Days after event: 365

Dawn (H4 level)

Seems like old times.
Ready to get back to work?
Cortana crosses her arms.
I thought you’d never ask.

– John-117 and Cortana, “Dawn” level, Halo 4

To realize that’s it’s been a year since the buildup and release of Halo 4 is pretty crazy.

Three-hundred and sixty-five days since I busted out of work, drove home and was able to experience the thrill of a new Halo game – a new world to explore, new multiplayer spaces, and a new piece to the fiction-puzzle that makes up the Halo canon.

I’ve had great times since then, from the first night where I played the campaign straight through with friends, to hours of War Games and the addition of Spartan Ops, Halo 4 gave me what I wanted – more Halo.

For the established Halo Community the game has had its up and downs to be sure, but I’m excited about the future. The game certainly gave the franchise a new vibe, and I really have no idea where things are going to go – which intrigues me.

A toast: here’s to what’s come before and what’s yet to come – and may we all wake up from cryogenic sleep just as rested.

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“We’re not leaving him here” – upcoming posts/thank you!

Sergeant Johnson: “Radio for VTOL, heavy lift gear. We’re not leaving him here.”

He looks down and realize the chip is empty. The Chief reaches up and grabs Johnson’s wrist

Master Chief: “Yeah. You’re not.”

He pushes himself slowly to his feet

“Arrival”, Halo 3 (pulled from Halopedia)

It’s to my shame that I haven’t posted on Reactive Bias in a while, and a thank you to everyone who has been checking out the site since then – even with the lack of content.

And a thank you to all the randoms who continue to come to the site by mistake – your poor search skills are my gain!

Like many things that I enjoying doing (but require work), I’m always thinking about writing but when it comes making it happen I’m easily distracted.

(Specific distraction: I’ve been playing through the Assassin’s Creed series, currently on Brotherhood. I could say a lot about it, but I’ll keep it short – it’s been fantastic.)

But enough of my excuses – I wanted to give you guys a head’s up as to what I’ve been working on and plan to roll out in a more steady fashion.

It’s what you do that defines you (thank you Ms. Dawes), so here’s what I hope to do!

  • HBOhio – the rest of the pics! You’ve seen a few, but I plan to draw out the nostalgia with even more photo goodness.
  • New deck conversationsmore additions to the often sarcastic world of Halo ecards.
  • Hey, weren’t you reading the novels? – yep. Last entry was here, and I’ve finished a few since then. Reactions incoming!
  • Hyperion knowledge bombs – I laid out the ground work here, and I’ve been loving the Halo 4 Visual Guide. I’m excited to be able to use these resources to gain a better appreciation and understanding of the universe, and to add a few of my thoughts along the way as well.
  • Articles, smarticles – I have some thoughts on new articles (Why Spartan Ops needs to be more like Tie Fighter, commentary breakdown of Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, etc.) as well, so those will come as I can get to them.

Again, a big thank you to everyone who’s read (and especially followed!) Reactive Bias.

I’ve been MIA, but you’re not leaving me here …

Did he just compare himself to Master Chief? And he's talking in 3rd person?

Did he just compare himself to Master Chief? And now he’s talking in 3rd person? Yikes.

The fact that people are still with me means a lot.

Thank you!

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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 😀

***

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.

Bringing the Wonder – Halo 5 E3 2013 Teaser

As if having E3 2013 in full swing wasn’t enough, we were treated to a glimpse of the (possible) next installment of the Reclaimer Trilogy yesterday with the release of a teaser trailer at the Halo Xbox One E3 Media Brief.

There’s nothing like a Halo announcement video – it cuts to the core of every fan and brings the wonder factor every time.

But besides making my eyes twinkle with wonder, what else is going on in the trailer? Let’s ask some questions and let the speculation run wild!

Halo 5 teaser_2

Who? – There are three players in this mini-drama that we can identify – the Chief, Cortana (not actually present but a big part of the scene) and a (presumably) Forerunner machine which I will call “Stan.”

Stan makes quite the entrance, with the “wings” coming open being a particularly spectacular moment.

Since I saw the trailer on the link that labeled it as Halo, I figured that was the Master Chief trekking across a very mysterious (and very windy) desert. Did anyone see the trailer without knowing it was him? I think it would have made the entire sequence even better – the shock of finding out who the solitary wanderer was.

Halo 5 teaser_3

What? – So what the heck are we actually looking at? In the past Halo reveals have told a slightly different narrative than what actually happens in the game, so I’m expecting that to continue here – meaning while a similar scene may happen in-game it probably will have some variation throughout.

This could also be something that doesn’t take place in the next game at all, or at least we don’t see it take place.

What exactly does John-117 hold out in his hand? Is that the last chip that Cortana had been present on? (As a side note, wasn’t that chip vaporized by the Didact in the last level of Halo 4, “Midnight”?) Is there a trace of her still on that piece of equipment, or it is something to remind Chief of where he’s been/what he’s still fighting for?

Is Stan really a piece of Forerunner tech? Is there another power in in the galaxy that our hero now has to contend with? (I believe it is Forerunner, but I suppose there’s no way to be absolutely sure about anything at this point.)

What has the Master Chief been doing up until now? Is this the longest debrief is UNSC history?

What are the shadows that float across the ground during the logo shot at the end – possible a hint at a ship (or ships)?

Halo 5 teaser_4

Where? – Obviously it’s in a desert, but where at? The rock formations (the tall, thick spikes) that we see in the background right before Stan rises up reminded me of the Reach firefight map of Unearthed. I don’t believe this trailer takes place on Reach, but it was a neat connection.

The planet (or moon) in the background might give us a clue – is it a natural formation? It looked vaguely like it could be Forerunner made, but I don’t think so.

Where did the Forerunner machine come from? Was it (likely) placed in this location long ago, or is the desert its place of origin?

When? – Does this scene take place during the next game? Perhaps as a flashback? I would like to see the game just drop you somewhere without any explanation, and then have cut scenes like this one bring you up to speed as the game progresses; kind of a “reaction/action” thing.

When did Chief make the decision to come to this place? Was his hand forced?

Halo 5 teaser_5

Why? – It’s the obvious first question but I’ll ask it; why is the Master Chief here?

The way the Spartan just stands there as Stan rises from the ground makes it seem as if he’s expecting him, or at least was looking for him.

Could this have anything to do with the alteration the Librarian gave to John-117’s genetic code from Halo 4? Is Chief on a journey planned by her, like Bornstellar Makes Eternal Lasting so long before?

Why is the Chief’s visor cracked? Is that purely symbolic of his broken state? If so, that’s the good throwback to the opening cinematic of Halo 4 where the ONI operative refers to John-117 as “broken.”

Then again, maybe he just took a hammer to the face in the latest Grifball tournament on the Infinity. Who knows?

Halo 5 teaser

ADDENDUM: [approx. 1:00am EST] After I had already made this post I finished up some games with Sal from Halofanforlife (HFFL) and he had a theory about who the Forerunner construct (Stan) might actually be – Mendicant Bias! (He goes deeper into the theory in this post.)

This idea does make sense – with Mendicant being sealed below the Ark in the extra audio of Silentium (see Sal’s post for more on that), and the location in the trailer looking very much like the surface of the Ark in Halo 3, you have two good points as to who exactly spreads their wings in the trailer.

The (Lesser) Ark was destroyed at the end of Halo 3 – but could a part of it have survived?

Would Mendicant be a friend or foe? Is that who rises to greet Master Chief?

Whatever the case, exciting times are ahead – and I’m really looking forward to having these questions answered … and asking more.

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Modcast Bulletin (Ep. 5)

This Modcast was originally broadcast on 12.1.11

The “Modcast #5” achievement*** has been unlocked, and it was totally worth it!

As with the last Modcast, there were too many good things said to record quotes in here so that will be a separate post … enjoy!

Appreciated points:

Updated visuals take you there – CruelLEGACEY brought out the point that the updated Continue reading →