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 →

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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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343 day – goodness abounds!

Being the 343rd day of the year, today is – you guessed it – 343 day.

But this day has more in store that just fun for people who like to count – here’s the full list of goodness straight from Waypoint:

  • Halo: Spartan Assault for Xbox One Interview
  • Race Live Gameplay
  • Halo 4 Matchmaking Chat
  • Grifball Live Gameplay
  • Josh Holmes Interview
  • Speed Slayer Live Gameplay
  • Halo: Escalation Comic Book Interview
  • Ricochet Live Gameplay
  • Neutral Flag Live Gameplay
  • Xbox One Launch Discussion
  • Snapshot Live Gameplay
  • Giveaways throughout the day

343 Industries will also be online via their Twitch.TV channel here from 1:00 – 4:00pm PST, so feel free to check them out there as well.

As for myself, I’m only in it to dress up my man-doll in a new helmet 🙂

Just for playing a game today (12/9/2013), you get the Commando helmet. For those of us (like myself) who will never get Dominion mastery, this is sweet

Just for playing a game today (12/9/2013), you get the Commando helmet. For those of us (like myself) who will never get Dominion mastery the normal way, this is sweet

 

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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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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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