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Halo 4 Champions Bundle Available August 20th

Aug 19, 2013

The fourth major expansion in the “Halo 4” Infinity Multiplayer experience, the Champions Bundle, developed in collaboration with Certain Affinity, includes three DLC packs in total (Steel Skin Pack, Bullseye Pack, and Infinity Armor Pack) plus bonus content.



The Champions Bundle is available on Xbox Live for 800 MS Points and consists of the following DLC Packs, with additional bonus content outlined in the corresponding section below:


  • Bullseye Pack: Two new multiplayer maps, a sports-themed Spartan armor, and a new competitive gravball game type called Ricochet
  • Infinity Armor Pack: Set your Spartan up with impressive and legendary new armor
  • Steel Skin Pack: Bring an elaborate steampunk style to your UNSC, Covenant, and Forerunner weapons


Each individual DLC Pack is available outside of the Champions Bundle as a standalone offer. The Bullseye Pack is available for 480 MS Points3, and the Infinity Armor Pack and Steel Skin Pack are available for 240 MS Points3 each. The Champions Bundle includes must-have bonus content available through purchase of the bundle.


A full description of each new pack and the Champions Bundle content is below:


Bullseye Pack

Dive headfirst into the exciting Bullseye Pack, which includes the brand new Ricochet game type and two new maps, Pitfall and Vertigo. In addition, Bullseye offers an entirely new armor set based on the Ricochet game type. 

  • NEW MAP – Pitfall: As a remake of “Halo 3”’s ‘The Pit’ – Pitfall has new features based on pro and community feedback for increased pace and flow. The map is small and mostly open with strategically placed cover points. Our new game type Ricochet is also a perfect complement to this map. Play to experience a new take on an old favorite. Pitfall will incite fond memories, and new excitement.
  • NEW Map – Vertigo: Vertigo is a small map that any Slayer or Extraction fan will love. But don’t let Vertigo fool you. Opposing Spartans aren’t the only thing you have to worry about in this small experimental tension conductor facility. This map is hiding a secret: Vertigo brings you the first dynamic event in a Halo multiplayer map in a very long time; the map hides a trigger point, that when shot at – depletes the shields of all Spartans within range.
  • NEW Game Type – Ricochet: For nearly a century, gravball competitions have held sway over most competitive sports across the breadth of human-occupied space. Historically, UNSC drill instructors have utilized a variant called Ricochet, where fast-paced combat simulations occur in synch with the classic, frenetic scoring competition. Spartan-IVs aboard Infinity have adopted this format recently in the ship’s impressive combat decks, incorporating a number of adjustments within the War Games simulations in order to effectively hone their skills. Protect your team’s goal and score in the other team’s goal. Running the ball into the goal earns you 50 points, while throwing the ball into the goal gets you 20 points. First team to 150 points wins. 


Steel Skin Pack

With the Steel Skin Pack, stylize your favorite loadouts with the most elaborate and impressive “Halo 4” weapon skins to date. Inspired by classic steampunk aesthetics, the Steel Skin Pack covers the gamut with ten UNSC, Covenant, and Forerunner weapons, grafting vivid, dynamic plating and textures across your weapon-of-choice.


Infinity Armor Pack

Stand out on the battlefield: from legendary Mjolnir and Special Forces armor to the ancient Forerunner mail of an era long passed, now is the time to update your “Halo 4” Spartan. With the Infinity Armor Pack, you get access to the vintage Mark V armor of “Halo: Combat Evolved,” the rugged armor worn by the battle-hardened ODSTs, and a hybrid Forerunner armor system used by their civilization’s Prefects more than 100,000 years ago.



“Halo 4” Champions Bundle:

Enhance your War Games experience with 3 all-new content packs for one special price4, plus bonus content for those who purchase the “Halo 4” Champions Bundle. The bonus content gives you an excellent selection of upgrades that simply cannot be passed up, including an armor mod: the Resistor Tactical Package, new weapon skins, new armor skins, and new Spartan stances for your player card. And, with the “Halo 4” Champions Bundle, you get the 3 content packs as well: the Infinity Armor Pack sets your Spartan up with legendary new armor, the Steel Skin Pack brings elaborate steampunk style to your UNSC, Covenant, and Forerunner weapons, and the Bullseye Pack delivers 2 new maps, a sports-themed Spartan armor, and 2 week early-access5 to an insane new competitive gravball game type called “Ricochet”. A description of the armor mod included in the Champions Bundle bonus content is below:  

  • Resistor Tactical Package: The Resistor Package is a specialized armor mod that allows Spartans to maintain their full mobility and dexterity while taking incoming fire.

Halo 4 – Majestic Map Pack offers New Game Type and Playlists on Feb. 25

Feb 19, 2013

343 Industries today announced the first details for the next major expansion in the Halo Infinity  Multiplayer experience, the Majestic Map Pack, launching next Monday, Feb. 25. Developed by Certain Affinity, in collaboration with 343 Industries, the Majestic Map Pack delivers the close-quarters action fans have been craving in three all-new small to medium sized maps designed specifically for tight, competitive combat in small-team and free-for-all modes: Landfall, Monolith and Skyline.

Landfall’s emphasis is on infantry battles amidst a glittering ocean and a city under siege on a distant world. Monolith is an open battlefield; a Forerunner monument that exposes you to the naked vacuum of space –and the firepower of opposing teams. Skyline puts you in the air on a new construction site, and its distinctly industrial surroundings and sky-high locale provides new challenges in confined spaces.

Additionally, the map pack introduces two new “Majestic DLC” playlists and a new free-for-all game type, “Infinity Rumble,” that is exclusive to the “Majestic DLC” playlist for a limited time, as well as 10 new Achievements worth a total of 250 Gamerscore.


Crimson Alliance – Vengeance DLC Review

Oct 10, 2011

– Scott Ellison

5 / 5 – Incredible

Vengeance is a dish best served cold, or was that revenge? We only reviewed Crimson Alliance a month ago. And now the DLC Pack is coming out on Wednesday and it provides a short, but challenging extension to an already great co-op and singleplayer experience.

There’s no strong exposition to be had with Vengeance, but you are provided with three “maps”. First off, as story elements go – there are two singleplayer maps included. Both of which are stark contrasts of one another providing an amazing thunderstorm and gorgeous lighting effects and then on the flip-side seeing fiery dungeons and caverns. Each level is designed differently from the main campaign, they are lengthy and have less checkpoints. It doesn’t make things frustrating, just requires more skill and tactics when playing.

As they exist in the main campaign, there is a whole new challenge level with a unique twist, aptly titled “Fistful of Coins”. It’s a wave-based risk/reward level. It’s quite simple, start the Wave, once completed you get a set amount of coins. If your health and confidence is high enough, you can then move on to the next wave and so on. Now, if you’ve chosen to move on and die, then you lose ALL coins you’ve accrued. You can back out after each successful wave. This way of playing can be helpful in earning the coins for that special piece of armor or weapon you’ve been eyeing since the main campaign.

The game also features new achievements to the standard 12 and are on-par with the rest of the game. It’s a small piece of content that does extend the game, with gorgeous vistas and a great way to earn more money in less time. New weapons are strewn around these new SP maps in secret areas for you to find. Ice is a newer element of focus this time, with new clay jars to break that will freeze your enemies in their place allowing you to inflict massive amounts of damage. Lastly, there are new enemies to be encountered and defeated such as a huge fire golem that looks impressive and can qualify as a mini-boss.

If you enjoy Crimson Alliance and have either solo’d or co-op’d the main levels too much, then these new areas will be provide tons of replay and challenge.

Retails for: $3.00, recommended purchase price: $3.00

A XBLA code for the DLC was provided by Certain Affinity for Review purposes

Crimson Alliance “Vengeance” DLC coming this month

Sep 26, 2011

Certain Affinity has announced the upcoming DLC for Crimson Alliance is called “Vengeance”. It’ll hit Xbox LIVE Arcade on October 12, 2011. Following up on the intense combat action of Crimson Alliance, the Vengeance Map Pack allows up to four players to continue cooperatively hacking and slashing their way through the perilous lands of Byzan.

We recently reviewed this game and many good things to say despite some shortcomings and it’s multiplayer focus, but it was enjoyed overall.

“From the start we wanted to keep the adventure going by giving players new places to explore with their friends. When we finished the game back in May we had a few months to wait before the Summer of Arcade was over. So we devoted ourselves to building the kind of maps that we wanted to play: fiendishly difficult ones that are perfect for co-op,” said Max Hoberman, President of Certain Affinity.

The Expansion pack contains new campaign levels pitting players in a race against time to hunt down and destroy two dangerous new threats. Also included is a new Challenge Map called “Fistful of Coins,” which allows users to test their skill against an increasingly deadly onslaught of enemies, with mountains of gold at stake. New loot, new enemies, and new challenges await in the first downloadable content expansion pack for Crimson Alliance!

Prepare to take Vengeance on October 12, 2011 for 240 Microsoft Points. The pack will be available from the main game menu, and will require a 40MB download.




Crimson Alliance Review

Sep 12, 2011

– Scott Ellison

Our Score: 4 / 5 – Awesome

A mercenary, a wizard, and an assassin walk into a bar…well, they don’t actually. But these three unsavory characters are thrown in a quest to stop the evil that’s been destroying and cursing the lands. Regardless of which characater you play as, this is very much the Wizard’s tale. As a Mercenary or Assassin, you still play to the tune of the Wizard and have no story of your own to tell.

Now from a glance you’d see this as a Torchlight or Diablo-like game. While you’re close, you’re at the same time far off. This game resembles more Gauntlet Legends than anything. There is continuity when going place to place, or a cutscene will serve as a time advance for getting to a new locale. There is a score system in place once you reach the end of the level (marked by a red triangle), for: Combat, Finding Secret Areas, and for completing the level in the least amount of Time. All of which add up to a bonus that will give you a Bronze, Silver, or Gold rating. You can, at any time change the difficulty or replay a level for a higher score.

About that difficulty, it’s actually pretty even throughout. The game progressively swarms you with more and more enemies. Any deaths incurred set you back to the latest checkpoint. There are no saves here, at least ones that you can create. One unique feature, is that all characters share the same level progression. Meaning, if you create an Assassin’ after you beat the game, the “Level 0” Assassin will have access to all levels from the get-go – which is a nice feature.

In-between levels, you’ll unlock Challenge levels which is a specialized campaign level for high scores and at a higher difficulty of enemies that come in waves. Also on your path to the next level is Merchant levels. It’s here where you can spend your hard-earned gold on Weapons, Armor, Shields, and Deployables. The deployables are in each level that you can pick-up: Health Totem (which is a circle of healing if you can’t find a health jar), Mechanical Turret (a steampunk turret to fight enemies), Throwing Axe (a fiery axe that explodes on contact doing splash damage), and Monster Bait (to distract and huddle enemies together).

Combat is very simple; X is your light attack, Y is heavy attack, B is stun, and A is dash. The dash is going to be your primary mode of transportation as it gets you places just a bit quicker (to aide in the faster level times). Unfortunately this is shared with all 3 character classes as there aren’t really any varying differences except maybe the Wizard who uses fire, lightning, ice, and wind spells. Over time you’ll unlock the ability for an Ultimate Attack, which becomes available by killing dudes. You pick-up items through your playthrough (and if you explore enough) to increase the amount of time your ultimate lasts.

There really isn’t any “loot” to be had in the game, most of the weapon/shield/armor drops are static. There isn’t a randomized system in place, but the stuff you get is almost always the next thing you’ll want to equip. Rarely did I get an item that was worse than what I had. Going back to the Merchant Outposts, you’ll find very expensive – yet powerful items for purchase here that won’t be available on the battlefield.

The game looks great, loads fast and rarely chunks up in the thick of combat. In fact, the only time I had the game slow down on me was during a part in the level where I was not in combat.

Almost to it’s detriment, the game is heavily focused in multiplayer – often showing a screen in which another player can help you in combat. You can join others or have others join you in local or online co-op. The local players can join you in going online for a total of 4 co-op buddies. It’s good it’s set at four players, but with only three character classes becomes silly seeing duplicate characters in the level despite the minor clothing and armor customizations. Additionally, a lot of the secret areas demand 2 more people to complete, so then you realize a solo run of the game is not what the developers intended on.

I played some online co-op and it was smooth, but all too easy to lose yourself in the mix of the chaos, but if you just keep swinging, you’ll come out ahead.

Now let’s talk Pricing Structure and DLC:

Pricing Structure – The game is $15 for the full experience with all three classes. You can purchase one class for $10 and get the full game experience. Subsequent classes are still $10 each. You could at that point buy the All Class Pack for $15 and save yourself $5 overall. With that said, if this review sways you and/or the trial game does it for you – go for the $15 game.

DLC – There is one thing in the Trading Outposts where you can purchase 40,000 in-game coins for a one real-life dollar. It’s not terrible, but can fast-track your way to success in the game.

I’ve gone back and forth here. While the game is fun, accessible, and easy to play with friends and/or strangers – the story isn’t that interesting and only focuses on one the characters you can play as, so playing either of the other classes seems meaningless. The game has a lot going on for it, despite the confusing pricing system. So I say give it a shot.

Retails for: $15.00, recommended purchase price: $10.00

An XBLA code for the game was provided by Certain Affinity for Review purposes

Final character reveal for Crimson Alliance – Moonshade the Assassin

Aug 30, 2011

Crimson Alliance is fast approaching (releasing on September 7th), and we now have the last character reveal trailer: Moonshade the Assassin


Dire circumstances for Direwolf the Wizard trailer for Crimson Alliance

Aug 25, 2011

Coming out on September 7th is Crimson Alliance, an Action RPG from Certain Affinity. It will be available for purchase for 1200 Microsoft Points or for FREE*

(IF you purchased all 5 Summer of Arcade titles. Then the code may not be received until a few weeks after the game’s release.)

Here we see a character trailer of Direwolf, a Wizard who is MAD AS HELL…