Tag Archives: halo

343 and MLG team up for Halo Esports

Halo Esports has had a huge year and 2018 will see it get even bigger thanks to 343 Industries and Major League Gaming (MLG) teaming up to take the Halo Championship Series (HCS) to the next level.

They will work closely, overseeing the Halo Championship Series, beginning with the next Halo World Championship. 343 Industries esports lead Elizabeth Van Wyck said:

MLG is one of the world’s premier esports organizations, and we’re thrilled to partner with them to take the Halo Championship Series to the next level with unforgettable live-events and unrivaled community-building experiences.

We’re excited about the opportunity to reconnect with Halo esports fans around the world and deliver a truly memorable Halo Championship Series in 2018. Working with Microsoft and 343 Industries again is the perfect way to begin an incredible year, and we look forward to celebrating Halo’s top players and showcasing their talents to the community.”

said Adam Apicella, MLG VP of league event operations. The Halo World Championship kicks off on Jan. 13 worldwide on MLG’s Gamebattles tournament platform, with the first event of the Halo World Championship 2018 season taking place in Orlando from Feb. 16-18. For more details on today’s announcements, including dates, cities, and formats, head on over to HaloWaypoint.com

Halo 5 gets a shiny 4K update for Xbox One X

It was a surprise to most of us that Halo didn’t get a mention at E3. Surely the flagship franchise will have some kind of an impact when the Xbox One X launches on November 7th.

Well, fear not, as today 343 Industries announced its intention to give Master Chief a 4K makeover. The update will be available later this year, and 343 stated “there is more to share on this front as we get closer to release.”

Alongside this 4K support for Halo 5, a number of Halo titles are also coming to backwards compatibility for Xbox One later in the year. Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, Halo 4, and Halo: CE Anniversary will all become available, and each game will contain campaign and multiplayer modes and even LAN play between Xbox One and Xbox 360. Also, every Xbox 360 map pack in the Xbox Store will also be free of charge.

Good news for you Master Chief fans out there!

New Halo game to be announced at E3?

Earlier today a GAME branded piece of Xbox One artwork appeared to reveal a new Halo game – not Halo 6 – but a game that might be similar to Reach or ODST, something I myself have predicted for a reveal at E3.

The game in question is Halo Gravemind, but the tweet was quickly debunked by the man of Halo himself, Frank O’Connor. The thing is Frank, we know you’ve thrown a boomerang at us before when you denied all knowledge of the Halo:MCC when it got leaked just days before the unveil.

Unfortunately though this does appear to quite the photoshop job with eagle eyed twitter users quickly pointing out the Halo 6 and Creative Assembly logos – but how cool would a Halo Gravemind game be?

So what do you think? Real or Fake? Would you like to see a new Halo game similar to ODST or Reach? I’m also going to throw out there that there I reckon Microsoft may even announce Halo VR to bolster Project Scorpio’s VR offering.

Roll on Sunday.

 

 

Halo Wars 2 review

It’s been eight years since the launch of Halo Wars on the Xbox 360, the perfect companion for those who wanted to experience the Halo universe from a different perspective. Clearly there was enough of a demand for a sequel and we finally have it, and thankfully it’s better than ever.

Halo Wars 2 features a lengthy story campaign as well as a comprehensive multiplayer, one that introduces a new variant to the RTS world in the form of the card based Blitz mode, more on that later.

Having spent three hours playing the game at a preview event early last month, I was excited to get my hands on the retail build of the game and really get into the campaign and its new story arch within the Halo Universe. Our review will remain spoiler free, so there’s no need to worry about reading on!

Taking place after Halo 5: Guardians, a new enemy threatens the Halo universe, and the only thing standing between extinction and humanity is the brave crew on board the Spirit of Fire, led by Captain Cutter. Halo Wars 2’s story feels much more accessible than than Halo 5 did, and I really enjoyed it. Each mission feels completely different; some require you to break down the opposition’s defences, while others require you to defend against waves of attacks. The final mission type involved capturing various points on the map, and as the story progresses the missions become quite intense, making for a fantastic experience.

The key to winning any battle in an RTS is how you manage your resources. Halo Wars 2 is no different, with the most important being power and supplies. Everything you build requires a set amount of each so it’s crucial you manage both well and efficiently, lest you’ll fall to the superior numbers and upgrades of your opponent.

Early on in the game you’ll learn about building your base, then adding generators and supply pads, before building other buildings such as garages, barracks and armories. As you would expect the garage deals with vehicles, the barracks create the infantry, while the amoury helps with improving weaponry. These can be upgraded over time, improving the health, power and capabilities of your units.

Managing everything via your controller is really simple, the RB manages which units you want to select, a single click will highlight local units while a double click calls all units. LB allows you to move across the map quickly, which is useful if you have units spread out. Certain units, such as spartans have special moves which can be activated using Y. The best move is the ability to hijack a wraith, which can make a big difference when the enemy starts to push you. You can single out different groups of soldiers or equipment if you need to move them away from a larger group, for example, using snipers to scope out cloaked enemies. It could have been really easy to mess up the control system but I felt comfortable almost instantly.

As the leader of the group, you have Leader Powers that can be activated and recharged during battle. These range from restoration drones that repair units within a certain area to Archer missiles, which can be devastating if used correctly. As the game goes on you’ll be able to make use of ODST drops, instant turrets and more. And with the Leader Powers being upgraded on the fly if you have the resources, they can prove to be a valuable card up your sleeve if you need to make a big push or quickly turn the tide.

I played the campaign through on normal difficulty, I did play some missions on Heroic and things really ramped up. Thankfully you can bring in a co-op partner to help manage the workload. I love the subtle touches in the game, the conversations that the AI have with each other while fighting and watching the machinery at your base build the equipment you require.

Playing against the enemy is one thing, but playing online against humans is a different ball game. Halo Wars 2’s multiplayer has a bunch of modes to play through. Skirmish allows you to fight across all the environments and multiplayer game modes with as many AI and co-op friends as each mode will allow. Strongholds is probably my favourite mode, in which you’ll need to capture and control the most bases when the round’s timer stops. There is also Domination and Deathmatch modes to take part in too. Deathmatch is brilliant if you want to see the pain in your opponent’s eyes as their base is turned to rubble.

Matches can take anything from 20 to over 60 minutes, and sometimes you may not have the time to get that involved. That’s where Blitz comes along. Blitz puts a twist on RTS gameplay by combining card-based strategy with RTS combat. Your card deck is your army in Blitz, you can choose a leader, that come with their own unique abilities, then build your deck in preparation for battle. On the battlefield, matches last no longer than 20 minutes and can be over in as little as 5. It’s a brilliant way to get in a couple of matches if you’re short on time, yet you still need to be very tactical to win.

As you would expect from any Halo title, the presentation is superb. The musical score had me mesmerised from the beginning, as did the audio in battle – get zoomed right in when you can so that you can hear all the workings of your units. The graphics are excellent, again in battle there’s plenty of detail to look at, although the maps never really jumped out at me as much as they might have done from a first-person view. The cinematics are sensational, it’s really getting hard to tell the difference between live action and CGI cinematics, Blur who worked with 343 Industries and Creative Assembly will no doubt very pleased with their work.

Apart from struggling with the higher difficulties I never experienced any major problems with the game, I had one crash but that’s likely down to the Preview Program. Halo fans new and old must play this, the battles are intense but hugely satisfying when you come out on top. The story had me gripped from start to end and I’m having a real blast perfecting my rather rusty RTS skills online. Halo Wars 2 is well worth your time.

Thanks to Xbox for supporting TiX

Halo Wars 2 preview

It’s a cold and frosty morning in South-West London and I’m preparing for war, I’m put onto a shuttle bus and driven to the location of the operation, I think I’m ready (I’m not really) but there is no going back now.

IMG_2047I’m excited, I’m nervous but I’m all set to fight, with an Xbox One controller in my hand I begin my Halo Wars 2 experience.

It’s been 8 years since Halo Wars graced the Xbox 360 and at a time when there isn’t much competition about, this is a great time to jump back into this exciting Genre.

As I sat down to play some of the campaign I was immediately impressed with the visuals, obviously they were going to be better 8 years on, but everything was so vibrant and the detail on all the characters was incredible. Having only spent a small amount of time playing the original I was intrigued to find out how well the 343 Industries and Creative Assembly had managed to get an RTS game working well with a controller within a few minutes I was comfortably controlling my teams and leading the charge. I’m looking forward to creating an Elite controller setup to take advantage of the paddles.

A few campaign missions later we got to try our hand at some 3v3 multiplayer, this is where, for Halo Wars 2 is going to be awesome. As with any RTS there is a learning curve when it comes to building your base, managing your power and supply points, the first match was over in 25 minutes, my team were too conservative and didn’t upgrade efficiently so we were overwhelmed and had no way to respond. Teamwork is key, it’s important to know your role and talk to your team.halowars2preview2

We then got to try our hand at Blitz the card based RTS mode, if you are short on time then this is the mode for you. Choose a leader, build your deck and prepare to fight, the aim is to capture the different zones and score 200 points before your opponents, using cards to deploy different allies and equipment uses power which regularly drops during a match, so there is always a race on to grab some extra to deploy more powerful tactics. The matches last between 7-12 minutes so it’s a perfect pick up and play mode.

I got to talk to some of the developers who were on hand, they were really please at the feedback they were getting from the people there, they seemed have got the perfect balance between those who really want to dig deep into the multiplayer and those who don’t have as much time but will find Blitz as their go to mode. With a campaign to get trough too, Halo fans are in for a real treat in February.

Thanks to Microsoft for inviting TiX along to the event.

Halo was to become a Mega Bloks game

How cool does this Halo Mega Bloks game look! Developed by N-Space and supposedly cancelled in 2013, this footage surfaced over the weekend courtesy of the YouTube channel PtoPOnline.

Real or just an excellent fan creation, there seems to be a real appetite in the video’s comments for a Mega Bloks Halo game – and why not – it looks like it could be Xbox’s answer to a Ratchet & Clank!

Loot Crate offer six different Halo Legendary Crates

Loot Crate have been producing special one-off themed crates for gamers to go giddy over, now they are looking to produce a themed edition that runs over several months. The Halo Legendary crate will be one of the first to trial this, running over 12 months. There are six different Legendary crates for Halo fans to get excited for – and what’s in them? Who knows… that’s the best part, it’s a surprise.

343 Industries have partnered with Loot Crate for the Halo Legendary Loot Crate, so the contents will no doubt be awesome and packed with figures, apparel, collectibles, in-game items and several surprises. The first crate spotlights the SPARTAN-IVs and includes an exclusive figure that will form the heart of this first crate – it will be shown off at RTX 2016 and streamed over on twitch on Friday, July 1.

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