to avoid diving in blind?

It had multiple advantages. One of things we looked at – part of being The Coalition as a diverse set of developers – one of the things was getting people soaked into what it is to make a Gears of War game. Remaking Gears of War meant we had to go in and reverse engineer and pick it apart and look at the scripting, understand the levels, the flow, what is cover spacing, what are the combat distances – it was sort of a boot camp for the team to get ready for Gears 4, and it was like, "Okay, I really understand what it's like to make a Gears game." And on the other side, we looked at it from a consumer and player side and we said, “Hey, we’re going to do Gears 4 and it is going to take multiple years. How do we get a Gears game on Xbox One faster?” And we said, “Okay, let’s remaster one – what’s the most impactful one?” And we felt like, go back to the original. It sort of serves as a bridge because there is somebody who, when we shipped in 2006 was seven years old who can now play it at 17, so there is a whole new audience and then there is the nostalgia audience as well. It’s kind of a gateway into it. It’s a ramp, you’ll see. It’s Ultimate Edition this year and then Gears 4 next year.

Sunday, June 14

The difference 6 odd years can make in the development world - Buck from ODST to Halo 5 comparison

If you've been too busy playing The Witcher 3, you probably missed that Nathan Fillion will reprise his role as Buck from Halo 3: ODST in Halo 5: Guardians.

We thought it would be cool to show what the character looked like in each of the games to demonstrate just how far the design and graphics abilities of gaming has come in the 6 odd years since ODST was released:

Fillion's Buck with take his place with Fire Team Osiris.

Who is in Fire Team Osiris?

You've no doubt heard the Blue Team is kicking ass and taking names in Halo 5 but did you hear about Fire Team Osiris who's sole task is to track down the Master Chief's renegades and bring them to justice?

Here they are:

Jameson Locke:
Before he was a Spartan, Locke was an ONI Acquisitions Specialist — an expert in tracking, asset recovery, and elimination of ­high-value ­targets.
Loadout: Battle Rifle/Magnum
Holly Tanaka:
After surviving the glassing of her homeworld, Tanaka joined the Army, looking for a chance to save others from the same fate.
Edward Buck:
Nathan Fillion returns to the role of Buck. During his service as an ODST, Buck’s personnel profile suggested “if he were any better he’d be ­a ­Spartan.”
Loadout: Assault Rifle/Magnum
Olympia Vale:
A child prodigy, Vale’s innate skill in languages led to a career as a Navy liaison with the ­Sangheili ­post-war.
Loadout:SMG/Plasma Pist

Which Spartans are in Halo 5's Blue Team?

Which Spartans are in Halo 5's Blue Team?

You may have heard that Halo 5 will feature the Master Chief leading Blue Team. If you're not familiar with the expanded Halo universe, you might know know that his crew of Fred, Kelly and Linda are Spartans who have done the rounds and are finally getting their shot in the lime light in an actual Halo game.

Here's a brief bio of the quartet:

Master Chief Petty Officer John-117:
The hero of humanity, responsible for winning the Covenant war. After Cortana’s destruction, Chief reunited with Blue Team, his ­oldest ­friends.
Loadout: Assault Rifle/Magnum
Lieutenant Junior Grade Frederic-104:
An expert in strategy and battlefield command, Frederic-104 is the highest-ranking member of Blue Team, but usually defers command to the Chief. Is a big Star Wars triva nerd.
Petty Officer Linda-058:
A highly skilled marksman, Linda-058 is the quietest member of Blue Team, but also the ­most ­observant.
Loadout: Sniper Rifle/Magnum
Petty Officer Kelly-087:
Blue Team’s key reconnaissance talent, Kelly-087 is quick on her feet and with analysis of any given combat situation.

Tuesday, June 9

Look who's turning up as major characters in Halo 5!

Halo fans may spot that the Masterchief has some new mates to play with in Halo 5. This time round Cortana is gone (remember in H4 she gave her digital life so the Chief would make it) and he has some well known characters from the expanded universe at this side.

Welcome to the videodrome, Kelly, Fred and Linda!

But that's not all. Check out a certain face from Halo 3: ODST

That's the face of Nathan Fillion as Buck from ODST! Your mom might refer to his as that guy from Castle too!

We say this is a nice mix up for Halo 5 - We love the concept that Jameson Locke's Fireteam Osiris will be hunting down Team Blue.

There will be more details coming thick and fast now - we're keen to see who the bad guys will be, and especially what part the Precursors may hold....