Halo @ E3 2014 – Halo: The Master Chief Collection

No need to rehash the intro, let’s get right to it!

Halo: The Master Chief Collection reactions:

Rumors notwithstanding, The Master Chief Collection is confirmed real and is almost everything I could want.

“Almost” you say? Of course! What kind of Halo fan would I be if I didn’t gripe about something trivial during a franchise high point?

Hyperbole aside, I’ve tried to Continue reading →

Halo @ E3 2014 – general reactions

The stars aligned this afternoon and I was able to sit down and watch the entire Microsoft E3 2014 Media Briefing live from the comfort of my own home.

The kids were told to play outside, so that meant the room was mine alone. Currerbell1847 was close by, as I had the directive to tell her “when something Halo” came on.

Ladies and gentlemen something Halo did come on, and with Continue reading →

Halo 5 / Halo Xbox One – 1st concept art

I’m sure many of you have already seen it, but why not take another look – here is the first official piece of concept art for Halo 5/Halo Xbox One as done by their newly promoted Senior Art Director, Nicolas “Sparth” Bouvier:

Click for larger size

Click for larger size

The original posting of this piece was on Waypoint, and Josh Holmes described it as, “an early exploration of a new location that features prominently in a little game project we’re tinkering with….”

Where is it? Have we been there before? A rebuilt world after the war?

The setting looks very Skyline to me; I’m not saying that’s where it’s at, just that it looks similar to that map located on the colony world of Cascade.

And what’s the curved structure towards the bottom-right that looks a little Covenant-ish? A jointly governed world perhaps, or at least a station where both sides have a presence?

Crazy to think about what’s to come … !

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Halo 5 – tweets, prototypes, and a Chief gone rogue

Halo 5 teaser

There have been a few snippets (as opposed to tidbits – tidbits are way meatier) of Halo 5 news out there recently, I wanted to highlight them here:

  • Tweets from the Lead Designer – Brad Welch, lead designer at 343 Industries, has recently been tweeting with fans about the work they’re doing on Halo 5, mistakes he felt were made (some by him) on Halo 4, and how they’re looking to improve. I originally found this on VG247
  • “Prototype phase” and game breakdown – originally posted on PasteBin, this seems to be a general breakdown of what Halo 5 will contain; everything from story nuggets (Master Chief gone rogue, light RPG-ishness). The crazy part is that Stinkles (Frank O’Connor‘s handle on NeoGAF) seems to confirm it’s legitimacy here. (Thanks to IBTimes.co.in for the info)

It great to see 343 engaging with fans, so I’m all for Mr. Welch putting his thoughts out there. It’s also exciting to think about what’s going on behind closed doors at 343 …

…which segues perfectly into the “leaked” post. Is that breakdown the real deal? Does Frankie‘s seeming endorsement of this info mean it’s 100% true? 50%? All smoke and mirrors?

I just reread that post and it’s crazy to think about – battles with hundreds of AI, John-117 with his own ship and the ability to visit multiple planets, a campaign 3-5 times bigger than Halo 4 … and the list goes on. Wild.

With the Xbox One now out in the wild, the next iteration of Halo has been on my mind so it’s great to get some stuff to chew on.

Has anyone else heard anything about this? Are you ready for the next chapter in the series? I’d love to hear your thoughts below if you get a chance.

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A Question of Weight – Halo 4 and Community

Discussing the community’s reaction to Halo 4 is tired. Old. It’s all been said.

But I’ve never had a problem with beating dead horses*, so it’s time for me to throw a few words in the pile. I’ll keep it brief, and as a bonus you’re also going to get my “review” of Halo 4 in bullet point form sprinkled throughout … nine months after release. Nice!

  • I was surprised to find that being more aware of the Halo Community made the game harder to enjoy. Everyone should (and does) have an opinion, but I didn’t expect that it would be many in the visible community telling the world that you shouldn’t like Halo 4
  • ReviewHalo 4’s visuals and music were, and still are, awesome
  • This could just be a little bit of history repeating itself. When I started Reactive Bias almost two years ago, I was introduced to all the players who strongly disliked (hated) Reach. And all this time I loved a game that I should have complained about … 😉
  • Review Halo 4’s story was a disappointment, not in content but in execution. I feel 343 Industries pushed the bar so high it ended up out of reach. Everything mattered, but everything didn’t come together into an understandable whole at the time of the game’s release – and because of that the story suffered. Both those who read the books and those who did not finished “Midnight” feeling something was just a little off, and I think the enigma of the Didact was to blame
  • I’ve realized that Halo to me is what’s put out there as Halo, no matter who’s making it. That doesn’t mean I think it’s all good, but it does mean that I recognize the obvious – I’m not in charge.
  • Review – Spartan Ops was a great first step (minus the dudebro of the first half)  in a new direction, and Multiplayer still keeps me coming back for more. Halo multiplayer has been fun for me in the past, and Halo 4’s War Games hasn’t changed that

To bring these reflections to a close, the good that Halo 4 does – and aspires to do – outweighs the bad for me. It’s that question of weight, and my answer to it, that lands me squarely in the “likes Halo 4” camp 😀

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Last thing – be sure to check out CruelLEGACEY’s posts (part 1,part 2 and part 3) on how he would make Halo 5 if given the chance. We differ on our excitement for the franchise going forward, but I agree with a lot of his takeaways on how the experience for the next game in the “Reclaimer Trilogy” can be bettered.

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*=The author of this post does not actually enjoy the beating of any of the equine population, dead of otherwise.