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Halo 5 changes photo
Halo 5 changes

Player feedback led to these changes in Halo 5


For starters, you can disable Spartan Abilities in custom games
Feb 05
// Jordan Devore
Given the adjustments to the long-running Halo formula present in Halo 5: Guardians, players were bound to be vocal about what they did and didn't like in the multiplayer beta. 343 Industries is incorporating that feedback in...
Halo MCC still broken photo
Halo MCC still broken

Halo: The Master Chief Collection players must wait for next major patch


You made me promises, promises, you knew you'd never keep
Feb 02
// Jason Faulkner
There were some shaky launches last year. While Assassin's Creed: Unity had faces disappearing and slowdown, and Dragon Age: Inquisition had weird character freezes and misfiring dialog triggers, these games couldn'...
Master Chief beta photo
Master Chief beta

Halo: The Master Chief Collection's next update requires public beta testing


So it's come to this
Jan 21
// Jordan Devore
343 Industries has had enough issues with Halo: The Master Chief Collection that, two months after release, it's come to this: public beta testing for an impending large-scale content update. Testers will be chosen from a poo...
Halo 5 photo
Halo 5

'Flinch' being removed from Halo 5


Get shot like it's nothin'
Dec 31
// Laura Kate Dale
If you've ever played the Halo series in any sort of competitive setting you're probably aware of 'Flinch', a mechanic where your aiming reticule moves up slightly when you're hit. First introduced as a replacement for de-sco...
Halo 5 photo
Halo 5

Maybe don't spend $250 pre-ordering Halo 5: Guardians, okay?


It's a mystery box
Dec 29
// Brett Makedonski
There's a certain allure behind mystery boxes. What's in them? It could be anything. It could even be a boat; you know how much we've always wanted one of those. Well, Microsoft's offering a mystery box of its own today for p...
ODST photo
ODST

343 apologizes for Master Chief Collection issues with free ODST remake


It's becoming a trend
Dec 22
// Brett Makedonski
The troubled launch of 343 Industries' Halo: The Master Chief Collection has been well-documented. Ever since its November 11 release, players routinely experienced difficulties getting the multiplayer component of ...
Halo 5 beta photo
Halo 5 beta

Remember the Halo 5 beta? It will launch with spectator options


Due December 29
Dec 12
// Chris Carter
Halo 5 looks damn good visually, but I'm a bit concerned in terms of the gameplay based on what I've heard so far. Thankfully I'll get a chance to try it out for myself later this month. Yep, the Halo 5 beta is inde...
Master Chief Collection photo
Master Chief Collection

343's released yet another patch to try to fix Halo


Enough patches to make a quilt
Dec 08
// Brett Makedonski
343 Industries is caught in a tough place when it comes to trying to fix Halo: The Master Chief Collection's broken multiplayer component. It obviously wants to roll out updates as quickly as possible. But, it also wants ever...
Halo woes photo
Halo woes

343 'working 24/7' to fix Halo matchmaking issues


The Master Chief Catastrophe
Nov 14
// Jordan Devore
If I owned an Xbox One, I'd be digging into Halo: The Master Chief Collection right about now. Well, attempting to, anyway: the compilation has issues with multiplayer matchmaking taking forever or otherwise not working as i...

Halo 5: Guardians has left me oddly cold and worried

Nov 10 // Abel Girmay
Halo 5: GuardiansDeveloper: 343 IndustriesPublisher: Microsoft Game StudiosRelease: November 2015  From the moment I sat down with Halo 5: Guardians, it was clear that the game has a big focus on player movement. If you thought Halo 4's universal sprint was blasphemous (again, you're wrong), enter a Halo game with ledge climbs, running melee's, air stomps, and slides. All of these new abilities are made possible by your thrust pack. Take the running melee for instance. When doing a normal sprint, your thruster will kick in after a few seconds, sending your spartan into a terminal velocity where your melee becomes a running charge that kills in one hit from the back, and your crouch turns into a slide. The ground pounds are similar to the air stomps in Crysis. To initiate a ground pound, you simply jump, aim by holding down the melee button, and a cursor will appear on any surface below, allowing you to smash down with speed. I do wonder how effective a technique the ground pound will be though, as the entire time you're aiming midair, you hover with the thruster pack, making yourself a painfully obvious target.  In exchange for the extra maneuvers, your shields take a hit, never recharging until you come out of your thrust-fueled abilities. It's quite the trade off, and after more than an hour of play, one that I still hadn't quite gotten the hang of. It feels as if 343 was trying to create some sort trade off between mobility and safety, perhaps even trying to find a middle ground between fans that enjoy sprint and those that long of Halo 3's slower pace. In any case, it led to many instances where I would feel like I was being punished for trying to escape a double team. One of the odder additions has to be the clamber system. Essentially a ledge grab and climb, clambering allows you to vault up platforms that are just out of reach of your standard jump. Playing Slayer on the map Truth, a remake of Midship, I must have killed and been killed three times trying to jump to the platform ring where the energy sword rests, as it was oddly just out of standard jump range. Finally, we had all wised up to the fact that the clamber was necessary to make it to the top. A relatively small, inoffensive change to be sure, but more and more I started to feel its implementation was forced. The issue I had with it is that most platforms that seem within jumping range are always just out of reach. Playing on a brand new map, Empire, I found many situations where I would expect to be able to make a jump, only to fall just short without the clamber mechanic. It created this weird chicken or the egg feeling where I'm not sure if clamber is the solution to a problem, or maps were intentionally designed to justify the mechanics existence. My time playing on Truth seemed to suggest the latter, as having this new ability on a well known map never opened up any new or interesting routes, or ways to interact with the map. For those of you who keep up with NeoGAF and its various leaks, you make have heard that Halo 5 has aim down sights (ADS). Well, yes, it does, and yes, ADS doesn't feel good in Halo. While there is no movement penalty, aiming down does narrow your field of view, as it does in all other games. The problem here is that aiming down is a feature that works best, and only in games where weapons by design are inaccurate from the hip, and guns are meant to kill almost as soon as you can land your cursor over an enemy. Halo games do neither of these things. Losing your field of vision with no significant accuracy gain is redundant, and at worst, I felt the narrow view caused me to lose my beat on an enemy. Frustrating in a game where it takes five head shots on average to score a kill.  So that covers the new mechanics, but what about the modes? Apart from Slayer, the only other mode available was the all new Breakout. In Breakout, you and your team of four take on an opposing team, racing to win five rounds. Each player has one life per round, is without shields (not unlike in SWAT), and starts off with an SMG. Their are only two Battle Rifles and two Assault rifles between eight players. It's quite a tense mode, and like Grifball or Zombies, can make for good bouts of quick fun. After I had finished my 90 minutes with Halo 5: Guardians it was clear that 343 wants this game to be more energetic, faster, and physically dynamic. I fear, however, that in their quest the good people of 343 Industries have changed so much that what's left can not be properly identified as a Halo game. That, in summation, is my problem with Halo 5: Guardians. The sinking pit-of-my-stomach feeling that I left with as I thought to myself, "This is not a Halo game." On a more hopeful note, the upcoming December/January beta the is earliest that a beta has launched in franchise history, and 343 made it very clear they want fans to help them make meaningful changes. So if you have an Xbox One and a copy of Halo: The Master Chief Collection (which you should because that game is amazing), participate, be vocal, and keep your fingers crossed for the next year. I know that's what I'll be doing
Halo 5: Guardians photo
Not my granpappy's Halo
I am not opposed to change. While certain circles of Halo fans find it popular to hate Halo 4, I've always appreciated what 343 Industries did with that game. Sprint was a logical next step to character movement, while loadou...

Here's how Halo: Combat Evolved's PC multiplayer looks on Xbox One

Nov 08 // Bill Zoeker
As a little bonus, here's a dumb joke video I made with some of the other footage I captured. [embed]283620:56263:0[/embed]  
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I swear to God, if anyone is confused by that headline...
At a recent Xbox event, I got to play a bunch of multiplayer stuff in Halo: The Master Chief Collection. I was caught off guard when we were suddenly dropped into the online multiplayer for Halo: Combat Evolved's PC version,...

Review: Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Nov 07 // Chris Carter
Halo: The Master Chief Collection (Xbox One)Developer: 343 IndustriesPublisher: Microsoft StudiosRelease:  November 11, 2014MSRP: $59.99 After booting it up, Halo: The Master Chief Collection gives you the keys to the kingdom right off the bat. Instantly accessible are all four campaigns (with local or online co-op), multiplayer, and the extras menu. The latter includes all of the Halo TV content, a spot to change online profile settings, and the Forge and Theater modes. That's, well, that's a lot of stuff to sift through, so let's start with the campaign, shall we? From the start, every single mission is unlocked. While this sounds like a small caveat, it's actually a very welcome mechanic that will allow long-time fans to skip their least favorite levels and get right into the good stuff. Also, the game's larger cutscenes can be viewed in the mission select menu to easily rewatch later. That's something most will probably want to do that over and over for particularly special clips such as the brand new remastered Halo 2 FMVs. While the original Halo doesn't look as good as its successors even with the resolution upgrade on the Xbox One, there's no denying that it's a timeless classic. From its memorable campaign to some of the best multiplayer maps of all time, Halo: Combat Evolved is a game that people won't stop talking about for decades. It was a joy to replay the campaign again, marveling at the toggle between "old" and "new" visuals, which is instantaneous in Master Chief Collection. For those that have never played a Halo game before, the campaign still holds up, and the silky smooth framerate will no doubt alleviate any concerns that this has become too dated. [embed]282966:56231:0[/embed] Halo 2 is the golden boy of the package though, and it is fully remastered beyond the capabilities of what 343 Industries did in 2011 on the Xbox 360. The most dramatic effect is the completely redone cutscenes -- a night and day difference when directly compared to the original game's in-house visuals. When I first replayed the campaign, I was utterly confused as to what I was watching until I pressed the Back button and realized just how incredible the upgrade was. That jaw-dropping effect carries over into the regular campaign, which is even more fun than the original in some respects. This is thanks to the addition of the memorable Arbiter character, and a greater look at the overall lore and races of the Halo universe. Halo 2 took the concept of the Ringworld device from Combat Evolved and expanded the galaxy tenfold, and it was a pleasure to relive the experience yet again. On the other hand, Halo 3 is my least favorite of the core games. It basically took what Halo 2 did in terms of raising the stakes off of one location, but it lacks a lot of the surprise and charm from the second go-around. This is definitely one story that I skipped around a lot, foregoing specific missions that were either too tedious or not inspiring enough to replay. Where Halo 3 really shines is in multiplayer, as it features some of the best maps in the series. The brilliance of Master Chief Collection is that it allows players to simply watch the story scenes and skip right to Halo 4 if they want. Although it was polarizing at release, I can definitively say that Halo 4 still holds up for me. The stark shift to the Forerunner conflict was a huge breath of fresh air, especially after Halo 3. This switch is particularly evident after playing the first three titles back-to-back, and I think people will appreciate the unique aesthetic and playstyle of Halo 4 more after experiencing them together. While I'm okay with the omission of the disappointing Halo: Reach, ODST would have made this package even more amazing. But, the sheer quality of these four games, whether it's by way of their campaigns or multiplayer maps, stands on its own. Master Chief Collection is presented in such a way that everything is linked through one menu that can be accessed from within any game. This is where universal options can be tweaked, but it also allows for specific customization to any given title. Love inverted controls for Halo 1 but hate them for Halo 2, 3, and 4 for some reason? That can be altered permanently. Fancy using the Call of Duty style right-analog click for melee in every game? That can be switched to apply for every game. There's also the ability to auto-mute everyone in multiplayer as a default, and to set online avatars for each game. This amount of customization is not only welcome on a console, but mostly unprecedented. The individual campaigns are each impressive in their own right, but multiplayer's where most will find themselves spending most of their time. After all, that's the thing that's going to keep everyone playing for more than a few weeks. With all of the claims and promises, I'm pleased to say that 343 Industries didn't take a half-measure with this collection in terms of preserving the original Halo experience; this is definitive. Hell, even the levels from the PC version of the original Halo are included in all their glory. For anyone that had a classic moment with any core Halo game, it can be relived here. There are playlists upon playlists: Capture the Flag, King of the Kill, Oddball, Races, Infection, Flood -- it's all there. Not every gametype is playable in every title, but if it was in the original, it's in that respective list. In the sessions I had, online play was very smooth, and each game had their own authentic signature style without feeling too jarring jumping from one game to the next. The matchmaking system is set to go live next week and will feature the Trueskill ranking system from Halo 2. We will update with a report of how things are going during launch week. Since Halo 2 is getting the royal treatment, it also has a small selection of completely remastered maps which employ a vastly upgraded visual style that is accessible from a different playlist. While the maps are a visual treat, this is essentially my only major problem with Master Chief Collection. Not only did 343 not take the time to remaster every map in the game, but it's also confined to a different section. It's an odd decision, as the isolation goes against the concept of cohesiveness that the Master Chief Collection sets out to accomplish. Making matters worse, the actual list is less exciting with such a small pool of maps. Another relatively underwhelming extra feature is the "Playlists" section from the main menu. This boils down to a hand-picked selection of campaign missions that fit certain themes, like "daring escapes" and "vehicle heavy" levels. The only bright spot with playlists is the cross-game capability, which lets players experience similar stories across multiple titles. It would have been more impactful if all of these levels were heavily modified in some way to make them worth playing again, but fortunately, it doesn't detract from the overwhelming amount of content in the core game. Digging through the menus, the features go on and on. Forge is back for every game outside of Halo: Combat Evolved. With the new visual updates it's easier than ever to craft new modified versions of favorite levels. Theater is equally great, as it allows rewatching of past matches and the option to find new ones online. Lastly, Halo TV is integrated, as is the Halo Nightfall series, the Halo 5: Guardians beta, and Halo 4's Spartan Ops mode -- all of which aren't live at the time of writing. The prospect of completing the whopping 4,000 Gamerscore will also terrify and excite hardcore fans. While I think I would have given up playing a Halo 2 remaster on its own after a few months, The Master Chief Collection will keep me busy for quite a while. The sheer number of maps, variants, playlists, and rulesets will keep me interested for months on end. I can already envision myself joining groups of friends who only like particular games, forming separate communities within the collection. Not only that, but this is also the perfect way to replay each campaign if I ever get the itch instead of finding multiple discs. This is the new gold standard for remakes. Well done, 343 Industries.
Halo Collection review photo
The master of remasters
Although Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary was a noble effort to remaster the original game that brought first-person shooters on consoles into a post-Goldeneye era, I couldn't help but feel a bit underwhelmed by the over...

Halo 2 documentary photo
Halo 2 documentary

I didn't make it all the way through the Halo 2 documentary


'Remaking the Legend - Halo 2: Anniversary'
Nov 04
// Jordan Devore
343 and Run Studios' hour-long Halo 2: Anniversary documentary is now up on YouTube. I enjoyed the first 20 minutes, a nostalgic look at the original game and its sequel with fun behind-the-scenes tidbits sprinkled throughou...
Halo multiplayer photo
Halo multiplayer

Master Chief Collection's multiplayer ranking system is just like Halo 2's


No 'master' ranking
Oct 31
// Brett Makedonski
Halo: The Master Chief Collection is going to include a whole lot of multiplayer action. That's what happens when you cram four separate games into one bundle -- all of them renowned for their competitive play. As such, ...
Halo 2 photo
Halo 2

Halo 2 Anniversary's new cutscenes look so damn good


Well done, Blur
Oct 29
// Jordan Devore
Blur Studio has been killing it lately. You might not know the company by name, but as someone who plays modern videogames you'll surely recognize the company's visual effects. When Halo 2 Anniversary debuts in The Master Ch...
Halo photo
Halo

The Master Chief Collection's remastered Halo 2 maps look beautiful


Check out Coagulation
Oct 28
// Chris Carter
Microsoft is calling Blood Gulch, and its successor Coagulation, the quintessential multiplayer Halo map, and I have to agree. After spending hundreds of hours playing LAN games in the original Halo on it, it was easily ...
Halo 2 Anniversary photo
Halo 2 Anniversary

I'm down for this Halo 2 Anniversary making-of documentary


'Remaking the Legend'
Oct 20
// Jordan Devore
You may have heard that Halo: The Master Chief Collection will require a 20GB day-one update, but did you also know that there's a documentary for Halo 2 Anniversary, one of the games in this compilation, on the way? (I hope...
Halo Achievements photo
Halo Achievements

It's going to take so long to unlock every Achievement in Halo: The Master Chief Collection


There's, uh, more than 400 of them
Oct 10
// Jordan Devore
After looking over IGN's full list of Achievements in Halo: The Master Chief Collection, yeah, I won't be earning all 4,000 (!) Gamerscore points. Hell, I knew that after reading the literal first Achievement description: "Co...
Halo 4 photo
Halo 4

343 Industries fixes Halo 4 achievement glitch...after months of waiting


Terrible
Oct 10
// Chris Carter
In the grand scheme of things, achievements don't really matter a whole lot, but if they're included in games, you probably expect them to...work. Well that wasn't the case with eight achievements in Halo 4, which were comple...
Halo photo
Halo

Warlock is the final Master Chief Collection map to be revamped


A fan favorite
Oct 08
// Brett Makedonski
Six maps from Halo 2 are being given preferential treatment when Halo: The Master Chief Collection releases on November 11. The previously revealed ones are Ascension, Coagulation, Zanzibar, Sanctuary, and Lockout. ...
Halo photo
Halo

Halo: CE's PC-only maps will be in The Master Chief Collection


That pose!
Oct 03
// Jordan Devore
In a short FAQ on its blog, 343 Industries notes that the maps previously exclusive to Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2 on PC will in fact be a part of Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Weapons like the Fuel Rod Gun and Flame...
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Wort wort wort!
I recently got to check out Halo: The Master Chief Collection at an Xbox event, which gave me a big ol' happy, because I love me some sweet, sweet Covie-killing action. In 343 Industries' presentation, they spent half of the...

Halo 2 MP photo
Hit markers, grenade indicators, nit pickers
343 Industries has shown off about an hour of the re-mastered Sanctuary and Ascension maps from Halo 2: Anniversary, which is one part of the Halo: The Master Chief Collection (Halo 1-4) coming to Xbox One in November. 

The Halo Channel is a huge indicator of Microsoft's plans for the franchise

Aug 14 // Brett Makedonski
[embed]279449:55232:0[/embed] Videogames aren't just about playing games anymore. They're about being an inclusive experience through all methods of media consumption. They're a service. That's unabashedly apparent with The Halo Channel. It's an easy prospect for skeptics to guffaw at, but anyone that wants to be immersed in everything Halo would be hard-pressed to find a better place to do it. Microsoft's branding the channel as an "interactive digital network." All of those claims are true. 343 Industries is putting an emphasis on two-way communication -- not only can it deliver its message to you, but you can deliver your message to it and all of your social contacts. After all, conversation helps things grow; it's how a stagnant experience turns into a talking point. Maybe the key to The Halo Channel is the balance of passive and active activities for users. The active ones are obvious, but still somewhat nuanced. Want to simply play Halo? Hop into a game from the network's hub. Watching a match and fancy some multiplayer of your own? The exact game type that you were viewing can be instantly set up, turning you from a spectator to a player in seconds. However, it's the passive aspect of The Halo Channel that will really justify its existence. The channel will boast a video on-demand service along with a continuous rotation of programs. Microsoft's keen on producing a lot of unique video content that strengthens the Halo lore, so there's sure to be no shortage of shows to watch. With the videogame industry putting more and more emphasis on eSports all the time, 343's direction with The Halo Channel might be a good indicator of its approach to the subject with regard to Halo. 343 producer Kiki Wolfkill explained that the studio's "doubling down" on Halo as a spectator sport. Twitch will be integrated to the channel so players can watch matches at any time, and as mentioned previously jump into similar matches at a moment's notice. When asked what 343's future plans for Halo as a competitive eSport are, the team sort of dodged the question, but remarked that Halo 2 would be well-suited for that kind of thing. Whatever happens with all aspects of the franchise in the future, The Halo Channel is 343 and Microsoft's way of ensuring that fans stay invested and interested in the present. It'll be fairly easily accessible, as it's coming to Xbox One and Windows 8 devices soon, with plans to release on Windows phones sometime down the line. It might be an ambitious project for a singular brand, but if there's one in Xbox's arsenal worthy of the honor, it's Halo. And, if it's as simple, streamlined, and packed with content as it looked to be during the presentation, Halo fans won't need to go anywhere else to get their fix.
Halo Channel photo
Games as a service
Xbox's flagship franchise isn't something that Microsoft's going to stray from anytime soon. Why would it? If there was any doubt about Halo's lasting appeal, it was dashed with the E3 reveal of Halo: The Master Chief Collect...

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It's the return of Sanctuary in Halo: The Master Chief Collection


Good for competitive mataches
Aug 12
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Lots of Halo news today, but this should be the last of it for now. Check out the updated return of Sanctuary that you'll be able to experience in Halo: The Master Chief Collection. 
Halo photo
Halo

You get 12 inches of pure Master Chief with the UK-only Mjolnir Edition of Halo: Master Chief Collection


I think Halo is a pretty cool guy...
Aug 07
// Brittany Vincent
The Halo: The Master Chief Collection Mjolnir Edition has been revealed and includes a 12-inch Master Chief figure made by Artfx. The figure has two sets of interchangeable arms so you can pose Master Chief all nonchalant wit...
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Zanzibar gets reimagined for Halo: The Master Chief Collection


Blur does great stuff
Jul 25
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Halo's presence at San Diego Comic-Con continued today with some new details on Halo: The Master Chief Collection. The team at 343 and Certain Affinity showed off for the first time the re-mastered Zanzibar map from Halo 2. ...
Halo photo
Halo

Here's our debut look at Halo: Nightfall


Digital series streaming this November on Xbox Live
Jul 24
// Jordan Devore
Ridley Scott is executive producing Halo: Nightfall, a live-action digital series that will bridge the gap between Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians. The latter game prominently features a new character, "legendary manhunter" Jam...
Halo photo
Halo

Check out the full Halo: Master Chief Collection RTX panel here


Shiny, happy Master Chief
Jul 09
// Brittany Vincent
We all miss big events. It happens. But if you weren't able to make it to RTX this past weekend but are still jonesing for some Halo: The Master Chief Collection tidbits, the entire panel is now available to watch in its ent...






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