News

All of the latest Halo news will be posted here! Everything from Halo 5 Guardians to the Halo Master Chief Collection and more!

Halo Wars 2 Awakening The Nightmare Soundtrack released!

Halo Wars 2 Awakening The Nightmare Soundtrack released!

Halo Wars 2 Awakening The Nightmare Soundtrack released!

HW2: Awakening The Nightmare Soundtrack Cover

HW2: Awakening The Nightmare Soundtrack Cover

Accompanying the new DLC to Halo Wars 2 (Which you should really play) is a brand new expansion to the soundtrack as well. Composer Gordy Haab returns to make more music together with Brian Triffon and Brian Lee White from Finishing Move Inc.

 

Tracklist:

Do Not Disturb – 1:12

Tread Softly – 1:41

Mindfulness – 2:34

Diseased Darkness – 0:55

Fevered Dread – 4:08

No Retreat – 2:22

No Surrender – 3:11

That Old Life – 2:18

Blood Oath – 2:16

Corroded – 2:55

Ossified – 4:30

Uncharitable – 3:06

The music released Sep 26th and is available in digitally format only in stores like Amazon, iTunes and Sumthing.com

 

HurryingCandy – @Twitter

 

Posted by HurryingCandy in Blogs, News, 0 comments
Halo Wars 2 Vinyl Soundtrack Release!

Halo Wars 2 Vinyl Soundtrack Release!

Halo Wars 2 Vinyl Soundtrack Release!

Sumthing Else Music Works Announced Halo Wars 2 Vinyl !

Following the official press release

New York (September 18, 2017) – Today, Sumthing Else Music Works, the award-winning record label dedicated to licensing and distributing video game soundtracks, announced that the “Halo Wars 2 Original Soundtrack” will be released as a limited edition red marbled double LP on September 22 (pre-order here).

The deluxe gatefold package features new artwork for the vinyl release and includes a free digital download card. Also announced today, the soundtrack to the game’s expansion “Halo Wars 2: Awakening The Nightmare” will be released via Sumthing Else Music Works on digital and streaming platforms on September 26.

Featuring the original scores by composing team Gordy Haab, Brian Trifon and Brian Lee White, the soundtracks for Halo Wars 2 build on the legendary legacy of Halo music by Martin O’Donnell, Michael Salvatori and other great composers.

Developed by 343 Industries and Creative Assembly and published by Microsoft Studios, “Halo Wars 2” is an action-packed RTS for everyone on the biggest Halo battlefield ever, and is the long-awaited sequel to the best-selling console real-time strategy (RTS) of all time, “Halo Wars.” In “Halo Wars 2,” players lead armies of Spartans and other Halo fighting forces like Warthogs, Scorpions, and exciting new units in a brutal war against a terrifying new enemy, The Banished.

“Halo Wars 2: Awakening the Nightmare” is a brand-new full expansion coming to Halo Wars 2, featuring a new campaign, two new multiplayer leaders, two new multiplayer maps, and Terminus Firefight – a unique new cooperative mode where players build both bases and armies to defend and survive against an onslaught of enemy forces. “Halo Wars 2: Awakening the Nightmare” will be available September 26 exclusively on Xbox One and Windows 10 PC.

For more information on “Halo Wars 2,” visit http://www.xbox.com/en-US/games/halo-wars-2

For more information on Sumthing Else Music Works and its complete catalog of video game soundtracks, visit www.sumthing.com, like us at Facebook.com/SumthingElseMusicWorks and follow us on Twitter @SumthingDigital.


Red Marble Vinyl


Beautiful, Beautiful Vinyl

Following the tradition of Vinyl releases since Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary ( Honestly I was getting nervous it wouldn’t come anymore) Halo Wars will now get it’s own vinyl. This will be the 5th soundtrack available on vinyl with Halo CEA, 4, 2A and 5 already having theirs.

According to the product details it’s a Limited edition. However it does not specify the number of copies it’s limited to. CEA was limited to 2000 If memory serves me right and Halo 4 had a limitation of 5000 signed copies (while the supply kept going but without a sig from Neil Davidge). Halo 5 has a Limited clear vinyl edition limited to a 1000 copies and only available in the US being sold by Hastings (who is unfortunately out of business now)

Unlike Halo 5 and 2 Anniversary and more like Halo 4 and CEA The Halo Wars Vinyl is colored in Atriox red and has majestic concept art from the game.

Halo Wars 2 "Spirit of Fire" Concept Art

Halo Wars 2 “Spirit of Fire” Concept Art

 

 

 

HurryingCandy – @Twitter

About Sumthing Else Music Works: 
Since its creation in the late 1990s by the world-renowned songwriter, musician and record producer, Nile Rodgers, Sumthing Else Music Works has become the acknowledged industry leader in licensing and distributing video game soundtracks. Possessing full in-house services worldwide, from retail marketing and sales through physical and digital distribution, Sumthing is partnered with the world’s leading video
game developers and publishers including BioWare, Bungie, Capcom, Crystal Dynamics, Crytek, Deep Silver, Double Fine, Eidos-Montreal, Epic Games, Gearbox Software, Konami, Microsoft, Sega, Sony, Square-Enix and Ubisoft. Their catalog of titles includes the best-selling video game soundtrack of all time, Halo 2: Volume One, as well as many award-winning and critically acclaimed titles including: ARK: Survival Evolved, Resident Evil 7 Biohazard, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Eagle Flight, Gears of War 4, Assassin’s Creed series, WildStar, TRON RUN/r, Far Cry Primal, The Division, Grim Fandango, Broken Age, Bloodborne, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, Fantasia: Music Evolved, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, Infamous: Second Son, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2, Dead Rising 3, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, Company of Heroes 2, Tomb Raider, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Dragon’s Dogma, Jet Set Radio, Journey, Borderlands 2, Darksiders II, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Gears of War 3, Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine, Alan Wake, Halo: Reach, Fable III, God of War III, Uncharted 2, Halo 3: ODST, Dark Void, Borderlands, InFamous, Resident Evil 5, Street Fighter IV, Halo Wars, Halo Trilogy, Gears of War 2, Fable II, Crysis, Advent Rising, Fable, Gears of War, Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2 Volume Two, Halo 3, Hitman: Blood Money, Hitman: Contracts, Jade Empire, Kameo: Elements of Power, Mass Effect, Red Steel, Freedom Fighters and many others. Sumthing Else Music Works and Sumthing Distribution logos are copyright of their respective companies. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
About the Halo Franchise: 
Exclusively published by Microsoft Studios and developed by 343 Industries, the Halo franchise is an award-winning collection of properties, more than $5 billion in worldwide sales to date, that has transcended video games and grown into a global entertainment phenomenon. Beginning with the original “Halo: Combat Evolved” (2001) to the record-breaking launch of “Halo 5: Guardians” (2015), the critically acclaimed and record-shattering series of games has reinvented how people think about video games and has since built a fan base of millions worldwide and inspired multiple New York Times best-selling novels, a live-action digital series, comic books, action figures, apparel and more.
Exclusively published by Microsoft Studios, the Halo franchise of games have sold more than 70 million copies worldwide, driving nearly more than 6 billion hours of gameplay by fans connected to Xbox Live.
About 343 Industries: 
343 Industries is the developer of the blockbuster “Halo” series of video games and, as part of Microsoft Studios, oversees the “Halo” franchise, including games, original programming, novels, comics, licensed collectibles, apparel and more. The studio most recently launched “Halo 5: Guardians” in 2015 and is currently developing “Halo Wars 2” for Xbox One and Windows 10 PC, while continuing to transform entertainment experiences across the “Halo” universe with groundbreaking projects, such as the upcoming Steven Spielberg produced television series.
About Creative Assembly: 
Founded in 1987 and based in Horsham, West Sussex, Creative Assembly is one of the UK’s most successful and established game studios. Creator of the multi award-winning Total War strategy series, the studio has received numerous press, industry and consumer accolades, including BAFTA and the Develop Industry Excellence awards. With over 400 highly talented developers and counting, the studio is still expanding with new triple-A console, PC and mobile projects. Creative Assembly’s website is located at www.creative-assembly.com
Posted by HurryingCandy in Blogs, News, 1 comment
Admiral Preston Cole Returns with a Beacon – Archive Beacon – August 12, 2016

Admiral Preston Cole Returns with a Beacon – Archive Beacon – August 12, 2016

Light the Beacon. 


Introduction

Happy August, Archivers!  I hope that everyone is enjoying their end of summer and looking forward to heading back to school for those younglings that still do that (haha!).  We have a couple of things to talk about this time around.  Superlatives have finally arrived, there is a new moderator rank on the forums, maturations are a part of Beacons now, we’ve got a sneak peak into staff, and much more.  Let’s jump right in.


 Main Section

The winners of the Archive Superlatives are finally here.  Technology has finally cooperated.  These members will live on in fame or infamy forever.  Here are your winners:

 

Most likely to get banned for Memeing: Preston Cole

 

Most Likely to Secretly be a Celebrity: GrimBrotherOne

 

Most likely to Spartan Charge a teammate into terrible situations: Ellisrael

 

Most obnoxious Halo player: Ellisrael

 

Best Preston Cole: Brother Jones

 

Most Bodacious: TR-8R

 

Most likely to break the Archive: lizking10152011

 

Best Halo Archive Writer: She Sangheili

 

Best Emergency Replacement for Gob: Brother Jones

 

The Most Likely to be a Mouth Breather through the Mic: Adopter of Knowledge

 

Most Grammar Nazi: Will

 

Most likely to get banned on Xbox Live: Brother Jones

 

Most likely to get their prompt turned into porn by She Sangheili: StellarStateLogic

 

Best Builder: She Sangheili

 

Best Lifeworker: StellarStateLogic

 

Best Warrior: Anirudh07

 

Best Miner: CIA391

 

Best Juridical: Logan

 

Most likely to give others a lift when they are feeling down: Hurrying Candy

 

Best Halo Player: WRGGuntDevil

 

Worst Halo Player: Brother Jones

 

Most likely to ground pound anyone to oblivion: Erickyboo


 On Topic

 Canon Fodder

Halo 6 Story Discussion/Speculation

Halo Wars 2

Off Topic

 Fashion

Anime Thread

No Man’s Sky: An Infinite Space Exploration Game


 Announcements

As many of you seem to have heard, a new moderator title has been added to the fold.  This rank is known as “Prefect” and can be identified by the light blue name text.

The purpose of the rank is to maintain a healthy amount of moderators and staff members.  Prefect is a rank reserved for less active moderators and staff who we believe should still maintain their power in case there are emergencies (spam bots would be an example).  It never hurts to have enough people who can aid in maintaining the site and keeping an eye out for anything that would make the Archive look bad. They’re also kind of like community leaders in a sense. Think multi-role!


 Featured

What—Where am I? Oh snap, it’s a beacon folks! Well, we’ve got something extra, extra special going on. Before we go into absolute overdrive in staff the next coming months, we want to give everyone a peak into staff chat and what we’ve been working on, presented by yours truly, sexy monster Ellisrael.

 

First off, let’s talk about Reclaimer memberships. If you’re not aware, these memberships are the best. You get no advertisements on the site, you get a choice of colored text, a personal chat lounge, and more (It’s only $10 a year as well!)! Well, we decided to work on organizing the Reclaimer memberships, which was our first goal.

We successfully created a very hefty sheet to finalize all of our Reclaimer memberships. This took a lot of tracking people down, surveying them about their memberships and asking what was up. It took two pages of talking stuff out to make sure everything was in order. Lots and lots of work went into it.

View post on imgur.com

Second, we’ve got the Beacons, one of which you are reading right now. These took a fair amount of brainstorming, revising, and staff meetings. Ultimately they’re here and they’ve been doing great. Cheers!

 

Third, we decided to add more staff members to tackle the upcoming tasks staff will have to handle. With more helping hands and more time on the Community Manager’s hands, it seems to have been a great call and we’re bringing more than ever to the table because of it.

 

Fourth, we decided to work on adding a new rank to staff, the Prefects. More on that in the announcements section!

 

Finally, we’re working on Archive emailing. We’re separating and migrating all of our accounts and info for added security, organization, and more. It’s going to be a huge challenge and lots of time and work has been and will be put into it, but we’re still going strong and we don’t intend for that to change.

 

We’ve got staff meetings to initialize and finish these projects, which are working great. We block off hours of our day for this stuff, and let me tell you, we love doing it. We want to and can make something of this.

 

This all has an end goal guys. We want to provide the best platform for you all possible. We hope to, no, we WILL, eventually tackle issues outside of these organizational and internal things. This is going to spread to the rest of the community. And great things will come to it. All of staff sees it, and eventually you guys will as well.


As usual, we’ve also got five featured members and their works! There’s so much cool stuff this time around!:

 

Halo: Legends Japanese Blu-Ray Special/First Edition (Unboxing) by StellarStateLogic – Stellar got her hands on a really cool Japanese Halo: Legends Special Edition! She unboxed it and everything, it’s really cool, check it out!

 

I skimmed through my Halo 5 art book and pulled out what I felt was interesting by itisKenway – Kenway pulled some really cool stuff out of the Halo 5 art book he found interesting. It provides some really cool insight!

 

Halo 5 Beta Menu UI designs and Design of Spartan Abilities by DARK REIGN12 – An inside look into the early development of Halo 5’s menus and new Spartan abilities.

 

Halo: Ground Command – LoreThe Power of a CAS-Class Assault Carrier, and Halo: Fleet Battles – Lore by Lord of Admirals – Some very cool and interesting background on Halo: Ground Command, Halo: Fleet Battles, and analyzing the CAS-Class Assault Carrier. This stuff is really lengthy and in-depth. We absolutely love it because of how much work was put into this. Great job!

 

Promethean Knight Awareness? by Drof497 – Analyzing what being a Promethean Knight truly means, and what was actually taken away from them. Do they have feelings? Do they want to do what they are doing? How does this tie in with Cortana using slaves for her conquest of restoring the Mantle?

 

Some people also need help with stuff!

 

Check out Valkyrie 497‘s story, he needs help writing Black-Box in his story and will credit any and all who help!

 

Ever heard of Sins of the Prophets? Of course you have! Unikraken and friends need help with voice actors. Check it out!

 

Lastly, check out OG Halo. These guys are a really funny and cool group of guys, and are willing to help anyone. They’ve got a discord chat for teaming up and destroying people in ranked, play Warzone, whatever! They’re really cool guys!

 

I’ve taken up enough time here, back to you Cole!


Staff Comments

 

Someday soon my friends. This ride will come to an end. And we can’t just get in line again.

     Addition: We plan to make this community something. Something where our voices and (hopefully) be intertwined with the makers of this universe and other communities along the way. To be a place to learn everything about Halo and have some fun in games, movies/videos, music, and other outlets that enrich the Halo Universe. Yes this has always been the plan, but we promise to make this statement loud and clear within a small time frame. So stick around.

-Brother Jones


     Happy Beacon Everybody. I’m going to keep this brief as I’m a little under the weather, but–as others have stated–we’ve got a lot of big things in the works.  A lot of exciting and interesting endeavors.  So keep an eye out and follow closely. Have a good weekend everyone.

-Mr Martini


     Happy Beacon! We’ve got some new stuff we’re working on that we’re excited to unveil when they get finished. And don’t miss out on Halo Wars 2 in February. Every bit of information about it just adds to the hype train.

Happy August, everyone!

-Folder of Fortune, future dictator democratically elected ruler of the Archive


Go watch Bojack Horseman.

-Logan


Beacon day? WHAT YEAR IS IT?

     It’s August, and you know what that means: massive amounts of entertainment to absorb and then rush onto Archive to discuss! Maybe some music? Maybe the greatest scifi drama ever right now: Stranger Things? Or maybe you can tumble down the rabbit hole of Halo 1/2-like hype and discussion with No Man’s Sky. The world, nay, the universe is your oyster. Trust in me as your atlas and I will show you the way!

– SlayBells, your totally biologically human moderator; promise.


Sappy Beacon everyone. I’m still having a festival hangover (literally and figuratively) and getting back into the swing of this whole ‘Halo Archive’ thing. 

Also as I’m typing this up my dog has an upset stomach and is crying :(” 

-Gob


     Badda bing badda boom. When I kick open the door, they all look at me. Even if I don’t try that hard all the guys get nosebleeds. A toast for me right now. Hands up, in my hands there’s a bottle full o’ Henny. The girl you’ve always heard about, that’s me, Jennie.

Stay cordial and keep it clean, loves!

Grizzlei 


Maturations

This is going to be a small list because we did Maturations not even two weeks ago and they’re now in the Beacon. We’ll make the most of it!

@Benijam – Warrior

@Ambr8978 – Builder

 

Congrats!


Conclusion

     As the summer winds down, please remember that you should never hesitate to contact a moderator or staff member with any questions, concerns, etc.  We are always looking for ways to improve your experience on the Archive and feedback is a necessary way to know how to do that.

You can look forward to the next Beacon on Friday, September 2nd.

Thanks all.  Keep up the good work.

-Admiral Papa Swole Cole

Posted by Preston Cole in Archive Beacons, Blogs, News, The Library, 1 comment
One Final Effort – Archive Beacon – 22 July 2016

One Final Effort – Archive Beacon – 22 July 2016

The Beacon has been lit once again.

 

One Final Effort

Archive Beacon 22 July 2016

 

Introduction

It’s been a long time coming, baby! Welcome back to the tri-weekly Archive Beacon. That’s every three weeks, not three times a week. Despite discombobulated English, we’re back and better! Expect more from these from here on out. As per the format of Beacons, we’re supposed to write what’s been happening since the last Beacon, however… Well, it’s been a long time. So I’ll just write about what’s been happening in the recent past. Enjoy!

 

Main Section

Since we last talked a lot has happened. We’ve been working on a lot, the community has been doing a lot, and staff has changed a good bit. We’ve bumped Grizzlei and Logan up to Community Managers, and added three new excellent scrubs to the Juridical team: Mr Martini, Folder of Fortune, and Slaybells! We’re very excited to have them on the team and they’ve been doing an excellent job.

 

We’ve got some awesome stuff going on within staff. We finally sorted out any and all issues with Reclaimer memberships and got everything sorted. Beacons are back. We’ve got new staff aboard. We’ve got staff meetings every two weeks now, which have been really helpful in getting things going. Soon enough we’ll be hopping back on Superlatives and the Archive Tournament. Things are going great within staff and we’ve been super productive. Stay tuned for more!

 

Whilst plotting our eventual takeover of the Archive Installation, we’ve also been looking at some specimen- members’ work here, and cool stuff. We’ve got some cool places to talk about stuff:

 

On topic:

-As usual, Canon Fodder

Halo Wars 2. A Halo Wars 2 Story ViDoc came out! Go check it out!

Halo: Tales from Slipspace

 

Off topic:
Overwatch (Reinhardt FTW!)

Red vs. Blue

Marvel

 

Announcements

Not much in the way of announcements. Again, we’re pretty happy with the way staff has been going and the staff reformation. We’re becoming more and more effective and efficient in our duties, and we’re pretty proud to say the ball is rolling once again after a small period of stasis. We blame the Created takeover.

 

Featured

Here’s some awesome stuff that’s stuck out recently:

Contact Harvest Signed Book Secret – A thread decoding and looking into a signed book by Joseph Staten by CIA391

As Time Passes… – A thread on the Didact doll, and plot hints for Halo by Dodger

The Fontsmith’s Foundry – A thread decoding the language of Forerunners by StellarStateLogic

 

We had another Gif War (Gif Wars 5, to be precise) in the Canon Fodder Thread. Sorry Grim! Anyone who participated is officially a Gif Wars survivor… Maybe we could make a badge for that… :)

 

If you’ve got anything you want to be featured, make sure to tell us!

 

Staff Comments

     It’s been a good week here on the Archive full of tremendously enlightening dialogues (YAY SHIPS!) in keeping with the spirit and intentions of this wonderful, fledgling community. Special shout out to Anton, Dust, LtColonelTzu, and Preston Cole for livening up the Canon Fodder Discussion thread. Super duper radical special shout out to the forever wonderful GrimBrotherOne for tolerating our dorky butts for yet another week. We can be a pain for you but in the end we dearly appreciate everything you do for passionate communities like ours. In other news this coming week will see a great amount of news brought into the spotlight for all aspects of the Halo community. From gamers and lore buffs to the extremely meticulous toy collectors there will be something for all of us to freak out over. Be as active as you can and find out everything there is to share with your fellow fans! Finally, on a completely unrelated note, please buy Overwatch because it’s honestly the only shooter besides Halo 5 worth playing right now. Let’s get some Archive playdates going across all the platforms! There’s a new hero Ana due out this weekend in the latest patch and so many teammates need to be 360 no-scoped healed by this fabulous lady.

Stay cordial and keep it clean, loves!

Grizzlei 


Hello, nerds!  I hope you’re all having a great summer.  Just two quick points on my end.

     Yes, superlatives are still happening.  As you may have seen my laptop was on its last leg and my charger literally exploded, so I’ve had to wait.  The winners will be announced during an Archive game day and the list will be on the next Beacon.  Bare with me as technology hates me way too much or something.

The world events threads have been lively with civil and informative discourse.  Just a reminder to keep it that way.  You’re all doing well.

Keep up the good work!

-Presto Swole


Hey there, you beautiful Archive rompers you! We’ve dumped a beacon on you yet again, did ya miss it?

With more and more events coming into play and much more staff engagement coming along, Beacons returning are only just part of the Archive’s overall movement! The Chat thread is far better than it was half a year ago, and that is absolutely swell! So remember everyone, keep it clean o_o and keep it fun :) !

With the Archive Tournament coming shortly, I may have some maps rolling out just for the occasion, so long as Ellisrael doesn’t beat me for trying~

-Ghost of War


     Glad to have these Beacons started again! It has been a loooong time coming and now is a great time! With Halo Wars 2 coming out along with plenty of other events, product and lore. There will a lot to talk about in the coming months.

     I am a rather new staff member still, I would like to say. But have been a member for a few years and now have the time to help out here. So you will probably see me all over the place (if you haven’t already) that the Archive has it’s fingers in. Like Twitch, YouTube, Reddit and plenty of other community and social sites!

Feel free to reach out to me for anything from collaborations to affiliations and more!

And subscribe to our YouTube for some projects we have coming up and our Twitch channel, we broadcast most game days!

 – Brother Jones/Adv Jones 


     Hey, so I don’t exactly have much to really say right now. In fact, I don’t really have much to say in general, really. The Archive’s still got an absolutely wonderful community. And the Canon Fodder thread has been having some really good discussions.

Keep it clean!

Folder of Fortune

Future dictator benevolent ruler of the Archive


Dear Archive,

     I still don’t know what I’m doing, but that’s how I got this job, so hear me out: coming from someone who spends a lot of time on Waypoint, seeing what moderators have to put up with there versus here is stunning … and we can -Yoinking- swear and discuss politics, nonetheless. What I’ve seen here are intelligent, civil, tolerant, respectable, empathetic, and honest people working together as a community. We are friends who discuss our differences with such diplomacy, world leaders should look to us as an example :cavebob:

Anyway, I may not know what I’m doing yet, and I may be a bit of a dingus who’s only here right now because I thought the word “beacon” was “bacon”, but I’m honored to be here either way. 

-MrMartini


:logan:

Halo Wars 2 yo.

-Logan


Greetings and salutations,

     I’m going to preface the following with this: I am not a robot. The way I talk may appear stilted and unnatural, but I can assure you I’m not a robot. I swear. I understand some of you who believe the prophecy of the robot uprising would think that’s what a robot would want you to think. You are probably correct. I wouldn’t know…because I am not a robot. Seriously. Seriously. I will now commence with my proper remarks.

     I’m not very good at speeches or things like speeches, so apologies in advance. I’m much more the type that enjoys talking with people, and I look forward to doing that with everyone here over time. While Halo has brought us all here you can usually find me in the off-topic section of the forum; particularly the Other Universes board. I like that we can learn about other common interests, and possibly gain new ones through conversation. There’s a lot to offer here in that regard. I’m currently (slowly) working on history and story details of the Metal Gear series in the Metal Gear thread. I also frequent the Dragon Ball, Pokemon, and Marvel threads. Also, I know Halo is the big focus here (especially multiplayer), but for those looking for something in addition to that I’d like to point you to the Overwatch thread. That’s just the beginning. There’s also art, current events, and much more. All I ask is that you don’t make me access my internal system defense protocols remain cordial and have fun!

Sincerely,

– SlayBells, a human, from Earth, a planet


I’ve been undercover. Working in the dark to serve the light. Piloting this ship with our mighty crew.

Or maybe I’ve just been working irl a lot. And maybe I’ve been sick all week. 

Either way, we’re back, lighting this Beacon once again for your reading pleasure. (Special thanks to @Ellisrael for giving us the kick in the ass we needed for this) [You’re welcome ;).]

-Gob


Extras

I’ve got to point out that, NO, maturations will not be a part of the beacons. These are tri-weekly, they won’t line up with maturations. Sorry for the mix-up guys! We’ve got more coming and we’re excited for it.

 

Conclusion

That’s all for this time around. Thank you guys so much for being amazing community members. The Archive Staff couldn’t ask for a better community of smarter, kinder, and funny people. We love you all and hope these Beacons can help you guys connect with us more, and most importantly everyone more. Thank you for reading, and have an amazing day of staying inside like a hermit and playing Halo!

 

Signed,

Ellisrael

Posted by Ellisrael in Archive Beacons, Blogs, News, The Library, 0 comments
Halo 5 Campaign Review: The Good, The Bad and The Confusing

Halo 5 Campaign Review: The Good, The Bad and The Confusing

*Spoilers*

Halo 5 Guardians is said to be the largest Halo ever by it’s own developers, 343 Industries…but does that make it the best? Let’s dive into my personal Halo 5 Campaign review –


The thing that has always made Halo…Halo…was it’s central story arc and wonderfully crafted campaign with our hero the Master Chief leading the way. That being said, the developers and most fans agree there are more than enough characters and a strong enough universe to include other characters in the games as a central player and protagonist.

Halo 5 Guardians is the first game to do just that.


h5-guardians-campaign-osiris-open-locke-3ef8cb1ad16f4dd29bdb6728cc4adca5-610x343


Meet Jameson Locke; the undeniable main character of Halo 5 Guardians as he tries tirelessly to save the Master Chief from his own doings and bring him home to the UNSC. Locke encompasses everything you want in a soldier and even main protagonist: duty to the mission, honor to the larger goal and a general sense of trust with his comrades and even people playing the game. Jameson Locke was done perfectly.

  • Voice acting: Check.
  • Background: Check.
  • Likability: Check.
  • Character Appearance: Check. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

From the very beginning cutscene of the Halo 5 Campaign where we see Locke and the rest of Fireteam Osiris, I believed in Spartan Locke and his ability to get the job done. I felt powerful playing as him too, whether it was mowing down Prometheans or commanding the fire-team to certain positions, I enjoyed playing as Jameson Locke.

Then on the second mission of the game we cut to a more familiar face and his team/friends, Master Chief and Blue Team. It felt much more seasoned and less “new” playing as Chief with Blue Team, which is good because it should feel that way. They are not the new Spartan IVs with enhanced Forerunner technology in the suits. They are the originals; the best of the best. Before I continue this review and get lost in talking about the play style, I want to say overall this was the most fun campaign to play I have ever had in a Halo game. In terms of  weapon/ability mechanics, movement and general enjoyment this blows every other Halo out of the water for campaign. Playing as a Spartan felt more powerful and commanding on the battlefield than ever before. The new abilities that are available at our disposal helped tremendously with this feeling. For once I felt like more than just a foot soldier on the ground, and more like what a Spartan has been described as.

The team involvement they added to Halo 5 Guardians was great as well. I enjoyed marking targets for my team to take down and having them move to a certain location on the field, although in my experience they were not much help at all.  Too many times did I see the AI just not get the job done when I told them to take down a certain Promethean Soldier or even Watcher…so I am not really sure what they were shooting at half the time. Definitely something that needs improvement in Halo 6 if they keep the team aspect. The team aspect did however make me feel a part of the storyline. I think one main factor playing to this was the constant team chatter over the comms networks. This made me feel more entrenched and involved with the characters and truly a part of the story. Not to mention the levels themselves were larger and provided for a more open style of play where I could choose how to play it in each room or even environment. That went a long way in terms of feeling free from the constraints of a central narrative pushing me through one path, even though that’s exactly what goes on in this type of campaign. It’s the little things that add up to make a campaign experience great and 343 seems to be getting the hang of it in that regard.


Halo-5-Guardians-Bild-70


Let’s change course here and move more into the narrative and story of the Halo 5 Campaign –

We start the game with a brilliant mission focused on showcasing just how lethal Fireteam Osiris is, with it ending in Jul Mdama’s death at the hands of Spartan Locke. This mission accomplishes exactly what it is meant to do, and that is warm players up to the idea of having a new central character in the Halo franchise and his team members. However, the narrative itself just seems a bit too soon to rescue Halsey already. We ended in 2013 with Spartan Ops, with the last Halo cutscene showing Halsey stuck with Jul and the Janus Key (which by the way goes without mention in Halo 5 after being pivotal and a central story to Spartan Ops). We are lead to believe that Halsey will begin manipulating and using Jul to her advantage in an attempt to locate Forerunner technology…and to be fair she does that. Anyone who looks through Halo Escalations would know this is covered.

Ahh…but there in lies the problem. Why is such a central story point to Spartan Ops covered in Halo Escalations? Something most of the fan base has not read including myself because A) I do not like comics and B) I should not have to pick up a comic to see the continuation of a story line in the game. Say what you will, but there is no reason to include such important aspects in the comics and not even mention them in the game following where it was initially brought up (Halo 4). Because of this, it makes Halsey being saved a little forced and almost like an abandoned idea they had and decided to save her right away instead of make her ally with Jul. Again, this may not be true, but that’s how fans will take it as did I because it is such an abrupt end to a story line they created at the END of Halo 4.

We then meet Blue team and this mission is fine, as I found the cutscene where John sees Cortana for the first time absolutely stunning and perfectly captured his emotional roller coaster at the time. John is a broken man trying to stay pieced together through whatever means and little hope he finds. I truly felt John’s sadness and sudden determination to find Cortana from that scene and it perfectly encapsulated what we all figured Chief is going through. Not to be a hypocrite, but this begins the main problem I have with this game.

Let’s start with the below cutscene at 12 minutes:

The entire reason Chief is hunted is because he said “Negative Infinity,” or that is at least all they show us after months of build up between this penultimate conflict between the UNSC and Master Chief. The ads we saw were almost suggesting Chief was betraying Humanity and ignoring the Guardians that were leveling cities. If you go out and look at everything Locke said in the ads as well as Hunt the Truth, it seems much more likely that he did something absolutely terrible. Even Buck in the campaign says, “When they hear about this, they’re going to hate us, you know that right?” Before I get going too much more on this missed opportunity, take a read here so I don’t completely reiterate myself.


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Moving on from that, the rest of the story made sense from an overall standpoint, although again it seemed jumpy which made the small things stand out as incomplete. Halo 4 suffered from not explaining what was going on or who the Didact was, and this game suffers from the same problem. Granted, I know what is happening and I knew what happened in Halo 4, but even to me it seems forced and moves too fast for it’s own pace.

For example: What is Genesis? Where is Genesis? How are the Covenant there? Who is the Warden Eternal and what created him? Why did the Domain seemingly gift Cortana an actual body?

I can keep going, but would rather not. These are questions that I would rather not have to wait for future clarification on when I’m in the middle of playing it. The problem is they are not projecting good mystery and instead creating frustrating questions. For example, in Halo 3 when you are on the Ark reading text in the terminals and questioning what the hell is happening, it is exciting because it adds to the depth of the story and does not pertain to the main goal of the campaign. In Halo 5 Guardians, when we land on Genesis, we see a bunch of Warden Eternals and do not get a clear answer on what he is or who created him. Instead, Cortana says something about there being tons of him. Cool…now I know who it is and what it wants. On the contrary in Halo 3, we knew the Prophet of Truth and what his goal was. We knew the Gravemind’s need to side with us for the time being or else he would be wiped out by the Halo array. Diehards will quickly point out the many questions of Halo 3, notably how the Gravemind even ended up at the Ark. I do not disagree and I am not saying Halo 3 was perfect, but it hit it’s main points and explained enough to know what you were doing. Wheras in the Halo 5 Campaign, we do not ever get to understand what the Warden Eternal is and how Cortana seemingly has a physical presence now after she fell into slipspace and accessed the Domain. Not only does that create gaps in our understanding of the plot, but it detracts from Halo 4 where the main storyline was leading toward the Absolute Record, Janus Key and even the Didact’s fate. There is no continuity with 343’s story telling in the main games.

I will move onto the overall story presented in Halo 5 and my thoughts on it.

Basically, we find out that Cortana was kept alive by the Domain somehow and is undergoing some severe changes in beliefs as she wants to collect a bunch of Guardians in order to threaten the Galaxy into peace and accept her stewardship of the Mantle (along with the rest of the AI).

That is the story in a nutshell, although it is much more complicated than that. Truly, not much else happens throughout the campaign in terms of story though. We rarely see Halsey and the Infinity, the Covenant is now without leadership and the Arbiter defeats the Covenant attack with no hint as to his future in the story or what purpose he will serve, if any. What we are left with throughout this campaign are questions, both in what 343 has in store for the future of the franchise, and also how in the hell we got here from the beginning of Halo 5 Guardians.


At this point, if I am being brutally honest, I do not have much faith in 343 to make a campaign that makes full sense for the audience and follows events with detail in character and plot development. While these games have been more fun with the play-style and also look amazing, I cannot help but feel what we have seen so far in terms of narrative has been underwhelming. In Halo CE, we have the origin story of sorts, so it’s not too fair to compare the games, as it was the beginning of all of this. It did however present mystery that was not frustrating, but instead easy to understand and kept you wanting to learn more. In Halo 2 we learned of the Covenant and who they really are, as well as the Arbiter and saw him grow from a war tool into a leader and eventual savior of the Elites. In Halo 3 we continued the story of the Covenant and outbreak of the Flood and wrapped it up beautifully into an all out assault on the Ark.

Halo 4 did a good job of presenting mystery and a sense of being on a strange new world, but again moved too quick for its own good which is why people were confused on who and what the Didact was. Halo 5 Guardians suffers from the same problem of pacing the story and pushing it along too quick.

I know I am sure to have some people who disagree with me on this, but overall I believe 343i needs to slow down and create a story in the game that flows from plot point to plot point without sacrificing the story for action packed sequences. There was a lot of wasted potential including showcasing the Chief being branded as a traitor through cutscenes  that could have shown soldiers hearing it from their commanders, the overall UNSC Infinity crew (not just the top dogs) and even the public. They marketed this as right vs wrong and Chief vs UNSC, and instead we were left with him just trying to save Cortana when they asked him one time not to….But because the gameplay was so amazing and some of the environments were the best I have ever seen, I will up it from 3 to 3.5 stars. PS hopefully we have the Arbiter speak more in Halo 6.

3.5/5 Stars

Posted by Media Bias in Blogs, News, 0 comments
Halo TV Series Is Still Very Far Away, According to Showtime

Halo TV Series Is Still Very Far Away, According to Showtime

In May 2014, 343 Industries announced both the existence of Halo 5: Guardians, and that the Halo TV series will premiere in Fall 2015. However, just a month later, Xbox’s TV department was axed. Much to fan relief, the TV series was spared cancellation due to 343/Microsoft arranging with Showtime to air the series. Since then, we’ve heard very little about the ellusive production, with not even E3 nor Comicon shedding light.

 

Until now.

 

If you’re one of us expecting to squander to the sofa over the upcoming Halo TV series this fall, you may be diving towards a sea of disappointment. In a recent interview with IGN, Showtime headboss David Nevins confirmed that although the TV series is in “very active development,” we won’t be watching it this fall. Furthermore, when asked for when more details would be shared, Nevins responded with a laugh and said “No time soon.”

 

Well, that’s a bummer.

Posted by JSA343 in Blogs, News, 0 comments
Halo Wars 2

Halo Wars 2

With Gamescon starting today, we expected some news about Halo from Xbox. What we didn’t expect was to have an announcement for a sequel to a game made in 2009. No, I don’t mean an ODST sequel. I mean a Halo Wars sequel. That’s right! Halo Wars 2 was announced today, and it is coming to the Xbox One and PC Windows 10 fall of 2016. The link to the post on Halo Waypoint is right HERE. Not much is said other than that Creative Assembly, the creators of the Total War™ series, is developing this game

The trailer for Halo Wars 2 is right below, along with all the images given to us by 343i.


 

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Halo_Wars_2_Announcement_Pic_2

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News of the sequel is very exciting indeed, as people have been waiting for a sequel for years (6 years for an announcement. I’m not counting). Be sure to check out our forums HERE to discuss the exciting news of a new game and sequel that’s coming for the Xbox and PC Windows 10.



Posted by Dodger546 in Blogs, News, 0 comments
Halo 5 Guardians Walkthrough Guides Announced!

Halo 5 Guardians Walkthrough Guides Announced!

As we inch closer to the release of Halo 5 Guardians, mroe and more goodies are revealing themselves. The most current release and announcement are the Halo 5 Guardians Walkthrough Guides that were just announced by Prima Games!

It looks like we have 2 different versions, with another being classified as an EGuide. Below are the pricing options on all 3 versions:

  • The Collector’s Edition Strategy Guide pricing options are Hardcover for $34.99 and Paperwork for $24.99.
  • Standard Edition Strategy Guide pricing options are Hardcover for $34.99 and Paperback for $24.99
  • EGuide for $9.99

The Collectors Edition apparently comes with Bonus DLC as well, whereas none of the other options include DLC or mention Bonus DLC. In regards to what the DLC could be, it is not clear unfortunately, but it seems like buying the collector’s edition will definitely get you something unique. Below is the full detail on all 3 options from Prima Games!


 

HALO 5: GUARDIANS COLLECTOR’S EDITION STRATEGY GUIDE

Bonus DLC included.

Detailed walkthrough for the entire single-player campaign.

Complete details on how to earn every Achievement.

Expert tips for all multiplayer maps and game modes.

Free Mobile-Friendly eGuide! Includes a code to access the eGuide, a digital version of the full strategy guide optimized for a second-screen experience.

HALO 5: GUARDIANS STANDARD EDITION STRATEGY GUIDE

Detailed walkthrough for the entire single-player campaign.

Complete details on how to earn every Achievement.

Expert tips for all multiplayer maps and game modes.

Free Mobile-Friendly eGuide! Includes a code to access the eGuide, a digital version of the full strategy guide optimized for a second-screen experience.

HALO 5: GUARDIANS EGUIDE

All the strategy at your fingertips—completely optimized for a second-screen experience. Enjoy all the content from our printed strategy guide in a convenient, easy-to-use digital companion.

All content in this eGuide is easily searchable and sortable.

Complete details on how to earn every achievement.

Detailed walkthrough for the entire single-player campaign.

Expert tips for all multiplayer maps and game modes.


Be sure to discuss Halo 5 Guardians here on our forum!



Posted by Media Bias in Blogs, News, 0 comments
Halo championship series season 2 FINALS! And Gamescom 2015 info.

Halo championship series season 2 FINALS! And Gamescom 2015 info.

Good afternoon Archivers!

Season 2 finals

Season 2 finals logo

This weekend is the finals of the Halo championship series season 2. This will be the final Halo 2 anniversary tournament before transiting  over to Halo 5: Guardians for season 3.  Here is the bracket for the event, Bracket.

There is eight teams fighting to get to championship sunday and two teams will be knocked out today.  Who do you think is going to win this weekend sound off in the comment section below!

If you would like to watch the finals click this link! HCS Stream

 


Gamescom 2015

Gamescom2015

At gamescom 2015,  343 Industries will be hosting  invitation event for halo 5 with four teams! three EU squads and one US team. The three EU teams are, Epsilon Esports, Supremacy, CAZ.Esports. The Lone US team is OpTic Gaming.

Now for the Roster for all four teams starting with,

Epsilon Esports:UK20, BUK57, Jimbo, Snipedrone

Supremacy:Ramirez, TuFoxy, Chalkie, Riotz

CAZ.Esports:Flamez, Vard, Snakey, Hollers

OpTic Gaming:Flamesword, Ace, Assault, Maniac

All the action can be seen on the Halo twitch channel!

Are you excited to finally see some Halo 5 Action let us know in the comment section below!

Talk about this and anything else Halo related on our FORUM!



Posted by Dodger546 in Blogs, News, The War Room, 1 comment
Halo 5 Guardians Campaign Elements

Halo 5 Guardians Campaign Elements

So late last night, Josh Holmes released the first in a series of developer blogs on Halo 5 Guardians through Halo Waypoint. We get a ton of information regarding what they wanted to build and have created in the Halo 5 Guardians campaign, and more specifically the elements of co-operative play. We know that Chief has Blue Team, and Locke has Fireteam Osiris. Both teams have four members, making it perfect for that 4 player co-op we all love.

For some quick points, see the list below:

  • Using dedicated servers, friends can join you seamlessly in the middle of a campaign level over Xbox Live and take control of an AI companion.
  • Chief and/or Locke can give orders to AI team members using the new Orders System in Halo 5 Guardians Campaign. Some examples include: “Attack My Target, Go To Location, Use Vehicle (or turret), Pick Up Weapon and Revive Teammate”
  • By using different members of both squads, your view of the campaign may slightly alter as well since you will be seeing dialog from different directions, while keeping the main story line the same.
  • 343i wants Blue Team to help us players cope with the loss of Cortana in battle.
  • Blue Team and Fireteam Osiris feel different, due to them being completely different Spartan types. Blue Team is more weathered and heavy, while Osiris is more sleek and modern, with differing HUDs as well for each character.
  • Each character has different abilities (already confirmed). We do get an examples such as Kelly being the fastest Blue Team member and Tanaka having longer range for the motion tracker.
  • The Halo 5 Guardians Campaign maps were designed to encourage the teams to spread out and utilize all elements, thus making the maps larger.

For the full detail read below or on Waypoint:


CO-OP CAMPAIGN IN HALO 5: GUARDIANS


Co-operative play has always been a big part of Halo, allowing two or more friends to play through the campaign together. Over the years I’ve spent countless hours playing Halo co-op, as have the majority of us here at 343 Industries. It’s a source of endless fun, particularly because of the emergent play that stems from having a group of players interacting with the Halo sandbox. Yet at its core, Halo’s campaign was originally built to be a single-player experience, first and foremost. So when you joined a friend in their campaign session, you were coming along for the ride and helping to lighten the load. Mechanically, the game was designed with the single-player experience in mind and so the narrative perspective of campaign also remained focused on telling the story of a lone hero.

That changes with Halo 5: Guardians as we have committed to co-operative campaign at a fundamental level. This creative pillar has influenced many decisions throughout the game’s technology and design. While you can still expect the same great single-player experience that Halo campaigns have been known for, engaging in co-operative play gives the campaign a new level of depth and richness.

Within the campaign for Halo 5 there are two distinct modes of play – solo and co-operative – and each mode has its own separate save file. When you start a co-op session, you control the leader of each Fireteam (The Master Chief or Spartan Locke). From there you can invite friends to join your session, and they do so seamlessly. Co-op games run on dedicated servers, allowing friends to seamlessly join and take over control of another member of your Fireteam. There is no interruption to the play experience. The new player simply joins the game, chooses a character (from one of the male or female teammates), and assumes control. Any achievements, collectibles or skulls unlocked during a co-op session are granted to all of the players present at that time. If at some point in the session a friend needs to leave, they can simply drop-out without interruption and the AI takes over seamlessly, so you can continue with your game.

FIRETEAM AI

Supporting this seamless drop-in/drop-out co-op experience is our new Fireteam AI system. Throughout the campaign, there are always four Spartans active. When playing a solo game, the three other members of your team are controlled by Fireteam AI (or “musketeers” as we’ve nicknamed them internally). Fireteam AI is designed to be completely autonomous. When controlled by AI, your teammates will accompany and support you, navigating the environment and reacting dynamically throughout combat.

As a Fireteam leader (Chief or Locke), you also have the ability to give simple commands to your AI-controlled teammates using the new Orders System in Halo 5. Fireteam orders give you more discrete control over your team’s actions to increase their effectiveness in battle. Some of the orders available include: Attack My Target, Go To Location, Use Vehicle (or turret), Pick Up Weapon and Revive Teammate (more on Revive later). Orders are contextual and initiated through a single button press (up on the D-pad). Simply place your reticle over a location, object or target and press the Orders button. The order issued changes depending on what you’re looking at. Our goal is to keep the Orders System simple and intuitive within the flow of Halo combat. We are not building a tactical squad-based shooter but we want to provide players an optional layer of logical control to enable new tactics in battle. And of course if you choose not to use orders, your Fireteam AI will operate just fine on their own. They are Spartans, after all.

EXPANDING OUR CAST OF CHARACTERS

When we set out to tell the story of Halo 5: Guardians, we were continuing the Master Chief’s saga. At the end of Halo 4 we left the Chief in a state of contemplation. He had lost his closest companion in Cortana and was finally being forced to consider his place in this new world. For the first time since he was trained as a Spartan, John began to really consider what it meant to be not just a soldier, but also a human. In Halo 5 we wanted to examine the Chief more closely and doing so meant applying a different emotional perspective, for both the character and the player.

We also wanted to expand our existing cast of characters in our story and bring new Spartans into the fold. To support our ambitions for co-operative campaign, we need four Spartans to be present and available for play at all times. Having a consistent set of teammates allows for seamless drop-in/drop-out co-op, it lets us maintain consistent game mechanics between solo and co-operative play and it expands our opportunities for storytelling as the characters interact with one another and their surroundings. Depending on which team member you are controlling at any given time, your perspective on the story may shift as you experience slight contextual differences in dialogue. It’s a subtle thing and the core of the story always remains the same, but it’s something we hope will be appreciated by fans and add to the replay value of the co-op campaign.

TWO DISTINCT TEAMS

With Halo 5: Guardians we are telling story from two different perspectives, with opposing protagonists. The Master Chief and the other members of Blue Team are some of the few remaining members of the SPARTAN-II program. Proven veterans of the Human-Covenant war, they’ve known one another since childhood and trust one another on a deep level. In that regard, they’ll help the Chief fill a void of companionship left in Cortana’s passing.

Spartan Locke and Fireteam Osiris are a newly minted squad of Spartan-IVs assembled by the UNSC and tasked with tracking down the Master Chief when he and Blue Team go AWOL early on in the game. Throughout the course of the campaign the action will shift between these two teams. The Chief’s missions represent vital turning points within the story and pose questions the player will answer while playing as Locke and Osiris. Only by playing back and forth between the two teams will the complete story be told.

We’ve deliberately designed these two teams to provide visual contrast with one another. Blue Team have a heavier, more weathered feel. Their technology is proven, reliable, and practical in nature. Fireteam Osiris represent a new generation of Spartans. Their armor is sleek and modern, technologically advanced and displaying less wear.

These design cues carry into the play experience through the look and feel of the Heads-Up-Display for each character. From a first person perspective, it’s challenging to convey the differences between characters. Having unique HUDs for each of our eight characters allows us to convey a sense of identity and personality through the visual design.

Each character’s HUD has been painstakingly designed by our artists to reflect the visual language of that particular Spartan. So Locke’s HUD has aggressive lines that follow the curvature of his visor while Linda’s enhanced optics are represented in muted tones that reflect her armor palette.

From a play perspective it was important to maintain a consistent set of core gameplay abilities between all characters. We don’t want players to need to re-learn controls when they move between teams or from character-to-character. While the core gameplay and controls remain the same, each character has a unique set of starting Loadout weapons. Linda has her signature Sniper Rifle, while the Chief maintains his classic AR. Naturally, all of the characters can acquire and use other weapons and vehicles along the way. There are also subtle differences between the characters in terms of attributes. For example: Kelly is the fastest member of Blue Team, while Tanaka has increased motion tracker range.

NEW MECHANICS IN CAMPAIGN

To support team and co-operative play in Halo 5: Guardians we have introduced a new Revive mechanic. This gives players a second chance in combat and creates opportunities for team members to support one another. So how does it work? When a Spartan takes too much damage in combat, they go into a “downed” state. Once downed they can be revived by a teammate, but only for a limited time before they die. While downed you can call for a teammate to revive you. Players will hear you call out and see your icon flashing on their screen, letting them know how long they have before you die.

As a player you can revive your teammates, or if you are the Fireteam leader (Chief or Locke), you can give the order to revive someone. AI-controlled Fireteam members will immediately attempt to revive their downed teammates, though they may die trying. If you die before you can be revived, you will respawn once a player-controlled member of your team makes it to a safe location, free from combat. If every player-controlled member of your team is killed in action, you will wipe back to the previous checkpoint. This adds a layer of risk/reward to the traditional checkpoint system used in prior Halo games, and in co-op, encourages better teamwork and sportsmanship.

One significant mechanical difference between the two teams is the new Tracking ability that is available to Fireteam Osiris.

The Artemis Tracking System is a new piece of ONI technology deployed with Fireteam Osiris in their search for the Master Chief. Tracking allows the player to “ping” the surrounding area by sending out a waveform that highlights objects of interest. Tracking can be used to locate weapon caches, vehicles, collectibles and narrative drops throughout the campaign. It also highlights tactical opportunities on the battlefield. See that auto-turret and nearby generator? Perhaps they can be reactivated and brought online to help repel enemies. The enemy force field standing in your way? Hack the nearby control point to bring it down. That metal vent on the top of a secure building? Use the new Ground Pound ability to break through and gain access to the goodies inside. Each of the missions in campaign have been designed to offer a variety of options and opportunities for play, and Tracking is as means of exposing them to players. And again, while all eight Spartans will move and feel identical, Tracking adds a layer of personality and story to both perspectives, with the Spartan-IIs being less reliant on tech, and more on their own experience.

EVOLVING CAMPAIGN FOR A NEW GENERATION OF CONSOLE

The additions of Fireteam AI, Orders and Revive have had a major impact on the design of encounters throughout our campaign. Along with the heightened focus on co-operative play, these changes have challenged a conventional approach to balancing Halo combat. They have required us to revisit the tuning on every enemy, vehicle and weapon in the game, testing across all difficulties and player counts. Enemies are faster, more responsive and generally more lethal. Many have been given new behaviors to make them more effective in dealing with a team of Spartans.

The scale of campaign experience that we are delivering with Halo 5: Guardians is far beyond any previous Halo game. With co-operative play as a focus, it has meant creating larger spaces with multiple vertical levels and intersecting pathways. Teammates are encouraged to spread out and explore, seeking advantageous positions from which to support one another.

Not only has this increased the scale of the environments themselves, but it requires a greater number of enemies to be active in any given area. Building encounters with co-op play in mind has meant an increase in the density of foes. Because players have more freedom in splitting up and exploring the environment, we can have dozens and dozens of active antagonists, all systemically-driven and reacting in real-time to the world around them. This is where the sandbox nature of Halo really shines.

The decision to remove split-screen support from Halo 5: Guardians was one of the most difficult ones we’ve ever had to make as a studio. We know that for many of our fans, Halo has meant playing together with friends in the same room. We all have great memories of past Halo split-screen multiplayer matches. To move Halo’s gameplay forward and deliver a true next-gen experience, tough choices had to be made. Our decision was driven by a desire for scale, fidelity and focus to ensure that we would deliver the best quality experience possible. With Halo 5 we are delivering massive scale environments, improved AI behavior, increased visual and gameplay fidelity… something that truly takes advantage of a new platform. Many of our ambitious goals for Halo 5 would be compromised in a split-screen setting and the time spent optimizing and addressing split-screen-specific issues would take focus from building other parts of the game. Game development is a balancing act of resources, time and technology, and in this case we made the tough decision to sacrifice something that’s been near and dear to us all.

We are telling a story at a truly galactic scale with Halo 5’s campaign. A story big enough to fill the worlds we’ve created for it. This is a campaign that has been designed from the ground up to support co-operative play with an ensemble cast of characters, and is supported by the gameplay mechanics, scale, features and technology required to make it sing. We’re really pleased with the way it’s shaping up and we can’t wait for you guys to try it, and hopefully enjoy it as much as we are.


Lots of new information Archivers! Discuss Halo 5 Guardians Campaign here on our forum!



Posted by Media Bias in Blogs, News, 2 comments