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Coming to you from my living room
Here's some very flaccid news in the wake of E3 -- Destiny's Alpha is over, with a Beta next month. The game'll be a Sony exclusive in Japan. The new dude from Halo 5: Guardians has been named Agent Locke, and he'll be i...

Guardians of Ga'Hoole photo
Guardians of Ga'Hoole

Agent Locke is Master Chief's Spartan foil in Halo 5: Guardians


Ha-owl-o 5: Guardians of Ga'Hoole
Jun 17
// Steven Hansen
While Chief boasts top-billing in Halo 5: Guardians of Ga'Hoole, Agent Locke (pictured above) will have a "key role" in the proceedings, 343 studio boss Bonnie Ross told Eurogamer. Apparently Ridley Scott's digital serie...
Halo 2 HD comparisons photo
Halo 2 HD comparisons

Halo 2: Anniversary comparison hits right in the nostalgia


A full decade of technology has done wonders
Jun 09
// Brett Zeidler
As part of the Master Chief Collection that was announced this morning, Halo 2: Anniversary is getting a fully remastered face lift just as Halo: Combat Evolved did three years ago with Halo: Anniversary. So, the game lo...
Halo 5 beta photo
Multiplayer beta access with pre-orders
Folks who pre-order Halo: The Master Chief Collection will gain entry to the multiplayer beta for Halo 5: Guardians this December, as announced during Microsoft's E3 media briefing. A short CG trailer was shown which promise...

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Plus, an excuse to show clips from Akira
There's been a whole bunch of interesting stuff to talk about in the last week! Halo 5: Guardians has been announced for 2015, Far Cry 4 is coming this fall, Duke Nukem: Mass Destruction has been rebranded as Bombshell, Tom ...

Oculus photo
Oculus

Oculus hires former 343 Industries and id Software art director


Brought on to build the first-party content team
May 15
// Jordan Devore
Bunch of Oculus VR hiring news as of late. Here's more: art director Kenneth Scott, formerly of 343 Industries and id Software, is on board. His hire is notable, at least in my mind, as being part of the Oculus' first-party c...
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Ridley Scott attached to a Halo live-action project


Totally separate from the Halo thing Steven Spielberg is working on
Apr 03
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
There's a Halo movie in the works. Yes, another one. This one is sees Ridley Scott as executive producer, with Battlestar Galactica director Sergio Mimica-Gezzan on board as well. The series is expect to follow the same forma...
Halo photo
Halo

A Halo game is headed to Steam next week, but it's Spartan Assault


Well, shoot
Mar 27
// Jordan Devore
How desperate does Microsoft think we are to play anything Halo on Steam? We'll see if the company's decision to bring Halo: Spartan Assault to the platform next week pays off, I suppose. This overhead dual-stick shooter will...
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Let's take a look at some of the new Halo toys


A Halo 2 specific Master Chief? Hmm ...
Feb 19
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
New York Toy Fair took place last week, and the official Halo Twitter showed off some of the upcoming toys we can expect. Highlights include Master Chief wearing the cloak from the Halo 5 teaser, an electronic Mantis with wir...
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The real life version of the Halo sword kind of sucks


It's not very practical
Feb 10
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Master arms maker Man at Arms is back, this time taking on the Halo Elite energy sword. The concept looks cool in the game, but it kind of sucks in real life as it's not really practical. Look at how floppy it is! It will still cut a fool, you just got to wiggle it around a little to really get in deep. It'll look cool mounted on a wall or something at least. 
Halo photo
Halo

Halo: Spartan Assault storms to Xbox 360 today


Why not? It's already everywhere else
Jan 31
// Brett Makedonski
One thing that can be said for Halo: Spartan Assault is that it's certainly the most accessible of the Halo games. Hell, it's landed on about every Microsoft platform in recent memory. Today, Xbox 360 gets added to ...

Impressions: Halo: Spartan Assault (Xbox One)

Jan 11 // Wesley Ruscher
Halo: Spartan Assault (Xbox One)Developer: 343 Industries / Vanguard GamesPublisher: Microsoft StudiosReleased: December 23, 2013MSRP: $14.99 On the surface, Spartan Assault is a fully competent experience that collectively makes a solid video game. Unfortunately, that solidity comes from the solid waste of time -- void of anything special, aside from the Halo namesake -- the game turns out to be. Originally designed to take advantage of Microsoft’s Windows 8 touch screen capabilities, and more importantly, on-the-go devices like the Surface, Spartan Assault’s design is best accustomed to short, five-minute bursts. This makes sense for the game’s original intended platform, but the transition to the Xbox One leads the game to feel extremely void of content -- even with the title’s added co-op levels. In the switch to full controller support on Xbox One, Spartan Assault carries over the legacy of its first-person counterpart quite respectively. Aside from the ability to jump, Halo veterans will feel right at home blasting apart Covenant fodder from the new top-down perspective. Every button does what you’d expect: Triggers shoot and throw grenades; the right bumper melees; Y swaps weapons, and so on. For a complete breakdown of the single player offering, refer to our original review, since the game is essentially identical content wise. What the game brings that’s new, in its migration to the couch, is the addition of online cooperative play. Five Flood-centric missions allow two players the opportunity to exterminate the infected annoyances from the original trilogy of games. Like the single player, there are mini objectives thrown about to keep things from complete monotony -- like destroying or protecting key items while massacring countless Flood -- but ultimately the mode boils down into a glorified survival mode. Playing with a buddy online did make me forget about the woes of mediocrity the single player dishes out, especially in the brief moments that the game shows a glimmer of ingenuity in design with cooperative required tasks.  But again, like the single player, these co-op diversions rarely do anything to help exceed the five minutes of action Spartan Assault seems so afraid of going past. I’m not saying the game needs to push the 30-60 minute mark per stage to be worth the time either, it’s just levels always conclude before anything ever gets interesting. Additionally the exclusion of couch co-op feels like the biggest insult to the game’s newly added feature. The Xbox One is supposed to be the ultimate home entertainment device, but when its premier franchise -- one built on local cooperative play -- is missing a feature the series is known for, you can’t help but think this title was rushed to capitalize on the consoles first adopters starving for new content. Microtransactions also rear their ugly heads in Spartan Assault, but it should be noted that they are merely most offensive for the fact that they exist in the game at all. Outside of buying one-time level access to specific weapons and a score booster -- which is helpful for obtaining gold status per stage -- everything purchasable can be unlocked through earned EXP from level completions.   Sadly, the amount of EXP earned per stage by default barely grants players the currency to afford any of these purchases. But seeing as each level has plenty of weapons to acquire, and these microtransactions -- good once per level -- are lost upon death, only the most masochistic achievement hunters will want to plow through each stage multiple times with varied armaments. Perhaps I would have been insulted more by the game’s broken economy had I actually enjoyed the lethargic experience Vanguard Games created. Halo: Spartan Assault on the Xbox One could have been something amazing. It was a chance to right the misstepping of its initial debut and tailor the experience for a console crowd. Instead we ended up with a bare bones port looking to grab some cash on heritage alone. In fact if it wasn't for the Halo name, Spartan Assault would be one of the most forgettable experiences of all time. Actually, even with the Halo name it's still pretty forgettable.
Halo: Spartan Assault photo
Halo only in name
Having all but ignored initial reviews for Halo: Spartan Assault when it first hit Windows 8 platforms last year, I was quite optimistic that I would thoroughly enjoy a top-down, twin-stick shooter set in Microsoft’s ...

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A new piece of Halo 5 concept art has surfaced


Such a tease
Jan 09
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Hey look, Halo 5 news! Well, not news about Halo 5 itself, but more so on what's going on behind-the-scenes at 343 Industries. First, Tim Longo joined the team as creative director. His past work included Tomb Raider, Star Wa...
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Halo: Spartan Assault is now available on Xbox One


The killer next-gen exclusive!
Dec 23
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Halo: Spartan Assault is now available on the Xbox One, one day earlier than planned. The Xbox 360 version is still coming out January 2014. The twin-stick shooter was originally released for Windows 8 phones and PC, but now ...
Halo photo
Halo

Halo: Spartan Assault hits Xbox One in late December


Xbox 360 version pushed to January
Dec 09
// Jordan Devore
While the twin-stick shooter Halo: Spartan Assault has locked in a December 24, 2013 release date on Xbox One, the Xbox 360 version won't be arriving until January 2014. Folks who buy the original Windows 8 or Windows Phone 8...
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Tomb Raider's creative director now with Halo dev team


Meanwhile, former 343 creative director gets promoted
Dec 09
// Harry Monogenis
Timothy Longo, creative director behind the Tomb Raider reboot, has made the switch from Crystal Dynamics to 343 Industries. As shown on his LinkedIn profile, Longo is now the new creative director at 343; the studi...
Halo: Spartan Assault photo
Halo: Spartan Assault

Halo: Spartan Assault coming to Xbox 360 and Xbox One


Set to release in December
Oct 29
// Darren Nakamura
Currently only available on devices running Windows 8, the dual-stick shooter set in the Halo universe Halo: Spartan Assault will be coming to Xbox consoles, reuniting with the brand most closely associated with the shooter f...
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There's a little Halo 5 in this Halo 4 GotY re-release


It's just an avatar item
Oct 01
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Halo 4: Game of the Year Edition is coming out next week on October 8 for $39.99. Note that when we first learned about this package it was listed at $49.99, so this is a much better price now. It's going to include the game...
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Microsoft

Microsoft reportedly testing its own cloud streaming


Halo on your PC?
Sep 27
// Jordan Devore
From the sound of it, there will soon be no escape streaming games. Sony will use Gaikai to stream PlayStation 3 games to PS4, there's also the PS Vita TV, and similar functionality is planned for Steam users who purchase or ...
Halo photo
Halo

Halo 4 Game of the Year Edition targeting October


Anyone else?
Aug 26
// Jordan Devore
Proving that if your game has DLC it too can be eligible for that coveted "game of the year edition," IGN brings word that Halo 4 will find its way back onto store shelves with a new price. A convincing albeit unconfirmed ima...
New Halo 4 DLC photo
New Halo 4 DLC

Impressions: Halo 4: Champions Bundle


Three packs in one
Aug 21
// Chris Carter
Halo 4 has sort of dwindled, despite the fact that I still queue up on occasion and heartily enjoy it. After three map packs that have ranged from "meh," to "great," the Champions Bundle came out of nowhere outside of the Sea...
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Halo 4 getting new armor mods, playlist updates


Who's still playing?
Aug 16
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Halo 4 is receiving new some new updates next week. Playlist wise, the Rumble Pit playlist will be added back as the premiere free for all mode. Rumble Pit will have 15 new voting options that includes new Slayer and objectiv...
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Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn gets an Emmy nomination


Oustsanding Main Title Design
Jul 19
// Abel Girmay
I don't care if you like Halo 4, or any game in the series for that matter. Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn is far and away the best example of how to adapt a videogame franchise to a live-action setting. I watched it expecting lit...
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Halo: Spartan Assault now available for Windows 8 devices


Tens of people are so excited now
Jul 18
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Halo: Spartan Assault, the top down twin-stick shooter, is now available for Windows 8 based phones, tablets, and PCs. In the U.S., Halo: Spartan Assault is available for Windows 8 phones only to customers on Verizon Wireles...
Halo photo
Halo

Microsoft still discussing possible Halo 2 Anniversary


Timing and doing 'the right thing for the franchise' are key
Jun 27
// Jordan Devore
Microsoft Game Studios VP Phil Spencer tells IGN that the rumored Halo 2 Anniversary is still being talked about internally. While it hasn't been officially announced yet, such a re-release seems inevitable. "I'll be open," h...
Halo saga photo
Halo saga

Current Halo trilogy is now a saga, says Microsoft


Halo isn't going anywhere
Jun 21
// Jordan Devore
The new Halo installment teased during Microsoft's E3 2013 press conference is no longer the second game in the Reclaimer trilogy. "While we originally said trilogy, we've actually expanded this to more of a saga, so we don...
Halo photo
Halo

New Halo announced by 343 Industries, now with deserts


Master Chief is still lonely
Jun 10
// Jason Cabral
343 Industries is currently in the midst of working on the next iteration of the Halo franchise. Unfortunately, without the 5 after the title, there is no guarantee where this game falls in the series cannon. The clues of a ...
Halo 4 photo
Halo 4

PSA: Halo 4 weapons and playlist updates now live


Weapon and power-up spawns tweaked as well
Jun 04
// Abel Girmay
Yesterday's Halo 4 War Games update has brought more than a few new additions. From weapons, maps, and gametypes, there's a good amount of tweaking here. Chief among them has to be the laundry list of overhauls to the weapon ...

The next Halo is a twin stick shooter for Windows 8

Jun 04 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
Halo Spartan Assault (Windows 8)Developer: 343 Industries, Vanguard GamesPublisher: Microsoft StudiosRelease: 343 IndustriesMSRP: $6.99 The premise of Spartan Assault sees you playing as either Commander Sarah Palmer or Spartan Davis as they relive historical battles against the Covenant aboard the UNSC Infinity. The game is set between the events of Halo 3 and Halo 4, and also shows Palmer's transition from an ODST to Spartan. Sound familiar? Yeah, the Halo: Initiation mini-series from Dark Horse is tied into this whole adventure. Gameplay-wise, imagine a game like Robotron, set within the same sandbox world you're accustomed to in a Halo game. You're free to take on battles however you like, pick up weapons from fallen foes, and drive any vehicle you can get. The controls are pretty damn smooth via touch screens. You have a large space for where you can place your thumbs in order to move, aim, and fire. It's really easy to pick up and play as you move and shoot at whatever comes at you. You can select different loadouts before jumping into one of the 25 missions -- everything from choosing your weapons, armor abilities, boosters, and even Skull modifiers. Plus, there will be new weapons and abilities featured here, and some returning old favorites like dual-wieldable SMGs. While running and shooting are pretty fluid, the game does suffer a little bit from the limitations of the touch screen interface. Using grenades, swapping or picking up weapons, using armor abilities, firing your vehicle's weapon and so on can be activated by pressing specific locations on the screen. It might become second nature over time, but starting off you'll have to look away from the action to press the corresponding buttons. Not a deal breaker, just something you should be aware of. This isn't a problem with the mouse and keyboard controls, of course. Visually the game is stunning for mobile, and there was a ton of detail presented as I went through the demo level. The game even has cinematics and full-on voice acting, plus a musical score all done by Skywalker Sound to boot. You can expect a bunch of tie-ins to Halo 4 and "other Halo projects" in the future too. There are rewards, experience points, and unlockables that can be all fed into your Spartan in Halo 4's multiplayer. There's also 40 in-game Achievements, leaderboards, plus daily and weekly challenges. Lastly, there's going to be cross-save features across the different platforms similar to Skulls of the Shogun, and microtransactions of some sort as well.  So yeah, I liked what I played. I especially loved how we're given things we'd never get in the standard Halo experience. A drivable Scorpion featuring two barrels and a rocket launcher that can send out up to six missiles at once? Hell yeah! But I'm far from the point of ditching my iPhone or "upgrading" to Windows 8 just for Spartan Assault. Those of you who do own Windows 8 devices will have some fun with this one for sure. For the rest of you, well, I wouldn't be surprised if this eventually gets released on Xbox Live Arcade down the line.
Halo: Spartan Assault photo
For Windows 8 phones, tablet, and PCs
Halo: Spartan Assault is the next project from 343 Industries, a top-down twin stick shooter for Windows 8 powered phones, tablets, and PCs including the Surface. It's an exclusive to Windows 8 devices designed for touch con...

The Art of Halo 4 photo
The Art of Halo 4

Impressions: Awakening: The Art of Halo 4


Simply heavenly
May 24
// Jason Cabral
Art books have been around for a long time, and they take on many different styles and formats. Titan Books, in conjunction with Microsoft Studios and 343 Industries, has put together a fantastic addition to any Halo fans&rsq...

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