Confirmed: Halo Edition

February 14, 2011

Well as of late there have been more than a few rumors circling the gamer society involving the Halo franchise. The most important two, being that 343 Industries is remaking Halo Combat Evolved using the Reach engine and that a new map pack for Halo Reach is on the way. Both are very true. Microsoft has announced both of these, confirming the rumors and leading the franchise into a future of money. And with all respect, I am not saying that is all the Halo franchise has turned into, Microsoft trying to squeeze out anymore money they can. I still believe the “Halo” franchise ended with Reach, being Bungie’s last addition to the series but I do support the newcomers.

As true Halo fans know, Novemeber of this year will mark the 10 year anniversary of Halo Combat Evolved. And for this occasion, the branched off company of Bungie, 343 Industries is giving a very special gift. Halo Combat Evolved. But with updated graphics using the Reach engine and the fact that you can know play Halo 1 again without going offline. Now this isn’t just halo 1 with better graphics, the team promises new art assets and it is also said to support online co-op. No word on xbox live compatabiltity yet. 343 Industries have taken over the Halo series as they have started development on Halo 4. Yes, you heard right. They are in charge now. So with Halo 1 coming from them, I think it is a great way for them to get a feel for how a Halo game should be.

Halo Reach screenshot remaking Halo 1 box art

You can expect the remake to be released in November to coincide with the anniversary date. 343 has begun to build a reputation for themselves with Halo Wars, the soon to be remake, and the next installment of the Halo series. Let’s just hope they don’t screw up the series millions of gamers love. No pressure.

The next bit of new is the new “Defiant Map Pack” that was just confirmed by Microsoft. The new map pack made from Bungie in partnership with the company Certain Affinity, who is composed of old Bungie developers and have made map packs for Halo 2, Call of Duty World at War, and most recently, Call of Duty Black Ops. The pack will consist of three new maps, two made specificly for multiplayer, and one for Firefight mode. The maps and their descriptions are as follows directly from Bungie’s website:

  • Condemned: Condemned takes place aboard Orbital Station Gamma, a massive space station high in orbit above the planet Reach. Prior to the Covenant’s overwhelming invasion, Orbital Station Gamma provided long range communications for UNSC fleets and a vital lifeline between Reach and Earth. During the Battle of Reach, the station suffered terrible punishment at the hands of the Covenant but a few fortified sections remain intact, fully pressurized, and ready for combat. Condemned supports 6 – 12 players in a variety of action-packed game types, including Team Slayer, Team Objective and Free for All.
  • Highlands: Highlands takes place on the top-secret Military Wilderness Training Preserve on Reach. The Preserve is a large, wooded area where Spartan super-soldiers trained long before the war with the Covenant began. During the Battle of Reach, the Preserve was the site of key battles between the alien invaders and a group of Spartans who used their familiarity with these UNSC training grounds to significant tactical advantage…but not everyone who enters these woods makes it out alive. Highlands expands the fight with massive-scale engagements for 8 – 16 players in Big Team Battle, Team Slayer and Team Objective.
  • Unearthed: Unearthed takes the battle for Reach to a large Titanium mine and refinery located in the Viery civilian sector of the planet. This particular mine was built to take advantage of the exposed titanium inside a massive meteor crater. The titanium produced here is used in much of the UNSC hardware, from the chassis of the Warthog to the meters-thick armor plating of capital ships like the UNSC Pillar of Autumn. While this facility was quickly abandoned when the Covenant arrived on Reach, it still has significant tactical (and economic) value and it won’t be long before both humans and Covenant return to battle for control. Unearthed allows up to 4 players to launch a counterassault against the Covenant in Firefight and Firefight modes such as Generator Defense
  • The map pack will cost 800 Microsoft points and will debut sometime next month. If you want to get a first look at the new maps, watch the trailer on Bungie’s website here.

    Screenshot of Condemned

    SOURCE #1

    SOURCE #2

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    Call of Duty Blacks Ops Infographic breaks down Game Statistics

    February 1, 2011

    In order to market the new “First Strike” map pack, Treyarch has compiled a nice little “infrographic” to show off the online statistics for Call of Duty: Black Ops.

    Some of the highlights are…

    Top three Guns:

    1. Famas
    2. AK74u
    3. Galil

    Top three Perks:

    1. Marathon
    2. Slight of Hand
    3. Lightweight

    Random Facts:

    • 3.4 Billion crossbow bolts fired
    • Players ran around the earth 129,069 times
    • 28,494,020 tomahawk bank shots
    • 1,273,209,731 aircraft downed
    • 994,665,956 cars destroyed
    • 5,124,592,368 headshots
    • 242,316,815 players skewered
    • 591,779,577 executions
    • 10,059,041,802 paybacks
    • 7,127,942,471 contract CoD points
    • RC-XD is the deadliest killstreak, with Valkyries being the least deadliest.

    SOURCE


    Call of Duty: Black Ops gets Double XP this Weekend

    January 31, 2011

    In order to help celebrate the new “First Strike” map pack for Call of Duty: Black Ops (That is currently exclusive to Xbox 360 right now), Treyarch is kicking off a double XP weekend from this Friday to Sunday to help celebrate all the new maps.


    No word when the maps will come to PC and PS3, but undoubtedly it’ll be soon, that way Activison can make even more money. The map pack lands on February 1st for 1200 MSP ($15).

    SOURCE


    AvatarKinect makes you so you never need to leave your house again.

    January 6, 2011

    You know that big room? That one right outside your house? You never need to go there again. With AvatarKinect, Microsoft is letting you sit and talk with your friends in a virtual room, using only your Avatar and Kinect. No more needing to get up and go see someone, and can just join in a room on Xbox and start talking! Look at this GREAT video showcasing how amazing this is!

    Oh yeah, just kidding, this is actually really ridiculous. The only good thing about this feature is that you can record your conversations as talk shows and upload them to the internet.


    Microsoft announces this years “House Party” Line-Up; Icludes Torchlight

    January 6, 2011

    Microsoft loves to have their seasonly deals. This year in their “House Party” line includes some real heavy hitters, such as Torchlight, the Diablo like title that has sold over 800,000 units on the PC, and the long awaited HD remake of Beyond Good and Evil. The first game, Hard Corps Uprising, will be released on February 16th, but no other dates or prices were stated. A list of the games being released and a description are below.

    Full House Poker – In the world’s capital for card playing, Microsoft is unveiling “Full House Poker.” Compete against your Xbox Live friends on Xbox 360 and build your bank roll on the go with a companion game on Windows Phone 7. Play a quick two-player game for some lightning action, join a big 30-player tournament, or play a round of Texas Heat, our live poker game show where you play with thousands of players worldwide and have 30 minutes to bluff, bet, and raise your way to the final table!

    Bejeweled Blitz Live – Take on friends in the brilliant gem-matching action of Bejeweled Blitz Live! Choose your favorite playing style – Classic or Twist – and rocket up the leaderboards! Battle your way to the top in the all-new 16-player Party mode over Xbox Live.

    Beyond Good & Evil – Now you can experience the thrill of the fan-favorite “Beyond Good & Evil” on Xbox Live in full HD. Enter the futuristic world of year 2435, a world full of deception, where nothing is as it seems and exposing the truth is the only hope of restoring freedom. Play as action-reporter Jade and capture the truth using stealth, force, and wits against a government that deceived you in this action-adventure game with elements of puzzle-solving and stealth-based games.

    Hard Corps Uprising – Thrilling retro run-and-gun action is back with a vengeance in “Hard Corps: Uprising,” a new 2D side scroller developed by ARC System Works that pays homage to classic Konami action series. Play as the soldier Bahamut as he begins to write his legend in this prequel to “Contra: Hard Corps.”

    Torchlight – A highly-regarded PC game with over 800,000 units sold to date, “Torchlight” is now coming to Xbox Live! Combat is more exciting with revamped controls and mechanics, new armor and quests! There’s even an exclusive new pet for your character. Send a select goodie or two to your friends on Live to share the fun for the first time.

    SOURCE


    Harmonix was sold for $50

    January 4, 2011

    …really?

    This is what happens when a game genre that seems unstoppable is suddenly stopped. In order to get out of the hole with all of the costs of maintaining Harmonix, the studio was sold at a discounted price. A very low, discounted price. Columbus Nova was able to purchase Harmonix from Viacom at price that costs less than one of their games.

    However, it isn’t just the $50 that Columbus Nova will be paying. With purchasing Harmonix, Columbus now owns all of their liabilities. Which includes paying for the music rights fees, and paying for warehouse space where all of the unsold units of Rock Band games are sitting.

    So, do yourself a favor. Wait a few months, get Rock Band 3 for $10 at a super sale, and play one of the best music games ever. That is, if you have enough room in your living room.

    SOURCE


    Halo Reach – Daily Challenge Guide for January 4th, 2011

    January 4, 2011

    Gunslinger: Kill 100 players in multiplayer matchmaking.
    Worth: 1000cR
    Strategy:Decent challenge, just play a few rounds of Team Swat, Invasion, or BtB.
    Time: 1hour-3hours

    A Great Friend: Earn 15 assists today in multiplayer Matchmaking.
    Worth: 2000cR.
    Strategy: Also very easy. Try playing a big team game where it is more likely you’ll have multiple people shooting at the same target.
    Time: 15min-1hour

    The Little Guys: Kill 200 Grunts in Campaign today on Normal or harder.
    Worth: 2000cR
    Strategy: Play Winter Contingency on any difficulty. Either play to the Bunker or start at it, and just demolish all grunts.
    Time: 30min-2hours

    Heroic Demon: Kill 30 Elites in Firefight Matchmaking on Heroic or harder.
    Worth: 1500cR
    Strategy: Jump on Score Attack and select Sniper Attack. There should be plenty of Elites.
    Time: 30min-1hour

    Dedication/Time:Complete 16 Daily Challenges this week.Worth: 16000cr
    Strategy: Just choose 16 challenges throughout the week to do. All of todays are quick to do.